Podiatrist Blog

Posts for: September, 2019

By Dr. Florin Costache
September 27, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Bunions  

With the ability to cause nagging discomfort throughout the day and prohibit daily movements as simple as walking, bunions can quickly turn from a barely noticeable bump on your toe, to a painful deformity that detracts from your over wellbeing. Fortunately, if caught early, you can prevent this podiatric issue from developing into a serious problem. Read on to learn if you could be suffering from this condition, and whether you should take a visit to your local podiatrist.

 

Signs That You May Have a Bunion

Generally forming on the side of your big toe, bunions are hard, bony lumps that are often caused by wearing poorly-fitted shoes (especially high heels), having genetic predispositions, or experiencing a foot injury. If you think that you may have a bunion, be on the lookout for these symptoms:

  • A bony protrusion at the base of your toe
  • A generally red discoloration
  • A feeling of tightness in previously comfortable shoes

The above-listed symptoms describe the beginning stages of a bunion, a point during which your podiatrist will likely recommend a conservative approach to treatment. However, you may require more extensive medical care if you begin to notice these signs:

  • Persistent pain and swelling
  • Periodic numbness of the foot
  • Restricted and slowed movement of the toe/foot

 

Treatments

For less serious bunion cases, ones in which there isn’t pain yet and movement is still unrestricted, your podiatrist may recommend:

  • Soaking your foot in warm water
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as Aspirin
  • Wearing appropriate shoe inserts
  • Avoiding tight-fitting footwear

In severe bunion cases, your podiatrist will likely recommend a more rigorous treatment approach in order to alleviate pain and increase mobility. Some of these options include:

  • Custom-made orthotics to maintain toe alignment
  • Regular physical therapy and a specialized exercise regiment
  • Bunionectomy, a surgery to remove the bunion and realign the foot (this is only necessary in the most extreme of cases)

 

Concerned? Contact Us

If you feel that bunions are disrupting your life, then take the pro-active approach and schedule an appointment at our office to learn how to regain your health.


By Dr. Florin Costache
September 25, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: foot pain  

Do you know why you suddenly have aches and pains in your feet? Unfortunately, the cause of foot pain isn't always obvious. Your Denver, CO, podiatrists, Dr. Florin Costache and Dr. Lorry Melnick, can determine the source of your pain and offer effective treatment options.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain. The condition occurs when a tough band of connective tissue called the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. The fascia runs along the bottom of your foot and connects your toes to your heels.

Orthotics, steroid injections, shockwave therapy, night splints and physical therapy are among the treatments foot doctors offer for plantar fasciitis. If your condition is severe or doesn't respond to other treatments, surgery may be needed to reduce tension and inflammation in the fascia.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis doesn't just affect your knees and hands but may also occur in the joints of your feet. Over-the-counter pain medication and ice may help initially, but if your condition worsens, you may need to see your Denver foot doctor.

Your podiatrist can design custom orthotics that cushion your foot, redistribute your weight and decrease pressure when you wear shoes. Physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections may also be helpful. If arthritis causes severe pain or interferes with your daily life, you may benefit from surgery.

Flat Foot

Flat foot can cause pain in your arches, heels, ankles, knees, hips and lower back. Walking, standing and running without proper arch and foot support can aggravate your condition.

Your podiatrist may recommend orthotics or orthopedic shoes that provide much-needed support for your arches. Steroid injections may be helpful if you have severe pain. Luckily, most people don't need surgery for flat feet.

Bunions

Do you have a bony bump on the base of your big toe? You may have a bunion. The condition occurs when the joint moves out of alignment. Slowing bunion progression and reducing pain is the goal of treatment. Orthotics and night splints can improve the alignment of your foot, while adhesive pads can decrease pressure on your foot when you wear shoes. Shoes should be roomy enough to easily accommodate your bunion. If your bunion worsens, you may need surgery to remove it and realign your joints.

A visit to the podiatrist can relieve your foot pain. Call your Denver, CO, podiatrists, Dr. Florin Costache and Dr. Lorry Melnick at (303) 355-1695 to schedule your appointment.


By Dr. Florin Costache
September 17, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Metatarsalgia  

Heel PainMetatarsalgia denotes a common foot condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the joints and bones of the ball of the foot - the area just before the toes, also called the metatarsal region.

Symptoms of metatarsalgia can develop suddenly, especially after an increase in exercise or high-impact activities, but normally the problems develop over time. Common symptoms of metatarsalgia include:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot - the part of the sole just behind the toes
  • Pain that intensifies when you stand, walk or run
  • Pain that radiates from the balls of the feet into the toes
  • Numbness or tingling in the toes
  • A feeling in your feet as if you are walking with a pebble in your shoe
  • Pain that increases when walking barefoot

Sometimes a single factor can trigger metatarsalgia. More often, multiple factors contribute to the pain, including:

  • Over-training or Over-activity. Extensive training and high-impact sports, especially running, places an abnormal amount of stress on the balls of the feet, causing irritation, inflammation and pain.
  • Other foot disorders. High arches, hammertoes, bunions, stress fractures and Morton's neuroma can all trigger metatarsalgia symptoms.
  • Poor-fitting footwear. High heels, narrow-toed shoes and shoes without adequate padding can all contribute to metatarsal problems.
  • Excess weight. Extra weight places excess pressure on your metatarsals.
  • Aging. The fat pads on the metatarsals thin out as a person ages, diminishing the ability of the metatarsal bones to protect themselves.

Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can disrupt your day to day activities, and when left untreated can lead to additional pain in your unaffected foot, back or hips. Treatment to eliminate metatarsalgia symptoms can be as simple as resting, icing the affected area and wearing proper-fitting shoes to significantly reduce swelling and ease pain.

When conservative treatments aren't effective and pain persists, visit our practice for a full exam and a proper diagnosis. In most cases, metatarsalgia can be treated non-surgically. An experienced podiatrist may prescribe specially-designed orthotics or shock-absorbing insoles and arch supports to prevent and minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.


By Dr. Florin Costache
September 10, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Odor  

The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, which means they have the ability to sweat profusely. With your feet encased in your shoes all day and the sweat unable to evaporate, bacteria will begin to grow rapidly. Bacteria then begins to break down the sweat, generating an unpleasant odor. Other factors can contribute to increased perspiration, including anxiety, hormonal changes, medications and various skin conditions.

Foot odor is a common problem, especially among those who perspire excessively, but it can be both embarrassing and physically uncomfortable. If you suffer from foot odor, rest assured that simple lifestyle changes and improved personal hygiene can help reduce and eliminate the smell.

Easy Ways to Eliminate Foot Odor

Since most foot odor is caused from excess sweat and the growth of odor-causing bacteria, it's relatively easy to control and reduce foot odor on your own. Start by taking the following preventative steps:

  • Keep your feet clean by washing them with an antibacterial soap on a regular basis to minimize bacteria.
  • Keep feet dry as moisture enables the growth of bacteria.
  • Alternate shoes and avoid wearing the same pair for multiple days in a row.
  • Choose open shoes such as sandals when possible, allowing air onto the feet which evaporates sweat and slows the growth of bacteria.
  • Wear cotton socks which wick away moisture and absorb perspiration.
  • Apply foot sprays and powders to the feet. Ask your podiatrist for recommended products.
  • Disinfect, wash and discard foul smelling shoes as necessary.

The causes of foot odor are typically not harmful to your health, but do create an environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria. It's not unusual for infections such as toenail fungus and athlete's foot to develop as a result.

When improving your foot hygiene doesn't help reduce the smell, you may need to visit your podiatrist, as persistent foot odor can indicate an infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem. Visit our office, and we'll work with you to determine the cause and most effective treatment for your condition!