Find out how to get your heel pain under control.
It’s amazing how quickly heel pain can affect your daily activities. Maybe you were all set to put on those running shoes to enjoy the great weather or you thought you could easily leave the car at home and get some errands done on foot. Of course, if heel pain is happening to you the first thing you want to do is get to the bottom of this issue as soon as possible. Our Alexandria and Sterling, VA, podiatrists, Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin, are here to tell you more about heel pain.
What is causing my heel pain?
There are many reasons why you might be dealing with heel pain, which is why you should turn to a foot doctor in Alexandria and Sterling if you are dealing with heel pain that doesn’t go away or is severe. While the most common cause of heel pain is an inflammatory issue called plantar fasciitis, there are other reasons someone might be dealing with heel pain. Other causes of heel pain include:
- Achilles tendonitis
- A ruptured Achilles tendon
- Heel spur
- Bone tumor
How can I treat my heel pain?
Unless the pain is severe, you have diabetes or a compromised immune system, or the pain doesn’t respond to rest and at-home care, you can easily manage your symptoms on your own. If we’ve told you that your heel pain is due to plantar fasciitis here are some common ways to manage your symptoms:
Ice: Don’t ignore the power of icing your heel. Whenever you are resting your feet it’s a good idea to place an ice pack on the heel (just make sure to wrap a washcloth around the ice pack before placing it onto your foot to prevent burns). You can also freeze a bottle of water and roll it along the arches of socked feet (which are often stiff and sore if you have plantar fasciitis). Ice the heel for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day.
Stretching: It’s important to keep the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the feet feeling limber and flexible. Stretching your feet every day can also help alleviate stiffness and discomfort while also training, rehabbing, and strengthening the soft tissue of the foot to maintain their normal and healthy range of motion.
Footwear: The shoes you wear can support your foot structure or it can negatively impact it. Your feet take on a lot of shock absorption every time you move, so you need the right shoes for the job. With plantar fasciitis, it’s even more important that you have shoes that provide enough support and cushioning for the heels and the arches. Don’t wear shoes that are old and worn out. For cases that don't respond to simple treatments, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT) may be needed.
If you are looking for foot and ankle specialists in Sterling and Alexandria, VA, to provide quality and comprehensive foot care to you or a family member, then you’ve come to the right place. Turn to the experts at Alexandria Family Podiatry today for the care you need.
Dealing with ingrown toenails rather regularly? Find out what’s going on.
You were putting your shoes on when ouch! You noticed that the edge of your big toenail is a bit sore and perhaps even a little swollen and red. You could be dealing with an ingrown toenail. If you find yourself dealing with this issue rather regularly then it may have you wondering what could be going on. Our Alexandria and Sterling, VA, podiatrists Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin are here to tell you more.
What is an ingrown toenail?
An ingrown toenail is when the edge or corner of the toenail grows into the skin. While this can happen to any toenail it most commonly occurs in the big toe. Just looking at the toenail you should be able to see if the corner of the nail is sticking into the skin. Redness, swelling, and discomfort may also result. If there is drainage around the nail or if the skin is warm to the touch, these are signs of infection and you should call our Alexandria and Sterling foot doctors immediately.
What causes an ingrown toenail?
There are many habits that could play into your likelihood of developing an ingrown toenail. Common causes include:
- Damage or trauma to the nail (this is common if you play sports)
- Persistent or severe fungal infections of the toenail (it causes the nail to thicken)
- Improper nail trimming techniques
- Poorly fitted or tight-fitted shoes
You might be wondering how someone could trim toenails incorrectly; after all, it seems a rather easy habit. However, if you trim your toenails too short or if you trim the nails so they are curved then you are increasing your risk for an ingrown toenail. Trim nails straight across and make sure not to cut them too short.
Also, if you are someone who wears high heels a lot, or wears shoes that bunch up your toes and put pressure on them then you may also find yourself dealing with this issue more often. Make sure you are only wearing shoes that have a wide toe box and that don’t put pressure on areas of your feet.
Alexandria Family Podiatry in Sterling and Alexandria, VA, is here to provide your feet with the care they need to look and feel their best. No matter whether you are dealing with ingrown toenails, bunions, or heel pain, our expert team is here for you.
Dealing with a fungal infection in your toenail? Find out how to treat it.
While toenail fungus isn’t really a cause for concern if you are in good health, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore this problem if it happens. In fact, it’s important that you treat the problem as soon as you catch it to prevent it from spreading. Wondering how to treat this fungal infection? Our Sterling and Alexandria, VA podiatrists Dr. Richard Lee and Steven Lin have the answers you want.
There are several ways to treat a toenail fungus. How you treat it will really depend on the severity of the infection and the type of fungus present. Because of this, it’s a good idea to turn to our Sterling and Alexandria foot doctors to determine the best course of action. Here are some of the most common treatment options:
- Over-the-counter topical antifungal medications
- A prescription-strength oral antifungal medication
- Laser fungal treatment
Some people may find over-the-counter topical remedies effective but by and large they aren’t always the most effective. This is because the cream or gel isn’t able to penetrate through the hard enamel layers, which means that it won’t always be able to destroy all of the fungus present. While it might work for some people it’s won’t work well for everyone.
One of the first treatment options that many podiatrists offer is oral antifungal medication because it’s a great way to quickly kill the infection and it definitely offers a better success rate than antifungal creams. While you won’t notice an immediate difference you will notice that as the nail grows out that it grows in clear. Over time the nail will completely grow out healthy and without a trace of infection.
Sometimes a medicated nail polish is also recommended to help kill the infection around certain parts of the nail and skin. This may be prescribed in conjunction with oral medication. This nail polish will be applied and left on the nail for up to a week or more before being removed and reapplied. You may need to apply this medicated polish on the affected toenail for up to one year.
If you are dealing with a more stubborn or severe case of toenail fungus that doesn’t respond to other treatment options then we may advise you to consider laser therapy. During this treatment, the laser will safely and painlessly penetrate the nail to heat up and destroy the fungus living underneath. Again, you won’t notice a clear nail right away but after this treatment, you will see the nail growing out clear over the course of several months.
If you find yourself dealing with persistent or severe fungal infections then it’s time to turn to the experts who can give you the treatment you need. Call Alexandria Family Podiatry in Sterling and Alexandria, VA, today to schedule an appointment with us.
What is that bony protrusion at the bottom of your big toe and is it a cause for concern?
It’s important that if you think you have a bunion that you seek care from our Alexandria and Sterling, VA, podiatrists, Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin, right away. “Why?” you might ask. Even though this bony deformity is fairly common it’s also progressive, meaning that it will continue to get worse and cause more problems for the sufferer if it isn’t cared for properly. Find out more about bunions and how to manage your symptoms when they arise.
Do you have bunions?
Take a look at your feet for a moment. Look more closely at your big toe, or more specifically, at the base of your big toe. If the joint at the very base of your large toe juts out further than it should or if your big toe is leaning inward toward your other toes then you may just be dealing with a bunion.
What are the symptoms of a bunion?
In a lot of situations, particularly in the very beginning stages, people don’t even know that they have a bunion. While you might be able to see it, you may not experience any pain, swelling or other issues. If you aren’t experiencing any problems and you are taking proper care of your feet then you may not even need to treat your bunion.
What if I’m dealing with pain or discomfort due to my bunion?
Of course, not everyone with bunions is symptom-less. If you are suffering from discomfort then our Alexandria and Sterling foot doctors are here to tell you what you can do to make sure that your bunion doesn’t get worse:
Wear proper footwear, particularly for your activity level. If you are an athlete make sure that you have athletic footwear that provides ample support and cushioning as well as shock absorption. Footwear should also give your toes enough room and should never put pressure on your bunion.
If your shoes aren’t giving you the sufficient amount of comfort you are looking for then talk to us about making prescription orthotics. These custom shoe inserts can be placed inside your shoes to make sure that there isn’t too much pressure being placed on your bunion. This can also offer comfort for those who walk or stand the majority of the day for work.
If you are ever having trouble treating your bunion symptoms on your own you know you can always turn to our Sterling and Alexandria, VA, foot specialists for the care you need to get back on your feet. Don’t let your bunion dictate your lifestyle. Call Alexandria Family Podiatry today.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body and can withstand over 1,000 pounds of force. Because of this, it is the most frequently ruptured tendon with sports injuries. Achilles tendonitis is a common overuse injury that involves the inflammation of this tendon. Sterling and Alexandria, VA, podiatrists Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin are well versed in treating these types of tendon problems.
About Achilles Tendonitis
Some instances that may cause Achilles tendonitis include stair climbing, overuse of the calf muscles, rapidly increasing speed when exercising, starting up too quickly without proper stretching, trauma caused by hard or sudden contractions of the calf muscles, trauma caused by calf muscles putting extra effort or improper footwear.
Some symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis that a Sterling, Virginia podiatrist can treat include:
- Morning tenderness where the Achilles tendon meets the heel bone
- Sluggishness in the leg
- Mild/severe swelling
- Recurring localized pain along the tendon
- Stiffness that diminishes after warming up
Treatment methods for Achilles Tendinitis include a variety of approaches. A bandage can be designed to restrict motion of the tendon leading to healing. Anti-inflammatory medication also may be helpful with this injury. Custom orthotics also help as they relieve stress on the tendon and support the muscle. Stretching and exercises to strengthen this weak muscle also has been proven to help heal Achilles patients.
Generally, most cases of Achilles Tendinitis can be treated with at-home simple methods under the supervision of your podiatrist. Self-care strategies are necessary to reduce the risk of recurring episodes. More serious case may lead to rupture leading to the need for surgery. Sterling and Alexandria, VA, podiatrists Dr. Richard Lee and Dr. Steven Lin can examine each patient and determine what treatment will work best for each situation. To schedule an appointment to discuss treatment for your Achilles Tendinitis, call 703-823-2357 today.
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