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Havre de Grace Podiatrist Dr. Richard Silverstein specializes in general foot and ankle care
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  • 03/19/17--17:00: Blisters on the Feet
  • Blisters are a common ailment of people who wear shoes that are either too tight or rub against the feet in an uncomfortable way. Knowing the basics of blisters is important for understanding how they are formed and what treatments should be used for them.

    A blister on the foot, or any other part of the body, is a small pocket that is filled with fluid. It usually forms on the upper layer of the skin because these layers are loose enough to allow a blister to form. The most common fluid in a blister is just a clear, watery-like fluid that usually isn’t cause for concern. However, blisters can fill up with blood if they are deep enough and pus if they have become infected with bacteria.

    Blisters almost always form on the feet due to shoes rubbing up against the foot, where the friction causes blisters. These can occur after you have walked for a long period of time or when your shoes do not fit you properly. Your feet are also more prone to blisters if they are moist, so keeping them dry and clean is one preventative step you can take.

    Preventing infection should be the number one concern when treating blisters, as well as relieving the pain they can cause. Using a bandage to cover up the blister will help it heal and prevent bacteria from entering it. New skin will form under the blister and eventually cause it to pop. You can also take a sterilized pin and try to pop it yourself.

    If the blister is filled with pus or blood, seeking treatment from a doctor is ideal. Antibiotics may need to be taken in order to completely eliminate the bacteria inside the blister. See a doctor to have an antibiotic prescribed.

    The best way to treat blisters is to prevent them all together. Keeping your feet dry and making sure that your shoes fit properly are just two of the steps you can take to prevent blisters. Shoes that are too tight or shoes that are too loose and allow your feet to slide in them will cause blisters. Applying a bandage to an area where you think a blister is about to form is another way you can prevent them.


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  • 02/20/17--16:00: Every Day Foot Care
  • Our feet are important in our everyday lives. The problem is that we tend to neglect them. When this becomes a habit, it can cause significant trouble. Ignoring foot problems can mean pain, limited mobility, and expensive doctor's visits. On the other hand, if feet are cared for and looked after regularly, they will perform without pain or complication.

    Routine hygiene is the most basic way to care for the feet. Wash and dry them thoroughly daily. Remember to get between the toes and keep the toenails trimmed and short. If the feet feel dry or there are signs of dryness or cracking, use a moisturizer designed for the feet.

    When using moisturizer on the feet, try to avoid applying between the toes. If cream or lotion sits too long, they can cause fungal and bacterial growth. When moisturizer is used between the toes, it can also cause the skin to soften too much.

    Shoes are also an important aspect of foot care. When one is picking out shoes, make sure they are the correct size. Shoes need to be snug, but not too tight. On the other hand, if shoes are too loose they can cause foot problems as well. It is highly recommended that shopping for new shoes be done later in the day. The reason for this is that the feet will have settled and swelled to their full size by then. To keep your feet at their most healthy, avoid wearing high heels or flip flops too often. Instead, choose shoes that are good for your feet. Good shoes pad the soles of your feet and support the arches and ankles.

    Socks should also be worn daily with closed-toe shoes. They may feel hot during the summer months, but they absorb sweat and moisture off the feet. Without socks, the build-up of sweat in a closed-toe shoe can cause fungal problems and athlete's foot.

    The best thing to remember in every day foot care is that shoes do make a difference. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, make sure that your shoes show no signs of wear. Shoes should offer ample support for the arches and the overall foot. Additionally, try to make foot cleaning and maintenance a daily habit. If you keep these things in mind, your feet will stay healthy and safe.


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  • 02/26/17--16:00: What Are Hammertoes?
  • Hammertoes are painful deformities that frequently form on the second, third, or fourth toe. The condition is often caused by an issue in foot mechanics. This can be caused by the person’s specific gait or the manner in which they walk, or by shoes that do not comfortably fit the deformity.  Hammertoes can be formed after wearing shoes that are too narrow or short for the foot or have excessively high heels. Shoes that are not properly sized will force the toes into a bent position for long periods of time. This can cause the muscles to shorten and toes to bend into the deformity of a hammertoe.

    Hammertoe can also be caused by complications from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, trauma to the foot, heredity, or a cerebral vascular accident. Pain and difficult mobility of the toes, deformities, calluses, and corns are all symptoms of a hammertoe.

    Someone who suspects they have the symptoms of a hammertoe should consult with a physician—particularly a podiatrist. Podiatrists diagnose and treat complications of the foot and ankle. If the podiatrist discovers that the affected toes are still flexible, treatment for the hammertoe may simply involve exercise, physical therapy, and better-fitting shoes. Treatment for hammertoes typically involves controlling foot mechanics, such as walking, through the use of customized orthotics.

    For more serious cases in which the toes have become inflexible and rigid, surgery may be suggested. During the operation, the toe would receive an incision to relieve pressure on the tendons. A re-alignment of the tendons may then be performed by removing small pieces of bone to straighten the toe. In some cases, the insertion of pins is needed to keep the bones in the proper position as the toe heals. The patient is usually allowed to return home on the same day as the surgery.

    If surgery is performed to repair a hammertoe, following the postoperative directions of your doctor is essential. Directions may include several stretches, picking up marbles with your toes, or attempting to crumple a towel placed flat against your feet. Wear shoes that have low heels and a wide amount of toe space to maintain comfort. Closed-toe shoes and high heels should be avoided. Shoes with laces allow the wearer to adjust how fitted he or she may want the shoes to be and also allow for greater comfort. To provide adequate space for your toes, select shoes that have a minimum of one-half inch of space between the tip of your longest toe and the inside of the shoe. This will also relieve pressure on your toes and prevent future hammertoes from forming.

    Other preventative measures that can be taken include going shopping for new shoes in the middle of the day. Your feet are its smallest in the morning and swell as the day progresses. Trying on and purchasing new shoes midday will give you the most reliable size. Be sure to check that the shoes you purchase are both the same size. If possible, ask the store to stretch out the shoes at its painful points to allow for optimum comfort.  


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  • 03/05/17--16:00: Heel Pain
  • Have you ever gotten up from a chair or out of bed in the morning, and upon taking that first step, feel like your heel has stepped on a tack? Many people experience a feeling of sharp pain which radiates into their arch from their heel and which does not allow them to put their heel on the floor. Sometimes they need to sit back down, stand only on their toes and use the wall for balance. If you can take a few steps, it seems to go away and lessen, allowing you to then resume your activity. Later, throughout your day and after a period of rest, it can happen again. If this sounds familiar you may be suffering from your first attack of heel pain.

    Heel pain is a debilitating condition that affects day to day activities. Running and walking both causes stress on the heel because the heel is the part of the foot that hits the ground first. This means that the heel is taking on your entire weight. Diagnosis and treatments for heel pain can be easily found through your podiatrist.

    Plantar Fasciitis

    One of the main causes of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that extends along the bottom of the foot, from the toe to the bottom of the heel. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of these tissues, resulting in heel pain. People who do not wear proper fitting shoes are often at risk of developing problems such as plantar fasciitis. Unnecessary stress from ill-fitting shoes, weight change, excessive running, and wearing non-supportive shoes on hard surfaces are all causes of plantar fasciitis.

    Achilles Tendonitis

    Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Similar to plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause heel pain due to stress fractures and muscle tearing. A lack of flexibility of the ankle and heel is an indicator of Achilles tendonitis. If left untreated, this condition can lead to plantar fasciitis and cause even more pain on your heel.

    Heel Spur

    A third cause of heel pain is a heel spur. A heel spur occurs when the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, leading to a separation of the ligament from the heel bone entirely. This results in a pointed fragment of bone on the ball of the foot, known as a heel spur.


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  • 01/30/17--16:00: Ingrown Toenail Care
  • An ingrown toenail is a toenail that grows sideways into the nail bed, causing pain and swelling. Ingrown toenails can worsen and cause drainage, turning into a serious infection.

    Several factors affect whether a person is at risk from an ingrown toenail. The many causes include being overweight, diabetes, participating in sports, having a fungal infection of the toe, and cutting your nails too short. Ingrown toenails also have a genetic predisposition, causing some people to be more prone to receive the condition than others. Other causes include improperly fitting shoes and shoes that keep the feet damp.

    Ingrown toenails can be preventable with certain measures. For starters, allowing your toe nails to grow slightly longer in length will help prevent them from becoming ingrown. If you have already developed an ingrown toenail, soak the affected toe in warm water. This will alleviate the pain and help prevent an infection from forming. Antibiotic soap or Epsom salts may be added to further help the relieving process and avoid infection. Placing cotton beneath the affected area is also suggested, as this may help the toenail grow upwards and not into the nail bed. Swelling and redness can be reduced by resting with your feet elevated.

    A podiatrist should be seen if the pain becomes so serious that it prevents you from doing your everyday activities. If a red streak running up your leg appears or if you suspect your infection has spread, contact a podiatrist immediately. Fast treatments can be undertaken to lessen your pain and have you walking comfortably.

    An ingrown toenail can be easily treated with a Band-Aid. Simply wrap the affected toe with a Band-Aid to prevent infection and keep the nail from growing out at a painful angle.

    In more serious cases, your podiatrist may decide to make a small incision to remove a portion of your toenail. To prevent the nail from growing back, medication will be placed directly into the nail bed. This procedure would be performed under local anesthesia and is a faster method to alleviate discomfort from an ingrown toenail. Post-procedure directions will have you stay off the affected foot for a day. Afterwards, normal activities can be resumed.  


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    There are several systemic diseases, or diseases that affect the whole body, that either display symptoms in the feet or affect the health of the feet. Common systemic diseases that affect the overall health of the feet, and the patient’s ability to walk comfortably, include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis, among others.

    In gout, which is caused by an excessive buildup of uric acid in the body, the most common symptoms of pain, inflammation, and redness occur at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe. Any excess levels of uric acid crystallize and are deposited in tendons, joints, and surrounding bone and muscle tissue. Gout is commonly treated with NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation and other drugs to lower uric acid levels in the body. Gout most commonly affects those who are overweight, have low protein diets and lead a more sedentary lifestyle.

    Diabetes mellitus is an increase in the level of blood sugar in which the body cannot counteract with naturally occurring insulin in the body. The three types of diabetes, Type I, Type II and Gestational Diabetes, are all signs the body is either not producing enough insulin or is not efficiently using the insulin that is produced. Gestational diabetes only affects women who are pregnant and have never, prior to pregnancy, exhibited symptoms of the disease.

    There are two main issues that affect the feet that are commonly caused by diabetes. They include diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. Diabetic neuropathy can lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation. Peripheral vascular disease restricts the flow of blood to the foot and can, in extreme cases, lead to the necessity of amputating the foot. Peripheral issues that are caused by diabetes and can affect the foot include athlete’s foot, nail infections, corns, blisters, bunions, severe dry skin, plantar warts and ingrown toenails. These can all be attributed to the decrease of blood flow to the foot.

    Neurological disorders and rheumatoid arthritis can also have severe impact on the health of the feet. Neurological disorders can affect the nerves in the main structure of the foot and cause loss of sensation and possible decreased muscle response. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect the bones and joint structures of the foot, making it impossible to walk normally without serious pain.

    All systemic diseases that affect the foot can effectively be treated to minimize joint and muscle damage if they are diagnosed early and treated with medication and lifestyle therapy. Diabetes patients must monitor their blood sugar levels and work with their physician to keep their levels as close to normal as possible. Rheumatoid arthritis patients should work with their physician to ensure the proper medications are being taken to reduce the amount of damage to the joints of the body.


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    Corns are thickened areas on the skin’s surface, to the point of being irritating and sometimes painful. Commonly found on the feet, corns are circular or cone-shaped. They develop where there are areas of pressure or friction, such as on the little toe when it rubs up against shoes, or on the ball of your foot.

    Corns are often confused with a callus, but there is a difference between them. Corns can be raised bumps that are painful to the touch. They consist of a rough, thick area of skin that may be dry or waxy. Corns tend to be surrounded by skin that is inflamed, and are usually much smaller than calluses.

    Removing the dead skin that has built up is the key in treating corns. Salicylic acid medication is most common in accomplishing this. The acid works by dissolving keratin, which is the protein that makes up the majority of corns. You can purchase salicylic acid over-the-counter in products such as wart removers. It comes in a variety of forms such as medicated pads, drops, or creams. However, people who are diabetic should not use salicylic acid, but should instead consult their doctor immediately.

    According to the product directions, applying the medication directly onto the corn will treat it. The top layer of the corn will begin to turn white after use. When that occurs, the layers of skin can then be peeled away, making the corn smaller. Shaving off corns with razors or other pedicure equipment is never a good idea. This can lead to infection. If your corn gets infected, and is not treated immediately, a visit to the doctor will be necessary.

    Another way to treat corns and help prevent their return is by using orthotic inserts, fitted by a podiatrist. Inserts fit right into your shoes and adjusts the way your foot fits into your shoes. This fixes the way you walk. This will lower your chances of getting corns, and eliminate current corns by reducing rubbing from friction.

    Surgery is rarely used to treat corns, but does occur on occasion. Surgery actually deals with the underlying issue that causes corns. During surgery, the bone is shaved and any abnormalities are corrected, thus reducing the amount of friction that occurs during walking.

    To prevent corns, the first step is reducing friction. Always wear shoes that fit well and don’t rub your feet. Pads can be purchased if you notice rubbing developing. These pads can be purchased over-the-counter, and can be simply placed on the irritated area. Wearing cushioned insoles in your shoes can always reduce the friction, and making sure to wear well-fitting shoes. This will ensure that your foot is not being squeezed awkwardly, and prevent corns from forming in the first place.


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  • 12/04/17--16:00: Friction Causes Corns
  • Friction Causes Corns

    Friction on the skin of the feet can cause corns, which appear as thickened areas on the foot. They are comprised of dead skin, and usually appear on the top or sides of the toes. Walking can be uncomfortable or even painful if they happen to form between the toes. Corns can develop under both dry and damp conditions. Bunions may increase friction between the toes, which can encourage the development of a corn. Patients with diabetes need to be particularly careful and should consult with a podiatrist about removal. Proper footwear is essential in providing relief from corns, as keeping pressure off the corn can prevent exacerbation. Furthermore, avoid any repetitive action that may have contributed to the formation of the corn. Consult with a podiatrist for an examination; your doctor can check your feet and footwear to determine the cause. 

    If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

    Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
    Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

    Ways to Prevent Corns
    There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

    • Well-fitting socks
    • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
    • Shoes that offer support

    Treating Corns
    Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctor to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

    If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

    Read more about Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them

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  • 12/10/17--16:00: Blisters on the Feet
  • Blisters are a common ailment of people who wear shoes that are either too tight or rub against the feet in an uncomfortable way. Knowing the basics of blisters is important for understanding how they are formed and what treatments should be used for them.

    A blister on the foot, or any other part of the body, is a small pocket that is filled with fluid. It usually forms on the upper layer of the skin because these layers are loose enough to allow a blister to form. The most common fluid in a blister is just a clear, watery-like fluid that usually isn’t cause for concern. However, blisters can fill up with blood if they are deep enough and pus if they have become infected with bacteria.

    Blisters almost always form on the feet due to shoes rubbing up against the foot, where the friction causes blisters. These can occur after you have walked for a long period of time or when your shoes do not fit you properly. Your feet are also more prone to blisters if they are moist, so keeping them dry and clean is one preventative step you can take.

    Preventing infection should be the number one concern when treating blisters, as well as relieving the pain they can cause. Using a bandage to cover up the blister will help it heal and prevent bacteria from entering it. New skin will form under the blister and eventually cause it to pop. You can also take a sterilized pin and try to pop it yourself.

    If the blister is filled with pus or blood, seeking treatment from a doctor is ideal. Antibiotics may need to be taken in order to completely eliminate the bacteria inside the blister. See a doctor to have an antibiotic prescribed.

    The best way to treat blisters is to prevent them all together. Keeping your feet dry and making sure that your shoes fit properly are just two of the steps you can take to prevent blisters. Shoes that are too tight or shoes that are too loose and allow your feet to slide in them will cause blisters. Applying a bandage to an area where you think a blister is about to form is another way you can prevent them.


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    Preventing Common Foot Injuries While Hiking

    Hiking is a fun, safe, and healthy activity when proper precautions are taken. Here are some tips to help prevent foot injuries while out on the trails. Try not to overpack; take only what is necessary, as this can help take pressure off your feet. If you do go hiking, make sure to wear hiking boots as these are developed to offer more grip and cushioning than a sneaker. To prevent blisters, use moleskin, tape, or even bandages on areas where friction is likely. Wear moisture wicking socks to help keep your feet dry, further helping in the prevention of blisters. Finally, tools like hiking poles can help provide stability and take some weight off your back, so it's not a bad idea to bring a pair. By following these tips, you can help reduce the likelihood of falls and foot injuries. If you happen to hurt your feet while hiking, be sure to see a podiatrist so that you can be diagnosed and cared for properly.

    Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

    Foot Blisters

    Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

    What are Foot Blisters?

    A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

    How do Blisters Form?

    Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

    Prevention & Treatment

    It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

     

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

    Read more about Blisters on the Feet

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  • 12/17/17--16:00: Stretching Your Feet
  • Debilitating foot pain is a problem for many people. But just as stretching the torso can help alleviate back pain, stretching the feet can also help mend existing foot problems and prevent future ones.

    The feet, as the body’s foundation, carry the body’s entire weight and can get easily strained from overexertion. Persistent sharp pain and cramping in the feet are often common concerns. Foot pain and foot problems can be due to any number of causes, and in many cases pain may be eased without medication or doctor visits. It is always a good idea, however, to first rule out any serious medical issues with a physician.

    Stretching can help relax the feet and alleviate pain, but is especially important before heavy aerobic exercise. Stretching before such activities can help you avoid experiencing painful cramps or strained foot muscles. Stretches should be performed slowly and deliberately without forceful pulling. The stretch should be held for several seconds before relaxing.

    A great way to stretch out and loosen up the foot muscles while sitting is to cross one leg over the other and pull the toes carefully back without overextending. Start by resting the left ankle on the right knee. With the left hand, gently flex the left foot by pulling back on the toes. Do not pull too hard; just hard enough to feel the stretch in the arch of the foot. Then point the toes of the left foot as far as you can. Rotate the motion of pointing with pulling back on the toes. This should relax and stretch the muscles on the bottom and the top of the foot. Doing this stretch ten to twenty times should bring relief. Repeat the whole process for the other foot by resting the right ankle on the left knee.

    A stretch that focuses on the often injured Achilles tendon involves standing and facing a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot, keeping it flat against the floor. Move the other leg forward and lean toward the wall. You should feel a stretch through the back of your leg and your Achilles tendon, but do not push yourself too much. Stop when you feel a stretching sensation, and hold for 30 seconds. Ten repetitions may be done for each foot.

    Stretching the feet is important for athletes or those performing aerobic exercise, but it can also help anyone with foot pain caused by poor footwear, plantar fasciitis, or long hours standing and walking. Individuals who tend to their feet by regularly stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.


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    Reasons for Stretching the Feet

    There are numerous bones, joints and muscles in the foot, therefore making it a complicated structure. The intrinsic muscles that are attached to the foot help in forward movement and maintaining balance, whereas the extrinsic muscles allow pointing and flexing of the foot to occur. It’s important to stretch these muscles to avoid certain painful conditions, such as plantar fasciitis. Sitting in a chair with your right foot on top of your left thigh and pulling the toes of your right foot back until you feel a pull on the bottom of the foot is an effective way to stretch these muscles. Repeating a few times with each foot will help the muscles stay limber, in addition to restoring the foot’s natural motion. Helping the arches stay strong by performing proper stretches may be beneficial for flat-footed patients. Please consult a podiatrist for foot stretches that are recommended for you.

    Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Richard Silverstein  from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

    Stretching the Feet

    Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

    Great ways to stretch your feet:

    • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
    • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
    • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

    Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

    Read more about Stretching Your Feet

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    Gaining weight can happen suddenly and at any time. Usually you won’t notice the extra weight until your feet start hurting at the end of the day. This happens as your feet begin adjusting to carrying more weight. Foot swelling and pain are two of the biggest side effects of having gained weight.

    Many foot-related problems can occur even after just putting on a few pounds. This includes the body ‘compensating’ by changing the way it moves. You may find yourself putting extra weight on the wrong parts of your feet and even leaning forward a bit. Your feet were designed to carry a healthy, normal body weight. Extra weight places undue stress on them.

    Being overweight often causes the development of Type-2 diabetes, causing leg and foot pain. Older people who do not attempt to control their condition can even lose sensation and feeling in their legs and feet. This can lead to the development of small sores that can lead to serious infection.

    Extra stress placed on the joints, tendons and muscles in the feet as a result of extra body weight may also cause heel spurs, or plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the foot tissue, causing stiffness and pain when walking and climbing stairs. This can usually be relieved by foot stretches and custom made orthotic shoe-inserts.

    Problems in the feet triggered by obesity can be treated by paying special attention to footwear. Proper support shoes that allow for good circulation, especially in the arch and ankle, are vital. A podiatrist can help you find what sort of shoe is most suitable for your feet. They can also measure you for special orthotics if necessary.

    It could also be high time to start losing weight in order to treat and prevent diabetes as well as other life threatening diseases. Some methods include yoga and water aerobics, which benefit your entire body without placing stress on your feet. Don’t risk losing your feet by losing interest in them. Take care of your feet and your body, as they deserve the very best.


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    Foot Issues May be Linked to Obesity

    Recent research indicates that there’s a direct link between obesity and foot and ankle problems.  In addition to tendonitis and general fatigue of the foot, overall foot health, foot function, and proper shoe fitting are among the many things affected by this condition.  Typically, obesity affects the ability to exercise due to the increased weight placed on the feet, affecting the tendons and joints.  Skeletal problems tend to occur as the sides of the foot and arch are continually stretched, often causing common foot conditions such as gout, ingrown toenails, and fungal infections.  It may be advised to start an exercise program for weight loss, and this may typically alleviate foot pain.  Try to find shoes that fit the best, preferably with proper cushioning and support.  A consultation with a podiatrist is advised if you are experiencing any swelling or pain in your feet.

    Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

    Obesity and your Feet

    Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

    Problems & Complications

    Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

    Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

    Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

    If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

    Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet

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  • 01/01/18--16:00: Bunions
  • A bunion is an enlargement of the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot, often formed from a bony growth or a patch of swollen tissues. It is caused by the shifting of the big toe bone inward towards the other toes. This shift can cause a serious amount of pain and discomfort. The area around the big toe can become inflamed, red, and painful.

    Bunions are most commonly formed in people who are already genetically predisposed to them or other kinds of bone displacements. However, even if you do not have a history of this in your family, you can still develop bunions if you are wearing improperly fitting shoes. This can happen as you try to cram your feet into high heels, or by running or walking in a way that causes too much stress on the feet. High heels are another major culprit in the formation of bunions. Not only do they push the big toe inward, but your body weight and center of gravity is shifted towards the edge of your feet and your toes, which can cause bone displacement.

    Bunions are quickly and easily diagnosed by podiatrists. However, because of their nature, they can appear similar to arthritic conditions or gout. A blood test is sometimes required to fully diagnose a bunion. A full radiological or x-ray exam could also be done by a podiatrist to examine the bone structure of your feet. One thing that is looked for specifically is an enlargement of that base joint or evidence of the big toe bone being pushed inward.

    One of the first things to do if you have bunions is to get a larger, wider shoe that can remove pressure from your toes. This usually means that high heels should be eliminated from use for a period of time to allow the bunion to heal. Eliminating the pressure placed on a bunion is often enough to eliminate the pain involved with them. However, pain can persist in some instances and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed. If the pain is too severe, steroid injections near the bunion or even surgery may be required. Orthotics for shoes may also be prescribed which can alleviate the pain of bunions by removing pressure from them. However, these methods simply stop the pain of bunions but do not correct the problem at its source.

    As previously mentioned, surgery may be an option to completely eliminate your bunions. Surgery is done to reposition the toe bones so that they no longer face inward. This can be done by removing a section of bone or by rearranging the ligaments and tendons in the toe to help them align properly. Even after the surgery, it may be necessary to wear protective shoes for a while to ensure that the bunions do not return.


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  • 01/01/18--16:00: How Do I Treat My Bunion?
  • How Do I Treat My Bunion?

    A large piece of bone protruding on the top or side of the foot may be referred to as a bunion. It’s often the result of inflammation of the tissues surrounding the big toe, in addition to the bones and tendons not lining up correctly. Narrow and high-heeled shoes are a common cause of bunions, which may become larger as time progresses and can possibly cause conditions like bursitis and arthritis. Symptoms can include tingling or numbness of the big toe, nerve irritation, and severe pain. Common bunions typically don’t require an exam, and most will be managed by applying cold therapy, wearing shoes with cushioned pads, and possibly taking anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery may be an option to consider if the pain is persistent or is affecting the quality of your life. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised for treatment of this condition.

    If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

    What is a Bunion?

    A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

    Why do Bunions Form?

    Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

    Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

    How are Bunions Diagnosed?

    Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

    How are Bunions Treated?

    • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
    • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
    • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
    • Orthotics or foot inserts
    • Surgery

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

    Read more about Bunions

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  • 01/07/18--16:00: Falls Prevention
  • Elderly Americans are very susceptible to falls as they get older. Everyone experiences decreases in flexibility, balance, strength, and the senses as they age. This correlates to some eye-opening statistics. 1 in 4 Americans aged 65 and older fall each year. An elderly American is being treated for a fall in an emergency room every 11 seconds, and every 19 minutes, an older person dies from falling. In light of these striking statistics, one can see the importance of taking steps to prevent falls.

    Finding an exercise program for the elderly is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of falls. Look for an exercise program that improves strength and balance. Elderly people who live a more sedentary lifestyle, with little physical activity, are at an increased risk of falling. Wearing well-fitted footwear that provides good foot support and cushion will help prevent falls from poorly fitted shoes. Talking to a podiatrist about your susceptibility to falls and about inspecting your prescriptions will help to avoid any medication that could make falls more likely. Due to a decline in the senses among the elderly, having your eyes and hearing checked is recommended.

    Around half of all falls occur in the household. Removing tripping hazards in the home and making it more accommodating to older persons can significantly reduce falls. Some notable household changes include increasing lighting around the house, installing grab bars in the shower and bathroom, and making sure the floor is clear of clutter. Other smart options include installing a shower chair, using rubber-bottomed rugs, and placing railings on both sides of stairwells.  

    Finally, discuss with a doctor and your family about your fear of falling. This will help to increase awareness among the population on the need for fall prevention. A lack of awareness on the matter, and a downplaying of importance are what increase the risks of falling. Following these tips can help to reduce the risk for yourself and your loved ones.

     


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    Techniques For the Aged to Prevent Falling

    Falls among people aged 65 or older can be extremely serious and are considered a leading cause of injuries in that age group. A fall can be hard in lots of ways, and people may become depressed after experiencing one. This can result in lacking the desire to stay active. There are several things to be aware of in the aging person, including their vision becoming weaker, causing objects to become harder to see; this may possibly lead to a fall. Some medications may cause dizziness and dehydration, which may also be responsible for a fall occurring. It may be beneficial to ask older people when their last eye exam was and to ensure that their eyeglass prescription is current. Discussing medications currently being taken may be advised to identify any potential drug interactions; drug interactions can possibly cause an imbalance and contribute to a potential fall. Typically, checking the lighting in the home, in addition to having secure rails on the stairway and installing bars in the tub area, may all be effective ways in preventing falls in the home.

    Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

    Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

    How to Prevent Falls

    Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

    • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
    • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
    • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
    • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
    • Utilizing a walker or cane
    • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
    • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

    Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

    Read more about Falls Prevention

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  • 01/14/18--16:00: Heel Pain
  • Have you ever gotten up from a chair or out of bed in the morning, and upon taking that first step, feel like your heel has stepped on a tack? Many people experience a feeling of sharp pain which radiates into their arch from their heel and which does not allow them to put their heel on the floor. Sometimes they need to sit back down, stand only on their toes and use the wall for balance. If you can take a few steps, it seems to go away and lessen, allowing you to then resume your activity. Later, throughout your day and after a period of rest, it can happen again. If this sounds familiar you may be suffering from your first attack of heel pain.

    Heel pain is a debilitating condition that affects day to day activities. Running and walking both causes stress on the heel because the heel is the part of the foot that hits the ground first. This means that the heel is taking on your entire weight. Diagnosis and treatments for heel pain can be easily found through your podiatrist.

    Plantar Fasciitis

    One of the main causes of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that extends along the bottom of the foot, from the toe to the bottom of the heel. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of these tissues, resulting in heel pain. People who do not wear proper fitting shoes are often at risk of developing problems such as plantar fasciitis. Unnecessary stress from ill-fitting shoes, weight change, excessive running, and wearing non-supportive shoes on hard surfaces are all causes of plantar fasciitis.

    Achilles Tendonitis

    Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Similar to plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause heel pain due to stress fractures and muscle tearing. A lack of flexibility of the ankle and heel is an indicator of Achilles tendonitis. If left untreated, this condition can lead to plantar fasciitis and cause even more pain on your heel.

    Heel Spur

    A third cause of heel pain is a heel spur. A heel spur occurs when the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, leading to a separation of the ligament from the heel bone entirely. This results in a pointed fragment of bone on the ball of the foot, known as a heel spur.


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  • 01/14/18--16:00: Why Does My Heel Hurt?
  • Why Does My Heel Hurt?

    There are many types of heel pain, some of which are gradually felt, and some that are acute, typically caused by an injury. If pain under the heel is experienced, it may be a common condition referred to as plantar fasciitis. The pain is generally worse in the morning and may travel further down the foot. Having a bruised heel will begin as gradual pain occurring over a period of time, often affecting athletes due to the overuse of the plantar fascia tendon. Sever’s disease is characterized by pain in the back of the heel, often felt by young athletes. Swollen heels are another cause of heel pain and may be indicative of Achilles bursitis. A fracture may be possible if a fall was involved, often causing severe pain and making it difficult to walk. A consultation with a podiatrist is recommended if swelling, pain, or a "pins and needles" sensation is experienced in or around your feet.

    Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein of Union Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

    Causes of Heel Pain

    Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

    Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

    Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

    Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

    • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
    • Wearing non-supportive shoes
    • Weight change           
    • Excessive running

    Treatments

    Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

    If you have any questions please contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

    Read more about Heel Pain