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Posts for category: Foot Conditions

By Providence Foot Health Center
March 20, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions

There are 52 bones in your feet and ankles, which means that feet contain about 25 percent of the bones in our bodies. Our feet also contain about 20-25 percent of the total joints in our body; therefore, it’s not too surprising to find out that your feet and ankles are unfortunately more likely to deal with tendon and joint pain at some point, whether through injury or certain conditions such as arthritis. When pain and other foot problems arise it’s important that you have a podiatrist you can turn to.

Common Causes of Tendon and Joint Pain in the Feet

Tendons are soft tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. Everything from overuse and foot injuries to structural imbalances can lead to pain. Common causes of tendon and joint pain include:

  • Tendonitis: inflammation of the tendon caused by injury or overuse
  • Sprains and strains: a common but usually minor foot and ankle injury, typically caused by physical activity
  • Arthritis: a chronic, progressive condition that leads to joint pain, stiffness, and damage (osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to affect feet and ankles)
  • Obesity: being overweight or obese can also put excessive pressure on the joints and tendons of your feet and ankles, leading to pain and other problems

Treating Tendon and Joint Pain

Visiting a podiatrist is the best choice you can make if you are dealing with severe, persistent, or new foot and ankle pain. Since some conditions can get worse without proper care and rest it’s important to find out what’s causing your pain so you know how to effectively treat it.

If you are dealing with pain caused by a sports injury or strain it’s a good idea to see a medical professional so you know the extent of the injury. More severe sprains may require protective boots or crutches to reduce the amount of weight being placed on the injured ankle or foot.

Arthritis is also a surprisingly common cause of foot pain. If you notice joint pain and stiffness that affects functionality, range of motion and mobility in your feet then you could be dealing with arthritis. Since arthritis can get worse without treatment, it is important that you work with your pediatrician and a team of medical professionals to determine the best medications and course of action to help manage your foot pain and to prevent permanent joint damage.

If you are experiencing foot pain it’s important to see a qualified medical professional that can determine the best way to treat your symptoms. Call your podiatrist today for a comprehensive evaluation.

By Providence Foot Health Center
February 24, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Foot Pain  

When your feet hurt, you hurt all over. Here at Providence Foot Health Center in Washington, DC, your podiatrist, Dr. James Mintzer, helps people who have sore bunions, ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis, and more. Read on to learn about how his treatments can help you get your life back.

Causes of foot pain

Sore feet aren't natural. The symptoms may stem from an injury, obesity, impaired nerve function, or circulation or acquired or congenital deformity. Simple overuse from playing sports or going to work can change both your foot structure and function, resulting in soreness and pain.

How we can help

Healthline reports that bunions, ingrown toenails, and plantar fasciitis are on the list of top foot and ankle issues in the US. Dr. Mintzer sees numerous patients with these problems. By examining foot structure and gait in our Washington, DC, office, he formulates treatment plans for bunions and other conditions. These plans often involve lifestyle changes and simple in-office interventions that relieve pain, increase mobility, and typically allow you to avoid surgery.

Here is some information on these issues and what can be done to help them:

Bunions: A bony bump on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe, a bunion causes extreme soreness, corns, calluses, and general changes in foot structure. Also called Hallux valgus, a bunion progresses unless treated, t may cause the big toe to cross over the second and even third toes of the foot.

To treat a bunion, Dr. Mintzer may ask you to wear shoe orthotics or padding to reduce friction. Wider, low-heels shoes help too. Over-the-counter analgesics or cortisone shots relieve pain and swelling, and stretching exercises help retain joint range of motion. As the last option, surgical removal of the bunion (bunionectomy) re-aligns the joint.

Ingrown toenails: Typically caused by the improper cutting of the nails and by tight shoes, ingrown toenails invade the skin of the toes. Inflammation and pain result and ingrown toenails may become infected, as well. Soaking at home and wearing clean, properly fitting socks helps. In the office, Dr. Mintzer may trim the nail properly (straight across, not rounding the corners) or perform a partial nail avulsion, or in-office removal of the problem nail.

Plantar fasciitis: This inflammatory condition comes from poor placement of the foot as you walk. Due to overpronation, or the twisting of the foot toward the midline, the connective tissue along the arch becomes overstretched and inflamed. Additionally, the heel bone may develop a painful spur. To correct this condition, Dr. Mintzer may advise rest, ice, and elevation of the foot. Additionally, shoe orthotics and well-supportive footwear corrects poor gait and evenly distributes body weight.

Don't wait

At Providence Foot Health Center in Washington, DC, Dr. James Mintzer and his team will get to the source of your discomfort and correct it. Call us today for a consultation: (202) 269-4062.

By Providence Foot Health Center
December 03, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Bunions  

Are bunions interfering with your day-to-day routine?

Bunions are a common foot problem that should not go ignored. After all, bunions won’t get better on their own and can often get worse Bunionswithout the proper treatment. Fortunately, your Washington, DC, podiatrist, Dr. James Mintzer, can relieve your bunion symptoms and get this podiatric condition under control.


How to Treat a Bunion on Your Own

Before treating a bunion, it’s important to know whether or not you are actually dealing with a bunion. At our Washington, DC, office, your podiatrist can often diagnose a bunion just by performing a simple physical exam and asking questions about the symptoms you are experiencing. Most bunions can be properly cared for at home with simple measures such as,

  • Icing the bunion to reduce pain and swelling
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medications when symptoms act up
  • Wearing properly fitted shoes with a low heel that won’t bunch up toes
  • Placing custom shoe inserts into shoes to take pressure off the joints when standing or walking
  • Wearing a night splint (under the instruction of your podiatrist) to reduce morning pain and stiffness
  • Applying a pad over the bunion to protect it from friction
  • Performing doctor-recommended foot exercises and stretches to improve joint flexibility and mobility


When to See a Podiatrist

If your bunion is regularly causing you pain or affecting the way you walk, then it’s time to turn to a podiatrist for care. If at-home care isn’t providing you with relief from your symptoms, then you should also turn to us so that we can provide you with other treatment options.


When to Consider Bunion Surgery

How do you know when it’s time to consider surgery? The most obvious sign is that home treatment and other conservative care isn’t working. If you’ve been trying to get your pain under control for months without success, or if the pain is severe and affecting your daily routine and quality of life, then surgery may actually be the best way to correct the deformity and relieve your pain.


Need Podiatric Care? Give Us a Call

If you are finding it difficult to manage your bunion pain, then it’s time you turned to the experts. Call Providence Foot Health Center in Washington, DC, today at (202) 269-4062 to schedule a consultation.

By Providence Foot Health Center
July 05, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Hammertoes  

A hammertoe is a common foot deformity that affects the middle joint of the smaller toes. As a result, this causes the toes to bend downward. Since this bend causes the joint to stick out this can put more pressure on the affected joints when wearing shoes, which can also make the deformity worse over time. As with most foot deformities a hammertoe will start out minor and continue to progress over time if left untreated.

During the earlier stages you may not notice much pain and discomfort. In fact the only way you may be able to tell that you have a hammertoe is by examining the foot and noticing that the small toes bend downward like a claw. Of course, at this stage the deformed joint is still flexible enough to be straightened out.

However, if the deformity progresses this can cause the joint to become rigid, which won’t respond effectively to simple conservative treatments. As you might imagine, the sooner you see a podiatrist to treat your hammertoe the better. Early intervention is key, as a hammertoe will not get better without the proper care.

Hammertoes are often the result of an imbalance in the muscle or tendon of the foot. Over time, this leads to structural changes in the foot. Genetics may also play a role in whether your feet are at risk for this deformity. A hammertoe can also be made worse by wearing shoes that are too tight and put too much pressure on the toes.

Along with the structural changes that occur with hammertoes it’s also common to experience redness, inflammation or the development of a corn or callus on the toe. If you are noticing symptoms of a hammertoe see your podiatrist for an evaluation. A simple physical exam is usually all that’s needed to diagnose a hammertoe; however, sometimes an x-ray will be performed in order to determine the extent of the deformity.

If you are dealing with a flexible hammertoe, more often than not simple nonsurgical treatment options are all that’s needed. Following simple treatment options and care can prevent the hammertoes from becoming rigid or painful. Some nonsurgical treatment options include:

  • Wearing the appropriate footwear. This means wearing shoes that aren’t pointy or have high heels, which can put more pressure on the toes.
  • Placing custom orthotics into your shoes, which can ease discomfort and prevent pain resulting in a muscular imbalance.
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce both pain and inflammation.
  • Splinting the toe or toes to keep them straight, which can also reduce stiffness, inflammation and pain.
  • Applying protective non-medicated padding over the top of the toe to prevent a corn or callus from developing.

If your hammertoe is painful or rigid then you may need to discuss whether surgery is the best option for alleviating your symptom and correcting the deformity. If you are dealing with a hammertoe turn to a foot specialist for help.

May 10, 2019
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Neuroma  

Are you dealing with pain, burning, tingling or numbness between your toes or in the ball of the foot? If you said “yes” then you could be dealing with a neuroma, Neuromaa pinched nerve or benign tumor of the nerve that is often found between the third and fourth toes.

The classic symptom of a neuroma is pain, particularly when walking—a factor that leads many people to liken the condition to feeling like a pebble is in their shoe. You may find that the pain eases up whenever you aren’t walking or when you rub the pained area with your hands. While neuromas can happen to anyone, they are most commonly found in women.

Neuroma Causes

While the causes of a neuroma are still not clear, there are factors that can increase the likelihood of developing one, such as:

  • Extremely high arches
  • Flat feet
  • Trauma that leads to nerve damage in the feet
  • Improper footwear (high heels over two-inches tall; pointed toes)
  • Repeated stress placed on the foot

Treating a Neuroma

A neuroma will not go away on its own, so it’s important to see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of the condition's symptoms. The type of treatment or treatments recommended to you will depend on the severity of the neuroma.

Those with minor neuromas may be able to lessen symptoms by wearing shoes that provide ample room for the toes and offer thick soles that provide more support and cushioning for the toes and balls of the feet. Sometimes a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotics to place inside the shoes, as well.

Your podiatrist may also recommend padding or taping the ball of the foot to improve faulty biomechanics and reduce discomfort. While medication will not eliminate the problem, it can temporarily alleviate symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can often briefly reduce pain and swelling, but for those dealing with more severe pain, steroid injections may be necessary to ease symptoms.

Surgery for a Neuroma

Surgery only becomes necessary when conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief, or when the neuroma has progressed enough that conservative care won’t be enough. During surgery, the inflamed nerve is removed through a simple outpatient procedure. Afterward, there is a short recovery period of a couple of weeks before patients are able to move about pain-free once again!

Give us a Call!

If you are dealing with new or worsening foot pain it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist that can help give you the answers you need. Schedule an appointment today.

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