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Elderly people may experience a certain amount of instability, which may lead to falling. This unnatural movement has the potential of causing serious health ailments. Many patients who have fallen have developed a fear of falling, and this may prevent them from being as active as they once were. This may possibly cause the body to lose strength and flexibility. There are methods that can be implemented which may help to reduce the risk of falling. These can consist of increasing the lighting in the household, installing grab bars in the toilet and shower areas, and removing any existing loose carpeting. Research has indicated it may be beneficial to have a routine physical examination, and this may be helpful in determining the effectiveness of current medications. If you would like additional information about how falling can affect the feet, it is suggested that you 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 one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors 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 Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention

The Achilles tendon is found in the back of the calf, and it connects the calf muscles to the heel. This portion of tissue is instrumental in allowing the foot to point and flex, in addition to performing activities that include running, jumping, and walking. If the Achilles tendon becomes damaged as a result of a fall or injury, immediate and severe pain is often felt. There are common reasons why this type of injury may occur. These can consist of calf muscles that have not been stretched properly before beginning a new sport, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or increasing the intensity of a sporting activity. Many patients find the affected leg is painful in the morning upon arising, and it may become swollen as daily activities are pursued. There are specific stretches that can be performed which may bring moderate relief. If you are afflicted with an Achilles tendon injury, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who guide you toward proper treatment options.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors 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 Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Falcon’s quarterback Matt Ryan was tackled several times during their game on October 20th. The last sack resulted in an ankle injury that forced him to exit the game. After rolling on the ground, getting up, and limping, he was checked by the medical team. Dan Quinn, who is the Falcon’s coach will have a better idea of if he can return to play for future games. The back-up quarterback Matt Schaub quickly entered the game, and was able to throw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. The final score was in favor of the Rams, 37-10.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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

Read more about Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries

Living with foot pain is hard on your body.  Give us a call and let us find out what's wrong.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019 00:00

What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs in the foot and ankle. It is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs in the wrist. Both disorders arise from the compression of a nerve in a confined space. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a constriction, or squeezing, on the posterior tibial nerve that produces symptoms anywhere on the path of the nerve running from the inside of the ankle into the foot. The posterior tibial nerve is the focus of tarsal tunnel syndrome. This nerve runs down the back of the calf and into the sole of the foot. When tissues around the tarsal tunnel become inflamed, they can swell and press on the nerve, causing severe pain. If you have pain in your foot or ankle and want to identify the source, it is suggested to consult with your local podiatrist. Your podiatrist may prescribe corticosteroid injections, orthoses, and in some cases, surgery to treat this ailment.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors 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 Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 14 October 2019 00:00

Helpful Tips On Elderly Foot Care

Research has shown the importance for elderly people to properly take care of their feet. It may be difficult for seniors to bend down to trim their toenails, and they may benefit from having a caregiver or a relative help them accomplish this. If the patient is diabetic, any cuts, scrapes, or wounds on the feet need to be treated as quickly as possible. This can be helpful in preventing any infections from developing. Additionally, wearing socks that fit properly may be helpful controlling existing circulation conditions. The feet may change size as the aging process occurs, and it is suggested that the  feet get measured regularly. This will help in determining the correct shoe size that will be comfortable to wear. Elderly patients may find it feels good to frequently stretch their feet, and this may benefit the overall health of the feet. If you would like additional information about how to help geriatric patients properly care for their feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and provide you with quality treatment.

Geriatrics and Podiatry
When people age, some common issues that may occur are bone density loss, dry skin, poor circulation, and rough brittle nails. These issues may also affect your foot health if the necessary steps are not taken to alleviate the problems.

It is important to take care of your feet because feet that are injured or diseased can affect your overall health. Having painful feet hinders your ability to do daily activities or may decrease your willingness to do the things that you need to do.

Visiting Your Geriatrician
As we age, health problems become more likely, so it is essential to visit your doctor for check-ups to ensure that you are doing the best you can to take care of your health. It is recommended to check your feet frequently for any possible cuts, bruises, swelling, corns or any other irregularities. 

Taking Care of Elderly Feet
Cracked or dry feet can be treated by applying moisturizer often. It is also important not to wear old socks because the older the sock is, the higher the possibility there will be that there is bacteria there. Wear fresh socks and make sure they fit properly.

Proper foot health means that you can have a more active lifestyle and you will not be bogged down by pain. Foot health also leads to good circulation, which is paramount for overall health.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Geriatrics and Podiatry
Monday, 07 October 2019 00:00

The Definition of a Heel Spur

A small and hard protrusion that forms in the heel of the foot is referred to as a heel spur. They can have different shapes that can include being flat, hooked, or pointy. It begins in the heel, and typically grows toward the arch of the foot. It generally produces pain and discomfort while walking, standing, or running. Some patients experience swelling, and the heel may feel achy for the majority of the day. As the aging process occurs, the heel pads may become thinner, and may fail to provide adequate shock absorption. Calcium deposits may gradually develop, the deposits form bony protrusions, which are heel spurs. Patients who are overweight or walk on hard surfaces could be prone to developing this type of foot condition, in addition to wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Relief may be felt when the foot is elevated, and it is beneficial to wear shoes that have additional cushioning. If you have developed a heel spur, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Heel Spurs

First baseman Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals has suffered a “brutal” season due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The condition made Zimmerman’s returns to the field slow. The nature of the athlete’s injury has also made it slow to heal; fully torn plantar fascia are faster to heal, but Zimmerman’s fascia was only partly torn. Before his return on September 1st, Zimmerman rehabilitated on the treadmill. Plantar fasciitis is a common sports injury that can be disruptive to everyday life. If you think you’ve sustained a plantar fasciitis injury, contact your podiatrist. 
 

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Saturday, 28 September 2019 00:00

Do your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately?

Pitcher Joe Smith of the Houston Astros was facing a long and tough recovery when he ruptured the Achilles tendon in his right ankle last December. Instead of choosing to end his career, however, Smith took on rehabilitation after receiving surgery for the repair. Smith’s decision has proven to be the right one, as the player made his return to the field for the first time this year on July 14th, and he’s been strong and solid since. Smith has played 20 games for the Houston Astros since his return, and in those games, he’s allowed only three earned runs. The pitcher’s proven resilience has made him a key player for the Astros as they move forward. If you believe that you’ve experienced an Achilles tendon injury, consult with your podiatrist.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors 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 Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 00:00

What Are The Benefits Of Having Foot Massages?

A popular form of foot therapy includes foot massages. Many people find relief at the end of a work day by having their feet gently massaged. This can be beneficial in relieving pain and discomfort the feet may have endured during the day. Additionally, it may be easier to relax and sleep after a massage has been performed, and pain may be minimized throughout the body. Before beginning a foot massage, it can be helpful to soak the feet in warm water, followed by applying massage oil on the feet and ankles. An effective method of starting this type of therapy includes performing warm up twists, which allows the feet and ankles to prepare for the remainder of the massage. If more information is needed on the benefits of having regular foot massages, it is suggested that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist.

Foot therapy is often necessary for those recovering from either foot deformities or foot injuries. If you have concerns regarding therapy, one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Most Common Injuries

People who are active or athletes are prone to a variety of injuries. Therefore, it is often important to take part in physical therapy in order to quickly get back on the right track. 

What to Do When Injured

Physical Therapy – This specialized treatment will focus on the affected area, speeding up recovery and the overall healing process. It is a proven method that has helped millions of people return from any injury.

During physical therapy you will undergo regimented training to get back into full form. Training is often very difficult, especially at first when the foot feels weak. Physical therapy often involves:

Basic stretching and twisting exercises – getting the feet’s mobility and flexibility up.

Massaging – the therapist will massage the injured area in order to activate the muscles and relax them.

Strengthening Exercises – this allows the muscles in the affected area to regain their full strength, a vital step towards full recovery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Therapy for Sports Injuries
Monday, 09 September 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Ankle Sprains

When your ankle rolls to one side after unexpectedly stepping off of a curb, the pain and discomfort that often accompanies this type of injury can be intense. Many patients have difficulty walking after incurring an ankle injury, and running activities are temporarily impossible to partake in. An ankle sprain typically consists of damaged ligaments that comes from being stretched too far. Common symptoms of an ankle injury often include swelling and throbbing on and around the affected area, severe pain and discomfort while attempting to move it, and it is often tender when touched. Moderate relief can be obtained while elevating the ankle. This may help in diminishing a portion of the swelling. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which typically consists of having an X-ray taken, the ankle will generally be wrapped in an elastic bandage that can provide adequate support. It is strongly advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat ankle injuries.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

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

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Monday, 02 September 2019 00:00

Do Feet Become Larger During Pregnancy?

Many pregnant women notice their feet become larger as their pregnancy develops. This is often a result of additional weight gain caused by the growing fetus. Changes in hormone levels may cause the joints in the feet to become loose. Swollen feet are a common symptom that affect many pregnant women. Mild relief can be found while resting and elevating the feet. Additionally, it may be beneficial to perform gentle foot stretches, and this can be helpful in reducing excess fluid that may accumulate in the feet. It is important to wear shoes that fit correctly, and can offer the correct amount of support. Some pregnant women find it helpful to wear compression stockings in addition to wearing insoles, as they can add to the support of the shoe. If you have questions about how pregnancy affects the feet, please consult with a podiatrist who can provide you with the best information and recommendations.

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 & Ankle Associates of Maine. 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 Brunswick, Damariscotta, Augusta, ME. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Care for Pregnant Women
Thursday, 29 August 2019 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet.

Want to wear open toe shoes again? ...Special occasion? Vacation? ...You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

How Do I Know If I Have A Bunion?

The most noticeable symptom of a bunion is a large bony protrusion on the side of the big toe. It is considered to be a bone deformity, and can occur as a result of genetic factors, or from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. It can cause the big toe to gradually move toward the other toes, and it may become difficult to wear shoes. Many patients purchase larger size shoes to attain comfort, in addition to wearing bunion pads which may help to ease any friction that may be present. Additional reasons for this condition to occur can include having low arches, injuries that have happened to the feet, or medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this ailment can consist of pain and discomfort surrounding the affected area, the formation of corns and calluses on top of the bunion, and it may be difficult to move the toe. If you have a bunion, it is advised that you consult with  a podiatrist who can recommend correct treatment options, which may include surgery for permanent removal of the bunion.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about Bunions

Pain and discomfort that is felt on the ball of the foot may indicate the presence of a condition that is known as Morton’s neuroma. Additionally, the pain may be felt at the base of the toes, and patients have noticed that it feels like they are standing on pebbles. Other symptoms can include numbness or tingling, and walking may be difficult. A common cause of this condition is wearing shoes that are too tight, and which do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Wearing these types of shoes can cause irritation in the nerve, gradually putting pressure on that portion of the foot. There are existing medical conditions that are often associated with Morton’s neuroma. These can include bunions, hammertoes, and flat feet. After a proper diagnosis is performed, mild relief can be found in performing stretching techniques that may be helpful in loosening the tendons, in addition to elevating and massaging the affected foot. Please consult with a podiatrist if you feel you may have developed Morton’s neuroma, so that the proper treatment can begin.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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

Read more about Morton's Neuroma

If there are weakened muscles in your toes, a medical condition that is referred to as hammertoe may develop. This can cause the tendons in the toes to become shorter, and they may bend downward, resembling a hammer. The toes that are typically affected are the second and third toes, but it may occur on any toe. It can be caused by genetic factors, or may happen from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Patients who have hammertoe can experience difficulty in walking and flexing the feet, and corns and calluses may develop on top of the toes. When shoes that are worn fit properly, this condition could be prevented. Additionally, some patients find mild relief when shoe inserts or toe pads are worn. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly treat this uncomfortable condition.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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

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Tuesday, 06 August 2019 00:00

Toe Stretching Can Help Strengthen the Feet

The toes play an important role in maintaining balance in the body. When you take your shoes off and stand up, it is natural for the toes to turn upward. It is said when toes are held in one position too often, the muscles tighten and don't return to normal length. When the toes have adequate room to move freely, specific foot conditions may be prevented such as athlete’s foot, hammertoe, and corns. Research has shown that it is beneficial to frequently stretch the toes, and this can be accomplished in a variety of ways. One effective toe stretch happens when the toes are bent downward, this stretches the top of the foot. Additionally, you can pull the big toe and the little toe away from each other at once, restoring healthy width to the front of the foot. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of stretching your toes, please consult with your local podiatrist. 

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with one of our podiatrists from Foot & Ankle Associates of Maine. Our doctors 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 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 one, 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 and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

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

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