Posts for category: Foot Care
Are you dealing with heel pain? It could be plantar fasciitis.
Do you have heel pain that radiates from the bottom of the heel to the arches? Do you have significant, sharp heel pain when first arising in the morning? If you said yes then your heel pain could be due to an overuse injury known as plantar fasciitis, which causes inflammation in the thick bundle of tissue that runs from the toes to the heels. From our Boston area podiatrists at New England PodiatryAssociates in Chestnut Hill, Newton-Wellesley Hospital and serving patients in the entire Boston metro area, find out what you can do to treat plantar fasciitis-related heel pain.
What is plantar fasciitis?
This condition is one that affects a thick, fibrous band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. This tissue serves to support the arch of the foot and it connects the toes with the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis can be acute or chronic. Acute forms often come about suddenly and can be triggered by an injury or by an intense workout. Chronic forms, on the other hand, often develop over time as a result of overuse.
What are the telltale symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
The most obvious symptom of this condition is pain at the bottom of the heel, which may extend to the arches of the foot. While the pain may be mild, you may notice more severe pain when walking around first thing in the morning. Symptoms may ease up throughout the day but get worse by the evening. Your foot pain may also be accompanied by stiffness.
When should I see a doctor?
If the pain doesn’t get better within a week, or if symptoms get worse then it’s a good idea to see one of our Boston area foot specialists as soon as possible for an evaluation.
I have plantar fasciitis. Now what?
Treating plantar fasciitis can be simple. In fact, some people can treat their symptoms with easy, at-home care and proper rest. The best thing you can do is to stay off your foot as much as possible and to avoid any high-impact activities like running.
Stretching your foot through the day and even wearing a brace to help support the arches and alleviate pain can help manage yoursymptoms. If your condition doesn’t improve with traditional treatments, your podiatrist will discuss other treatment options such as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) to alleviate pain and inflammation.
New England Podiatry Associates has locations in Chestnut Hill, at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and serves patients in Boston, Metro West and North and South Shores. Whether you are dealing with symptoms of plantar fasciitis or other foot pain, we are available for consultation.
Discover the best treatment options for getting rid of that unsightly toenail fungus.
Toenail fungal infections are more common than you might realize. In fact, if you are dealing with a toenail that is gnarled, thick and yellow then you are most likely dealing with a fungal infection. While it might not be causing you issues yet, it’s important that you nip this problem in the bud, as it isn’t always easy to treat on your own. Our podiatrists at New England Podiatry in Chestnut Hill and Newton-Wellesley, MA, and serving patients in Boston, Metro West and North and South Shores are here to tell you your treatment options when it comes to dealing with a toenail fungus.
There are many articles on the Internet talking about different home remedies for killing toenail fungus. Of course, while some people may swear by certain home remedies, there is no substantial proof that this is an effective treatment option.
At home care you may have already tried include an over-the-counter antifungal treatment that is specifically designed to target toenail fungus. Most of these medications are topical, which means that you will need to apply it to the affected nail as directed.
When to See a Podiatrist
If you are treating your toenail fungus at home but it doesn’t seem to be responding to treatment it’s usually a good time to call our Boston foot doctor for an evaluation. Since fungal infections can get worse with time, it’s important that if at-home care isn’t helping that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Those with compromised immune systems, nerve damage in the feet or diabetes should always see a podiatrist right away if they experience changes in their feet, as even the most minor problems can become more serious if they aren’t properly and professionally treated.
Professional Treatment Options
Even though toenail fungus can be persistent or challenging to treat with at-home measures, our podiatric specialists near Boston have an effective laser treatment that can safely and effectively penetrate through the nail in ways that a topical antifungal can’t. The treatment itself only takes about 30-40 minutes, it’s painless and there is no recovery time.
Laser fungal treatment may be a great option for you if at-home treatments or prescription oral antifungal medication isn’t working for you. Those with severe or recurring infections may also want to consider getting laser treatment.
If you are dealing with severe or persistent fungal infections and are interested in how laser therapy can help you, then call New England Podiatry in Chestnut Hill or Newton, MA, today.
Your heel really hurts. More than soreness, you feel a sharp pain that radiates across the bottom of your foot. Most commonly, heel pain stems from plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue which stretches from the heel bone to the toes. At New England Podiatry in Chestnut Hill and Newton-Wellesley, MA, and serving patients in Boston, Metro West and North and South Shores, your team of highly-skilled podiatrists have heel pain treatment options that will get you some relief.
The origins of heel pain
Some heel pain does come from a fracture of the calcaneus, or heel bone. Alternatively, it could stem from a plantar wart on the heel or even from Achilles tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendon at the back of the leg.
Heel pain symptoms can come from inflammatory plantar fasciitis. Due to overuse (from sports or work), flat arches, poor support from shoes or flat feet, plantar fasciitis can be debilitating. Pain is at worst in the morning and can continue all day. Additionally, people with plantar fasciitis may have a small bony projection, called a heel spur, off the front of the calcaneus.
Heel pain treatment in Chestnut Hill, Newton-Wellesley, and the Boston area
You have options, with the help of the foot doctors at New England Podiatry. A simple physical examination of your foot and digital X-rays tells the podiatrist the nature of your problem.
Your podiatrist normally recommends prudent lifestyle strategies to control the inflammation and discomfort from this condition.
These interventions include:
- Losing weight
- Wearing quality shoes with good arch support
- Over-the-counter analgesics
- Stretching exercises, to be performed particularly in the morning
- Custom-made shoe orthotics
- Posterior night splints worn while you sleep to support the Achilles tendon
- Cortisone injections to reduce inflammation
- Physical therapy
Over time, most patients find relief from their heel pain. In resistant cases, non-invasive Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy and surgery may be considered.
What about your heel pain?
Don't suffer from persistent heel pain. Have it correctly diagnosed and treated at New England Podiatry. We have two offices in the Boston area to serve all your lower extremity needs. In Chestnut Hill, phone (617) 232-1752, or for the Newton-Wellesley Hospital office, call (617) 630-8280.
A bunion is a bony protrusion that changes the shape of the front half of the foot. If it forms on one foot, the problem will most likely happen on the other as well. Unfortunately, many people don’t have this foot deformity corrected soon after it begins to appear. No matter the stage of bunion formation, treatments are available at New England Podiatry in Chestnut Hill and Newton-Wellesley, MA, and serving patients in Boston, Metro West and North and South Shores, to help patients get relief.
How Bunions Form
Bunions often hurt due to wearing tight, ill-fitting shoes. For example, some pointed-toe shoes crush the toes into a triangular shape over time, causing the bone on the side of the foot to push outward. Some patients have a family history of foot bunions because of the way their feet are structured. A bunion deformity may also be present at birth, which is why some school children have this foot issue. Patients who have arthritis and other degenerative conditions may struggle with this problem.
Patients are often inspired to seek treatment for bunions because of the way they make the feet look. The deformity looks like an unusual growth on the foot, which can be embarrassing when wearing sandals and similar open-toed shoes. You may also have a problem trying on new shoes when you have a bunion. Additionally, because the bunion causes the toes to press together, the big toe often lays on top of the other four. People who have bunions may also develop hammertoes, which can also be treated by our podiatrists.
Bunions: How They Are Treated
Treating a moderate to severe case of a bunion requires time and patience. In many cases, the toe bone can be trained back to its proper alignment using splinting, foot wrapping and other therapies. Padding placed between the toes can also help. Your podiatrist may prescribe rest and activity changes. A foot surgery called a bunionectomy may be the only viable solution in an advanced case of bunions.
Life Without Bunions
If you’ve been plagued with bunions for much of your life, it’s comforting to know that there’s a solution available at New England Podiatry. Call today to schedule an appointment to discuss the ways a podiatrist can help your feet.
If someone has diabetes, it impacts their peripheral circulation, nerve sensation and ability to heal. Feet and ankles are prone to serious wounds and infections-- through injury and prolonged periods of high blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association encourages people with Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes to pay close attention to their feet through a daily self-care routine. Your podiatrists at New England Podiatry in Boston, MA, avidly support this philosophy. Read here about how people with diabetes can have healthy, mobile feet.
You only have two feet
And, you need to keep them functional, pain-free and strong. If you are diabetic, your Boston, MA, podiatrists ask that you come to New England Podiatry at least twice a year, or as the need arises, for comprehensive foot examinations which will assess any deformities, skin issues, gait problems and existing or developing sores or pressure points. Preventive care from a highly trained foot doctor wards off deep ulcers, Charcot arthropathy (a deformity affecting the ankle), hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, bunions and other deformities.
Common sense strategies
Simply looking at your feet daily allows you to see changes which could develop into big problems if ignored or unnoticed. Watch for any redness, swelling, blisters or skin irritations from pressure created by ill-fitting shoes or poor gait. When you have your shoes and socks off, be sure to:
- Bathe your feet daily with warm water and mild soap.
- Moisturize your feet to avoid dry skin.
- Change your socks daily, and make sure they fit smoothly.
- Put on well-fitting shoes with good support and ample room for the toes to move.
- Note any corns or calluses, but do not treat them at home. Tell your Boston, MA, podiatrist.
- Always wear shoes outdoors to avoid injury.
Additionally, daily exercise as tolerated improves circulation and range of motion in the joints of the foot and ankle. If you smoke, please seek out a smoking cessation program with your primary care physician because cigarettes impair peripheral circulation, a condition which even non-smoking diabetics may struggle with.
Receive the best podiatric care
When you come to New England Podiatry, you'll receive thorough, compassionate care for your feet and ankles. You can reduce your risk of diabetic complications. For your routine examination, please contact either one of our convenient locations. In Chestnut Hill, call (617) 232-1752, and for the Newton-Wellesley Hospital office, phone (617) 630-8280.