Your podiatrists in Greenville and Newark, DE and Boothwyn, Jennersville and Kennett Square, PA care for every aspect of foot and ankle health. Do you sometimes wonder if you are taking proper care of your feet and if a trip to the foot doctor could help you feel better and optimize your daily activities? Yes, podiatric medicine improves your overall well-being. To further educate yourself on common topics related to foot care and health, read some FAQs our doctors receive and the answers from the outstanding team at Foot and Ankle Associates.
Frequently Asked Questions for Podiatrists
My heel hurts whenever I walk. Could I have a heel spur?
Your podiatrist can tell you if you have a little bony prominence on the front of your calcaneus, or heel bone. Your symptoms, visual inspection and an X-ray will confirm the diagnosis. According to physicians at the Cleveland Clinic, heel spurs are frequently caused by pressure from running or other sports that repeatedly impact the soles of your feet. An inflammatory condition known as Plantar Fasciitis (involving the connective tissue between the heel and the base of the toes) often co-exists with a heel spur. However, the doctors at Foot and Ankle Associates caution that heel pain may come from other sources; so make a trip to the office if you are experiencing this discomfort consistently.
What are orthotics?
Also called shoe inserts, customized orthotics are made of acrylic and support the arches of the foot. They correct problems with gait or cushion and protect deformities or conditions such as bunions, corns and callouses. The American Academy of Podiatric Medicine says that orthotics are a minimally invasive alternative to surgery and other medical treatments, relieving pressure and correcting foot problems for people of all ages.
How should I cut my toenails?
Soak your feet in warm water first to soften the nails. Then, trim them straight across the toe (with a nail clipper, not scissors) to avoid ingrown toenails and their associated pain and infection. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta says diabetics should be careful with how they cut their nails, and if manual dexterity or the ability to bend over to cut your nails is problematic, see your podiatrist for regular nail care.
When should I see a foot doctor in Greenville, Newark, Boothwyn, Jennersville or Kennett Square?
Routine podiatric care is a must for people with foot or ankle deformities, diabetes or poor circulation. As your grandmother would say, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Plus, if you experience sudden or recurring pain in your feet or ankles, come to Foot and Ankle Associates. You'll receive an expert physical examination, including a medical history, and X-rays and other imaging such as an MRI or CT scan as needed. The doctors are trained in all aspects of foot care, including attending to sprains and surgical intervention when required.
Please contact us
For experienced, compassionate foot care, contact us to arrange an appointment. We have several convenient locations including Newark, DE (302) 633-1300, Greenville, DE (302) 652-5767, Kennett Square, PA (610) 444-6520, Jennersville, PA (610) 345-0222, and Boothwyn, PA (610) 459-3288.
During pregnancy, it's not uncommon for women to experience an array of aches and pains all over the body. Among these complaints are tired, swollen, achy feet - a common and painful symptom experienced by mothers-to-be during their nine months of pregnancy.
One of the most common foot problems to occur during pregnancy is swelling, or edema, which results from an extra accumulation of blood. The natural weight gain and enlarging uterus puts pressure on the veins that lead to the legs, causing circulation to slow down and increasing fluid retention. The legs and feet may become swollen, making shoes tight, and in some cases causing pain and discomfort. Slight swelling during pregnancy is normal and usually subsides after giving birth. Women should pay close attention to edema symptoms. Swelling to the face or a sudden onset of swelling could be a sign of a more serious condition called preeclampsia and should be reported immediately.
Another troubling foot problem that can occur during pregnancy is over-pronation (flat feet) which is caused when a person's arch flattens out upon weight bearing causing the feet to turn in abnormally. This condition develops when the dense band of tissue in the arch of the foot called the plantar fascia becomes strained and inflamed due to increased flattening of the feet. Over-pronation is common in pregnancy due to the increased weight gain which stresses the feet and flattens the arches. Walking can become very painful, and women may experience increased discomfort and strain on the feet, calves and back.
There are various remedies available to help minimize and alleviate foot pain during pregnancy.
- Take short breaks during the day and elevate your feet to relieve pressure and swelling.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Wear shoes that are soft, comfortable and give your feet room to move.
- Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation.
- Exercise or walk regularly to promote overall health.
- Stretch legs frequently and avoid crossing your legs when sitting.
- To prevent arch pain, stretch daily, avoid going barefoot and wear supportive low-heeled shoes.
When foot pain persists, visit your podiatrist. We'll work with you to find the best treatments for your foot pain. Pregnancy and pending motherhood should be a pleasant, enjoyable experience. Understanding the causes of foot pain and learning easy home remedies can help women step more comfortably throughout these special nine months.
Plantar warts are benign growths that develop on the bottom of your feet, and are caused by direct contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body. Some people are more susceptible than others to HPV, and not everyone will develop plantar warts if they come into contact with the virus. Individuals with weak immune systems or damaged skin on the feet are at a higher risk for plantar warts.
Plantar warts most often develop on the weight-bearing areas of the foot - the heel or the ball of the foot - causing sharp, burning pain. They can appear as a single wart (solitary) or a cluster of warts (mosaic). Common symptoms may include:
- Pain or discomfort when walking or standing
- Thick, scaly skin that often resembles a callus
- Hard, flat growths with well-defined boundaries
- Tiny black specks (clotted blood vessels) that often appear on the surface of the wart
Most warts disappear with home care and do not require medical treatment. You can take steps to prevent and treat plantar warts, which include:
- Changing your shoes and socks daily
- Keeping your feet clean and dry
- Avoid picking at warts as the virus may spread
- Avoid direct contact with an individual who has plantar warts
- Checking your child's feet periodically
- Refrain from walking barefoot, especially in public areas like showers, swimming pools and locker rooms
- Never ignore skin growths or changes in your skin
You should always seek care from a podiatrist when warts interfere with your daily life, aren't responding to home treatments, or if you have circulatory disorders. Contact us if your warts:
- Change color or shape
- Cause unbearable pain and discomfort
- Interfere with activities
- Multiply or reappear
Without treatment, plantar warts can grow, spread and prompt new warts to grow as fast as the old ones disappear. If you can't confidently identify a growth on your foot, visit your podiatrist to ensure a correct diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment can decrease the risk of the wart spreading and multiplying.
Bunions are a common foot problem that results from a deformity of the metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of the big toe. Though they tend to be more common in women according to Harvard Health, anyone can develop a bunion. Also known as hallux valgus, bunions cause the bone to protrude from the side of the foot, causing friction between the skin and shoes. Over time, they can lead to pain and difficulty walking and moving the toe. The podiatrists at Foot And Ankle Associates offer several treatment options at various locations including Newark, DE, Greenville, DE, Kennett Square, PA, Jennersville, PA, and Boothwyn, PA.
Bunions can develop in one or both feet. Prolonged pressure on the metatarsophalangeal joint from wearing narrow and ill-fitting shoes that crowd the toes are typically the most common cause of bunions, but there are other factors that can also lead to inflammation and swelling in the joint. Other factors that can cause bunions include:
- Genetics and family history
- An injury to the joint
- Shape of your foot/arch size
- Congenital bone or joint deformities
What is the Best Treatment for Bunions?
Because they tend to develop slowly and progress over time, many people live with bunions without the need for treatment. Depending on the size of the bunion and the extent of inflammation and damage to the joint, treatment may be necessary to relieve pain and ease the pressure, or if it becomes difficult to walk or wear shoes because of the size of the bunion. Podiatrists usually prescribe shoe inserts like padded insoles, orthotics, or splinting to help with support and proper alignment. Physical therapy and exercises can help with arthritic joints. In rare cases, a podiatrist may recommend a bunionectomy, which is a surgical removal of the bunion. Surgery is usually the last resort for severe cases that do not respond to standard conservative treatments.
Find a Podiatrist in Newark, DE
For more information on your treatment options for bunions and other podiatry problems, contact Foot And Ankle Associates to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. We have several convenient locations including Newark, DE (302) 633-1300, Greenville, DE (302) 652-5767, Kennett Square, PA (610) 444-6520, Jennersville, PA (610) 345-0222, and Boothwyn, PA (610) 459-3288.
Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the long, dense band of connective tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot.
Repeated strain on the plantar fascia can cause tiny tears in the ligament. As tension and tearing increases, so does inflammation and irritation of the affected area. Risk factors of plantar fasciitis include foot arch problems (flat foot and high arches); excess weight; running; and a tight Achilles tendon.
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is gradually developing pain on the bottom of the heel. The pain is usually worst in the morning and after sitting or standing for a long period of time. For some, the pain subsides after walking or stretching.
To reduce pain associated with plantar fasciitis:
- Rest. Limit and/or avoid activities that make your heel hurt.
- Ice. Reduce pain and swelling by icing the affected area each day.
- Stretch. Stretch your heel throughout the day, especially when you first wake up in the morning.
- Footwear modifications. Wear shoes that provide good arch support and a cushioned sole. Ask your podiatrist about pads and shoe inserts to relieve your heel pain.
When conservative treatments aren't effective, or your pain persists for more than a few weeks, schedule an appointment to discuss your symptoms and treatment options. A podiatrist can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs. This may include stretching exercises, shoe padding, orthotic devices, night splints or therapy. Most patients respond to non-surgical treatments, but for pain that won't go away, surgery may be required.
With proper rest and treatment, recovering from plantar fasciitis can take just a few months. Visit us when you first experience pain for a diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.
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