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Posts for category: Foot Conditions

By Providence Foot Health Center
July 24, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Hammertoe   Footwear  
HammertoesWhile tight, cramped shoes and those towering high heels may not immediately show you the damage that’s being done to your feet, over time you will certainly notice changes in the structure and function of your feet. Along with bunions, a common foot deformity, hammertoes are another deformity that causes the toes to bend downward at the middle joint. If the problem isn’t corrected, this simple and rather uncomfortable deformity can become severe. Here’s how to determine whether you may have hammertoes and what you can do about it now to prevent it from getting worse.

Wear Appropriate Footwear
You need to make sure that any shoes you wear properly fit your feet. While this might sound silly, many people are guilty of wearing shoes that are too narrow and put too much pressure on the toes. Look for shoes with a wide toe box that allows your feet enough room to wiggle freely. If your toes are bunched up in any of the shoes you have (particularly high heels or shoes with pointed toes) then you will want to avoid these types of shoes whenever possible.

Consider Shoe Inserts
While it’s important to find shoes that cushion and support your foot structure, sometimes people with hammertoes, bunions, and other foot problems that can cause pain can benefit from prescription shoe inserts (also known as orthotics). Orthotics can be crafted to fit the shape of your feet and also to address the issues you’re having (aka alleviating pressure on the toes when standing or walking).

Apply Protective Padding
A hammertoe causes the toe to bend down like a claw. This means that the toe’s joint is sticking out. As you may already know, this causes shoes to rub against the joint, causing a callus to develop. One way to prevent this from happening is to apply a non-medicated pad over the toe joint before putting on shoes.

Practice Pain Management
If your hammertoe starts to ache or hurt, you may want to apply ice to the area throughout the day to help alleviate pain and swelling. If the pain is intense or persistent then you may want to consider taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, which can help with both pain and swelling; however, if your symptoms are severe, you must see a podiatrist about your hammertoe.

Do I need surgery for a hammertoe?
If the hammertoe is flexible (meaning that you can straighten the toe out) then you won’t need surgery; however, if the hammertoe becomes rigid and causes pain and problems with mobility then surgery is recommended.

If you are dealing with hammertoes or other foot problems, you must have a podiatrist that you can turn to for regular and immediate care.
By Providence Foot Health Center
April 21, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Arch Problems  

The arches of the feet play a role in supporting your body’s weight when standing or in motion. The tarsal and metatarsal bones make up the arches of the feet, also receiving additional support and stability from tendons and ligaments; however, our feet, like the rest of our body, can be affected by infections, disorders, and structural changes that can impact not only the health of our feet but also our mobility. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of arch problems so you know when you to see a podiatrist.

Arch Pain Causes

If you are dealing with arch pain it is most likely caused by an injury or by structural abnormalities in the foot. For example, those with very high arches as well as those with flat feet may experience arch problems due to these common structural issues.

As a result, there are other factors that could also lead to further arch problems including:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Aging
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Cavus foot
  • Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

It’s important to understand a little bit more about these common foot disorders and how they could affect the arches of your feet.

Plantar fasciitis

This condition that causes inflammation and microtears in the plantar fascia is also the most common cause of heel pain. Of course, because the plantar fascia (a ligament that connects the toes to the heel bone) also supports the arches of the feet this can also lead to arch pain. This condition is usually the result of overuse and is seen most often in runners. If you have plantar fasciitis it’s important to avoid physical activities until the fascia has fully healed.

Cavus foot

This condition, which affects the structure of the foot, leads to excessively high arches. People who’ve had a stroke, as well as people with certain conditions such as cerebral palsy may be more likely to develop cavus foot. This problem causes arch pain when standing or walking and can increase the risk for ankle injuries. Your podiatrist may choose to treat cavus foot through custom-made orthotics (shoe inserts), bracing, or by recommending specialized and supportive footwear.

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

The posterior tibial tendon runs from the calf muscles to the inner portion of the foot. This condition leads to changes in the tendon, which in turn affects its ability to support the arches of the foot. Flat feet can be caused by posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, and this is often the cause of flat feet that develop in adulthood. Like the other conditions above, treatment for PTTD usually involves bracing, orthotics, or providing custom devices that provide additional support to the arches of the feet.

If you are experiencing foot pain, swelling or other problems that affect mobility then it’s time that you turned to a podiatrist for care. Conditions and injuries that don’t respond to rest and at-home care may require more advanced treatments and therapies.

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.

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