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If you’re suffering from an urgent foot or ankle condition that requires immediate care, please contact our office to schedule an appointment. Avoid your local hospital or urgent care facility, and reduce the stress on your local emergency healthcare workers. Our practice is here to care for your urgent foot or ankle condition.

Reisterstown | Columbia | Baltimore

December 2019

Research has indicated that flip flops are not the best shoes to wear. They can be difficult to keep on the feet, and the toes may strain in an effort to keep them on. Additionally, they have limited arch support, and cracked heels may develop as a result of the open back that flip flops have. A common foot condition that could gradually develop from frequently wearing this type of shoe may include plantar fasciitis. This affects the tendon that runs along the bottom of the foot which connects the toes to the heel. It may become inflamed as a result of wearing this shoe, which generally lacks adequate support and cushioning. If you wear flip flops for the majority of your day, it may be beneficial to alternate with shoes that have a closed back. Please consult with a podiatrist if you would like additional information about how flip flops may affect the feet. 

Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.

When Are They Okay to Wear?

Flip-flops should only be worn for very short periods of time. They can help protect your feet in places that are crawling with fungi, such as gym locker rooms. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are two common fungi that flip-flops may help protect your feet against.

Why Are They Bad for My Feet?

These shoes do not offer any arch support, so they are not ideal for everyday use. They also do not provide shock absorption or heel cushioning which can be problematic for your feet. Additionally, you may suffer from glass cuts, puncture wounds, and stubbed toes since they offer little protection for your feet.

More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet

  • They Slow You Down
  • May Cause Blisters and Calluses
  • Expose Your Feet to Bacteria

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia, Reisterstown, and Locust Point, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Flipping Out About Flip Flops
Monday, 30 December 2019 00:00

Flipping Out About Flip Flops

Although it may be tempting to wear flip-flops in warm weather, they are not the best choice of footwear for your feet. Flip-flops may be ideal for the beach, pool, spa, and shared showers, but you should avoid wearing them unless it is completely necessary.

Flip-flops only have a small strip of fabric holding your foot in place, but your toes need a better grip to keep your foot in place. The repetitive gripping can lead to an overuse of your muscles, which could result in tendinitis. This is only one of the many problems that stem from wearing flip-flops too often.

Flip flops aren’t good for extensive walking because they fail to offer arch support, heel cushioning, or shock absorption. As a result, people who wear flip flops are at a higher risk of experiencing an ankle sprain. Additionally, these shoes offer little protection for your feet, putting those who wear them at a greater risk for stubbed toes, glass cuts, and puncture wounds.

Although flip flops aren’t recommended for everyday use by anyone, it is especially important for diabetics to avoid them. A diabetic foot injury can easily become very serious, and it may even lead to amputation.

If you are experiencing pain from wearing flip-flops, you shouldn’t be hesitant to replace them with a more comfortable shoe that offers more support. If your flip-flop foot pain doesn’t go away, you should seek assistance from a podiatrist right away. It is possible that you may have a more serious foot problem such as a stress fracture or arthritis.

Monday, 23 December 2019 00:00

Where Does a Plantar Wart Develop?

A plantar wart develops on the bottom of the foot, and is generally in the heel area. It grows into the heel as a result of pressure that is put on the foot as everyday activities are completed. The medical term for this type of wart is known as a verrucae wart, and it is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). This type of virus attacks the bottom of the feet, and can cause severe pain and discomfort. A common symptom of a plantar wart can include pain and tenderness while walking, and it may be more noticeable in the morning upon arising. There are a variety of ways to treat this type of wart. These can range from laser therapy, applying salicylic acid cream to the affected area, or possibly using essential oils. If you are afflicted with a plantar wart, it is strongly advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you toward the proper treatment.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor 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 Columbia, Reisterstown, and Locust Point, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Plantar Warts?
Monday, 23 December 2019 00:00

What Are Plantar Warts?

Plantar warts are described as small growths that appear on the heels or other areas of the feet that bear a large amount of weight. The pressure in these areas causes plantar warts to hide behind thick layers of skin called calluses. In most cases, plantar warts are not a serious health issue, and they usually go away without treatment. However, it is still important be mindful of them.

Plantar warts are caused by infections with human papillomavirus (HPV) in the outer layer of skin on the soles of the feet. The plantar warts then develop when the virus enters the body through weak spots at the bottom of the feet, such as tiny cuts and breaks. Plantar warts are not guaranteed for all who encounter the virus. Everyone responds differently to the affects of HPV.

Plantar warts are most common in the following groups: children and teenagers, people with weakened immune systems, people with history of plantar warts, and people who walk barefoot. Exposure to HPV is common in environments such as locker rooms or pool areas.

One of early signs to look out for is a callus, since many plantar warts hide behind them. You can also locate these warts by looking for small, fleshy, rough, grainy growths near the base of the toes and the heel. Early signs of plantar warts are shown by black pinpoints, which are small, clotted blood vessels. Lesions that interrupt normal lines and ridges in the skin of your foot may also be a sign of plantar warts. Any feeling of pain while walking or standing can also be a symptom of plantar warts.

Although most cases are not serious, some conditions may require a visit to your podiatrist.  If you are uncertain that your lesion is a wart, if you have diabetes, or if you are experiencing bleeding, you may need to see a seek professional treatment. Your doctor may offer treatments such as prescribing stronger peeling medicine or using cryotherapy by applying liquid nitrogen to the wart. More serious cases may require minor surgery or laser treatment.

There are simple solutions available to help prevent plantar warts. One common task is to avoid walking barefoot in swimming pool areas and locker rooms, as this is where HPV is commonly present. Keeping your feet clean and dry, while changing shoes and socks daily can also help prevent future plantar warts. If you know someone who has plantar warts, it is important to avoid direct contact with their warts. You should also refrain from picking or scratching your wart if you happen to develop one.

Monday, 16 December 2019 00:00

Bunion Surgery

A bony protrusion on the bottom of the big toe may be indicative of a bunion. It develops as a result of wearing shoes that do not have enough room for the toes to move freely in, or it may come from certain genetic factors. They can cause severe pain and discomfort, and in certain cases, surgery may be necessary for permanent relief. Patients may be eligible for surgery if there is consistent pain while performing daily activities, or if you are unable to straighten or bend your big toe. There are specific types of bunion surgery. An osteotomy consists of cutting the joint in the big toe, and aligning it to it’s normal placement. An exostectomy is performed when the bunion is removed from the joint, and an alignment is not necessary. If metal plates are needed to correct the deformity, an arthrodesis may be performed. If you have a bunion, please consult with a podiatrist who can help you to determine if bunion surgery is correct for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia, Reisterstown, and Locust Point, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot and Ankle Surgery
Monday, 16 December 2019 00:00

Foot and Ankle Surgery

When conservative, noninvasive methods prove ineffective, surgery may be selected as the next course of action for the treatment of your foot or ankle condition.  A wide number of foot and ankle surgical procedures exist, and it is up to your podiatrist to determine which intervention will be most appropriate and helpful for your case.  Some surgical procedures include bunion surgery, fusion, hammertoe surgery, heel spur surgery, metatarsal surgery, nail surgery, neuroma surgery, reconstructive surgery, skin surgery, and tendon surgery.  Typically, surgery is turned to as a definitive way to alleviate excessive pain or discomfort and to return your foot to full mobility.

Regardless of the location on the body, all surgical procedures require preoperative testing and examination to ensure the surgery’s success and preferred outcome.  A review of your medical history and medical conditions will take place, as will an evaluation of any current diseases, illnesses, allergies, and medications.  Tests such as blood studies, urinalyses, EKG, X-rays, and blood flow studies may be ordered.  Because the procedure involves the foot and/or ankle, the structures of your feet while walking may also be observed by your podiatrist.

Care post-surgery will depend on the type of surgical procedure performed.  Typically, all postoperative care involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation.  To improve and ensure a safe recovery, your foot and ankle surgeon may also employ the use of bandages, splints, surgical shoes, casts, crutches, or canes.  He will also determine if and when you can bear weight.  A timely and thorough recovery is a priority for both you and your podiatrist, and carefully following postoperative instructions can help achieve this.  

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Monday, 09 December 2019 00:00

Foot Orthotics

Orthotics are shoe inserts that are meant to correct an irregular walking gait or provide cushioning to the feet.  Orthotics come in a variety of different models and sizes, including over-the-counter and customizable variants. Customizable orthotics can be shaped and contoured to fit inside a specific shoe and are typically prescribed through a podiatrist who specializes in customized footwear and orthotics design and management.

Orthotics are beneficial because they can help prevent injuries from occurring and provide cushioning to keep pain levels down to a minimum. They also allow for the correct positioning of the feet. Orthotics can act as shock absorbers to help remove pressure from the foot and ankle. Therefore, orthotics can make bodily movements, such as walking and running, become more comfortable as well as help prevent the development of certain foot conditions.

Orthotics alleviate pain and make the foot more comfortable by slightly altering the angle at which the foot strikes the ground surface, therefore controlling the movement of the foot and ankle. Orthotics come in different variants and can be made of various materials. To determine what type of orthotic is most suited to your feet and your needs, it is best to consult your podiatrist. He or she will be able to recommend a type of orthotic that can help improve your foot function or prescribe a custom orthotic to best fit your feet.  

Monday, 09 December 2019 00:00

Three Types of Orthotics

Orthotics are devices that are worn in the shoes which may help to correct foot structure. These are generally designed by a podiatrist who can determine the reason why wearing orthotics can be beneficial. Research has noted that there are three types of orthotics to choose from. People who participate in sporting activities that include jumping may benefit from wearing soft orthotics, as this may help to increase cushioning. Patients who have flat feet may find that wearing semi-rigid orthotics can help to provide the stability that is needed to accomplish daily activities. Wearing rigid orthotics may be beneficial in diminishing pain that can be present in patients who have neurological illnesses. If you have pain in your feet, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine if wearing orthotics is right for you.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Columbia, Reisterstown, and Locust Point, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Orthotics
Wednesday, 04 December 2019 00:00

Examples of Foot Exercises and Why They Matter

To avoid dealing with issues such as foot and ankle pain, muscle soreness, and to improve the overall health of your feet, it is recommended that you perform foot exercises. When you perform exercises designed for the feet, you help to strengthen the foot muscles, which may provide better support, stability, and protection. One simple exercise you can do is called the three-step “toe raise, point, and curl.” Imagine you’re making little waves with your toes when trying out this exercise. Another exercise is called the “toe splay,” where you practice by spreading all of your toes. Lastly, you can try “toe extensions” which is done by grabbing your toes with your fingers and gently pulling them backwards. If you are concerned with the health of your feet, or would like information about additional stretches, we recommend that you consult with a podiatrist.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries and build strength. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important, and we often forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate enough to not have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rises, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, and flexing the toes. It is best to speak with Our doctor to determine an appropriate regimen for your needs. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different, and the activities required to maintain strength in the feet vary from individual to individual. 

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Columbia, Reisterstown, and Locust Point, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Exercise for Your Feet
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