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Monday, 18 March 2019 00:00

How Do High Heels Affect the Feet?

Many women who enjoy wearing high heels may be unaware of the possible harm these types of shoes may do to the feet. When high heels are worn, the weight of the body may get shifted to the joint under the big toe. This may result in the formation of a bunion, which is characterized by a bony protrusion on the side of the big toe. Corns and calluses may form on the bottom of the foot and may result in metatarsalgia. This type of pain is typically felt in the ball of the foot. If you have pain in your heel and surrounding areas, it may lead to a condition that is referred to as plantar fasciitis. It may be similar to the pain and discomfort that is experienced with heel spurs, and both conditions may develop as a result of frequently wearing high heels. If you have any of these symptoms, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment.

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 Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet

Research has shown the importance of taking care of your feet, and this is especially true if you are a diabetic patient. Many diabetic people have neuropathy, and this may cause a lack of feeling in the feet. Small cuts or bruises may go unnoticed as a result of this condition and may take longer to heal. Foot ulcers may affect up to twenty-five percent of diabetic patients, and it is important to properly take care of your feet. This can be accomplished by checking the feet daily, which may help you to notice any blisters, ingrown toenails, cuts or swelling that may exist. Additionally, the feet should be washed in lukewarm water on a daily basis, gently dried, and followed by using a good moisturizer. This may help to keep the skin soft, which may prevent dry skin. Wearing shoes that fit properly will help the overall health of the feet and choosing seamless socks may aid in preventing cuts in the skin. If you have diabetes, it is strongly suggested that you should seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly guide you in learning how to take care of diabetic feet.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, 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.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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 Diabetic Foot Care
Monday, 04 March 2019 00:00

Identifying What Your Heel Pain Means

Heel pain is usually felt under the heel or behind it. There are various conditions that can cause heel pain, and the location of the pain is indicative of what the specific condition could be. One common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the plantar fascia-tissue that runs from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is usually caused by either high or low arches. Sever’s disease only affects children, usually between the ages of 7 and 15 years old, and is caused by overuse of the growth plates in the heel bone. This condition typically affects children that play sports because of the repetitive impact that the foot endures. These are just two of the many possible conditions that cause heel pain. If you have regular heel pain, it is strongly recommended you speak with a podiatrist to learn about the condition and receive the proper treatment.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, 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.

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 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 Heel Pain
Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

Spotting Cuboid Syndrome

Cuboid syndrome is caused by partial dislocation of bones in the middle of the foot. Someone with cuboid syndrome usually feels pain around the middle of the foot or at the base of their toes. There are some symptoms of this condition that, when coupled together, can help to identify cuboid syndrome. Pain on the lateral side of the foot or the side of the little toe is an initial indicator. Pain also tends to worsen when weight is placed on the foot, so activities like walking or jumping may trigger discomfort. It is also possible for the foot to swell and for there to be a reduced range of motion in the foot or ankle. If you suffer from any of these symptoms and think you might have cuboid syndrome, it is highly recommended that you speak with a podiatrist to begin treatment.

Cuboid syndrome, also known as cuboid subluxation, occurs when the joints and ligaments near the cuboid bone in the foot become torn. If you have cuboid syndrome, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Cuboid syndrome is a common cause of lateral foot pain, which is pain on the outside of the foot. The condition may happen suddenly due to an ankle sprain, or it may develop slowly overtime from repetitive tension through the bone and surrounding structures.

Causes

The most common causes of cuboid syndrome include:

  • Injury – The most common cause of this ailment is an ankle sprain.
  • Repetitive Strain – Tension placed through the peroneus longus muscle from repetitive activities such as jumping and running may cause excessive traction on the bone causing it to sublux.
  • Altered Foot Biomechanics – Most people suffering from cuboid subluxation have flat feet.

Symptoms

A common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain along the outside of the foot which can be felt in the ankle and toes. This pain may create walking difficulties and may cause those with the condition to walk with a limp.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cuboid syndrome is often difficult, and it is often misdiagnosed. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans often fail to properly show the cuboid subluxation. Although there isn’t a specific test used to diagnose cuboid syndrome, your podiatrist will usually check if pain is felt while pressing firmly on the cuboid bone of your foot.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are ice therapy, rest, exercise, taping, and orthotics.

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 Cuboid Syndrome
Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

All About Achilles Tendon Injuries

The fibrous band of tissue that links the muscles in your calf to your heel is called the Achilles tendon. This tendon is important for many physical activities, including jumping, running, and walking. Since it is used so frequently, the Achilles tendon undergoes a lot of stress, and too much stress can lead to injury. If the tendon becomes inflamed, swollen, or irritated, then tendonitis is occurring. Tendonitis can cause pain in the back of the leg and around the heel. The tendon can also thicken and harden; if these symptoms are occurring, then it is important to treat it before it gets worse. Complications can arise if this condition is not treated, such as severe pain, difficulty walking, deformation in either the tendon area or heel bone, and tendon rupture. If you think you may have tendonitis, it is recommended to consult with a podiatrist about treatment.

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 What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
Monday, 11 February 2019 00:00

What Causes Flat Feet

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, is a condition that occurs when the arch of the foot is lower than usual. Normally, the foot has an arch in the middle, so the heel and ball of the foot are primarily what touches the ground. For those with flat feet, the arch may have never fully developed, or over time might have flattened downward. Children’s feet develop differently, and some children never develop an arch. This is nothing to be too concerned about and usually results in little to no complications. On the other end of the spectrum, some flat feet develop over time as a result of wear and tear. Adults who have injured their foot or ankle, have rheumatoid arthritis, have diabetes, or are obese are at a higher risk for their arch to drop. While this condition usually does not cause serious health issues, if you think you have flat feet or may be developing it, then it is recommended you speak with a podiatrist to gain further knowledge.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms:

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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 Flat Feet

There are many patients who are afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis who may experience discomfort in the big toe, in addition to painful ankles and joints. This may result in difficulty in walking, which may hinder completing daily activities. There are specific conditions that may develop if rheumatoid arthritis is present, and these include the formation of bunions, hammertoe, or plantar fasciitis. Additionally, it may be beneficial to wear shoes that fit properly which have adequate room for the toes to move about in. This may put less pressure on the joints in the toes, and a moderate level of relief may be attained. Research has indicated there may be measures that can be implemented to reduce a portion of the pain and discomfort that is associated with this condition, and these include maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding standing for the majority of the day, and engaging in a massage or warm foot bath. If you have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, it is strongly advised to speak to a podiatrist who can properly guide you toward proper treatment.

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, 28 January 2019 00:00

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Ankles

Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects small joints first, but it can move to larger joints, such as ankles. If this condition spreads to the ankles, then it can hinder one’s ability to walk, and cause extreme discomfort. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis usually come in flares that can last anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks. These symptoms include inflammation and stiffness in the joints of the ankle. If this goes untreated, then this condition has the potential to permanently change the structure of the ankle joints. Rheumatoid arthritis also breaks down cartilage in the ankle that protects the bones from rubbing together, so this may create friction that will cause further weakness and instability. Oftentimes, people with rheumatoid arthritis in the ankles also experience symptoms in their feet. If you feel that you may have rheumatoid arthritis in either your feet or ankles, then it is strongly recommended that you consult with a podiatrist to receive treatment.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

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 Ankle Pain
Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Treating Fungal Nails with Laser Treatment

Fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) is one of the most common nail disorders among adults. It is a mycotic infection that occurs underneath the nail plate. The nail can become deformed, lifted, brittle, and discolored. These symptoms may lead to acute pain in the toenail area. There are various types of fungal nail infections and various types of treatments. One form of treatment is laser therapy, which also consists of varying methods. Photodynamic therapy uses light irradiation and a photosensitizing drug to find specific cells and destroy them. Other laser therapies that involve neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet or low-level lasers aim to selectively hinder fungal growth. Laser therapies are selective to the localized infection, which decreases the chance of systemic side effects. If you are interested in laser treatment for a fungal infection, consult with a podiatrist for further guidance.

Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.

What are Toenail Fungal Infections?

Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:

  • Nail thickening
  • Brittleness of the nail
  • Discoloration of the nail

Diagnosis for Fungal Nails

Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.

What is Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.

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 Laser Treatment for Fungal Nails
Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Where Are the Sesamoid Bones Located?

The structure of the foot consists of 26 bones. Two of these bones are referred to as the sesamoid bones, and their location is under the joint of the bottom of the big toe. The condition known as sesamoiditis occurs if these bones should become inflamed and irritated, which may be caused by an injury. Many patients have noticed symptoms that may include pain while standing, or severe discomfort if the toe is pulled in an upward motion. A proper diagnosis is generally necessary in confirming this condition, and this may consist of having an X-ray or MRI performed. There are several forms of effective treatment, including wearing shoes that offer additional cushioning, resting the foot, or using custom orthotics. These methods may provide a portion of the desired relief, and it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist for additional treatment options.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

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 Sesamoiditis
Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

The Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

The benefits of using a method that is referred to as shockwave therapy may be experienced as accelerated pain relief and ease in mobility. It is defined as an acoustic energy wave that may provide relief to patients who have chronic foot conditions. It is administered through an applicator that consists of compressed air and is injected into the affected area. It may be effective in improving blood flow to the damaged tissue, in addition to stimulating the formation of new blood vessels. It has been known to reverse chronic inflammation, and this may bring moderate desired relief. If you would like additional information about shockwave therapy, please consult with a podiatrist to see if this type of treatment is correct for you.

Shockwave therapy is a treatment commonly used to treat various injuries and conditions, particularly plantar fasciitis in the feet. To learn more, consult with 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.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is a new treatment option designed to treat bone conditions such as tennis elbow, shoulder pain, and others. Shockwave therapy uses high intensity sound waves that are directed to the affected tissues of the body with pinpoint accuracy. The effects are very beneficial, leading to a production of collagen fibers, eliminating inflammation.

Who Benefits from Shockwave?

Shockwave is recommended for patients suffering from heel pain and associated problems. Heel pain is a common condition which can be caused by obesity, overexertion, and spending a substantial amount of time on hard floors with your feet exposed and unsupported.

Fast and Easy

The therapy is actually a simple process that can leave patients feeling better the very next day. Shockwave therapy is not as dramatic as it sounds. It enables more blood flow to effected areas, addressing the source of the problem and allowing treatment to last for a long time.

Treatment & Recovery Time

Shockwave treatment will enable your feet to recover quickly. This is especially important since surgery is not required. It is cost effective and does not require the use of anesthesia. This treatment is a better option to surgery, since it is proven safe.

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 Treating Heel Pain with Shockwave Therapy
Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

How to Manage Elderly Feet

Research has shown that it may be common for elderly people to develop uncomfortable foot conditions as the aging process occurs. It’s important to take proper care of your feet at any age, and this is especially true of the elder population. There are several methods to keep the feet healthy, and these may include incorporating gentle foot exercises and walking for short periods of time into your daily activities. This may aid in keeping the muscles in the feet strong, which can help in maintaining the balance that is necessary to prevent falling. There are several daily routines that can be implemented to keep the feet healthy, and these may include observing your feet daily, which may help in noticing any cuts or bruises, washing your feet every day, in addition to wearing shoes and socks that fit correctly. If you would like additional information about the importance of taking care of elderly feet, please consult with a podiatrist for proper guidance.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and 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.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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 Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 00:00

Contagious Athlete’s Foot

The obvious symptoms that are associated with athlete’s foot is mild to severe itching, especially between the toes. This uncomfortable condition is caused by a fungus that is known as trichophyton, and thrives in warm and moist areas, which may include the inside of shoes or socks. Additionally, this contagious fungus may live in public pools, locker rooms and surrounding areas, and it is suggested to wear appropriate shoes if you are in these places. Patients who have severe cases of athlete's’ foot may experience red, flaky, and cracked skin on the side and soles of the feet, and in extreme cases, blisters and swelling may develop. If you have become afflicted with these symptoms, it is suggested to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can perform a correct diagnosis and proper treatment options can be discussed.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine.  Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Athlete's Foot 101
Monday, 17 December 2018 00:00

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

There is a portion of tissue that is located on the bottom of the foot, which is referred to as the plantar fascia, and its primary function is to connect the heel bone to the toes. If this should become inflamed, which may occur gradually or from an injury, a condition that is known as plantar fasciitis may develop. This may produce severe pain and discomfort and is often felt in the front of the heel and in the back of the arch. When this band of tissue is not inflamed, it provides the body with strength and support, in addition to overall balance. Many athletes may experience this condition if the heel endures excess pressure, and this can occur while frequently participating in activities that include running and jumping. Research has shown there are patients who may be inclined to develop plantar fasciitis, which may include people who are obese, stand for most of the day, or have a specific foot structure such as flat feet or high arches. If you feel you may have this condition, it is advised to confer with a podiatrist to determine the best treatment. 

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. 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 the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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 Fasciitis
Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

Tips for Choosing the Correct Shoe Size

There are several reasons why shoes may not fit correctly. These may include having toenails that are not trimmed properly or having medical conditions such as diabetes and poor circulation. Additionally, research has shown the feet may change sizes as the aging process occurs and it is advised to properly measure your feet before purchasing shoes. When a shoe is selected that is similar to the shape of your foot, the desired comfort level may be easier to attain. There are a few simple steps that may be implemented to ensure a properly fitted shoe. These may include expecting the shoe to feel comfortable when initially tried on, making sure there is adequate room for the longest toe to fit easily in, and walking in the shoes before making the decision to buy them. If you would like additional information about choosing the correct shoe size, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist.

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.

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 Getting the Right Shoe Size: To Keep Your Feet Happy
Monday, 03 December 2018 00:00

Toe Arthritis

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your big toe, you may have a foot condition that is known as toe arthritis. It may be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight and may not have adequate room for the toes to move about in. One of the first signs that may be indicative of toe arthritis may be pain that is felt in the toes. Many people feel stiffness in the toes, and this may be a result of the diminished cartilage that is located between the joints, in addition to obvious redness and swelling of the toes and surrounding area. If you are afflicted with this condition, it may be difficult to perform daily activities that may include walking or standing for extended periods of time. If you are experiencing arthritis in your feet or toes, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can advise you on correct treatment options.

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 term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years, but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities, and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arhritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method 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 How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

Practicing Daily Foot Care is Important

It is important to maintain proper care for your feet, and this may be especially true of the elderly population. Research has shown the natural cushioning in the feet may diminish as the aging process occurs, and the toenails and skin may appear to become dry and brittle. There are several ways to practice good foot care, and these may include looking at your feet closely on a frequent basis, which may aid in noticing any blisters or cuts, wearing footwear that feels comfortable, and performing mild stretches, which may improve circulation. Additionally, washing and drying the feet daily may be helpful in preventing or controlling unpleasant foot odor. If you would like additional information about how to take care of elderly feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and 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.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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 Elderly Foot Care
Monday, 19 November 2018 00:00

Plantar Warts Cause Pain in the Heel

The medical name for a condition that is commonly known as plantar warts is called verrucae warts. It is a result of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that typically enters the foot through small cracks in the heel and will affect the skin on the bottom of the feet. If you are afflicted with this painful foot condition, you may experience symptoms that include pain while walking as a result of pressure the heel must endure, and a yellow and hardened area on the skin, possibly with small black spots in the center. This virus lives in areas that are consistently moist and humid, which may include swimming pools and the surrounding areas or locker rooms. There are several different treatment options that can be implemented, which may provide the desired relief, and it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist to discuss which is the best one for you.

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 What Are Plantar Warts?
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