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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

August 2019

Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

Flip Flops and Feet

Flip flops are often a popular choice of footwear for many people. Flip flops allow your feet to breathe and give your toes the freedom of movement. They are easy to slip on and can be worn with virtually any style of clothing. Flip flops, however, despite their many benefits, can be detrimental for your foot health.

Despite their comfortableness, frequently wearing flip flops can create problems in the lower body over time. Issues mainly stem from the fact that people walk differently in flip flops compared to other footwear, such as sneakers. This is due to a change in one’s natural gait, which therefore creates stress in different parts of the body while hindering the body’s natural posture. Problems can also arise in the arches and balls of the feet. Flip flops provide little to no support to these areas.

Aside from long-term problems, flip-fops can also create short-term issues as well, such as ankle sprains and blisters. Weak materials that are flexible and bendable are generally used to manufacture flip flops. These materials make its wearers prone to both tripping and injuring their ankles. Flip flops can create blisters as the material rubs against the foot. People are much more at risk for infection while wearing flip flops due to their openness. This also makes it easier to scrape and cut the foot since there is a lack of protection. If these cuts are left untreated and uncovered, the risk then becomes greater.

To prevent the aforementioned occurrences, purchase a pair of flip flops that offer significant protection. The soles of the flip flops should not be floppy, but sturdy and firm, and should not significantly bend or wiggle when lifted from the floor. Flip flops made of high-quality materials will not be affected by this problem. While higher quality flip flops may be more expensive, they will last longer and provide better protection compared to a cheaper pair. Brand name flip flops sold from a quality manufacturer are a dependable option.

There is no problem in wearing your favorite pair of flip flops so as long as you do not wear them daily or for extended periods of time. Flip flops should be replaced every 3-4 months to ensure that they provide your feet with the best protection.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

Are Flip Flops Dangerous for the Feet?

Flip flops are easy to slip into, and the appeal of wearing this type of shoe during the warmer months is desirable among many people. Despite the allure of wearing flip flops, research has indicated that they may cause damage to the feet and ankles. This may be due to a result of gripping this style of shoe with the toes in order to keep them on the feet. This motion can put pressure on the lower body, possibly causing pain and discomfort. Additionally, many people can develop flat feet, which can occur from a lack of arch support. If you decide to purchase flip flops, it may be beneficial to choose shoes that are made of a sturdy material, and it may help to wear them in limited intervals. If you would like more information about how flip flops can affect the feet, please consult with your local podiatrist. 

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. 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

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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

Read more about Flip Flops and Feet
Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

Types of Heel Pain

Research has indicated that there are several forms of heel pain. The most common type is referred to as plantar fasciitis, and this occurs as a result of an inflamed plantar fascia. This is the band of tissue that is located on the sole of the foot, connecting the heel to the toes. Heel bursitis is a condition where pain is felt in the middle of the heel, and can develop as a result of falling from an extended height. Young children who participate in sporting activities may develop Sever’s disease, and this may develop from an inflamed Achilles tendon. Many patients will experience heel pain at some point in their lives, and there are methods to managing the pain and discomfort. If you have any type of heel pain, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who will perform a proper diagnosis, and begin the correct treatment.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

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

Read more about Heel Pain
Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

Heel Pain

Have you ever gotten up from a chair or out of bed in the morning, and upon taking that first step, feel like your heel has stepped on a tack? Many people experience a feeling of sharp pain which radiates into their arch from their heel and which does not allow them to put their heel on the floor. Sometimes they need to sit back down, stand only on their toes and use the wall for balance. If you can take a few steps, it seems to go away and lessen, allowing you to then resume your activity. Later, throughout your day and after a period of rest, it can happen again. If this sounds familiar you may be suffering from your first attack of heel pain.

Heel pain is a debilitating condition that affects day to day activities. Running and walking both causes stress on the heel because the heel is the part of the foot that hits the ground first. This means that the heel is taking on your entire weight. Diagnosis and treatments for heel pain can be easily found through your podiatrist.

Plantar Fasciitis

One of the main causes of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that extends along the bottom of the foot, from the toe to the bottom of the heel. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of these tissues, resulting in heel pain. People who do not wear proper fitting shoes are often at risk of developing problems such as plantar fasciitis. Unnecessary stress from ill-fitting shoes, weight change, excessive running, and wearing non-supportive shoes on hard surfaces are all causes of plantar fasciitis.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Similar to plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause heel pain due to stress fractures and muscle tearing. A lack of flexibility of the ankle and heel is an indicator of Achilles tendonitis. If left untreated, this condition can lead to plantar fasciitis and cause even more pain on your heel.

Heel Spur

A third cause of heel pain is a heel spur. A heel spur occurs when the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, leading to a separation of the ligament from the heel bone entirely. This results in a pointed fragment of bone on the ball of the foot, known as a heel spur.

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019 00:00

How to Get a Proper Shoe Fit

Many people suffer from foot problems because their shoes are poorly fitted. When shopping for a new pair of shoes, fashion usually triumphs over comfortability. A pair of well fitted shoes is essential in preventing foot problems and potential injuries.

Poorly fitted shoes can cause foot issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and foot pain. Shoes such as high heels and sandals may cause problems for your feet. These shoes put the foot in an unnatural position for long periods and fail to provide good foot support. It is recommended to not wear either one for an extended period.

When you are trying on shoes, make sure they have enough space for your toes to move around. Shoes shouldn’t be cramped but also shouldn’t have too much room that your foot moves around in them. A snug shoe is a good choice. They should also provide good arch support and cushioning. Athletic shoes tend to offer both good support and cushioning. A degree of flexibility is necessary so they aren’t too stiff or too unsupportive.

If you can wear your shoes for a long period of time without experiencing any discomfort, this is a sign that your shoes fit properly. Do not be too dismayed if the shoe isn’t a perfect fit at first; many shoes take a few days to weeks to properly break in. However don’t expect an uncomfortable shoe to become fitted to your foot.

For those with foot conditions such as flat feet or pronation, orthotics may be helpful or even necessary to prevent foot pain. Orthotics are inserts that are placed in the shoe and provide support and cushioning for the foot. While there are many types of orthotics out there, custom-made orthotics may be necessary depending upon your foot and foot conditions.

Feet change in size over time. It is important to check your foot size over time so that you can make sure you have the perfect fit for your feet. A podiatrist can provide more information on proper shoe fitting and foot orthotics.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019 00:00

What Is a Brannock Device?

Research has shown the importance of properly measuring your feet before shoes are purchased. This can be done by using a Brannock device which is found in the majority of shoe stores. It is helpful to measure your feet and try shoes on during the afternoon, when the feet are typically at their largest for the day. A properly fitting shoe should feel comfortable when tried on, and will have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. It can help to determine the correct shoe size by wearing socks that would be worn with the shoes, in addition to walking on carpeting and hard surfaces before you decide to purchase them. If your foot becomes irritated, the shoes may have tags on the inside of them which need to be removed. If you have any questions about how to buy shoes that fit properly, please consult with a podiatrist.

It is important to find shoes that fit you properly in order to avoid a variety of different foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

Shoes have many different functions. They cushion our body weight, protect our feet, and allow us to safely play sports. You should always make sure that the shoes you wear fit you properly in order to avoid injuries and deformities such as: bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more. It is important to note that although a certain pair of shoes might be a great fit for someone else, that doesn’t mean they will be a great fit for you. This is why you should always try on shoes before buying them to make sure they are worth the investment. Typically, shoes need to be replaced ever six months to one year of regular use.

Tips for Proper Shoe Fitting

  • Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot
  • Don’t buy shoes that fit too tight, expecting them to stretch to fit
  • Make sure there is enough space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right
  • Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe, but by how the shoe fits your foot

The shoes you buy should always feel as good as they look. Shoes that fit properly will last longer, feel better, and improve your way of life each day.

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

Read more about How to Get a Proper Shoe Fit
Tuesday, 06 August 2019 00:00

Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the tibial nerve, located in the tarsal tunnel in the foot, is compressed. The tibial nerve can become compressed from injury, such as an ankle sprain, flat feet, and lesions. Arthritis, diabetes, and varicose veins can also cause swelling and thus result in nerve compression.

Symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome include several different sensations in the sole of the foot, inside the ankle, and around the tibial nerve. These sensations include shooting pains, numbness or reduced sensation, pins and needles, burning, and tingling. Symptoms tend to worsen with greater activity to the area. In rare and severe occasions, this can change the muscles in the foot.

If you suspect you have tarsal tunnel syndrome, you should consult with your podiatrist. He or she will examine your medical history to see if you have a history of diabetes, arthritis, or flat feet. They will also check to see if you have suffered an injury to the area recently. An electrical test will be conducted to check if the nerve has been damaged. A simpler Tinel’s Test might also be used. This includes simply tapping the nerve to create a sensation. An MRI scan of the area may also be used.

Treatments vary greatly for tarsal tunnel syndrome. Treatments include both nonsurgical and surgical options depending upon the severity of the condition. Nonsurgical options include anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections to the area. Orthotics, such as a splint or brace that immobilizes the foot, is another noninvasive option. For those with flat feet, custom shoes can be made to offer better foot support. Surgical options include a tunnel tarsal release, in which an incision is made behind the ankle down to the arch of the foot. This releases the ligament and relieves pressure off the nerve. Some doctors use a more minimally invasive surgery, where smaller incisions are made in the ankle and the ligament is stretched out.

If you are suffering from painful sensations in your foot, see a podiatrist who can determine if you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome. Tarsal tunnel syndrome that is left unchecked can cause permanent nerve damage to the foot.

Tuesday, 06 August 2019 00:00

All About Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, also known as TTS, occurs when the posterior tibial nerve becomes compressed and damaged, in turn causing inflammation. This is usually caused by continual overuse of the foot and ankle such as prolonged walking, running, standing, or exercising. If left untreated, TTS can cause permanent nerve damage. Some common treatments are wearing specialized shoes and inserts, over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and rest. Strengthening exercises should be done to help prevent problems. These exercises include heel-toe raises, pencil toe lifts and balance exercises. If not treated right away, TTS can lead to the risk of developing other conditions such as flat feet, fallen arches, rheumatoid arthritis, varicose veins and the susceptibility to becoming overweight. If you notice any symptoms of TTS, it is important that you see a podiatrist right away. 


 

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
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