If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right. Switch to Accessible Site
Reisterstown

December 2021

Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

Signs and Symptoms of Claw Toes

If trying on shoes isn’t as much fun as it used to be, it may be caused by the development of hammertoes, also known as claw toes. This condition is recognizable by an unsightly bump on the knuckle of the toe, which can rub against the top of your shoe and cause pain. Claw toes can also affect the tip of the toe as it curls under and rubs against the sole of your shoe. They can cause the ball of the foot to become painful, a feeling sometimes described as walking on marbles. Claw toes can be caused by a muscle imbalance, where the long muscles in the leg overpower the smaller foot muscles. Other causes include injury to a tendon, tight calf muscles, and family history. The four lesser toes often develop claw toes, with the second toe the most likely to be affected. Home treatments include wearing shoes with a wider and deeper toe box to relieve rubbing, toe spacers and hammertoe splints, and soft padding to cushion the affected toes. However, if these measures fail to reduce your pain and discomfort, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist to determine a more advanced course of treatment. 

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor 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 Columbia and Reisterstown, MD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
Tuesday, 28 December 2021 00:00

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the tendons, muscles, or ligaments that are responsible for holding the toes in their normal position. This condition may be caused by poor footwear, foot structure, trauma, and disease. The most common solution for hammertoe is to relieve the pain by changing your footwear and wearing orthotics. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

The shoes that are most likely to cause hammertoe are high heeled shoes or shoes that are too tight in the toe box. Tight shoes will force your toes to crowd together in a curled position. This position will likely continue when you take your shoes off. Another cause is trauma. When you stub your toe, you are increasing the chance that you will develop hammertoe.

There are risk factors that may make you more likely to develop this condition. Women are more likely to have the condition compared to men, and it is also more likely to appear in those who are older in age.

Many different foot problems can be avoided by wearing shoes that have adjustability, adequate toe room, and low heels. Furthermore, if you want to buy new shoes, you should look to purchase them at the end of the day and make sure you know your correct size. The importance of buying shoes at the end of the day is that your feet swell as the day progresses. You should also ensure that you are wearing your correct size because your shoe size may change as you grow older.

To diagnose someone with hammertoe, your podiatrist will need to conduct a thorough examination of your foot. Your doctor may even order an x-ray to evaluate the bones and joints of your feet and toes.

If you have hammertoe, your podiatrist may recommend that you wear shoes that fit you better along with inserts to place inside them. Additionally, he or she may suggest special exercises for you to perform to stretch your toes. One helpful exercise it to pick up marbles with your feet or crumple a towel with your toes.

Prior to meeting with your podiatrist, it will be helpful to make a list of all the symptoms you are experiencing. You should also make a note of medications you are taking and important personal information about your medical history.

Tuesday, 21 December 2021 00:00

Falling: Causes and Prevention

Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. In fact, every year a third of all Americans aged 65 or older experience a fall. Falls among the elderly can cause serious injury and mobility issues, as well as damage to their self-esteem and independence. Falls are typically caused by muscle weakness, mobility or balance issues, the side-effects of a medication, or the fear of falling. The best way to prevent falls is to exercise regularly, implement specific measures to make the home environment safer, manage medications, and maintain proper foot and ankle health. For more information about preventing falls, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious 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.

Read more about Falls Prevention
Tuesday, 21 December 2021 00:00

Falls Prevention

Elderly Americans are very susceptible to falls as they get older. Everyone experiences decreases in flexibility, balance, strength, and the senses as they age. This correlates to some eye-opening statistics. 1 in 4 Americans aged 65 and older fall each year. An elderly American is being treated for a fall in an emergency room every 11 seconds, and every 19 minutes, an older person dies from falling. In light of these striking statistics, one can see the importance of taking steps to prevent falls.

Finding an exercise program for the elderly is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of falls. Look for an exercise program that improves strength and balance. Elderly people who live a more sedentary lifestyle, with little physical activity, are at an increased risk of falling. Wearing well-fitted footwear that provides good foot support and cushion will help prevent falls from poorly fitted shoes. Talking to a podiatrist about your susceptibility to falls and about inspecting your prescriptions will help to avoid any medication that could make falls more likely. Due to a decline in the senses among the elderly, having your eyes and hearing checked is recommended.

Around half of all falls occur in the household. Removing tripping hazards in the home and making it more accommodating to older persons can significantly reduce falls. Some notable household changes include increasing lighting around the house, installing grab bars in the shower and bathroom, and making sure the floor is clear of clutter. Other smart options include installing a shower chair, using rubber-bottomed rugs, and placing railings on both sides of stairwells.  

Finally, discuss with a doctor and your family about your fear of falling. This will help to increase awareness among the population on the need for fall prevention. A lack of awareness on the matter, and a downplaying of importance are what increase the risks of falling. Following these tips can help to reduce the risk for yourself and your loved ones.

 

The Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) test is a non-invasive vascular screening that evaluates a patient’s risk of having peripheral artery disease (PAD), which causes poor circulation in the lower limbs. During this test, the doctor measures your blood pressure in both arms and both ankles and then compares those numbers to come up with a ratio. Each range of ratios is correlated with a level of risk of having PAD. A normal ABI range is from 0.9-1.4. A person with a mild-to-moderate risk of PAD has an ABI between 0.7-0.9. Someone with severe PAD could have an ABI between 0.3-0.5. Critical cases have ABI ratios of 0.3 or less. To learn more about peripheral artery disease or to get tested, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist near you. 

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

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 Vascular Testing in Podiatry
Tuesday, 14 December 2021 00:00

Vascular Testing in Podiatry

In foot care, vascular testing may be required in the diagnosing and treatment of certain podiatric conditions. Vascular testing is particularly relevant for patients with high-risk diabetes, poor circulation, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). Procedures typically involve the examination of blood vessels throughout the body for blockages or buildup.

Vascular testing is very important for the diagnosis of various conditions, including peripheral artery disease and chronic venous insufficiency, as these conditions can greatly affect one’s quality of life and cause pain in the lower limbs. Circulatory problems in the feet and ankles can reflect issues throughout the body, making testing of the blood vessels pertinent.

Testing methods vary between practitioners and can be specific to certain foot and ankle problems. Modern technology has brought about the ability to perform vascular testing using non-invasive methods, such as the cuff-based PADnet testing device. This device records the Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)/Toe-Brachial Index (TBI) values and Pulse Volume Recording (PVR) waveforms. Contact your podiatrist to determine what vascular testing is available for your needs.

Thursday, 09 December 2021 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Tuesday, 07 December 2021 00:00

What is Flexible Flat Foot?

Flatfoot is classified as having the entire sole of the foot in contact or near contact to the ground while standing. The disorder is also known as fallen arches, because those affected have no arch in their feet. Flexible flatfoot and rigid flatfoot are the two types of flatfoot.

A person has flexible flatfoot if when sitting or standing on their toes, they have an arch that disappears when they stand with the entire foot on the ground. Flexible flatfoot may also be called “pediatric flatfoot” because the condition first appears in childhood. It is common among infants because the arch does not develop until the age of 5 or 6 years. Rigid flatfoot is not as common in children as it is with adults. This type of flatfoot is developed due to the weakening of tibialis posterior muscle tendon, a major supporting structure of the foot arch. Development of this deformity is progressive and shows early signs of pain and swelling that begins at the inside arch of the foot and moves to the outside of the foot below the ankle. More severe cases can possibly lead to arthritis of the foot and ankle joints.

Although most cases of flatfoot involve people born with the condition, some less common causes are obesity, diabetes, pregnancy, and osteoporosis. In some cases, flatfoot may come with no symptoms at all and does not require any type of treatment. With other cases though, symptoms may include pain in the shin, knee, hips and lower back. If a person with flatfeet experiences such symptoms, a health care provider may suggest using orthotic devices or arch supports, which may reduce the pain. Wearing supportive shoes can also prove more comfortable with flatfeet and staying away from shoes with little support such as sandals. Other methods to relieve pain also include stretching the Achilles tendon properly and using proper form when doing any physical activity. In addition, losing weight can reduce the stress on your feet and reduce the pain.

Tuesday, 07 December 2021 00:00

What Podiatrist Do to Help Treat Flat Feet

Some babies are born with flat feet and as they grow, the tendons in their feet tighten and formulate arches, typically by the time they reach 2 or 3 years of age. If arches never develop in babies feet, or they present only when they are sitting or on their toes, this is known as rigid flatfoot or flexible flatfoot, respectively. Flatfoot may be asymptomatic, or produce symptoms such as pain on the outside of the ankle, or achy, tired feet after playing sports or standing for extended periods of time. Calf muscles may also be tight, and there can be problems walking, standing, or balancing. If you are experiencing symptoms like these, contact a podiatrist to be diagnosed and treated properly. To determine if your condition is rigid or flexible, the podiatrist may ask you to stand on your toes. If your arch becomes visible while standing on your toes and collapses when you place your foot on the floor, you may be afflicted with flexible flatfoot. If your arch never presents (even while on your toes), the podiatrist may order a CT scan, MRI, or X-ray to make a diagnosis of rigid flatfoot. Your podiatrist may prescribe custom orthotics or special shoes to provide arch support and relieve pain, and/or calf muscle stretches to help improve ankle range of motion (dorsiflexion). If these more conservative techniques do not offer relief, surgery may be necessary to relieve pain, repair tendons, and restore the arch.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Mark Spier from Maryland. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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 What is Flexible Flat Foot?
Connect with us