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Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

What Is Hammertoe?

If your middle toe is bent in a downward position, you may have a condition that is known as hammertoe. The shape of the toe may resemble a hammer, and wearing shoes may be uncomfortable. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition include corns or calluses that form on top of the toe and pain that is felt when the toe is straightened. Hammertoe may develop as a result of wearing shoes that do not have adequate room in the toe area, causing the toes to be in a cramped position for the majority of the day. Medical conditions such as arthritis or diabetes may be responsible for the formation of hammertoes, in addition to genetic factors. If you believe that you have a hammertoe, schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this condition.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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If you notice an uncomfortable rash on your foot, you may have a condition that is known as athlete’s foot. Symptoms of this ailment include a burning sensation between the toes or on the soles of the feet, in addition to dry and flaky skin. In severe cases, blisters can form. It is known to be contagious, and it is important to take precautions, which can help to prevent this condition. These include wearing appropriate shoes while in public pools, shower room floors, and surrounding areas. Additionally, it is helpful to alternate shoes that are frequently worn, and ensuring clean tools are used while pedicures are performed. It is beneficial to wear cotton socks, which is advantageous in absorbing any moisture the feet produces. If you notice you have this condition, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment options.

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 Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists.  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 our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Plantar Fasciitis refers to inflammation on the plantar fascia ligament, this ligament connects the heel to the toes. Overuse and strain can cause this condition, which affects the under arch of the foot and causes pain. This inflammation can also cause tension in surrounding muscles, and this can lead to the pain expanding into the calf. Stretches are beneficial in reducing tension, and therefore help to reduce overall pain. Towel curls can be performed by curling a towel with your toes. This stretch is done by placing a towel on the floor then while sitting, place your feet flat on the towel. By grasping the towel with your toes and curling inward you are stretching out the right parts of your foot. Foot flexes are also effective and are performed by sitting on the floor with your legs straight, then after wrapping an elastic band around your feet, begin to point your toes away from your body. If you believe you have plantar fasciitis, then it is highly recommended you speak to a podiatrist to learn about treatment options.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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

 

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Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Preventing Falls at Home

Falling is something that becomes scarier and riskier as we age. Falls can easily lead to larger complications that affect one’s everyday life. Precautions should be taken to help prevent falls and give someone who fears falling more confidence in themselves. Physical activity is important in reducing the risk of falling by improving balance, flexibility, muscle strength and gait. Gentle exercises are recommended, but if you don’t feel safe exercising alone, then monitored exercise programs could be helpful. Sturdy shoes that fit correctly are also necessary, so avoid heels, loose slippers, and shoes with slick soles. Also make sure that your space is brightly lit and that there are no hazards laying around. Examples of hazards are boxes, electrical cords, loose rugs, and anything that is in the way in a high traffic area. If you would like to learn more about preventing falls, then it is suggested you speak with a podiatrist.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00

Is Laser Treatment Effective?

The type of fungus that may affect the toenails is known as a dermatophyte. It may first attack the outer layers of the skin and may gradually affect the nail bed. There may be topical treatments available, in addition to laser procedures. The latter may be performed by warming the nail bed, which may be a poor environment for the fungus to thrive. Research has shown this technique may not be as effective as topical treatments and may be more costly to implement. If you have toenail fungus and would like additional information about the pros and cons of laser treatment, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with one of our podiatrists from Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.

What are Toenail Fungal Infections?

Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:

  • Nail thickening
  • Brittleness of the nail
  • Discoloration of the nail

Diagnosis for Fungal Nails

Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.

What is Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.

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

Read more about Laser Treatment for Fungal Nails

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