Relieving Your Foot Care Stress and Concerns

When you’re feeling lousy or have inexplicable pain, not knowing the reason behind it can make the discomfort seem that much worse. However, before you fall into the paranoid well of online diagnosis, allow us—the professionals—the chance to answer your questions and relieve your concerns. Our extensive knowledge and experience with all types of foot-related problems not only can help you understand your pain, but also can convince you to get the proper treatment. Come see what we have to offer.

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  • Can losing weight help relieve my heel pain?

    Heel pain and obesity are definitely related. Pain is often the result of an overuse condition like plantar fasciitis. When you walk, each pound of weight exerts 3 or 4 pounds of force on your lower limbs. If you lose 5 pounds, it is like taking 15 – 20 pounds of pressure off your feet with every step. That can make a big difference in wear and tear on your tendons and bones.

    If you need help losing weight, or if you have heel pain that doesn’t go away, it’s time to call Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates. We can diagnose the reasons for your pain and recommend treatment to get rid of it—including weight loss tips. Call our Daytona Beach office at (386) 274-3336, or check our webpage for additional Atlantic coast locations and phone numbers.

  • Can stretching help relieve heel pain?

    Taking a few minutes every day for stretching could dramatically decrease your heel pain from plantar fasciitis. Sit on a chair and cross one leg over the other. Then, grab the back of your toes and pull them toward your shin for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times, three times a day—once before you get out of bed in the morning. This keeps the plantar fascia limber enough to avoid chronic pain and re-injury

    Calf stretches can also help for pain in your heels. Stand facing a wall, place the affected foot back, bend the other knee, and lean into the wall keeping your back heel on the floor. Or sit on the floor and loop a towel around your toes, gently pulling them towards you to stretch the calf muscles.

    For more information about plantar fasciitis, contact Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates in Edgewater, FL, at (386) 957-4818, or check our website for our other four east Florida offices and phone numbers.

  • How can I prevent diabetic ulcers?

    In one word, vigilance. To prevent ulcers, you need to pay close attention to your feet. Keep them clean and dry, and inspect them every day, so you can notice the first sign of any small scrape, cut or blister. Trim toenails carefully and gently remove calluses with a pumice stone after your shower. Protect your feet from sharp objects by wearing socks and comfortable shoes that don’t pinch your feet. Exercise and don’t smoke; both will help with your circulation.

    If you notice a small injury, contact Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates, and put your feet in the care of our experts as soon as possible. We will treat and bandage your small wounds before they have a chance to develop into an ulcer or become infected. Call our Daytona Beach office at (386) 274-3336, or the Orange City location at (386) 775-2281.

  • Can I still run with shin splints?

    While you can run with shin splints, the real question is, should you? The answer to that is “probably not.” Resting from activity is better.

    This pain in the front of your lower leg is usually brought on by doing too much before your muscles and tendons are conditioned. That’s why it is common in new military recruits and beginning runners—or those who suddenly add hills to their workout.

    Your shin bones bend slightly when you land on your feet. If you feel twinges of pain, the bone likely has some damage. Continuing to run on it without giving it time to heal can make it worse, and even result in a stress fracture.

    Rest and ice your shins to relieve pain, and then call Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates in east Florida for an appointment to see what is causing your problem. Weak calf muscles and hip abductor muscles can increase your risk for shin splints, so maybe you need to work on those. We’ll identify the root cause and design a treatment plan to get you on your feet again. Call our Orange City, FL, office at (386) 775-2281 or one of our other locations near you.

  • What is turf toe?

    If your big toe is sprained by being pushed too far back, the injury is called turf toe. That’s because incidents of this type of sprain increased when athletes began playing on artificial turf. Cleats become stuck and don’t let the big toe spring up as you push off for a step, thereby hyperextending it. The surface is harder than grass, too, so it doesn’t give as much when landing on it, which increases trauma to the big toe joint.

    With this sprain, the ligaments stretch too far or tear, causing instability, swelling, pain and stiffness in the big toe when you try to bend it. It is important to have an injury like this examined in our office, to make sure there is no fracture. We offer treatment within 24 hours (48 on the weekend) so you can find relief fast, and have digital X-ray capability right in our offices so you don’t need to travel somewhere else for tests.

    If you injure your toe Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates is the place to come. Call us in Orange City, FL, at (386) 775-2281, or set up an appointment at one of our other offices listed on the website.

  • How do I get rid of shin splints?

    Knowing how to get rid of shin splints means taking time to heal completely before getting back to your activities. We may not like taking a hiatus, but here’s what you need to do to help them heal: rest and stay off them, ice your shin every few hours the first few days to get rid of the pain, and follow our instructions for using anti-inflammatory pain killers.

    As your shins begin to feel better, we may recommend range of motion exercises or physical therapy. It may help to use arch supports (a drug store type or those we custom design for you), or wear a neoprene sleeve to warm your leg and help support it.

    When the injured leg feels as strong and flexible as your other one, and you can be active without pain, your shin splints are probably healed. If it’s been a few months and they are still painful, come in to Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates and let us take a look. Give our Port Orange office a call at (386) 788-6333 to set up an appointment, or check our website for other locations closer by.

  • When Will my Toenail Fungus Go Away?

    If you don’t treat toenail fungus, it won’t just go away, and it will probably get worse. It festers under your nail, causes it to turn yellow and thick, and eventually can make it disintegrate or separate from the nail bed.

    There are topical treatments to use in cream, lotion, or polish form. These may work if the fungus hasn’t settled deeply under the nail, but they need to be applied faithfully for weeks or months—as long as it takes for the new nail to grow out.

    Oral medications are the most proven method, but they also can take months and come with risk of liver problems. You need to be tested periodically to make sure liver function has not been impaired.

    At Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates in Florida, we offer laser treatment for fungal toenails. It focuses concentrated laser beams at the level of the fungus that heat it up and destroy it without damaging surrounding tissue. It’s a simple, painless treatment, free of known side effects, and may be the answer to your embarrassing toenails. Call our Daytona Beach office at (386) 274-3336 or one of our other locations to find out more.

  • What causes an Ingrown toenail?

      To figure out what causes an ingrown toenail, look first to your footwear. Shoes that pinch the front of your feet or press against the tops or sides of your big toes can cause the nails to grow into the skin. This can also happen if you trim the nails to a rounded shape, instead of letting the sides grow out straight above the skin. Some people have naturally curved nails that make them more susceptible to ingrowing. If the nail is injured in some way, it may not grow out correctly from the matrix where it forms. Even your posture or your foot biomechanics can put pressure on the edge of your toe.

    When the nail grows into the skin, the soft tissue can become irritated, red and inflamed. If the skin is pieced at all, bacteria can enter the wound and infect it. Sometimes pockets of pus form, causing even more pressure and pain. In short, ingrown toenails are no fun!

    To get relief, call Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates in Florida at one of these locations: Daytona Beach—(386) 274-3336, Edgewater—(386) 957-4818, Orange City—(386) 775-2281, Palm Coast—(386) 586-7373, or Port Orange—(386) 788-6333.

  • Why is my toenail black?

      Black toenails are usually caused by blood pooling beneath the nail. You can get this injury by running in shoes that don’t fit correctly. If your shoe is too short, your nail will constantly be hitting the front of it—especially if you haven’t trimmed it in a while. Sweaty feet will slide around more in the shoe, too, again bumping into the front. Make sure you wear shoes that are a half inch longer than your longest toe, and socks that keep your feet dry.

    Black toenails can also occur with an injury to the toe, like dropping something heavy on it. A subungual hematoma with pressure and pain may need to be drained (don’t try this yourself!). In addition, dark toenails could indicate a fungal infection, or in rare cases, a malignant melanoma. This is a fast-growing cancer, so any time you see a dark spot, be sure to have your toenails checked.

    The podiatrists at Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates can diagnose and treat all your toenail problems. Call us at (386) 788-6333 in Port Orange, (386) 957-4818 in Edgewater, or one of the other locations and numbers on our website.

  • What’s causing my toenail fungus?

    Toenail fungus causes include molds, yeast, and various types of fungi. Most cases are caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes. These small organisms enter your toes through tiny breaks in the skin or a separation between the nail and the tissue underneath. Because they thrive in places that are warm and moist—like public pools, showers, and saunas—they spread easily. Wearing shoes and socks that keep your feet damp from sweat allow them to multiply, causing your disfigured nails.

    Toenail fungus usually won’t go away on its own. Topical and oral medications are available, but at Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates we have had good success treating them with laser therapy, which is faster, painless, and free of any known side effects. Check out our Florida Laser Center site for more information, or send for our free book, No More Ugly Toenails, by filling out the request form online or calling our Daytona Beach office at (386) 274-3336.