Brunswick (207) 725-4008
Damariscotta (207) 563-3233
Augusta (207) 620-7273

Blog

Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Intense Pain May Accompany Gout

An excess of uric acid levels in the blood may lead to a painful condition known as gout. When the body has difficulty in processing this buildup, crystals will typically form in the joint of the big toe. It is often considered to be a form of arthritis, and may cause considerable pain and discomfort. This ailment may develop as a result of ingesting foods that are rich in purines, which may often include red wine, seafood or chocolate. Research has shown there may be several predispositions for gout to occur. People who have high blood pressure or who have abnormal kidney functions may be at a greater risk to develop this ailment. Patients who are afflicted with gout are aware of the intense pain, swelling and redness that accompanies this predicament. If you have developed gout it's suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can provide valuable information about the treatment of this debilitating condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 08 October 2018 00:00

Are Plantar Warts Painful?

The majority of warts can be unsightly and painful, and a plantar wart is no exception. This type of wart develops on the heel of the foot and will grow inward as a result of the pressure the feet endures on a daily basis. It is known to be caused by the human papillomavirus, which is also referred to as HPV, and may be more prevalent in children and people who have compromised immune systems. This contagious virus can be transmitted by direct contact with a person who may carry the germ or from an object that may have been contaminated. Some of the symptoms that might be associated with plantar warts may include a small area that may be rough in texture on the heel of the foot. Additionally, there may be tiny black dots in the center of the wart, and you may experience pain while walking or standing. If you are afflicted with plantar warts, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can offer correct treatment options that may include removal of the wart.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Warts
Monday, 01 October 2018 00:00

Common Reasons for Blisters to Form

Many people are aware of the discomfort that is typically associated with blisters on the feet. A blister affects the skin on the feet, and the body’s natural response to injured skin will often result in forming a bubble of fluid over the affected area. This will protect the skin from additional damage or infection that may occur. The most common reason for blisters to develop may be wearing shoes that do not fit properly and this may cause friction as the shoes rub against the skin. Additionally, blisters may develop if you are exposed to extremely cold temperatures, which may cause frostbite to occur. Blisters may also form as a result of a harsh sunburn, or an allergic reaction to an insect bite. Treatment may generally include using a gauze covering for protection, while wearing shoes, followed by fresh air exposure when the shoes are removed, which may accelerate the healing process. It is suggested to seek the counsel of a podiatrist to learn about additional treatment options for blisters.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can 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.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Blisters

The condition known as rheumatoid arthritis is a painful ailment that typically affects the muscles and joints. When this occurs in the feet, the toenails may become affected in addition to the patient possibly experiencing pain and stiffness. The discomfort is generally felt in the smaller joints in the feet, and this can possibly lead to the formation of corns and bunions. In severe cases, the toes may curl and hammertoe may develop as a result of this. This particular form of arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system is compromised. The ability to fight infection is diminished, and this may cause pain and swelling to gradually develop. If you are afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis in the joints of the feet, it’s strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist, so correct treatment can commence.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist  if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Monday, 17 September 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

A condition that is referred to as onychomycosis is commonly known as a fungal infection of the toenails. It is common among people who have sweaty feet or enjoy spending time swimming. It may occur as a result of the small fungi seeping through tiny cuts in the skin, or possibly lodging between the nail and the nail bed. It may be common to find this type of infection in the toenails because of the warm environment the shoes and socks provide. There are several symptoms associated with this condition, including having a yellow, white or brown appearance, the nail becoming brittle and breaking easily, or the nail becomes uncomfortable. Despite the unsightly appearance, they typically do not pose a health threat unless the patient is diabetic. Research has shown there may be preventative measures that can be taken, including washing and drying the feet, especially between the toes, trimming the nails properly and frequently, and avoiding wearing other people’s shoes. If you feel you have a toenail fungus, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for a correct diagnosis and to learn about treatment options.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
Monday, 10 September 2018 00:00

Common Running Injuries

Research has shown the majority of people who enjoy running and jogging will experience a minimum of one injury per year. This is due to improper training techniques or failing to warm the muscles up adequately before running. The thought of injuries incurred while running, will typically affect most joggers negatively, depending on the severity of the injury. Serious mishaps may represent mandatory time off from this sport, so proper healing can commence. Some of the injuries that are feared is Achilles tendinitis, which generally affects the back of the heel and calf. This may be able to prevent by stretching the Achilles tendon, and this is often accomplished by standing on a step and raising the heel up, followed by lowering it down. Additionally, shin splints is a common injury that many runners endure, and this may be prevented by wearing the correct shoes while running, in addition to strengthening the calves. Please speak with a podiatrist if you would like additional information about how to prevent running injuries.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training Into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Preventing Running Injuries
Tuesday, 04 September 2018 00:00

Causes of an Achilles Tendon Rupture

The purpose of the Achilles tendon is to connect the heel bone to the calf muscles and it is considered to be the largest tendon in the body. The ability to point and flex the foot occurs naturally when the Achilles tendon contracts and this also enables people to walk, run, and stand on tiptoe with ease. If the patient should experience a tear in this tendon, this condition is referred to as an Achilles tendon rupture. General reasons for this to occur may include the tendon weakening with age, which may promote injury. It typically occurs when activities that are pursued require running and jumping, also when proper stretching is not practiced beforehand. Typical symptoms may include experiencing an immediate and severe pain in the back of the heel, as well as swelling and bruising. If you feel you have ruptured your Achilles tendon, please consult with a podiatrist to learn about correct treatment techniques.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
Monday, 27 August 2018 00:00

Symptoms of a Heel Spur

A heel spur is defined as a small bony protrusion that extends from the heel to the sole of the foot. Typical reasons for the condition to develop may be due to an injury, which may tear a portion of the heel bone, muscle, or ligament strains. Hard calcium deposits may develop under the heel, gradually forming a heel spur. People who are overweight, or those who participate in running and jumping activities may be more susceptible in developing heel spurs, in addition to those patients who wear shoes that do not fit correctly. There are several symptoms that may accompany this ailment, including pain that is felt in the heel for the majority of the day, inflammation, and tenderness. If you feel you may have a heel spur, it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist, who can perform a proper diagnosis followed by advice on correct treatment options.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main conditions spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Heel Spurs
Monday, 20 August 2018 00:00

How to Tell If You Have Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a long ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot. This ligament is responsible for connecting the heel to the front of the foot, and it supports the foot’s arch. Plantar fasciitis is the number one cause of heel pain. It has been estimated that approximately 2 million people each year are treated for this condition. You will be more likely to develop plantar fasciitis if you are obese, have a high foot arch, are involved in sports, or have tighter calf muscles. Many people who have plantar fasciitis also have heel spurs, but heel spurs are not the cause of plantar fasciitis. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain near the heel, pain after getting up in the morning, and pain after exercising. If you suspect that you may have plantar fasciitis, you should speak with your podiatrist to explore treatment options that could potentially work for you.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affects people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 13 August 2018 00:00

Possible Causes of Gout

A form of arthritis that attacks the joints in the big toe is often referred to as gout. This condition may typically occur abruptly, and obvious symptoms may include severe pain and discomfort, swollen joints, and redness. It develops as a result of excess uric acid in the blood, which can form crystals in the joints. This may occur because of specific foods that are ingested, including an overabundance of shellfish, alcohol, or red meat. Some patients may develop this ailment from inherited genes, being overweight, and taking certain medications. If you are afflicted by this type of arthritis, it’s important that it is treated as quickly as possible, to avoid the development of additional complications. Please speak with a podiatrist about the treatment options that are right for you.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Gout
Monday, 06 August 2018 00:00

Children and Plantar Warts

If you find that your child complains of pain in the heel area of the foot, you may want to see if a plantar wart is present. A wart that develops and grows on the heel of the foot is referred to as a plantar wart. Despite the fact that it is known to be a harmless skin growth, it may generate severe pain and discomfort while walking. While many types of warts are visible on other parts of the body, a plantar wart grows inward as a result of the pressure the heel endures while walking, and may be difficult to notice. It is generally contagious, and may easily spread to other parts of the body. It’s suggested that your child refrains from sharing towels in addition to wearing protective shoes in public pools and shower areas. If your child develops a fever or if you notice liquid that drains from the wart, it’s advised to consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to learn about correct treatment options.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about All About Plantar Warts
Monday, 30 July 2018 00:00

Can High Heels Damage the Feet?

Many women choose to wear high heels to accent the shape of the foot, despite the pain that may be endured. Additionally, other foot conditions may develop as a result of wearing this type of shoe, including blisters, deformities involving the toes, bunions, and strained calf muscles. Research has shown that when they are worn occasionally, it may give the feet the needed time to rest and heal. It may be beneficial to wear flat shoes or a more comfortable style that may include shoes that are wider, which may give the toes adequate room to move about in.  Moderate relief may be found when gentle stretching exercises are performed. This may be accomplished by rolling your foot over a tennis ball, which will stretch the bottom of the foot, in addition to having your heel drop as you stand on a step, which will aid in stretching the heel. If you would like additional information about how high heels affect the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Monday, 23 July 2018 00:00

Foods That May Cause Gout

The foot condition that is referred to as gout often develops as a result of increased uric acid levels that are found in the blood. Crystals will form in the joints in the bottom of the big toe, often producing severe pain and discomfort. Foods that contain high amounts of purine are typically responsible for the onset of gout. These group of foods may include certain types of seafood, liver, bacon, or alcoholic beverages. There are several ways to prevent gout from forming, including losing weight slowly if needed, drinking plenty of fresh water daily, and increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables. The treatment of gout typically involves taking anti-inflammatory medications, in addition to incorporating positive lifestyle changes into your daily routine. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about gout.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

What Causes Cracked Heels?

If you stand for extended periods of time you may experience a condition that is referred to as cracked heels. Certain skin conditions that may include psoriasis and eczema may also play a significant role in the development of this condition. The formation of deep cracks, which are also known as fissures, may result in pain and discomfort, and walking may become difficult. The skin on the heels will typically become dry and is usually a result of obesity, wearing shoes that have an open back, and cold winter weather, which may aid in producing dry skin. An effective remedy includes washing and drying the feet thoroughly, followed by utilizing a good moisturizer that will help the skin become soft. It’s advised to consult with a podiatrist if you are afflicted with severely cracked heels, to learn about proper treatment options that are correct for you.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels

If you are afflicted with arthritic feet, you may find it difficult to perform certain activities, including walking. There is typically a moderate level of inflammation that surrounds the joints of the foot, which may produce considerable pain and discomfort. There are several different forms of arthritis which may affect the feet. If the cartilage begins to decay at the base of the toe, you may have what is referred to as osteoarthritis. This may contribute to other foot conditions such as bunions. Preventive measures may include choosing to wear wider shoes that do not put pressure on the bunion. Additionally, if the joints on the ball of the foot become inflamed, you may have rheumatoid arthritis. This may cause the bone to rub and push against the skin on the sole of the foot, which can often produce severe pain. A possible treatment option that may temporarily provide moderate relief involves attaching a long strip of leather to the bottom of the shoe behind the arch. This may aid in reducing a portion of the pressure that is often associated with this type of arthritis. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist to discuss further relief remedies and treatment protocols.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Arthritic Foot Care
Monday, 02 July 2018 00:00

What Does Hammertoe Look Like?

A deformity of the toes that resemble a claw-like shape may be referred to as hammertoe. If the toes do not have adequate room to move about, they may have to bend to fit into the shoe. Additionally, if tight socks are worn, the toes may have to squeeze together, which may cause them to overlap. This condition can produce discomfort and pain, and may possibly cause corns and calluses to develop. Preventive measures may include choosing to wear shoes that fit correctly, while making sure there is ample room in the top of the shoe. Patients who have high arches or bunions may be more susceptible in developing hammertoe, and research has shown that permanent removal of a hammertoe affliction means surgery. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can recommend temporary relief options, which may include custom-made protective pads over the affected area.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Monday, 25 June 2018 00:00

What are the Different Types of Corns?

Corns will typically develop on the pinky toe or between the toes as a result of pressure and friction. A common cause of the development of this condition, is from shoes that do not fit correctly, which causes the toes to have inadequate room to move about. This painful ailment may cause pain to exist inside the toe, and this may be a result of the pressure that is exerted on sensitive nerves. Corns are divided into two categories, and are referred to as hard or soft corns. The latter will exist in between the toes and will thrive in moist environments. Hard corns typically form on the tops of the toes where that portion of the toe meets the shoe. Corns can be prevented by choosing to wear shoes that fit properly. If you are experiencing hard or soft corns, it’s advised to consult with a podiatrist who can suggest proper treatment options that are correct for you.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors 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 doctors to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. 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
Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

Common Foot Ailments in Pregnant Women

It’s common for pregnant women to complain about foot pain or swollen feet. Developing flat feet is equally as common, and this is typically a result of the excess weight that is gained from the developing fetus. Research has shown that this may affect a women’s center of gravity, which may alter overall posture. Despite the fact that most of these uncomfortable ailments may diminish after pregnancy, there are ways to minimize the discomfort they cause. These may include elevating the feet above the heart, which may aid in improving circulation in the early stages of pregnancy. It is beneficial to eat a well-balanced and healthy diet, which involves lower salt content. This can possibly eliminate excess fluid from accumulating. It’s also suggested to sleep on your side rather than on your back. Practicing gentle exercises may aid the decrease of fluid retention. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information on how pregnancy affects your feet.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
Page 1 of 2
Connect with us