Treating Your Heel Pain
Every step you take puts stress on your feet. Although your feet can take a heavy load, excess stress can cause problems and one of the most common ones is heel pain. If your heel pain is persistent you will need to consult a podiatrist such as Woodbridge’s Dr. Ranieri at Lake Ridge Podiatry.
Causes of Heel Pain
Heel pain can have many causes including the following:
- Plantar fasciitis: One of the most common causes of heel pain arises when the plantar fascia – the ligament joining the heel and toes – becomes overstretched. This causes pain and the base of the heel.
- Bursitis: This condition is caused by swelling of the bursae – small fluid-filled sacs – that cushion the tendons and muscles near the joints in your feet.
- Achilles tendonitis: Common in runners and other athletes, Achilles tendonitis arises when the Achilles tendon – the tendon joining the heel and the calf – becomes stressed and inflamed. This can cause pain in the heel and ankle.
- Heel spur: A heel spur is caused by the build-up of a calcium deposit on the base of the heel bone. It can cause severe heel pain.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome: This condition is caused by the compression of the posterior tibial nerve. It causes pain that radiates from the inside of the ankle to the heel and along the foot.
Treatment for Your Heel Pain
Woodbridge residents who are suffering from persistent heel pain can seek help from Dr. Ranieri. After a full examination and discussion of your symptoms, he will diagnose the cause of your pain. Depending on the cause and severity of the heel pain, you may need to rest your foot, perform stretching exercises, take pain medication, or use orthotic devices. In rare cases, if the problem is severe, you may need surgery.
If you are looking for a podiatrist in Woodbridge, call Dr. Ranieri at (703) 491-2603 to schedule an appointment.
Are you experiencing pain and redness around a toenail? You may have an ingrown toenail, a common foot problem for people of all ages. At Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, your podiatrist, Dr. Ranieri, treats ingrown toenails and shows patients how to avoid them.
How does an ingrown toenail occur?
Also called onychocryptosis, an ingrown toenail happens when a nail—typically on the big toe—invades the skin along the side of the toe. Pain, redness, infection, and limited mobility are common symptoms. For individuals with diabetes, a lowered immune system and impaired circulation in their extremities, ingrown toes become dangerous both to podiatric and overall health.
Treating ingrown toenails
In his Woodbridge office, your podiatrist sees many ingrown toenails. Actually, the Institute for Preventive Foot Health reports a full 18 percent of American adults have had an ingrown toenail at some point in their lives.
Some of these toenails resolve with proper trimming and warm soaks. More serious cases require proper treatment by a skilled foot doctor promoting the best patient outcomes, improving mobility/foot appearance, and preventing infection.
To treat onychocryptosis, Dr. Ranieri often recommends removal of part of the toenail. Also called partial nail plate avulsion, this quick, in-office procedure takes the pressure off the skin and underlying nail plate. Some people require antibiotics to heal infection.
If ingrown nails recur, your podiatrist may perform a matrix ectomy to stop nail growth completely. Experts at the Cleveland Clinic say this nail bed destruction with selected chemicals typically ends the problem once and for all.
Preventing ingrown toenails
Although some people have inherited foot structures that encourage ingrown toenails, many cases can be averted with proper at-home care. Common sense practices include:
- Trimming each toenail straight across—not too short and never rounding the corners (make sure your clippers are clean)
- Wearing shoes which are roomy in the toes, thus avoiding undue pressure on the nails
- Changing socks every day to avoid fungal growth
- Protecting your feet from injury as you work and play sports (and make sure they fit well)
- Contacting your podiatrist as soon as you see a problem developing
At Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, PA, Dr. Ranieri wants his patients to have the healthiest feet and ankles possible. For more information on ingrown toenails or any other foot health problem, contact your podiatrist at (703) 491-2603.
Hammertoes are among the many foot and ankle conditions treated by your podiatrist, Dr. Gerard Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry Woodbridge, VA. The condition makes walking painful and can even change your gait. Fortunately, preventing hammertoes can be as easy as taking these steps.
Check your shoe size
Did you know that your shoe size can change throughout your life? As you grow older, the ligaments that connect the bones in the joints in your feet together become looser. As a result, your feet may become a little longer and wider. Shoe size can also change if you gain weight or become pregnant. Consider the fit of the shoe, not the number on the bottom, when you try on shoes.
Stay away from tight shoes and high heels
These shoes can increase the pressure on your toes. Eventually, the middle joint of a toe may begin to bend, forming a hammer shape. If you already have a muscle/tendon imbalance, wearing these shoes will increase your risk of developing the condition.
Look for shoes that provide plenty of room in the toe area and aren't pointed. Wearing shoes that keep one or more of your toes in a bent position can increase your hammertoe risk. If one of your toes is longer than your big toe, buy shoes that fit the longest toe comfortably.
Ask your Woodbridge foot doctor to fit you with orthotics
Orthotics are prescription shoe inserts that keep your foot properly aligned. If you have a muscle/tendon imbalance in your foot or toes, orthotics can help you avoid hammertoes or slow the progression of the condition if you do develop hammertoes. The inserts also cushion the feet and absorb shock.
See your podiatrist if your toe starts to bend
Hammertoes are flexible initially but gradually become inflexible. If your toe no longer moves, you may experience pain when you walk or stand. Gait changes caused by hammertoes can affect the alignment of your entire body and trigger pain from your feet to your back.
Wearing orthotics and performing toe exercises can slow the progression of hammertoe, while splints may help keep your toe properly aligned. If your toe does become inflexible, surgery may be needed to release the tendon that keeps the toe bent.
Do you suffer from hammertoes? Your podiatrist in Woodbridge, VA, Dr. Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry, can help you ease your pain. Call him at (703) 491-2603.
Keep your diabetes in check to prevent serious foot problems.
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with diabetes? If so, we commend you on trying to research ways to keep your health, particularly your foot health, in the best shape possible. You may also know (but perhaps you don’t) that diabetes can have a serious impact on your foot health. If you have diabetes it’s important that you also have a podiatrist like our own Dr. Ranieri that can provide you with diabetic-specific foot care right here in Woodbridge, VA.
How does diabetes affect foot health?
Diabetes is a long-term metabolic disorder that raises a person’s blood sugar. If high blood sugar isn’t controlled through medication and a healthy lifestyle, these elevated levels can cause nerve damage, particularly to the feet. This problem is known as peripheral neuropathy, and as many as 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes will eventually develop peripheral neuropathy.
Nerve damage leads to a loss of sensation in the feet. Since a person with neuropathy is less likely to feel their feet they are also less likely to notice when there is a sore, blister or problem that could lead to further issues. Since poor circulation and nerve damage slow healing substantially, this means that even the smallest injuries to the feet can lead to more serious complications including infections.
How can I keep feet healthy with diabetes?
When changing up a routine, especially your lifestyle, it can be a bit confusing at first. We know you may have concerns and questions along the way. This is why adding a podiatrist to a patient’s current team of doctors will be a major asset to anyone with diabetes. If you have diabetes and you want to discuss ways to prevent diabetes-related foot complications, our Woodbridge, VA, foot doctor is ready to help.
Here are just some daily foot care practices that you should adopt, especially if you have been diagnosed with diabetes,
- Examine feet thoroughly each day to look for cuts, blisters, swelling or other issues that could turn serious quickly. Even minor injuries to the feet should be discussed with your podiatrist.
- Wash feet daily with soap and warm water, and once feet are clean make sure to dry them thoroughly (don’t forget to dry between the toes, too!). Keeping feet dry reduces your risk of developing fungal infections.
- Trim nails properly to prevent ingrown toenails. If you have trouble trimming your toenails a podiatrist can also provide this care to patients.
- Monitor your blood sugar daily. The best thing you can do for your health is to keep your blood sugar in check with medication. Managing your blood sugar will go a long way to preventing problems.
- Do not walk barefoot, even if you are indoors. Walking barefoot could lead to injuries, cuts and sores that could get infected.
- If you notice calluses, warts or other foot problems do not try and treat the problem yourself, as these at-home methods could lead to further injury, burns or infection. Our podiatrist can help you out.
Have questions about caring for your feet with diabetes? The podiatry team at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, can certainly help you. Call our office today at (703) 491-2603.
Are you suffering from heel pain? A common complaint of patients with ankle and foot disorders, heel pain can interfere with your normal activities, even simple tasks such as walking and standing. If treated promptly and properly, however, your foot will heal well. Here at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, Dr. Ranieri offers a complete range of podiatric services to the patients that they service—read on to find out what could be causing your heel pain.
Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the band of tissue that connects your heel bone to the calf muscles. If you feel that you might have this condition, you should visit a podiatrist right away. After all, if the issue worsens, your tendon can tear.
Plantar fasciitis a painful condition that usually causes a stabbing pain in the heel of the foot. Although the pain is usually the worst with the first few steps after waking up, it can also be triggered by standing for long periods of time. Common treatments for plantar fasciitis include night splints, medicines, walking casts, stretching exercises, and orthotic devices.
A heel spur is a pointed bony outgrowth on the heel bone. Although heel spurs are often painless, they can cause major discomfort in some cases. Heel spurs are common among athletes whose activities include running or jumping. Common treatments for this foot condition include physical therapy, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, and footwear recommendations.
Stress fractures are characterized by severe bruising within a bone or a small crack in a bone. Often caused by overuse and repetitive activities, stress fractures are common in runners and athletes. The symptoms of stress fractures include heel pain and inflammation. If you have a stress fracture, your podiatrist might suggest to use crutches or wear a brace for a period of time. Surgical treatment are also sometimes necessary to ensure complete healing.
Concerned? Give our Woodbridge Office a Call
If you want freedom from heel pain, call Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, at 703-491-2603 right now to schedule a consultation with your podiatrist, Dr. Ranieri.
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