By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
April 09, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: metatarsalgia  
MetatarsalgiaWhile there are many reasons for foot pain, if the pain is concentrated in the ball of the foot (between the arches and your toes) then you could be dealing with an overuse injury known as metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia can be incredibly painful, making it difficult to stand or even walk without discomfort. If you suspect that you might be dealing with metatarsalgia, a podiatrist can quickly diagnose and treat your condition.

What are the signs of metatarsalgia?

You could be dealing with metatarsalgia if,
  • You have foot pain that is exacerbated by standing, walking, or flexing your foot
  • Foot pain gets better with rest
  • You have a sharp or burning pain in the ball of the foot
  • There is a sharp or shooting pain in the toes
  • Your toes tingle or feel numb
  • You feel as if you have a stone in your shoe
Foot pain can happen for a variety of reasons, and mild symptoms typically won’t need medical intervention; however, if your foot pain lasts more than a few days then it might be time to consult your podiatrist.

What causes this foot problem?

Certain factors can certainly increase your risk of developing metatarsalgia. These risk factors include,
  • Experiencing stress fractures in the toes
  • Wearing high heels or shoes with a narrow toe box
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having certain foot deformities such as bunions or hammertoes
  • High arches
  • Intense or endurance exercises such as long-distance running
How is metatarsalgia treated?

You can ease metatarsalgia pain and discomfort on your own through simple lifestyle changes including,
  • Rest
  • Avoiding certain activities and exercises that make the pain worse (e.g., running)
  • Wearing properly fitted and fully supportive shoes
  • Avoiding high heels or shoes that are too tight
  • Placing shoe inserts or padding under the metatarsal bones for further support
  • Icing the area multiple times a day
  • Taking a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication
Any new or worsening foot pain should be addressed by your podiatrist, as different injuries and conditions will require unique and individualized care. Don’t ignore your foot pain. If you suspect that you might have metatarsalgia, call your foot doctor today.
By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
April 01, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Pigeon Toes  
Pigeon ToesDo your child’s feet turn inward? If so, it’s fairly easy to tell, particularly when they walk. This condition is known as pigeon toes and it is often genetic (so if you have a family history of pigeon toes chances are more likely that your child will develop this foot problem, too).
 
How are pigeon toes diagnosed?

When you bring your child into the podiatrist’s office, the specialist will examine your child’s walk and gait. They will also observe how your child stands to see if their feet turn inwards or to look at how your child’s hips are positioned. Your podiatrist may also recommend imaging tests to look at the alignment of the bones.

While a pediatrician may be the first person to look at and diagnose your child’s pigeon toes, a pediatric podiatrist is going to be able to provide your little one with the specialized treatment and care they need.
 
How are pigeon toes treated in children?

Most parents are relieved to find out that many children grow out of mild to moderate forms of pigeon toes. While this may take a few years, this is nothing to worry about and children won’t require special treatment or care.

However, if this issue is detected in your infant, they may need to wear a cast on the feet to fix the alignment before your child begins walking. A podiatrist can also show you a series of stretches and massages that can help the bones grow into the proper alignment.

If your child’s pigeon toes are still causing them issues by 10 years old, then you may want to talk with your podiatrist about whether surgery may be necessary to correct these bone alignment issues.
While mild pigeon toes may not be a cause for concern, children with more severe cases may have trouble walking or may not be able to participate in sports. Some children may also deal with teasing due to their condition. It’s important to discuss all of these issues with your child’s podiatrist so they can help you find the right treatment option to meet your child’s needs.
 
If your child has pigeon toes, it’s best to speak with a qualified foot doctor to find out the best way to address this issue to prevent mobility issues in your growing little one. A podiatrist can easily treat pigeon toes and other foot and ankle conditions in children, teens, and adults.
By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
March 12, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Flat Feet  
Flat FeetAre you flat-footed? If so, you join the ranks of about 18 million American adults over age 21 that also have this common foot condition, reports the National Foot Health Assessment. Having flat feet simply means that you don’t have arches in your feet, which means that the entire foot touches the ground when you stand or walk. While flat feet won’t cause problems for some, others may regularly deal with achy, sore feet or pain in the ankles, legs, or thigh. If you are dealing with foot pain and you think it may be due to flat feet, your podiatrist can help.

What causes flat feet?

Sometimes flat feet are simply inherited (thanks mom and dad!). Other times they develop as a result of a weakening of the posterior tibial tendon due to age-related wear and tear, physical activity, and overpronation. Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop flat feet.

Should I be concerned about my child’s flat feet?

The arches of the feet develop during childhood, so it’s not normal for your baby or toddler to have arches. Their flat feet are perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. Arches typically won’t form until your child is two or three years old, and some children won’t develop arches until the age of five.

What are some ways to treat flat feet?

If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms then there is no reason to seek treatment for your flat feet; however, if you are dealing with foot pain, particularly around the heel or arches of the foot, then you should talk with your podiatrist about ways to ease your pain and prevent further flare-ups. Some conservative ways to treat flat feet include,
  • Wearing properly fitted shoes that provide ample cushioning and support for the entire foot, particularly the arches and heel
  • Consider getting prescription orthotics from your podiatrist, which can evenly distribute the weight throughout the foot rather than putting added pressure on the arches or heel
  • Losing weight, if the patient is overweight or obese
  • Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce pain and swelling
  • Talking to your podiatrist about special exercises that you can do to improve the strength and function of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the foot to reduce pain
  • Weighing the pros and cons of surgical intervention
Fallen arches and flat feet can impact a person’s ability to walk or run. If you are dealing with pain and other issues due to flat feet, a podiatrist can provide you with simple solutions to ease discomfort and improve how your feet function as a whole.
By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
March 02, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Puncture Wound  
Puncture WoundA puncture wound in the foot occurs when you step on an object that leaves a small hole behind. One of the most common puncture wounds comes from stepping on a nail. Puncture wounds are not simply cuts and will require different treatment and care to prevent infection and other complications from occurring. If you’re dealing with a puncture wound, you probably took a trip to your local emergency room for care. Even if you’ve done this, you should still follow up with a podiatrist to make sure the wound is properly cared for and tended to.
 
Dealing with a puncture wound? Here are the steps you should take,
  • Seek immediate medical attention (head to your local ER)
  • You may need a tetanus shot if it’s been more than 10 years since your last shot
  • Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist within 24 hours of the injury
  • Your podiatrist will provide you with a variety of care instructions to keep it clean and disinfected (make sure to follow all of these instructions)
When you come into the podiatrist’s office the first thing they will do is assess the wound and make sure it is properly cleaned. They will also make sure there is no debris remaining. To clean the wound, a numbing gel may be applied to the area first. Sometimes a round of antibiotics is prescribed to prevent an infection from developing. If your podiatrist suspects that you might still have a piece of an object in the wound or that there might be bone damage, imaging tests may need to be performed.
 
You must keep off the foot so that it can fully heal. If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, make sure to take the medication until it is finished (if you stop taking it before the medication is finished it won’t be as effective). While your foot heals you must examine it daily and look for any signs of infection. These signs include,
  • Fever
  • New or worsening pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Drainage
  • Skin that’s warm to the touch
It’s important to turn to a podiatrist right away to treat your puncture wound to prevent complications. A foot and ankle specialist can provide you with instructions on how to properly care for your wound to ensure that it doesn’t get infected. Seek treatment right away.
By New England Foot & Ankle Specialists
March 01, 2021
Category: Foot Care

Proper foot care is one of the most important aspects of maintaining your diabetes. Those who are diabetic are at high risk for peripheral neuropathy which damages the nerves in your legs or arms. If not properly cared for, your feet could become infected and require amputation. If you have diabetes you must learn about diabetic foot care. Take extra precautions when dealing with any foot injury. Get regular checkups with New England Foot and Ankle Specialists in Reading, MA. And inspect your own feet daily for any changes. Don't risk amputation, discover how you can care for your feet and prevent neuropathy.

Why Is Diabetic Foot Care Important?

As a person with diabetes, there is a lot you have to keep track of. You need to be aware of your blood sugar levels, take all your medicine, stay active, and eat healthily, but foot care should be just as big of a priority for you, too. It is estimated that about half of all people with diabetes have diabetic nerve damage. The most common extremities affected are the feet and legs due to the poor blood circulation caused by your disease. It is important to check your feet every day for any problems, early detection can save your legs!

You are at a higher risk for peripheral neuropathy if you are overweight, over 40, have high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. You should see your Reading, MA, podiatrist if you notice any of these problems:

  • Blisters, sores, ulcers, or other infections on your feet.
  • Tingling or numbing pain in your feet.
  • Reduced or lost sense of touch.
  • Pain in your legs during physical activity.
  • Dry or cracked skin on your feet.
  • Change in the shape of your feet.
  • Fungal infections between your toes.

How to Prevent Peripheral Neuropathy and Other Diabetic Foot Complications

To keep your feet healthy, make checking your feet part of your diabetic care routine. Check regularly for cuts, calluses, or cracks that could get infected. Be aware of any redness or swelling as it could be a sign of infection. Always use footwear when walking outside. Keep your feet clean and use lotion to prevent cracking. Maintain blood flow. Use footbaths to soothe foot pain. Most importantly, get annual foot checkups from the doctors at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists.

If you live in the Reading, MA, area and need diabetic foot care call (781) 944-4044. New England Foot & Ankle Specialists has a team of experienced doctors ready to assist you with compassion and attention to detail. Peripheral neuropathy is common and dangerous, make sure your feet are in good hands, call New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, today!





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New England & Ankle Specialists

(781) 944-4044
30 New Crossing Road Suite 311 Reading, MA 01876