When you step on your heel, do you feel a stabbing pain? Or, is your heel reddened, swollen and tender? Whatever the extent of your discomfort, see your podiatrist at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA if your heel pain continues and impacts your life. Dr. Ramieri has the skill and experience to uncover the reasons why your heel hurts, and he can treat it successfully.
What causes heel pain?
Plantar warts, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and more lead to varying degrees of heel discomfort. When you come to our Woodbridge, your podiatrist will examine your feet, take X-rays and analyze your gait (how you walk). The information will help him formulate a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and get you feeling good once again.
The following conditions are common causes of heel pain:
- Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation and overstretching of the connective tissue which runs from the heel bone to the base of the toes. When people overpronate (or turn their feet toward the midline), wear poorly supporting shoes or simply overuse their feet through running or other physical activity, the plantar fascia becomes irritated and painful, particularly where it's attached to the heel. Many individuals with this condition also have bony heel spurs.
- Achilles tendonitis is an inflammatory condition, too. It affects the stiff tendon between the calf muscle and the heel and usually comes from overuse, particularly when people increase their level of exercise too quickly, says the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
- Plantar warts are hard, bumpy, benign growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). While not a devastating condition, these contagious warts need treatment to resolve completely.
- Arthritis and bursitis happen in the retrocalcaneal bursa, a fluid-filled sac at the base of the Achilles tendon. Vigorous exercise, overuse and obesity lead to this problem as can poorly supportive and ill-fitting footwear.
Your treatment plan
It depends on your diagnosis, but for all of the above conditions, surgical intervention is a last resort. Common sense changes in how much and how often you exercise and what kind of shoes you wear often relieve heel pain quite successfully. Customized orthotics, or shoe inserts, help with gait problems such as overpronation. Stretching and sufficient warm-up before working out help, too.
Regarding warts, your podiatrist may remove them with salicylic acid, cryotherapy (freezing) or with a scalpel and local aesthetic. Prevention, of course, is the best way to treat warts; so be sure to wear shower sandals at the gym or poolside, and avoid going barefoot outdoors. Warts are extremely contagious and may spread among family members sharing the same bathroom, pedicure tools or towels.
Achieve this great goal with the help of Dr. Ranieri at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA. Call (703) 491-2603.
Sports and fitness are big parts of your life--running, tennis, cycling. Unfortunately, athlete's foot has become a featured player, too, as your toes burn and itch. What's the remedy for this common foot affliction? Ask Dr. Gerard Ranieri, your podiatrist at Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA. Dr. Ranieri sees numerous patients with Tinea Pedis and successfully treats them. You can feel better, too.
What is Athlete's Foot?
The National Institute of Health states that athlete's foot is a fungal infection affecting 15 to 25 percent of the American population. In other words, millions of people across the US have Tina Pedis right now and suffer with:
- Extreme burning and itching symptoms
- Cracks and deep fissures between the toes and along the soles of the feet
- Oozing blisters
- Flaking, red, puffy skin
Picked up in shower stalls, on swimming pool tile and on many outdoor surfaces, foot fungus spreads quickly to other individuals. It also thrives in dark, moist environments such as sneakers, sweat socks, and garden clogs.
Treatment and prevention
Your podiatrist in Woodbridge wants to examine patients who have had symptoms of athlete's foot for more than two weeks. Also, Dr. Ranieri urges diabetics or other people with serious systemic conditions to act quickly in getting Tinea Pedis treated.
Interesting, many of the treatments Dr. Ranieri suggests also effectively prevent athlete's foot. These measures include:
- Diligent foot hygiene (washing feet daily with soap and water and drying them carefully)
- Wearing cotton socks and changing them daily or whenever they get wet or sweaty
- Changing shoes daily and allowing sweaty sneakers to dry in the sun
- Using antifungal foot powder daily
- Cutting toenails with clean pedicure instruments
- Wearing sandals and well-ventilated shoes in the warm weather
- Refraining from going barefoot outside or in the gym and pool (wear flip-flops or sandals instead)
- Drying feet with one clean towel only (wash after use, and do not share towels)
Also, your foot doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication or a medicated cream if your infection is severe.
It can come back
Even with the most diligent of prevention and treatment, athlete's foot infections can come back, reports Harvard Health. If this happens to you, see Dr. Ranieri to review your treatment plan. Together, you and he can pinpoint the source of your re-infection and clear up this stubborn and uncomfortable condition for good.
If you have symptoms of athlete's foot that just won't resolve, please contact Lake Ridge Podiatry for a consultation in Woodbridge, VA. We want you to have happy feet! Call (703) 491-2603.
Getting bunion discomfort under control doesn’t have to be difficult.
Bunions are one of the most common issues we see in patients, particularly women. Years of wearing high heels can do quite a number on the structure of your feet over time. While you might not be able to prevent bunions (a lot has to do with genetics, after all) our Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist Dr. Gerard Ranieri is here to tell you how to manage your symptoms to prevent your bunion from getting worse.
While the only way to get rid of a bunion is through surgery, this is rarely the first course of action when it comes to handling a bunion. After all, as our Woodbridge, VA, foot doctors will be able to tell you during your consultation, this is a common problem and one that can be managed with a little knowledge and some proper self-care measures in place.
Whether you deal with bunion pain or swelling, here are just some ways to get those symptoms under control:
Wear the Proper Shoes
This is by far the most important piece of advice you should take away. The shoes you wear can comfort and support your feet or they can make your bunion even worse. The choice is yours. This means giving up shoes with high heels (nothing above a 2-inch heel), shoes with pointed toes and shoes that bunch up your toes or put pressure on the bunion. We mean it! These shoes will only serve to make matters worse.
Splinting Works Wonders
Sometimes toe spacers or bunion splints can help reposition the foot into a more natural position, preventing the bunion from sticking out. Splinting or wearing toe spacers for a little bit every day could help retrain the foot and improve the foot’s overall function and structure. Plus, wearing a bunion splint could make it easier to move around without pain.
If you are dealing with pain and other problems due to bunions and you can’t seem to get your symptoms under control then it’s time to call our Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist Dr. Gerard Ranieri at Lake Ridge Podiatry. Your bunion shouldn’t take over your life. We can help.
Are you worried that one of your toenails may be growing into your skin? Our Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Gerard Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry, discusses ingrown toenails and explains what you can do to relieve your pain.
What causes ingrown toenails?
An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of a nail begins to penetrate the surrounding skin. The condition may be more likely to occur if you round your nails instead of cutting them straight across, wear tight-fitting shoes that press your nail into your skin, or have a fungal infection. In some cases, ingrown toenails are very hard to avoid. If your toenails naturally curve downward, ingrown toenails can become a chronic problem. Although the condition can affect any toe, it most commonly occurs in the big toe.
What can I do to treat ingrown toenails at home?
It may be possible to remove the trapped edge of your nail from the skin if you've just noticed a problem with your toe. Soak your foot in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, then gently lift the edge of the nail with dental floss or a piece of cotton. Keep the cotton or floss in place during the day, and replace it after your daily foot soak. Don't force the nail when you try to free it. If it won't move easily, make an appointment with our Woodbridge office.
Home treatment shouldn't be attempted if you notice any signs of infections such as redness, red streaks, pus or warmth. If you have diabetes, it's important to visit a foot doctor when you first notice your ingrown toenail symptoms. Because diabetes interferes with healing, even seemingly minor foot problems and wounds can quickly become infected.
How do podiatrists treat ingrown toenails?
If your toenail won't budge, or you notice signs of infection, you'll need to schedule an appointment with the foot doctor. During a minor, in-office procedure, your podiatrist will make a small cut in your skin to free the nail. You'll receive local anesthetic to ensure that the procedure is pain-free, and may need to take antibiotics if you have an infection. If you experience ingrown toenails often, surgery to remove all or part of your nail may be recommended.
A visit to the foot doctor can help ease your ingrown toenail pain. Call Woodbridge, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry, at (703) 491-2603 to schedule an appointment.
Spraining an ankle is a very common injury, and it's one that podiatrist Dr. Ranieri of Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, diagnoses and treats very frequently. Below, he explains what happens when you sprain your ankle, as well as some signs that could indicate you need treatment.
What is a sprain?
A sprained ankle happens when the foot makes contact with the ground in a way that causes the ligaments (the bands of tissue that stretch between bones) within the ankle to be stretched beyond their normal capacity. Sprains can be mild to severe; your Woodbridge podiatrist will carefully examine your sprain to determine its classification. People most commonly turn their ankle outward, which is known as an inversion or lateral sprain; between 70 and 85 percent of sprains are of this type.
How do I know if I've sprained my ankle?
- Pain-This is due to the damage that your ligament sustained when you twisted it. A grade 1 ankle sprain means mild stress on the ligament, a grade 2 means that the ligament has sustained a partial tear and has loosened, while a grade 3, the most severe, indicates that the ligament has been completely torn. The degree of pain you have with a sprain often correlates with the grade your Woodbridge podiatrist will assign to it.
- Bruising-The body's immune system responds to a sprain by sending more blood flow to the area. This translates into bruising, which can be significant if your ankle has sustained a severe sprain.
- Instability-As with bruising and pain, the way your ankle feels when you try to put weight on it can be indicative of how much damage has been done to the ligaments. If you are unable to bear any weight on the ankle at all, it needs to be evaluated immediately.
If you think you've sprained your ankle, or you have questions about treatment, contact Lake Ridge Podiatry in Woodbridge, VA, for an appointment with Dr. Ranieri today!
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