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Blog | Foot Doctor Brunswick, ME 04011

Tuesday, 04 October 2022 00:00

Can Gout Attacks Be Prevented?

Patients who experience gout attacks are often familiar with the debilitating pain they can cause. Gout occurs as a result of crystals that form in the joints of the big toe and can develop for various reasons. Genetics can contribute significantly to the development of gout, in addition to having an abnormal metabolism that produces excess uric acid. It is seen in the joints of the body as crystals and can produce extreme pain and discomfort. This may come from eating foods that have high levels of purines like shellfish, red meat, and drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. Drinking excess alcohol may also lead to gout so it is beneficial to drink in moderation. Gout attacks may be prevented by drinking plenty of water daily, consuming healthy foods, and practicing a gentle exercise program. Gout patients should be under the care of a podiatrist. It is strongly advised that you contact a podiatrist who can provide effective prevention techniques as well as treatments that are best 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 our office located in Brunswick, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Gout
Tuesday, 27 September 2022 00:00

Foot Pain Is Common Among Runners

There are many people who enjoy running that experience foot pain. Running causes the feet to endure repetitive stress as a result of the constant pounding on different types of surfaces. Research has indicated the most common types of foot pain caused by running injuries fall into four categories: plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, extensor tendonitis, and adductor and abductor hallucis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs along the sole of the foot. The majority of runners are familiar with pain that can come from an inflamed plantar fascia, known as plantar fasciitis. When this occurs, the heel pain this ailment brings can make running become difficult to pursue. A stress fracture can develop gradually, and may come from not warming up and cooling down properly. It is defined as a hairline fracture in one of the several bones in the feet, and rest is often needed for healing. Extensor tendonitis involves the tendons in the toes, and wearing shoes that do not fit correctly may cause these tendons to become inflamed. Adductor and abductor hallucis is a condition that affects the arch, and can occur from having inadequate arch support in the shoes. If you have foot pain of any kind, please consult with a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose problems and provide treatment.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot 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.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

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

Read more about Foot Pain

Tuesday, 20 September 2022 00:00

Foot Structure and Bunions

Research has indicated that the foot condition known as a bunion may be inherited. Furthermore, studies have shown the bunion itself has not developed because of genetic reasons, but the foot structure that contributed to it may be inherited. It is easy to notice the bony protrusion on the big toe’s side. Some people develop bunions if they have endured a traumatic foot injury, which may also contribute to changes in the foot structure. There may be existing medical conditions like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or cerebral palsy that can lead to a bunion. A common reason why many patients develop bunions can be the type of shoes that are worn. High heels and shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in may cause a bunion. This particular foot condition is considered to be a deformity, and it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can guide you toward correct treatment methods.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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 a Bunion?

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

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

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

How Are Bunions Treated?

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

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

Read more about Bunions

Wednesday, 14 September 2022 00:00

How Age and Gender Affects Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a specific kind of foot affliction that primarily impacts the joint of the second, third, or fourth toe. When an imbalance in one of these joints occurs, the toe has a tendency to essentially bend upwards at the joint. As a result, the toe resembles a hammer. Age and gender havs a particularly interesting relationship with this foot condition. Specifically, the incidence of hammertoe is increased in older individuals and women. One possible explanation for this correlation is that women tend to wear shoes that force the toes into awkward contortions, such as high heels. When a toe is forced into tight positions in the toe box against the other toes, hammertoe can develop. Individuals who suffer from hammertoe will tend to experience pain where the hammertoe is located. Additionally, it may become difficult for the individual to walk normally. Swelling is also common for patients living with a hammertoe. If you are a woman or are an older individual that is concerned about developing hammertoe, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today. Your podiatrist can help you try to prevent and treat your hammertoe.

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 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, ME  . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Hammertoe

Tuesday, 13 September 2022 00:00

We Can Treat Your Foot or Ankle Pain

Foot or ankle pain can negatively affect your day-to-day life and can occur due to several different conditions. Pain can also be an indicator of a more serious underlying condition, which is why you should seek professional help as soon as you notice any abnormalities in your feet.

Wednesday, 07 September 2022 00:00

How Body Weight Can Affect the Feet

Many parts of the body become smaller when excess weight is lost, and this is also true of the feet. It is beneficial to have the feet properly measured when purchasing new shoes, and this will help to ensure a good fit. Research has indicated the feet absorb approximately 120 percent of the body’s weight, and this may explain why foot pain may occur. The excess weight may stretch tissues and muscles, in addition to natural fad pads wearing down. Additionally, the feet and ankles may swell from the added weight, and may generally feel uncomfortable. Many patients have noticed that by losing weight, their feet will feel better, and existing foot conditions may be alleviated. The bone structure of the foot may not change, but the width may be affected, and become smaller. It is beneficial to exercise as often as possible, and this can help the health of the feet. Eating foods that are low in sodium can help to diminish existing swelling, and wearing shoes may become easier. If you have questions about foot health before or after weight is lost, please consult with a podiatrist who can address any concerns you may have.

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned 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.

Obesity and Your Feet

People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

  • When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
  • Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
  • Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.

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

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Arthritis in the Big Toe

The big toe plays an important role in our ability to walk and remain balanced. The place where the big toe connects to the foot is called the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP). This joint, like many others in the body, is often the target of osteoarthritis because it gets a lot of wear and tear. Symptoms include pain (especially while active), stiffness, swelling, and a shifting of weight when you walk (change in gait). Occasionally, the big toe pushes toward the other toes, forming a bunion. Stiffness in the joint can result in a difficulty walking, which then can lead to the formation of calluses, corns, and hammertoes. The risk of developing osteoarthritis increases as you age, but other factors such as genetics, obesity, and prior joint injury can contribute to it. As with any progressive disease, osteoarthritis in the big toe can only become worse. Getting treatment from a podiatrist as early as possible is a good idea. X-rays can often detect the extent of the damage to the MTP joint and help the doctor to determine treatment options. Among them are certain prescription medications, changes in footwear, and in severe cases, surgery. For more information on osteoarthritis of the big toe, please consult a podiatrist.  

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. 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 Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking

Diagnosis

In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

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

Read more about Toe Pain

Tuesday, 23 August 2022 00:00

When Plantar Warts Spread

Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), and they typically develop on the bottoms of the feet, usually on the balls or heels. These warts can, unfortunately, be particularly painful for some individuals when they walk or put weight on their feet. Since plantar warts are located on the bottoms of the feet, they may essentially grow inward in response to the pressure that is put on the soles of the feet. Plantar warts have a pernicious ability to spread to other parts of the feet and body sometimes very easily. For example, you might unknowingly be spreading your plantar warts if you touch the wart and then immediately touch another part of your body. Additionally, you may be spreading your plantar warts to other people if you share personal self-care tools such as razors or towels. It is not beneficial to your health if your plantar warts begin to spread. If this happens, a medical professional might advise you to use over-the-counter medications to address the problem. If you have plantar warts, you ought to contact a podiatrist especially if you notice that they are beginning to spread. A podiatrist is a foot specialist who can help you take specific steps to identify and address the problem.


 

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, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about All About Plantar Warts

Tuesday, 16 August 2022 00:00

Babies Born With Foot Problems

A congenital foot problem is one affecting the feet, toes, or ankles of newborns. Such problems include clubfoot, vertical talus, tarsal coalition, polydactyly, macrodactyly, and cleft foot. These afflictions can have various causes, but some are genetically based on someone in the family having a gene causing the condition. Others can simply be an anomaly. A few of these conditions are described here. Clubfoot is when the tendons of the foot shorten, the bones are of an unusual shape, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point inward and downward. The soles of the feet might also face each other. This condition typically affects both feet. If not treated, a child will walk on the sides of their feet and ankles. Polydactyly is when the child has more than five toes on one or both feet. Usually, a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone or joint will be present. Macrodactyly is when the toes are abnormally large due to the overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue. Having this condition makes it harder for a child to use the affected foot in all activities. Cleft foot is rare and occurs when the foot is missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, or other anatomical differences. The main issues are whether a cleft foot can fit into a shoe, as well as the shape and appearance of the foot. If you have a child born with a congenital foot problem, consult with a podiatrist to see if any treatments or surgery is recommended to help your child continue life most comfortably.

Congenital foot problems require 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.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

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

Read more about Congenital Foot Problems

Have your feet inspected by a professional before starting a new sport or physical activity. Taking charge of your foot health will keep you in good physical condition and can help you avoid a potential injury, such as a fracture or sprained ankle.

Prevent injuries and see a foot specialist.

Many people who have bunions are concerned that it is a cosmetic condition. There are some patients who are aware they may cause pain, and this can hinder completing daily activities. The medical term for a bunion is referred to as hallux valgus, and it is defined as a bony lump on the side of the big toe. It gradually develops from genetic reasons, or from wearing shoes that do not have enough room for the toes to move freely in. It will begin as a small bump, and will gradually increase in size if the same type of shoes are frequently worn. It can affect the other toes by pushing against them, and this can cause them to shift. Some patients develop corns and calluses on top of the shifted toes, and bursitis can develop in the affected joint of the big toe. There are protective pads that can be worn over the bunion until larger shoes are purchased. If you see the first sign of a bunion, or if it has increased in size, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can possibly recommend surgery for permanent relief.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, 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 a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about What Are Bunions?

Tuesday, 02 August 2022 00:00

The Risks of Working On Your Feet

Depending on your occupation, you might have to spend a significant amount of time on your feet throughout the workday. For example, hairdressers, food servers/waiters, house cleaners, factory line workers, and others all must work on their feet for most of the day with little to no extended time spent sitting down. There are several risks that come with working on your feet all day. First, people who spend a significant amount of time on their feet all day may experience discomfort and swelling throughout their legs and feet. Certain people are at an increased risk of experiencing these symptoms. Namely, obese people, pregnant women, individuals who suffer from arthritis, and the elderly are all at an increased risk of developing these symptoms. Another risk associated with working all day on your feet is the development of certain foot complications. These individuals might develop conditions such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, and poor blood circulation, among other things. If you spend most of the workday on your feet, it might be time to see a podiatrist who can help you mitigate these risks. 

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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

Read more about Working on Your Feet

A bump on the bottom of the foot may be indicative of a foot condition known as plantar fibromatosis. This ailment develops on the plantar fascia which is the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. Its function is to connect the heel to the toes, in addition to supporting the arch. A plantar fibroma can form when nodules grow in the plantar fascia, and can cause pain and discomfort. Research has shown there is no cure for this condition, and existing patients often look to manage the pain. This can be done by performing specific foot stretches that can help to strengthen the foot. A calf stretch is effective in relieving pain from the plantar fascia, and this is done by standing on a step, and lowering the heel until a gentle stretch is felt. Patients may find that performing a marble pick up is helpful in strengthening the arch. This is a simple stretch, and may take some practice to perfect it. This is done by placing several marbles on the floor next to a towel, and picking one marble up at a time with your foot. If you would like more information about how to relieve pain from a plantar fibroma, please consult with a podiatrist. 

 

A plantar fibroma may disrupt your daily activities. 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.

Plantar Fibroma

A plantar fibroma is a fibrous knot in the arch of the foot. It is embedded in the plantar fascia which is a band of tissue that extends from the heel to the toes along the bottom of the foot. There can be multiple plantar fibromas in the feet at the same time. There are no known causes for this condition. If you have a plantar fibroma, there will be a bump in the arch of your foot that cannot be missed. Any associated pain is most often due to a shoe rubbing against the nodule. Non-surgical options, such as steroid injections, physical therapy, and orthotics should be tried first. Surgery is a last resort and is the only thing that will remove a plantar fibroma entirely. Consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and to determine the treatment regimen that is right for you.

What Causes a Plantar Fibroma?

While there are no specific causes identified, a plantar fibroma can possibly come from genetic predisposition or the formation of scar tissue that forms from healing the tears in the plantar fascia.

What Are the Symptoms of a Plantar Fibroma?

There will be a noticeable lump in the arch of the foot that may or may not cause pain. If pain is felt, it is typically because a shoe is rubbing up against the lump or when walking or standing barefoot.

Treatment and Prevention

A plantar fibroma will not disappear without treatment, but it can get smaller and be a non-issue. If pain persists, a podiatrist examines the foot and when the arch of the foot is pressed, pain can be felt down to the toes. An MRI or biopsy might be performed to help diagnose or evaluate the plantar fibroma. The following non-surgical options are generally enough to reduce the size and pain of these nodules:

  • Steroid injections
  • Orthotics
  • Physical therapy to help apply anti-inflammatory creams on the bump 

Surgery is considered if the mass increases in size and the patient continues to feel pain after non-surgical methods are tried.

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

Read more about Plantar Fibroma

Tuesday, 19 July 2022 00:00

What Are Ankle-Foot-Orthoses?

Ankle-foot-orthoses (AFO) are supportive devices, or braces, that help a person with lower limb, ankle, or foot disability. AFOs function mainly to prevent deformity, increase mobility, reduce pain, and protect and support a healing injury. They can be custom made for children as well as adults to protect the foot, ankle, and leg, finishing at the knee. They can be made hinged to bend at the ankle, or solid with no ankle movement. There are several types of AFOs that are prescribed based on the precise needs of the wearer. Factors include length of time it will be worn, amount of lateral stability needed, and how the device fits into shoes. For more detailed information on ankle-foot-orthoses, please consult a podiatrist, who can help determine which AFO is best for you. 

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, 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 Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

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

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes

Friday, 15 July 2022 00:00

Heel Pain in the Morning?

Heel pain can negatively affect your day-to-day life. Simple activities like walking can become incredibly uncomfortable or painful due to heel pain.

Don’t live with heel pain and get treated.

The Achilles tendon is responsible for pointing and flexing the foot, which is necessary in walking and running. It is located at the back of the heel, and connects the calf muscles to the heel. An Achilles tendon injury can occur from increasing speed and distance too quickly while running, or not properly warming up and cooling down. A tear may occur, and if the rupture is partial, the tendon remains attached to the calf muscle. A complete tear, where there is no connection between the tendon and muscle, is known as a rupture, and it is very painful and difficult to walk. This can happen as a result of high levels of stress put on the Achilles tendon from participating in activities that can include tennis, basketball, and football. There may be existing medical conditions and medications that can weaken the Achilles tendon and contribute to enduring an injury, such as Cushing’s syndrome, prednisolone, and ciprofloxacin. Common symptoms that many patients experience can be the inability to stand on their tiptoes, and there may be a flat-footed walking style. An Achilles tendon injury can be treated in different ways, and it is suggested that you urgently consult the expertise of a podiatrist who can determine what is best for you.

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, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries

Running is a cherished pastime across the country and an excellent way to stay in shape. However, if you are running with ill-fitting running shoes, you could be putting the health of your feet in jeopardy. Running with shoes that do not match the shape of your foot can lead to afflictions including bunions and naked toes. To avoid these unpleasant conditions, you should be mindful of what you might look for in a potential pair of running shoes. Of course, selecting the ideal pair of shoes is a highly individual process that will be specific to each runner. Yet, there are rules that runners might follow to guide them along this process. First and foremost, runners should prioritize finding shoes that fit the shape of their feet instead of shoes that look most fashionable or visually appealing. Additionally, a good pair of running shoes will have an insole that mirrors the natural shape of the runner's arch. Ideally, the ankle collar of the running shoe will fit comfortably and securely, but not tightly enough to cause rubbing and chafing. Good running shoes will also have toe boxes that give each toe enough space to comfortably rest in the shoe. When it comes to running, selecting the right running shoe is no joke, but these guidelines and a podiatrist might help you in your search.


 

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, 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.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.

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

Read more about Choosing the Right Running Shoe

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 00:00

Heel Pain Can Indicate Plantar Fasciitis

There is no mistaking heel pain when it happens. It can be a gradual occurrence, and many people ignore the first pangs of heel pain. A common reason people experience heel pain is from a condition known as plantar fasciitis. It affects the plantar fascia, which is located on the sole of the foot and connects the heel to the toes. This band of tissue can become inflamed for several reasons, including wearing shoes that do not fit correctly and standing on hard surfaces for most of the day. Heel pain, often the first symptom of plantar fasciitis, can become severe if not treated promptly. Patients have found mild relief when the affected foot is elevated because pressure on the heel is reduced. There are specific stretches that can help the pain of plantar fasciitis. An effective stretch is done by standing on a step, followed by lowering the heels one at a time until a gentle stretch is felt. If you have with heel pain and think it may be caused by plantar fasciitis, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so the correct treatment can promptly begin.

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, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

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