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

June 2020

Monday, 29 June 2020 00:00

Hammertoe and Shoes

The medical condition that is known as hammertoe can occur as a result of wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. It affects the second and third toes and causes them to bend at the middle joints, which often makes them resemble hammers. Patients may develop calluses on top of the affected toes, and this is the result of friction as the toes rub against the shoes. Effective treatment methods for mild cases can consist of wearing shoes that fit properly, and it may help to perform specific stretches. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to permanently straighten the toes. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can help you with proper treatment management.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. 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 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 What Are Hammertoes?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Monday, 22 June 2020 00:00

Why Do Blisters Develop?

Blisters are often caused by excess friction. They can develop due to wearing socks and shoes that do not fit correctly. When the skin becomes damaged, a small pocket will naturally form over the affected area, and this is filled with a protective liquid. As the healing process occurs, the bubble will gradually drain as new skin forms. It may be beneficial to wear an elastic covering over the blister as daily activities are completed, and this may help the blister from draining prematurely. Patients who are diabetic may be prone to developing foot ulcers, so it is recommended to treat any existing blisters as quickly as possible. If you have a blister on your foot, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can offer you advice on treating blisters.  

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, 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.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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 Blisters on the Feet
Monday, 15 June 2020 00:00

The Definition of a Podiatrist

The medical field that is known as podiatric medicine focuses on correcting and maintaining foot and ankle health. Mandatory schooling consists of enrolling in podiatric school after completing a bachelor's degree. This is followed by completing a residency program that teaches future podiatrists how to apply the knowledge and concepts they have learned in medical school. Many students choose to join a fellowship program, which can help them to determine what type of podiatric skill they can excel at. There are several ways to practice this type of medicine, including having a private office, working with a group of other podiatrists, or working in a hospital or similar environment. If you would like to learn about how to diagnose and treat disorders of the feet, it may be beneficial to pursue a career in podiatry.

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to 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 a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

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 What is a Podiatrist?
Monday, 08 June 2020 00:00

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be incredibly uncomfortable, sensitive to the touch, and can cause a great deal of pain. Ingrown toenails can be caused by trimming the toenails too short, injury to the toenail, having curved toenails due to genetics, wearing ill-fitting shoes that are too tight, and poor hygiene. If left untreated, the toenail may become infected, causing drainage and bleeding. The affected toe may become swollen and red as well. Some patients have found relief by soaking their feet in a bath of warm water and epsom salts, and by wearing comfortable shoes. If you feel you have developed an ingrown toenail, please consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and advised treatment plan.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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 Ingrown Toenails

Foot pain is a common ailment among women who are pregnant, and it is triggered for several reasons. This type of pain often develops as a result from the added weight of the growing fetus, hormonal changes, and a possible change of foot structure. The arch may disappear, and this may enable the feet to roll inward. The plantar fascia can become inflamed, and it may be difficult to walk. This is a band of tissue that connects the heels to the toes, and is located on the sole of the foot. Weight gain can add pressure to the plantar fascia, and mild relief may be found when larger shoes are worn that can accommodate the expanding feet. Many pregnant women find it helpful to elevate their feet as often as possible during the day, in addition to limiting salt intake. If you would like additional information about changes in the feet that can occur during pregnancy, please consult with a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot Health Center of Merrimack Valley. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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 Foot Care for Pregnant Women
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