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Tuesday, 19 October 2021 00:00

Battling Bony Bunions

Bunions are bony protrusions at the base of the big toe which have developed over time. Repeated pressure on the toe can gradually shift it out of position and tilt towards the other toes. Bunions are also referred to as Hallux abductovalgus, Hallux valgus, HAV, and HV. It is believed that genetics and wearing high heels or narrow-toed footwear can increase the risk of developing this condition. Other conditions that may also contribute to bunions forming include certain types of arthritis, flat feet, and rare genetic bone disorders. Painful bunions can be treated by a podiatrist in a variety of ways from padding and taping, to custom orthotics, night-time splints, icing and other therapies, and by switching to proper footwear. In the most severe cases, a podiatric surgeon can remove the bunion and restore the natural position and beauty of the toe.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Dr. Richard DiMario of Maine. Our doctor 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 our office located in York, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:00

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that run along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to the toes. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed or partially torn, it results in the condition that is commonly referred to as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The pain is usually worse in the morning and after long periods of rest. Common causes of plantar fasciitis includes sitting or standing for long periods of time, having tight calf muscles, having flat feet or high arches, obesity, and arthritis. Patients who are struggling with heel pain should consult with a podiatrist because there are a variety of causes. Once you visit with a podiatrist, they will be able to provide a proper diagnosis, as well as a customized treatment plan for your condition.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Richard DiMario  from Maine. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in York, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Sunday, 10 October 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Tuesday, 05 October 2021 00:00

Understanding Gout

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis where excess amounts of uric acid causes hard crystals to form in the joints—most commonly affected is the big toe joint. The body’s inability to flush uric acid may be caused by kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, certain medications, consuming foods and beverages that are high in purines, and a family history of gout. The pain felt by gout can often be acute, and may be accompanied by a burning sensation, swelling, and severe tenderness in the big toe. A podiatrist can diagnose gout through an examination, blood tests and analysis of joint fluid, and create a treatment plan based on their findings and the severity of the condition in the patient.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Richard DiMario from Maine. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in York, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Tuesday, 28 September 2021 00:00

What Are Toe Stretchers?

Toe stretchers are a type of orthotic that may relieve toe pain. Conventional toe stretchers are usually made of gel, plastic, or silicone and slide between your toes, spreading them apart and positioning them away from the balls of the feet. They are worn while sitting or lying down and stretch the toe muscles and ligaments, increasing their flexibility, relieving pain, and preventing injuries. Toe stretcher socks are simply socks that separate the toes. They do not provide as much of a stretch as conventional toe stretchers, but still separate the toes and are warm and comfortable. Toe stretchers are used to treat a variety of conditions, including plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, bunions, corns, calluses, and Morton’s neuroma, among others. To see if toe stretchers are right for you, please consult with a podiatrist. 

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Dr. Richard DiMario from Maine. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in York, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Orthotics
Tuesday, 21 September 2021 00:00

What Is a Nail Avulsion?

A nail avulsion is a surgical procedure that is used to treat severe ingrown toenails. During the surgery, the doctor removes the ingrown part of your nail from the surrounding skin. There are two types of nail avulsions. A partial nail avulsion involves removal of part of the nail bed. During this procedure, the nail is numbed with anesthetic and the ingrown edge is removed. Any pus is also drained. A total nail avulsion involves the complete removal of the nail. It can take a year or longer for a new nail to grow back. This operation is usually reserved for chronic cases that have not responded to any other treatments. If you have ingrown toenails, please seek the care of a podiatrist, who will find the right treatment for you. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Richard DiMario of Maine. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in York, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Tuesday, 14 September 2021 00:00

Heel Pain in a Growing Child

Growth plates are discs of cartilage that a developing child has at the end of their bones, which allow bone growth until the plate closes. The growth plate located at the heel bone can become overly stressed during growth spurts, or through athletics involving running and jumping—such as soccer, gymnastics, and basketball. These things may cause the Achilles tendon to pull excessively on the heel bone and irritate the growth plate, triggering inflammation and pain. This condition is known as Sever’s disease: named after the doctor who first identified it in 1912. Sever’s disease typically affects girls between the ages of 8-10, and boys between 10-12 years of age. A podiatrist can help ease the pain of Sever’s disease with RICE (resting, icing, compression, and elevation), as well as immobilization, medication, and prescribed supportive devices to reduce stress on the heel. If your child is complaining about heel pain, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Richard DiMario of Maine. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in York, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Friday, 10 September 2021 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Tuesday, 07 September 2021 00:00

Three Types of Corns

A small area of skin on the foot that has become thickened due to excess friction may be referred to as a corn. Wearing shoes that do not fit properly may cause corns to form, as well as other foot conditions like bunions or hammertoes. Research has shown there are three kinds of corns that can develop. A seed corn typically forms on the soles of the feet and often appear in groups. These types of corns can also be linked to dry skin. A soft corn is found between the toes and stays moist from wearing socks and shoes all day. Hard corns are generally the most common and are located on wider portions of thickened skin on the foot. Most corns become quite painful as they thicken and may appear infected. Relief may be found when appropriate shoes are worn, and a protective covering is placed over the corn as a layer of protection. Corns can disrupt one’s daily activities so it is strongly suggested that a consultation be scheduled with a podiatrist who can suggest effective treatment methods.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Richard DiMario of Maine. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctor to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in York, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Corns and Calluses

The location of the band of tissue that is referred to as the plantar fascia is found on the sole of the foot. It connects the heel bone to the toes, and provides support for the arch. An injury or gradual overuse can cause a condition that is known as plantar fasciitis, and can cause difficulty in walking. Tight calf muscles or flat feet can contribute to the onset of plantar fasciitis. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can consist of pain and discomfort in the morning after arising, and it can last throughout the day. Additionally, the pain may increase if the shoes that are worn do not have adequate support. This ailment can be common among people who enjoy running, and it is beneficial to refrain from participating in similar activities until the healing process is completed. If you have pain in your heel or arch, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so they can determine what the best course of treatment is for you.

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 Dr. Richard DiMario from Maine. Our doctor 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 our office located in York, ME . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
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