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Brunswick (207) 725-4008
Damariscotta (207) 563-3233

April 2022

Tuesday, 26 April 2022 00:00

Flat Feet

Flatfoot is a foot condition in which the arch of the foot has either partially or totally dropped or has never developed. While it is common in babies and small children, it can become a problem for them in adulthood if the arch never forms. For adults, the development of flat feet can be brought upon by injury, as a result of pregnancy due to increased elasticity, or obesity. Those who have health concerns such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes may also be at greater risk for developing the condition.

If you suspect that you have flat feet, it is best to consult your podiatrist. Your foot doctor will examine the suspected foot and observe how it looks while you sit and stand. He or she may take an X-ray to determine how serious the condition is. Some common signs of flatfoot include toe drift, in which the toes and front part of the foot point outward, a short Achilles tendon, and a heel that tilts outwardly while the ankle tilts inward.

Once flatfoot has been diagnosed, your podiatrist may suggest one of several treatment options. Flat feet can be rigid, in which the feet appear to have no arch even when the person is not standing; or flexible, in which the person appears to have an arch while not standing, but once standing the arch disappears. Those with flexible flatfoot may be told to reduce any activities that cause pain and to avoid extended periods of walking or standing. Another suggestion may be weight loss, as excessive weight may be placing pressure on the arches

In few cases, if the condition is severe and all other methods have been exhausted surgery may be required. This is normally avoided, however, due to a lengthy recovery time and high cost.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022 00:00

Do I Have Flat Feet?

The medical term for fallen arches or flat feet is known as pes planus. It is noticeable when the foot lies flat on the floor, and the arch is absent. Some patients do not have symptoms, or may experience mild pain or achiness in different parts of the leg. Most people are born with flat feet, and the arch generally forms in the teenage years. This condition may develop from genetic reasons, obesity, or possibly from a foot injury. Additionally, a dysfunction of one or more of the muscles in the foot may lead to flat feet. It is beneficial for patients who have flat feet to wear shoes that are supportive, and this may help to prevent future injuries. People who have flat feet are advised to consult with a podiatrist who can offer custom-made orthotics for relief.

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

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Wednesday, 20 April 2022 00:00

Ankle Pain

The ankle joint is the point at which the bones of the leg and foot join. This joint is crucial because it is responsible for the foot’s mobility. Ankle pain is typically the result of inflammation from an injury to bones, joint space, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, or muscles in the area. Commonly associated symptoms with ankle pain are bruising, redness, numbness, stiffness, weakness, and tingling.

The most common causes of ankle pain are sprains and injuries. Ankle sprains are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries. Sprains occur when the ligaments of the ankle become partially or completely torn due to sudden stretching. Sprains can occur on either the inner or outer sides of the ankle joint. Usually, these injuries occur when the ankle is twisted in an activity by stepping off an uneven surface. More specific causes include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, and Achilles tendonitis.

If you are experiencing ankle pain, you should consult with your podiatrist to choose the best method of care for you. Your doctor will conduct an examination of your ankle to determine the underlying cause of the pain.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022 00:00

Why Your Ankle May Hurt Without an Injury

 

Ankle pain that is sudden, and not due to an injury, may be caused by any number of causes, including certain arthritic conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can sometimes negatively affect the tissue and cartilage (respectively) in ankles, causing pain and swelling. Similar symptoms can be present when reactive arthritis affects the ankle. This is a condition which is triggered by a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body. Gout is another type of arthritis in which excessive amounts of uric acid crystalize on joints. Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can also affect the ankle. Another disease that sometimes affects the ankle joint causing stiffness, pain and swelling is scleroderma. Bursitis is a condition in which the cushioning bursa sac at the back of the ankle becomes inflamed from stress or overuse and produces pain and inflammation. If you rupture or tear the tendon that connects your calf muscle with your heel (Achilles tendon), you can develop a condition known as Achilles tendonitis. These are just a few of the conditions that may cause ankle pain without injury. Whatever the cause, it is important to have your ankle pain properly diagnosed in order to receive the proper treatment. Call a podiatrist if you are experiencing any pain in your ankle. 


 

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

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

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

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

Symptoms

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

Diagnosis

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

Treatment

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

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

 

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Saturday, 16 April 2022 00:00

Are You Suffering From Nerve Damage?

Neuropathy is a condition that can lead to numbness or loss of sensation in the feet, but it can also cause pain. This condition is more likely to develop for those who are diabetic, obese, or with high blood pressure.

Running may seem like a simple to do. However, running is actually a complex movement that puts stress on the ligaments, bones, and joints of the body.  Selecting the correct running shoe is important for increasing performance and avoiding risk of injury.  Running shoes should be selected based on your foot type.  Considerations such as trail versus road shoes are important. Your foot type dictates the degree of cushioning, stability and motion control you require.  The most accurate way to learn your foot type is to visit a local shop that specializes in running shoes.  Professionals can measure your arch type, stride and gait and help you with your shoe needs.

The design of running shoes is created around the idea of pronation.  Pronation is the natural rolling movement of your ankle from the outside to inside when your foot strikes the ground.  If you run properly you strike the ground on the outside of your heel and roll in the direction of your big toe before pushing off once more.  Pronation is beneficial because it assists the lower half of your body in absorbing shock and storing energy.  Those considered neutral runners pronate correctly and do not need running shoes that help correct their form.  Neutral runners can choose from a wide variety of shoes, including barefoot or minimal types.  However, those who have arch problems or who adopt an incorrect form while running may experience too much or too little pronation. They may require running shoes that offer additional support.

Those who overpronate experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling.  Even while standing, those who severely overpronate display ankles that are angled inward.  It is not uncommon for them to have flat feet or curved legs.  The tendency to overpronate may cause many injuries.  Areas that tend to become injured are the knees, ankles, and Achilles tendon.  If you find that you have a tendency to overpronate, you should look at shoes that provide extra stability and motion-control.  Motion-control shoes are straight and firm. Shoes of this type do not curve at the tip.  The restricted flexibility along the middle of the shoe prohibits the foot from rolling too far inward as your foot strikes the ground.

A less common problem is underpronation.  Underpronation, also called supination, is when the feet are unable to roll inward during landing.  Those who underpronate have feet that lack flexibility and high arches.  This prevents any kind of shock absorption, even though it does place less rotational stress on ankles and knees.  This added force can cause fractures, ligament tears, and muscle strains because the legs are trying to compensate for the impact.  Those who underpronate need shoes with more cushioning and flexibility.  If you have a tendency to underpronate, selecting stability or motion-control shoes may cause you more problems by continuing to prevent pronation.

Finding the correct running shoes for you, and your style of running is important because they provide a foundation for your body. The right shoes will fit well from the start, and should not have to be broken in. Most runners find it helpful to be aware of what type of surface they plan to run on. The choices are generally gravel paths or trails, and there are running shoes that are made for both types. Research has shown that the majority of running shoes will last between four to five hundred miles, which equates to three to four months for regular runners. Shoes that are made to run on roads or pavements are made of light and flexible materials, and have smoother soles. Cleats are found on shoes that are made for trails, which can provide a better grip. If you are a runner, or are considering running as a hobby, please check with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have about how to choose the pair of running shoes for you.

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 and Damariscotta, 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
Tuesday, 05 April 2022 00:00

How to Deal with Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. It is caused when the tinea fungus grows on the foot. It is possible to catch the fungus through direct contact with someone who has it or by touching a surface that is contaminated with it. This type of fungus thrives in warm, moist environments such as showers, locker room floors, and swimming pools. Your risk of getting it may also increase by wearing tight-fitting, closed-toe shoes, or by having sweaty feet.

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include itching, stinging or burning sensations between the toes. You may also experience toenails that are discolored, thick, crumbly, or toenails that pull away from the nail bed.

Your podiatrist may diagnose athlete’s foot by detecting these symptoms or by doing a skin test to see if there is a fungal infection present. The most common exam used to detect Athlete’s foot is a skin lesion potassium hydroxide exam. To use this method, your doctor will scrape off a small area of the infected skin and place it into potassium hydroxide. The potassium hydroxide will destroy the normal cells and leave the fungal cells untouched so that they are visible under a microscope.

There are a variety of treatment options for athlete’s foot. Some medications are miconazole (Desenex), terbinafine (Lamisil AT), clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF), butenafine (Lotrimin Ultra), and tolnaftate (Tinactin). While these options may be able to treat your fungus, it is best that you consult with a podiatrist in order to see which treatment option may work best for you.

In some cases, Athlete’s foot may lead to complications. A severe complication would be a secondary bacterial infection which may cause your foot to become swollen, painful, and hot.

There are ways that you can prevent athlete’s foot. Washing your feet with soap and water each day and drying them thoroughly is an effective way to prevent infections. You also shouldn’t share socks, shoes, or towels with other people. It is crucial that you wear shower sandals in public showers, around swimming pools, and in other public places. Additionally, you should make sure you wear shoes that can breathe and change your socks when your feet become sweaty. If you suspect that you have Athlete’s foot, you should seek help from a podiatrist as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 05 April 2022 00:00

Facts About Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is an itchy, scaly, red rash that can burn and sting. It is an infection caused by the same fungus that is responsible for jock itch and ringworm. In the case of athlete’s foot, however, the fungus attacks the skin of the feet and typically starts between the toes. Environments that are moist, warm, and dark are perfect breeding grounds for athlete’s foot. People should protect themselves from this virus by wearing flip-flops in locker rooms, communal showers, and public swimming areas. Also, sharing shoes, socks, towels, or personal grooming tools should be avoided as athlete’s foot can also spread through direct contact with an infected person. Athlete’s foot should be treated as early as possible to prevent the infection from spreading and worsening. Contact your podiatrist if you believe you have contracted athlete’s foot.

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

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

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

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

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

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

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

Read more about How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
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