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North Andover (978) 686-7623
Tewksbury (978) 640-1010

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Wednesday, 26 December 2018 00:00

Bunions May Be a Bone Deformity

The noticeable symptom of a bunion is a large and hardened bump that forms at the base of the big toe, and many patients consider this to be a bone disorder, which may gradually worsen. The bones in the feet and toes may become affected as a result of this deformity, and it may cause the feet to line up incorrectly. This bump that typically develops on the side of the big toe may push that toe into the toe next to it, which may cause difficulty in wearing shoes and walking. Some patients may feel partial relief when larger size shoes are worn, and this may aid in relieving any pressure that is felt on the toe. Research has shown there may be medical conditions that may precede the formation of a bunion, which may include rheumatoid arthritis, or inherited genes that may lead to low arches. Additional reasons why bunions may form may originate from frequently wearing high heels, which may provide inadequate room for the toes to move freely in. If you are afflicted with a bunion, it is recommended to speak with a podiatrist who can properly guide you to begin correct treatment techniques.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 00:00

What Are Bunions?

Bunions are large bony bumps at the base of the big toe. Medically known as hallux valgus, a bunion is a misalignment of the metatarsophalangeal joint, or big toe joint. The misalignment will generally worsen with time if left untreated.

The exact cause of bunions is unknown, with genetics seen as a potential cause. High heels and poorly-fitted footwear, rheumatoid arthritis, and heredity all seem to be potential factors behind the exacerbation of bunions. Women have been found to be more likely to develop bunions in comparison to men.

Bunions do not always produce symptoms. The best way to tell is if the big toe is pushing up against the next toe and there is a large protrusion at the base of the big toe. You may or may not feel pain. Redness, swelling, and restricted movement of the big toe may be present as well.

Podiatrists use a variety of methods to diagnose bunions. If there are symptoms present, podiatrists will first consider that it is a bunion. If not, a physical examination will be conducted to check function of the big toe. Finally, an X-ray may be taken to view the extent of the bunion and confirm it is a bunion.

Typically, nonsurgical methods are used to treat bunions, unless the bunion has become too misaligned. Orthotics, icing and resting the foot, roomier and better fitted shoes, taping the foot, and pain medication are usually utilized first. If the bunion doesn’t go away or causes extreme pain, surgery may be required. Surgeons will either remove part of the swollen tissue or bone to straighten the toe out.

If you have a bunion, it is recommended to see a podiatrist. The longer it is left untreated, the worse it may get. Podiatrists can properly diagnose and treat a bunion before it gets worse.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018 00:00

Do your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately?

Monday, 17 December 2018 00:00

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

There is a portion of tissue that is located on the bottom of the foot, which is referred to as the plantar fascia, and its primary function is to connect the heel bone to the toes. If this should become inflamed, which may occur gradually or from an injury, a condition that is known as plantar fasciitis may develop. This may produce severe pain and discomfort and is often felt in the front of the heel and in the back of the arch. When this band of tissue is not inflamed, it provides the body with strength and support, in addition to overall balance. Many athletes may experience this condition if the heel endures excess pressure, and this can occur while frequently participating in activities that include running and jumping. Research has shown there are patients who may be inclined to develop plantar fasciitis, which may include people who are obese, stand for most of the day, or have a specific foot structure such as flat feet or high arches. If you feel you may have this condition, it is advised to confer with a podiatrist to determine the best treatment. 

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 17 December 2018 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a connective tissue in the heel that stretches across the bottom length of your foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the connective tissue becomes inflamed, causing heel pain and discomfort during physical activity. Although the condition is completely treatable, traditional methods can take up to a year to start becoming effective.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by a number of everyday activities, so understanding the condition is important for managing and treating it. One of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis is excessive running, especially with improper fitting or non-supportive shoes. Too much exercise can lead to the plantar fascia being overworked and overstretched, which can cause tears in the tissue. Along with improper fitting shoes, pronation, the rolling of the feet inward, is a common cause of plantar fasciitis. If not treated properly, the plantar fascia becomes overstretched and starts to tear, causing inflammation.

Despite the common causes of plantar fasciitis, there are many different treatment options. For less severe cases, conservative home remedies include taking anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain, applying ice packs to the bottom of your foot and heel, slowly stretching and exercising your feet to re-strengthen the tissue, and using orthotic devices are all ways to help manage your plantar fasciitis.

For more severe cases, shockwave therapy has become a common solution for plantar fasciitis. Shockwave therapy can effectively break up the tissue on the bottom of your foot which facilitates healing and regeneration. This fights the chronic pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Even if this doesn’t work, surgery is always a final option. Surgery on the tissue itself can be done to permanently correct the issue and stop the inflammation and pain in your heels.

No matter what the case may be, consulting your podiatrist is the first and best step to recovery. Even the slightest amount of heel pain could be the first stage of plantar fasciitis. Untreated symptoms can lead to the tearing and overstretching of tissue. Because the tearing of tissue can be compounded if it remains ignored, it can evolve into a severe case. The solution is early detection and early treatment. Talk to your podiatrist about the possibilities of plantar fasciitis if you’re experiencing heel pain.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00

Before you start dancing...

 

Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

Simple Steps to Implement Proper Foot Care

The importance of implementing daily foot care may be crucial to the overall health of the body. It may be easy to overlook the simple care the feet desire when poorly fitting shoes are worn, in addition to the feet possibly being enveloped in tight and sweaty socks for most of the day. The feet endure the weight from the entire body and may become injured as a result of the impact from daily walking. Research has shown the feet will generally feel better when they are washed and dried daily, followed by utilizing a good moisturizer, especially in the winter months. Shoes that are chosen should feel comfortable when they are initially tried on and shoes that do not have adequate arch support should be avoided. Additionally, there are conditions that may affect your feet, including diabetes, pregnancy, and the aging process and it is beneficial to consult with a podiatrist to discuss the changes in foot structure that may occur.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

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

Read more about Every Day Foot Care
Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

Every Day Foot Care

Our feet are important in our everyday lives. The problem is that we tend to neglect them. When this becomes a habit, it can cause significant trouble. Ignoring foot problems can mean pain, limited mobility, and expensive doctor's visits. On the other hand, if feet are cared for and looked after regularly, they will perform without pain or complication.

Routine hygiene is the most basic way to care for the feet. Wash and dry them thoroughly daily. Remember to get between the toes and keep the toenails trimmed and short. If the feet feel dry or there are signs of dryness or cracking, use a moisturizer designed for the feet.

When using moisturizer on the feet, try to avoid applying between the toes. If cream or lotion sits too long, they can cause fungal and bacterial growth. When moisturizer is used between the toes, it can also cause the skin to soften too much.

Shoes are also an important aspect of foot care. When one is picking out shoes, make sure they are the correct size. Shoes need to be snug, but not too tight. On the other hand, if shoes are too loose they can cause foot problems as well. It is highly recommended that shopping for new shoes be done later in the day. The reason for this is that the feet will have settled and swelled to their full size by then. To keep your feet at their most healthy, avoid wearing high heels or flip flops too often. Instead, choose shoes that are good for your feet. Good shoes pad the soles of your feet and support the arches and ankles.

Socks should also be worn daily with closed-toe shoes. They may feel hot during the summer months, but they absorb sweat and moisture off the feet. Without socks, the build-up of sweat in a closed-toe shoe can cause fungal problems and athlete's foot.

The best thing to remember in every day foot care is that shoes do make a difference. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, make sure that your shoes show no signs of wear. Shoes should offer ample support for the arches and the overall foot. Additionally, try to make foot cleaning and maintenance a daily habit. If you keep these things in mind, your feet will stay healthy and safe.

Monday, 03 December 2018 00:00

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are growths that typically appear on the heels or other weight-bearing areas of the feet. These warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus enters the body through breaks in the skin, such as cuts, that are on the bottom of the feet. Plantar warts are more likely to affect children and teenagers, people with weakened immune systems, people who have a history with plantar warts, and people who walk barefoot in environments exposed to a wart-causing virus.

If you suspect you have plantar warts, you may have the following symptoms: pain or tenderness while walking, a lesion that interrupts the ridges in the skin of your foot, small fleshy lesions on the bottom of the foot, or a callus where a wart has grown inward over a well-defined spot on the skin.

HPV causes plantar warts to form and is very common. There are more than 100 kinds of the virus in existence. However, only a few of them cause warts on the feet. The other types of HPV are likely to cause warts on other parts of the body.

If you have plantar warts, your podiatrist may try different treatment methods depending on your specific case. Some treatments for plantar warts are peeling medicines (salicylic acid), freezing medicines (cryotherapy), or surgical procedures. Laser treatments and vaccines are also used to treat plantar warts.

Monday, 03 December 2018 00:00

Are Plantar Warts Contagious?

A painful and uncomfortable condition that is known as plantar warts will typically affect the heel of the foot. It appears as a small, thickened area with tiny black dots in the center, and may generally cause severe pain while walking. Most warts extend outward from the skin, but this wart grows inward as a result of the pressure the heel endures from walking for most of the day. Plantar warts are known to be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and is extremely contagious. This type of virus thrives in warm and moist places, often including pools, locker rooms, and surrounding areas. Research has shown that it may enter the body through tiny cracks in the skin of the heel area. Measures can be implemented that may prevent this virus from attacking the body, which may include wearing appropriate shoes in public shower areas, and avoid sharing towels, shoes, or socks. If you feel you have developed this ailment, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist to discuss proper treatment options.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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

Read more about Plantar Warts
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