Healthy Foot Notes

Posts Tagged ‘Podiatrist

Contributing Writer: Bull Run Foot Clinic | Images: BRFC —

The warm weather feels even greater when you don’t have to worry about the appearance of your feet. Fungus leads to embarrassment, but some treatments can help. Dr. Mahavadi, Dr. Cardinal, and Dr. Arminio have all helped fight fungus for years and are here to help you understand fungus.

Bacterial fungus can infect your toes, usually starting on the skin, also know as athlete’s foot. If left untreated, it can infect the nail bed. This infection can cause your nails to appear thick, discolored, brittle, or black. Fungus grows in dark, moist, warm areas such as shoes; you can get fungus by being barefoot in common areas. In order to prevent fungus, our doctors recommend patients to keep their feet clean and dry daily and change their socks and shoes everyday.

At the clinic, our doctors offer three different treatment options for fungus. One option is an oral prescription, in which a blood test is needed. Another option are topicals, which are medications applied on the toes like a nail polish. Lastly, there is the laser treatment option, called HyperBlue Plus. This option is a 10 minute painless treatment that requires no blood test.

If you are sick of having fungus, come to the office today to have healthier toenails by the end of the season!

 

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For this edition of Footprints, we wanted to feature some yearbook photos of Dr. Moien.
Not only was he active in sports, but he was a member of the Cadet Corps and the Senior Class President.  According to his senior yearbook, he was “off to college and a medical career.”

Photo via treaturfeet.com

Photo via treaturfeet.com

Our feet sure do take a beating, don’t they?

Day after day we walk, run, bump them into things, and squeeze them into awful shoes.  Our feet must last us a lifetime and it’s important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of common foot problems.

#1: Heel Pain

According to New York podiatrist Jacqueline Sutera, heel pain typically results from plantar fasciitis – inflammation of a ligament at the bottom of the foot. It can result from weight gain, unsupported arches or overactivity from exercise. You’ll detect it by pain after periods of rest, like when you first step out of bed in the morning, or after intense activity.

It hurts because you’re basically walking on an injury.

There are stretching exercises, combined with a regimen of anti-inflammatory medications to help treat plantar fasciitis.  However, it is also beneficial to be seen by a specialist because if untreated, it can lead to tendenitis.

#2: Bunions

A bunion is a dislocation of the joint in the big toe.  They are a genetic condition that can be made worse by wearing unsupportive shoes like high heels or ballerina flats.  If untreated, they can lead to arthritis.

#3: Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can either be inherited or they can be caused by tight shoes or pantyhose.  However, the leading cause is cutting too deeply into the corners of the nails.  When that happens, the skin grows over the nail, leaving you venerable to a bacterial infection.  This type of infection can be dangerous if it makes it into the bloodstream.

#4: Fungal Infection

Thick, yellowing, crumbling nails — sound familiar?  That’s a fungal infection.  If you notice fungus, visit a podiatrist to discuss treatment options.

#5: Calluses

Calluses are most often caused by how someone walks.  They can be treated with orthotics, which will correct a person’s gait.  Treatment for calluses can include having a podiatrist regularly shave them down.  Another could simply be moisturizing feet with a good cream nightly and sealing them with a sock for at least 40 minutes afterwards.

It’s important to remember that any kind of pain is an indicator of a problem.  Be sure to seek professional medical advice to determine the cause of it.

 

 

Image Source: MarieClaire.com

Image Source: MarieClaire.com

Periodically, we receive foot-health questions from our website contact form.  Since launching the site, we have gotten many different questions regarding sports and foot health.  Several of those questions have been about dance — specifically Pointe.  Since there have been so many, we wanted to provide a little information about Pointe and foot health.

Before even starting Pointe, it is customary to have a pre-Pointe evaluation.  Most often this is done by a specialist such as a podiatrist.  The evaluation is to determine whether or not the dancer is prepared, physically, to begin dancing Pointe.  Because Pointe puts unusual stress on the lower calf and the foot, it’s important to have the dancer checked out beforehand to avoid advancing to soon.

The average starting age for Pointe is 11 or 12 years old.  Most dancers begin Pointe after at least five years of traditional ballet instruction and training.  In a pre-Pointe evaluation, the podiatrist would check for signs to ensure that the dancer has the technical functioning in their foot to prevent injury.

The podiatrist will likely review medical history and any previous dance-related injuries, foot structure, muscle strength and flexibility, and lower leg alignment.  Of course, there may be other parts to the exam, but those are some of the main ones.

Another important thing to consider when your dancer is starting out with Pointe is the shoe and its fit.  Podiatry Today says that proper fit is very important:

Shoes that have been fitted incorrectly will accelerate issues with calluses, blisters, toenail trauma and, inevitably, bunions and hammertoes. Many dancers without properly fitted shoes will resort to stuffing various padding items into the shoe in attempting to adjust the fit, often making matters worse.

Like any sport, dance can lead to injury and it’s important to seek medical advice when beginning a new phase of training.

Do you have any dancers at home?  What do you do to prevent injury?

 

Just like with any doctor, getting the most out of your visit to the podiatrist requires a little work on your part.  By following this checklist, you can be sure that you’ll get the full benefit of your doctor’s knowledge and your feet will thank you.

Before the visit:

  • Make a list of your symptoms and questions.
  • Make a list of all medications and any previous surgeries.
  • Gather and bring important medical records and laboratory test reports from other doctors or hospitals (including X-rays, MRIs, and lab results).
  • Bring a friend or family member if you think it will be helpful.  Sometimes an extra set of ears can be beneficial for remembering information.
  • If your problem involves walking and/or exercise, bring your walking/exercise shoes with you to the appointment.

During your visit:

  • Go over your list of questions.
  • If you do not understand an answer, never hesitate to ask for more explanation.  No matter how silly you think the question is, it’s important that you feel confidant in your understanding of the answers.
  • Take notes and listen carefully.  If you brought a family member, make sure they’re paying attention.
  • Discuss your symptoms and any recent changes you may have noticed.
  • Talk about all new medications.
  • Ask why it has been prescribed, and how to take it.

After your visit:

  • Prepare for any tests that your doctor has prescribed.
  • Ask about what you need to do to get ready for the test, possible side effects, and when you can expect results.
  • Ask when and how the test results will be made available to you.
  • Schedule a follow-up appointment (if necessary) before you leave your podiatrist’s office.  If you’re unclear about your schedule, be sure to call back for an appointment ASAP so you don’t forget.
  • Call your podiatrist’s office and ask for your test results if you do not hear from the office when you are supposed to.

Hopefully these tips will help you get the most out of your doctor’s visit!

Leave us a comment with any more tips.


For Flashback Friday, we have some photos of old print materials from the early days of the Bull Run Foot Clinic.

As the weeks go on, we’ll be sharing photos and stories from the past 25 years of the Bull Run Foot Clinic so stay tuned!


Bull Run Foot Clinic

(703)368-1800
Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sat. 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Bull Run Foot Clinic

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