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October 2021

If you like walking or hiking, stretching the bottoms of your feet and ankles can be very beneficial. Stretching helps by relieving foot pain and improving flexibility, which reduces your risk of foot and ankle injuries. One simple stretch that you can perform is a foot stepover. To do this stretch, place a rolled up towel on the floor. Stand up straight and place the front half of one foot onto the towel. Be sure to keep the heel of the foot on the floor. Take a small step forward with the other foot. You should feel a stretch in the foot that is standing on the towel. Repeat ten times, holding the stretch for two to five seconds each time, and then repeat on the opposite foot. For more information about stretching the feet, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Why Stretching Is Important for Your Feet

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first to determine if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous exercise, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising to ice and rest the foot. It is advised that you then see a podiatrist for help.

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.

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Tuesday, 19 October 2021 00:00

What Is an Achilles Tendon Rupture?

The Achilles tendon connects the heel bone with the calf muscles. It is the largest tendon in the body and is capable of absorbing a great deal of force. It is instrumental in helping the body walk, run, and stand up onto the toes. Under certain conditions, when the Achilles tendon is under severe stress, it may tear or rupture. This may be caused by playing sports such as tennis or basketball (which involve a lot of starting and stopping), being older or overweight, using steroids, or taking certain antibiotics. All of these factors can weaken the Achilles tendon and make it more susceptible to injuries. If you have ruptured your Achilles tendon, you may have severe pain or swelling near the heel, or you may be unable to stand on the affected leg. You may have even heard a popping sound at the moment of injury. There are a variety of treatment options available for a ruptured Achilles tendon. A podiatrist can determine what course of treatment is best for you after examining and diagnosing your condition.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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 tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

Skin Care For Cracked Heels

While cracked heels can be unsightly, they are not merely a cosmetic concern. In some cases, the cracks in the skin can become so deep that they cause pain, bleed, and become infected. To avoid this, it is important to moisturize your feet on a regular basis, especially if you notice dry skin. You may want to first soak your feet and gently buff away dry skin with a pumice stone. Then, apply a moisturizer and put on socks to help seal in the moisture. If home treatment doesn’t help reduce dryness and prevent painful cracks, then it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. You should also see a podiatrist for care if you are diabetic or have a compromised immune system, as these conditions can lead to serious foot complications. 

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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.

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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.

Tuesday, 05 October 2021 00:00

Why Do My Ankles Hurt After Running?

Runners take hundreds of steps per minute while they run. During each step, a large amount of force is transmitted through the foot, ankle, and leg. The ankle takes most of the force, so it should come as no surprise that runners often experience ankle pain. There are several factors that contribute to ankle pain while running. Muscle imbalances and weakness or tightness in some part of the foot, ankle, or calf, can change the way force is distributed while you run, putting more pressure on the ankles and leading to injuries. Repetitive overuse from intense bursts of running and not giving yourself enough time to fully recover can also cause or worsen ankle pain. Previous injuries, such as an ankle sprain that hasn’t completely healed or hasn’t healed properly, can increase the risk of future ankle injuries as well. It is important to wear properly fitted, supportive shoes while you run. If you are a runner suffering from ankle pain, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Mark Spier of Maryland. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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.

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