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November 2020

Monday, 30 November 2020 00:00

Foot Pain

The feet, being the foundation of the body, carry all of the body’s weight and are therefore prone to experiencing pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing foot pain, it is important to determine where in the foot you are experiencing this pain to help discover the cause of it. While pain can be experienced virtually anywhere in the foot, the most common sites of foot pain are in the heel and ankle.   

Heel pain can be due to a multitude of conditions including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and heel spurs. Pain experienced in the ankle can be a sign of an ankle sprain, arthritis, gout, ankle instability, ankle fracture, or nerve compression. In more serious cases, pain in the foot can be a sign of improper alignment or an infection.

Foot pain can be accompanied by symptoms including redness, swelling, stiffness and warmth in the affected area. Whether the pain can be described as sharp or dull depends on the foot condition behind it. It is important to visit your local podiatrist if your foot pain and its accompanying symptoms persist and do not improve over time.

Depending on the location and condition of your foot pain, your podiatrist may prescribe certain treatments. These treatments can include but are not limited to prescription or over-the-counter drugs and medications, certain therapies, cortisone injections, or surgery.

If you are experiencing persistent foot pain, it is important to consult with your foot and ankle doctor to determine the cause and location. He or she will then prescribe the best treatment for you. While milder cases of foot pain may respond well to rest and at-home treatments, more serious cases may take some time to fully recover.

Monday, 30 November 2020 00:00

What Is a Plantar Fibroma?

A plantar fibroma is a noncancerous or benign growth in the arch of the foot that slowly grows over time. It develops on the plantar fascia, the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to the toes. A fibroma appears as a small bump typically less than an inch in size, and can occur in one or both feet. Often, a plantar fibroma does not cause symptoms. However, a fibroma can cause pain and discomfort if it grows in size, and it may be especially painful if pressure is applied to the area. Some experts say genetics play a factor, but it is not clear what exactly causes plantar fibroma or why, there’s no known way to prevent its occurrence. If you suspect that you have a plantar fibroma, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist.

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

Read more about Foot Pain
Monday, 23 November 2020 00:00

Flip Flops and Your Feet

When the weather heats up, you may want to start wearing flip-flops. However, it has been proven that these are not the ideal shoes in terms of preserving the health of your feet.

Flip flops are known to expose your feet to different types of bacteria and fungal infections. When you wear your flip flops in public, you are exposing them to staphylococcus which is a skin-irritating bacterium. Athlete’s foot is also highly contagious and can be spread when you walk around nearly-barefoot.

Another harmful effect of wearing flip-flops is that they develop blisters on the feet. This is because the thin strap rubs against the skin with each step taken. Unfortunately, when blisters pop, they cause you to be more vulnerable to pathogens you pick up by having your feet exposed.

These shoes may also cause “shooting pains”. If you have flat feet, you need arch support to keep your knees, hips, and back in alignment. If you wear flat shoes, your joints are forced to compensate which can cause injuries throughout the body.

If you constantly wear flip-flops, you should avoid doing so as they can lead to many problems for your feet. If you are experiencing any of these foot issues, you should seek help from a podiatrist right away.

Monday, 23 November 2020 00:00

What Flip Flops Can Do to Your Feet

Flip flops are a popular shoe style, and many people enjoy wearing them in the warm summer months. They are constructed with flat, foam soles, and have a plastic or rubber strap that lies between the big toe and second toe. Despite the simplicity of wearing them, they could possibly cause damage to your feet. Bunions can form as a result of pulled and overstretched ligaments, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. Additionally, the majority of flip flops have little or no arch support, and this may cause conditions such as plantar fasciitis and heel spurs to arise. The possible damage that can happen to your feet from frequently wearing flip flops may outweigh the temporary ease that comes from wearing these types of shoes. If you would like more information about how flip flops can affect your feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

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 Flip Flops and Your Feet
Saturday, 21 November 2020 00:00

Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Monday, 16 November 2020 00:00

Flatfoot

Flatfoot is a foot disorder that is not as straightforward as many people believe.  Various types of flatfoot exist, each with their own varying deformities and symptoms.  The partial or total collapse of the arch, however, is a characteristic common to all types of flatfoot.  Other signs of flatfoot include:

  • “Toe drift,” or the pointing outward of the toes and the front part of the foot
  • The tilting outward of the heel and the tilting inward of the ankle
  • The lifting of the heel off the ground earlier when walking due to a tight Achilles tendon
  • Hammertoes
  • Bunions

One of the most common types of flatfoot is flexible flatfoot.  This variation usually starts in childhood and progresses as one ages into adulthood.  Flexible flatfoot presents as a foot that is flat when standing, or weight-bearing.  When not standing, the arch returns.  Symptoms of flexible flatfoot include:

  • Pain located in the heel, arch, ankle, or along the outside of the foot
  • Overpronation, or an ankle that rolls in
  • Shin splint, or pain along the shin bone
  • General foot aches or fatigue
  • Pain located in the lower back, hip, or knee

Your podiatrist will most likely diagnose flatfoot by examining your feet when you stand and sit.  X-rays may be taken to define the severity and help determine the treatment option best for your condition.  Nonsurgical treatments can include activity modification, weight loss, orthotics, immobilization, medications, physical therapy, shoe modifications, and ankle foot orthoses (AFO) devices.  If nonsurgical methods prove ineffective, surgery may be considered.  Multiple surgical procedures can correct flatfoot; and depending on your specific condition, one may be selected alone or combined with other techniques to ensure optimal results.

Monday, 16 November 2020 00:00

Athletes and Flat Feet

The medical condition that is known as flat feet is noticeable while standing on the floor, and is generally caused by genetic factors. Some people can live with flat feet and have no issues or pain arise, but many athletes affected by this ailment can result in serious injury if not prepared for. The arch acts similar to shock absorbers, and can help in pushing off when walking and running. Patients who are afflicted with flat feet may feel pain and discomfort while participating in sporting activities, which may be caused by loose tendons. Additionally, these patients may have difficulty standing for extended periods of time, and may experience pain in other areas of the body, including the feet, knees, hips, and lower back. If you have flat feet, please consult with a podiatrist who can determine the right treatment for you.

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 Flatfoot
Monday, 09 November 2020 00:00

Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body; it is a tough band of fibrous tissue that stretches from the bones of the heel to the calf muscles. This tendon is what allows us to stand on our toes while running, walking, or jumping, it is common for this tendon to become injured. In severe cases, the Achilles tendon may become partially torn or completely ruptured. However, this tendon is susceptible to injury because of its limited blood supply and the high tensions it endures.

The people who are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries are athletes who partake in activities that require them to speed up, slow down, or pivot. Consequently, athletes who engage in running, gymnastics, dance, football, baseball, basketball, or tennis are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries. Additionally, there are other factors that may make you more prone to this injury. People who wear high heels, have flat feet, have tight leg muscles or tendons, or take medicines called glucocorticoids are more likely to have Achilles tendon injuries.

A common symptom of an Achilles tendon injury is pain above the heel that is felt when you stand on your toes. However, if the tendon is ruptured, the pain will be severe, and the area may become swollen and stiff. Other symptoms may be reduced strength in the lower ankle or leg area, and reduced range of motion in the ankle. When the Achilles tendon tears, there is usually a popping sound that occurs along with it. People who have acute tears or ruptures may find walking and standing to be difficult.

If you suspect you have injured your Achilles tendon, you should see your podiatrist to have a physical examination. Your podiatrist will likely conduct a series of tests to diagnose your injury including a “calf-squeeze” test. Calf squeeze tests are performed by first squeezing the calf muscle on the healthy leg. This will pull on the tendon and consequently cause the foot to move. Afterward, the same test will be performed on the injured leg. If the tendon is torn, the foot won’t move because the calf muscle won’t be connected to the foot.

Monday, 09 November 2020 00:00

What Can Cause an Achilles Tendon Injury?

Patients who have experienced an Achilles tendon injury are often aware of the severe pain and discomfort this can cause. It can occur from repetitive irritation, or from a sudden injury. Additionally, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or having an abnormal foot structure may contribute to the onset of this type of injury. The symptoms that are often associated with this condition can consist of extreme tenderness in the heel, calf, and ankle, and it can be difficult to walk. It is beneficial to consult with a podiatrist if you have endured an Achilles tendon injury. A podiatrist can guide you toward the right treatments 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, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
Monday, 02 November 2020 00:00

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains occur when ligaments that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear. These types of injuries are very common and can occur in people of all ages. Sprains may range from mild to severe, depending on how much damage is done to the ligaments. If a sprain goes untreated, a more severe sprain may occur which can further damage the ankle. Repeated ankle sprains can lead to chronic ankle pain.

There are some risk factors that can increase your risk of suffering a sprained ankle. Those who participate in sports, walk on uneven surfaces, have a prior ankle injury, are in poor physical condition, or wear improper shoes are more likely to get a sprained ankle.

There are a few symptoms to look out for if you suspect you are suffering from a sprained ankle. Some common symptoms are swelling, bruising, tenderness, and instability of the ankle. In cases where the tearing of the ligaments is severe, there may be a “popping” sound when the strain occurs.

The RICE method is proven to be effective in treating ankle sprains. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Rest is important for treatment especially within the first 24 to 48 hours. You should also ice your sprained ankle for the first 48 hours for 20 minutes at a time. A small piece of cloth should be placed between the ice and the affected area. For the compression step, you should wear a brace that is snug, but not too tight that it cuts off circulation. When choosing a brace, be sure to choose one that is suitable for the type of ankle sprain you have. Lastly, you should elevate your foot above the heart as often as possible.

After you treat a sprain, you should go through rehabilitation to prevent the injury from occurring again. There are three phases to the rehab process. The first phase involves resting, protecting and reducing the swelling of the injury. The second phase consists of restoring the ankles flexibility, range of motion, and strength. The third phase consists of slowly returning to activity and maintenance exercises.

If you suspect you have an ankle sprain, you shouldn’t hesitate to consult with your podiatrist. Your podiatrist will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and a suitable treatment option for your condition.

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