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.
If our Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Ranieri, has recently told you that you’re dealing with a bunion, here’s what you should know about this foot deformity.
What is a bunion?
A bunion is a hard protruding bump that originates at a toe’s joint, most often that of the big toe. This condition is also progressive, meaning that while it may not be noticeable at first, as it continues to grow, it can cause adverse structural changes in your feet.
What are the symptoms of a bunion?
The most common sign that you have a bunion is developing a hard mass that sticks out at the base of your big toe. You may experience pain, soreness, or swelling in the area, and you may find it more difficult to move the big toe.
Do I need treatment?
Some people with bunions don’t even notice that they have them. As long as they continue to wear properly fitted shoes they may never need treatment. Of course, if you are experiencing pain or other problems as a result of your bunions, then it’s time to see your Woodbridge, VA, foot doctor to find out the best course of action.
The first course of action is usually simple at-home care such as,
- Icing or warm soaks
- Stretching and performing certain foot exercises
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Non-medicated bunion pads
- Shoe inserts
- Wearing properly fitted shoes and avoiding high heels
If these measures don’t provide you with relief then our podiatrist may provide prescription medications or cortisone injections to reduce severe pain and swelling. Splinting or taping the foot can also temporarily realign the foot to prevent pain.
Do I need bunion surgery?
Most people can get their bunion pain under control without resorting to surgery. However, surgery may be necessary if,
- You’ve tried all nonsurgical treatment options and nothing has worked
- You are experiencing severe pain and swelling
- Your symptoms occur regularly and affect your daily routine and quality of life
If you think you may be dealing with a bunion or if you want to talk with our podiatry team to find out whether bunion surgery is the best treatment option, call Lake Ridge Podiatry in in Woodbridge, VA, today at (703) 491-2603 to schedule an appointment.
Your feet sustain a lot of pressure and stress during the day—especially if you work on your feet or you are an athlete who does a lot of running and jumping. One foot problem that can develop is a neuroma, which can become painful as it develops. A podiatrist at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, can help you with numerous foot conditions, including neuromas.
What Is a Neuroma?
A neuroma is a growth on the foot that usually develops between or around the toes. The benign growth is a bundle of nerves that become irritated by constant friction and pressure. It is most often caused by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. In some cases, the neuroma grows because the patient’s foot has an abnormal bone structure, which is often hereditary. Besides the visual presence of a growth, other signs of a neuroma include numbness, tingling, thick skin, and burning sensation. The most common type is called a Morton’s neuroma, which appears between the third and fourth toes.
Many cases of foot neuromas can be treated conservatively, by simply changing habits and managing pain. Here are a few of the ways your Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist can help:
- Corticosteroid injections to reduce pain.
- Custom-made orthotic supports or shoes to relieve pressure on the toes.
- Foot exercises.
- Surgery to remove the growth, if necessary.
Avoiding a Foot Neuroma
A neuroma develops because of the way you treat your feet over an extended period of time. Here are some of the ways you can avoid it in the future:
- Do not wear very high heeled shoes, or shoes that pinch the toes together.
- Choose shoes that give your toes plenty of room to spread apart and move around.
- If you play sports or exercise for many hours, make sure you wear proper athletic footwear with ample supports.
- Understand that patients who have other foot deformities, like flat feet or bunions, may be more predisposed to developing neuromas, and discuss this with your podiatrist.
Seek Treatment for a Neuroma
Don’t allow a neuroma to make walking, running, or standing a daily problem for you. Get assistance from a podiatrist who is familiar with these cases. Call (703) 491-2603 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Ranieri at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA.
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