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

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

Arthritic Foot Care  

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

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

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

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

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

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

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

What Does Hammertoe Look Like?

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

Hammertoe

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

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

Symptoms

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

Causes

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

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

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

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

Treatment

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

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

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

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

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

What are the Different Types of Corns?

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

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctors to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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

Read more about Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them
Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

Common Foot Ailments in Pregnant Women

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

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

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

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

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

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

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

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

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health

Many joggers are acutely aware of how incurring an injury can hinder running activities. Achilles tendinitis is a common injury that is felt by runners who increase the miles they run in a short amount of time. The Achilles tendon is considered to be the longest tendon in the body and it connects the heel bone to the calf. Symptoms of this includes severe pain and tenderness at the back of the heel, and the pain may extend to the calf. This may be prevented by strengthening the calf muscle which can be accomplished by standing on a step and then alternating lowering the heels until a gentle stretch is felt. Additionally, shin splints can be a common injury and can produce considerable pain and soreness. This discomfort can often be felt from the shin to the arch of the foot. Wearing the correct shoes may aid in preventing this condition in addition to strengthening the foot by performing toe raises while holding dumbbells. It’s important to speak with a podiatrist for additional information on how to protect the feet from running injuries.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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 How to Prevent Running Injuries
Monday, 04 June 2018 00:00

Disadvantages of Wearing High Heels

Wearing high heels may possibly be the reason why many women experience foot pain. Despite the fact that most women think high heels flatter the appearance of their legs, several issues may develop as a result of wearing this type of shoe. When high heels are worn, the foot is often in an unnatural position, which may inhibit blood circulation to the feet. The purpose of the Achilles tendon is to connect the calf to the heel. A disadvantage of wearing high heels is that heels may cause this tendon to become stiff and inflamed, possibly resulting in the development of additional foot ailments. Recent research has shown that moderation is the key to wearing high heels, and limiting the number of days they are worn may benefit the overall well-being of the foot. If you experience discomfort and pain from wearing high heels, please consult with a podiatrist to learn about proper stretching techniques for the foot.

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

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 00:00

Howie Kendrick Tears Achilles Tendon

Washington Nationals infielder Howie Kendrick recently tore his Achilles tendon in the first game of a doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kendrick was seen walking on crutches while wearing a walking boot in the Nationals’ clubhouse after the game. This is expected to be a season-ending injury for Kendrick and he states, “I really knew there was something wrong with it because I couldn't control my heel at all, so that's when I knew it was probably my Achilles.” He was immediately placed on the 10-day disabled list and was replaced on the roster by right-hander Jefry Rodriguez from the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg.

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, 21 May 2018 00:00

Home Remedy for Cracked Heels

It is easy to forget to pay special attention to the heels of your feet when moisturizing. If there is an insufficient amount of moisture in the heels of our feet, they can crack easily. You may be prone to cracked feet if you are often dehydrated, take very hot showers, or excessively scrub your feet. Fortunately, there are some home remedies you can try if you are experiencing problems with cracked heels. This remedy involves both banana and coconut oil; both of these ingredients are known for their great moisturizing properties. In order to create the mixture, mix one ripe banana with a quarter cup of coconut oil and apply all over the feet. Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. This is a natural method that can be used to heal cracked feet. If you have any questions regarding cracked heels or are looking for advice on how to care for cracked heels, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels

Recent research has shown a connection between foot pain and being obese. Foot ailments that may develop as a result of obesity include flat feet, arthritis, diabetes and general heel pain. Obesity may alter the general structure of the foot as a result of the heels and ankles enduring additional pressure caused by excess weight. Exercising may become difficult due to an increase in weight, and this may hinder one's ability to shed the excess pounds. Your feet will benefit if you choose to wear wide and supportive shoes, although there may be a limited selection of larger sizes necessary to accommodate them. Implementing a daily exercise routine and maintaining a healthy lifestyle may aid in combating obesity. This can typically be achieved by slowly beginning to properly stretch and exercise the feet. Please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist for a recommended exercise program that may avoid foot pain.

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

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet
Monday, 07 May 2018 00:00

Symptoms and Causes of Gout

If you are experiencing severe pain in the joints surrounding the big toe, you may have a condition referred to as gout. It’s considered to be a form of arthritis, and the symptoms include redness, swelling, and extreme tenderness. Gout is the result of a buildup of excess uric acid in the body, and typically collects in the joints of the foot. These bouts of pain are typically known as gout attacks, and there may be several reasons for this to develop. The most common theory revolves around the food and drink that is consumed, which typically involves the frequent ingestion of red meat and excess alcohol. Additionally, inherited genetic traits may be a determining factor in the onset of gout. It’s important to consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist to learn about proper treatment options for gout.

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

What is Gout?

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

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

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

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

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 30 April 2018 00:00

Where Does Toenail Fungus Come From?

There are several symptoms that are noticeable and will determine if you are afflicted by toenail fungus. The toenail will often appear to be a yellowish color and may be thick and rough in texture. In more severe cases, the toenail may lift from the skin or break off completely. Occasionally, small black dots can be seen on the nail, which is typically considered to be dirt that has collected underneath the toenail. This type of fungus generally thrives in warm and moist surroundings and can typically be found in pool areas and saunas. It will benefit the overall health of the toenail if this condition is treated promptly. This may include undergoing a proper diagnosis, followed by medications that can be applied to the nail for mild cases. Extreme situations may call for oral medications to be ingested, despite certain side effects that may follow. If you are afflicted by this ailment, it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist for additional information and treatment options relative to toenail fungus.

For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals &  Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Talcum powder – applying powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

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 Toenail Fungus

If you observe that your toenails have developed a blue or grayish hue, you may have what is referred to as poor circulation. Since the feet are typically the first area of the body where this condition is noticed, a blue or gray tinge is generally a good indicator that circulation concerns exist. There may be several reasons for this ailment to occur, and these may include a sedentary lifestyle, type 2 diabetes, or obesity. Consistent movement during the day, such as standing or walking, can help in allowing the arteries to freely carry blood and oxygen. Common symptoms that may be experienced can include a weakened pulse, cold sensations in the feet, or you may notice discolored skin. There are avenues that can be implemented to help poor circulation, including smoking cessation, incorporating exercise into your daily routine, and wearing comfortable shoes. If you would like information about poor circulation, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist to discuss the best preventative techniques that are right for you.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness  or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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 Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet

The feet are the foundation of the body, and the majority of runners are aware of the importance of choosing to wear proper running shoes. It’s helpful to be aware of your foot’s shape, as this will aid in buying shoes that fit properly. Shoes with added stability are often purchased by runners who have flat feet, and runners with exceptionally high arches are prone to choose shoes that have additional padding. Typically, most runners will go up half a size when buying running shoes, which will allow ample room for the toes to move about. When the right shoes are chosen that are a perfect fit for your feet, the sport of running may be enjoyed to its fullest extent.

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

Read more about Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type
Monday, 09 April 2018 00:00

Why Are Foot Stretches Important?

The importance of properly stretching the feet aids in the body’s ability to maintain balance. Additional benefits include developing flexibility and limber muscles, which can possibly help one avoid Achilles tendon injuries and heel pain. As the feet become stronger, the likelihood of pain in the arches and tears in the tendons will diminish. Pointing and flexing the feet is a simple yet effective stretch for the entire foot, which allows the ankles to strengthen. When pointing your toes, it’s suggested to strive for a feeling of the top of the arch becoming longer, which results in toe movement from the muscles that are stretched under the arch. If you would like additional information about the importance of proper foot stretches and techniques, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet 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.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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 Stretching Your Feet
Monday, 02 April 2018 00:00

Are the Feet Affected by Obesity?

Recent research has suggested there’s a strong connection between obesity and medical concerns involving the feet and ankles. Typically, the additional weight may alter the structure of the foot, allowing ailments such as plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and fallen arches to occur. These conditions affect the feet, which can hinder the daily routine and activities. Additional consequences may include the onset of type 2 diabetes, which affects the ability to heal properly. Neuropathy may develop, which is the inability to feel pain due to nerve damage occurring, and any cuts in the skin may take longer to heal. If you are suffering from any of these ailments please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for any foot conditions that need to be addressed.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. 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

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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.

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Monday, 26 March 2018 00:00

What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The tarsal tunnel is a canal that exists between the ligaments that spans across the foot and a portion of the ankle bone. The nerves and tendons that are inside this tunnel allow mobility and enable the foot to easily point and flex. If a specific nerve called the tibial nerve inside this canal should become compressed, typically resulting from an injury, this condition is referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome. Having flat feet is a possible reason for this condition, causing the tibial nerve to become strained. Certain health issues, such as arthritis and diabetes, may also cause the nerve to endure swelling and increased pressure. The nerve must be allowed to heal properly, and this may be accomplished by wearing a brace or supportive shoes. The discomfort that is experienced may be indicative of other foot-related conditions, so it’s advised to consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, 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.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
- Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
- The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
- If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require 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 and ankle needs.

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Monday, 19 March 2018 00:00

A Common Injury Among Tennis Players

A common ailment that many tennis players are affected by are ankle sprains. The ligaments on the outside of the foot are weaker than those on the inside and may have difficulty in protecting the ankle if it should turn inward. You may have trouble differentiating between a sprain and a break, and it often becomes necessary to have an X-ray performed. Common symptoms may include severe pain and swelling, in addition to discoloration of the skin. Resting the foot is an important first step in healing from this injury, in addition to ceasing all activities including walking. The swelling will subside when the the foot is elevated and will generally feel better. After the recovery period begins, performing certain exercises will help the ankle to become stronger, and the tennis games can resume.  One way to possibly prevent this injury is to wear proper footwear while playing tennis.  Specifically, tennis shoes are designed in a way to prevent injuries.  It would be advised to purchase a pair before partaking in the sport.  If you think you may have sprained your ankle during a game of tennis or have any questions or concerns, scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist is advised.     

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen 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.

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Scientists from Baylor College of Medicine believe iberiotoxin, a toxin from the venom of the Indian red scorpion, may be able to treat rheumatoid arthritis because of the benefits it may have. Iberiotoxin has a natural ability to block potassium channels in cells. These cells are active in RA, which may damage joints and prompt immune cells to cause inflammation. This toxin may have little or no side effect, and an added benefit may be that other channels or nerves may not be affected. Knowing all of this information, researchers then tested the toxin on rat models. The results were what they were hoping for. The substance stopped the progression of the disease and improved joint mobility. Their research later went on to be published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

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.

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