Podiatrist Blog

By Providence Foot Health Center
May 18, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions

Are you dealing with a nasty case of plantar fasciitis?

Heel pain is a frustrating little problem, especially if you are someone who values their morning run or daily exercise routine. Even if you aren’t what you’d call an avid exerciser, you may still find that your heel pain makes moving around and going about your day more complicated than you would like. A podiatrist is the best medical specialist to turn to when heel pain becomes an issue.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes inflammation within the thick band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia runs the length of the foot along the soles from the toes to the heels and provides the arches of your feet with support and shock absorption. Unfortunately, microtears within the tissue can occur gradually over time (common in runners), leading to irritation and inflammation.

What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

Those with plantar fasciitis may notice that their heel pain is at its worst first thing in the morning or after long periods of sitting or standing. The tricky thing is that the pain often subsides throughout the day, making you think you can get in your run or regular workout routine after all. The only problem with that is that the heel pain often comes back with a vengeance after exercising. Along with heel pain, you may also notice painful or aching arches.

When Should I See a Podiatrist About My Heel Pain?

We know that no one wants to make an unnecessary trip to see their podiatrist unless the situation warrants it. Of course, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or nerve damage in your feet and you are experiencing heel pain or any symptoms, it is important that you always seek immediate medical care to prevent the issue from getting worse.

While most healthy individuals will be able to handle their heel pain on their own, it’s also important to know when you need proper and more comprehensive care from a podiatrist. It’s important to turn to a podiatrist right away if you have severe pain, pain that makes it impossible to walk or put weight on the foot, numbness or tingling in the heel or foot, or heel pain caused by an injury.

If at-home care isn’t easing your heel pain after five days, then you should also give us a call so that we can create a more effective treatment plan for you.

Don’t let heel pain drag you down. If you are having trouble managing your symptoms and they are impacting your everyday activities and quality of life, it’s time to schedule an evaluation with a podiatrist.

By Providence Foot Health Center
May 05, 2022
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Find out how to treat heel pain yourself and when to see a podiatrist.

Whether you are an avid runner or just someone who likes going to the gym occasionally, it can be challenging to do these everyday activities when faced with heel pain. Did you take that run just a little too far yesterday? Did you suddenly intensify your exercise regime? Then your heels might be screaming out for sweet relief. Here’s how to tackle heel pain before seeing a podiatrist.

What causes heel pain?

Plantar fasciitis is typically the cause of most heel pain. While the name might seem a bit intimidating, don’t worry! Symptoms can often be managed through simple at-home remedies such as,

  • Performing specific foot stretches and exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve function.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medication to soothe pain and inflammation temporarily.
  • Avoid high-impact activities, which will often only exacerbate the condition and lead to further inflammation.
  • Splint the foot or wear shoe inserts (orthotics) to provide arch support.
  • Consider corticosteroid injections and extracorporeal shock wave therapy, which may also be helpful for those dealing with more severe or stubborn pain.

When should I call my podiatrist?

While you may not want to immediately rush to call your podiatrist at the first bout of pain, you mustn’t ignore a potentially serious issue. You should turn to a podiatrist if,

  • You have severe heel pain or swelling
  • You can’t point your foot downward or stand up on your tiptoes
  • You also notice numbness or a tingling sensation in the heel accompanied by pain
  • You experience sudden pain that occurs right after an injury
  • You have diabetes or have neuropathy in your feet
  • You have been trying at-home treatment options for a week, and there are no changes to your symptoms

If rest and home care haven’t been enough to manage your heel pain, it’s time to turn to a foot and ankle specialist who can help.

By Providence Foot Health Center
April 13, 2022
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Podiatrist  

When should you turn to a podiatrist for care?

There are many reasons why people turn to podiatrists. After all, our feet and ankles deserve the same lovin’ care that you provide to the rest of your body. Wondering if it’s time to see a podiatrist (chances are good you could benefit from a visit)? You may want to turn to one for,

Injury Prevention

You turn to your dentist for routine checkups to prevent cavities and gum disease from happening so why wouldn’t you do the same thing with a podiatrist? By coming in once a year for a comprehensive evaluation, a podiatrist can examine your feet, discuss your lifestyle and determine if there are additional measures you should be taking to prevent injuries and other foot problems. A podiatrist can be as much preventive as they can be a great source for treatment. Athletes and active individuals can particularly benefit from undergoing preventive care with a podiatrist.

Bunion Treatment

Bunions are common foot deformities that can continue to enlarge and impact the structure and function of your feet. A podiatrist wants to prevent individuals from needing surgery in the future, which means coming in the minute you suspect that you have a bunion so that they can provide simple lifestyle changes that can slow the progression of the deformity. Simple lifestyle changes can go a long way to improving bunion symptoms.

Foot and Ankle Injuries

Dealing with an injury? If so, you definitely want to turn to a foot and ankle specialist who can diagnose and treat the injury. While you may be able to treat minor injuries on your own with rest and home care, it’s often best to play it safe and turn to an expert who can figure out the extent of the injury so you can get the customized care you deserve.

Persistent Joint Pain

Dealing with painful, stiff or inflamed joints in your foot or ankle that won’t go away? This could be a sign of arthritis, a progressive chronic condition that can cause permanent joint damage if you don’t take the necessary steps to manage it. A podiatrist can craft the perfect treatment plan to improve your symptoms, which may include medications to slow the progression of the disease. A podiatrist is going to be the best medical professional to have on your treatment plan if you have arthritis.

When in doubt, call your local podiatrist to find out if the issues or concerns you’re facing require a professional opinion. A podiatrist can answer your questions, diagnose your issues and provide you with the treatment you need.

By Providence Foot Health Center
April 13, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Ingrown Toenail  

Do you want to know more about ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails are annoying and painful little problems. Whether you’ve had them before or you’re currently dealing with an ingrown toenail, chances are good that you may have questions for our Washington, DC, podiatrist Dr. James Mintzer about why they happen and how to treat them. Here are answers to some of the top questions regarding ingrown toenails.

What are the signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail happens when the edge of a toenail, often the nail of the big toe, grows into the skin. This can cause redness, swelling, tenderness and even pain in the skin around the nail. If you notice any of these symptoms and you can see the corner of the nail is piercing the skin then you could very well be dealing with an ingrown toenail.

What causes ingrown toenails?

You may be more likely to deal with ingrown toenails if,

  • You trim your nails too short or you curve the edge of the nail when trimming
  • You wear shoes that are too tight and put pressure on your toenails
  • You sustained an injury to the nail (common in athletes)

How are ingrown toenails treated?

If you are a healthy individual who doesn’t have diabetes or nerve damage in your feet then you may be able to treat your ingrown toenail yourself with simple home care. You may be able to gently lift the edge of the nail away from the skin and place a pick of a cotton ball under there to help the nail grow out properly.

You may also choose to soak your feet in warm Epsom salt water a couple of times a day to reduce pain and swelling. Most people should see an improvement in their ingrown toenails within 2-3 days. If you don’t, it’s time to call our Washington DC podiatrist.

When should I turn to a doctor for treatment?

Apart from turning to us when home care just isn’t enough to treat your ingrown toenail, you should turn to us as soon as possible if you have diabetes or nerve damage and you develop an ingrown toenail. You should also turn to us if your ingrown toenail shows signs of an infection (e.g. pus or drainage; skin that’s severely red or hard to the touch).

Are you dealing with a severe or recurring ingrown toenail? If so, you may want to schedule an evaluation with our Washington, DC, foot doctor Dr. Mintzer. To schedule an appointment, call Providence Foot Health Center at (202) 269-4062.

By Providence Foot Health Center
March 31, 2022
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  
BunionsHave you been diagnosed with a bunion? A bunion is a common foot deformity that if left untreated can cause significant pain, swelling, structural changes and even trouble walking. Of course, it’s important to prevent a bunion from getting to this point, and the best way to do that is to turn to a podiatrist for a tailored-to-you treatment plan. The good news is that there are also some simple lifestyle changes you can make right now to slow the progress of your bunion.

Conservative Treatment Options

If a bunion is caught during the early stages, then you’re in luck. Most people can get away with at-home care and more conservative ways to manage their bunions. Most podiatrists will recommend conservative measures first to see if they ease bunion stiffness, pain and swelling. It’s when symptoms aren’t managed through these lifestyle changes that a podiatrist steps in to provide relief. Some conservative ways to treat bunions include,
  • Icing the bunion for 15-20 minutes at a time to ease pain and swelling. This can be done 3-4 times a day, every day, as needed.
  • Taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen that can reduce inflammation and pain (while medication only provides temporary relief, when you are in pain, this medication can certainly help)
  • Stretching out the foot with special mobility exercises for the feet and ankles (ask your podiatrist or simply search online for some of the best foot stretches to ease bunion stiffness)
  • Wearing proper footwear that provides the ideal cushioning, fit, and support
  • Avoiding high heels, shoes that put pressure on the bunion, and shoes with a pointed toe
  • Getting custom orthotics from a podiatrist (these custom-made shoe inserts can provide additional support for the deformed joint)
What happens if these options don’t work?

So, you’ve been trying to manage your bunion symptoms on your own but nothing seems to be working. Does this sound like you? If so, it’s time to employ the help of your trusty podiatrist. After all, that’s what they are there for. A podiatrist can provide you with the treatment plan you need when home care fails to provide you with the results you’re looking for. Your podiatrist may recommend splinting, padding or tapping, or may prescribe a stronger pain reliever. They can also suggest specialty footwear that can provide ample support. They can also determine if it’s time to get corrective bunion surgery.

If you adopt these simple solutions you may find that it drastically slows the growth of your bunions and may even keep you from needing surgery in the future. Of course, if your bunion is causing you severe pain, it’s always best to speak with a foot and ankle specialist to find out what you can do to better manage your symptoms.




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