So Ya Wanna Dance …

Dance!

A wonderful social event and an excellent cardiovascular activity. Think of it both as an art form and athletic activity. Along with it, comes the aches, pains and potential foot injuries. Dancing requires muscular strength, endurance and balance. All of this puts a tremendous load on the feet and ankles. And of course, the kind of shoes one wears, especially women, increases these demands. One of the most common complaints is pain to the ball of the foot. A mild to moderate problem causes inflammation, otherwise known as metatarsalgia. Sometimes the pain feels like there is pinching between the bones of the forefoot. This pain is due to squeezing of the nerves, referred to as a neuroma. A more severe forefoot problem is a stress fracture where the bone actually fatigues and fractures from the excessive forces put upon it. Like any other athletic activity, keeping in shape and proper equipment is key. Besides strengthening exercises, stretching and maintaining flexibility will help avoid injury. And equipment … the shoes. Proper fitting shoes and accommodative padding will help avoid injury and chronic pain. Heel height is also an issue. The higher the heel, the more stress on the forefoot and an elevated chance of ankle sprains. So keep dancing the night away, but consider doing it with a sound body and appropriate shoe gear.

For more information, please contact the Port Townsend Foot and Ankle Center, 360-385-6486. We’re located at 204 Gaines Street.

Onychocryptosis

When skin on one or both sides of a toenail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail grows into the skin, an ingrown toenail, or onychocryptosis, can occur. Redness, irritation, and swelling can follow and may result in an infection. Toenails that grow too large, stubbed toes, improperly cut toenails, or other traumas can cause the toenail to penetrate the skin. This can make it easy for germs to enter and cause infection. Ingrown toenails should therefore never go untreated. The affected foot should be soaked in warm, salty water and dried thoroughly. A mild antiseptic solution should be applied, and the toe should be bandaged. Your podiatrist can trim or remove the toenail if necessary.

Do you have a painful ingrown toenail? Do you suffer from any painful foot condition? Don’t hide behind these five dangerous words—maybe it will go away. Feet are vulnerable and prone to many complaints, but most problems don’t just disappear on their own. Your podiatrist can treat them efictively and efficiently with medication, surgery, or other less-invasive procedures such as exercise and orthotics. Don’t take your feet for granted—call us at Port Townsend Foot & Ankle Center, P.S., 385-6486, for an appointment. Located at 204 Gaines Street, office hours.

HINT: Tight hosiery or shoes with narrow toe boxes make ingrown toenails worse.

Quite the Support System

If you have shin splints, heel pain, tendonitis, cramping, or aching or tired legs, you can achieve improvement and alleviate discomfort by using orthotics. Orthotics are custom made inserts that fit inside shoes. They decrease the abnormal motion of the foot and allow for normal movement. Wearing an orthotic places the foot in a neutral position, restoring balance. Orthotics can also help reduce or eliminate back pain, and they can provide comfort and protection to those with geriatric or diabetic foot problems. The inserts offer relief for individuals who walk or stand excessively at work. Those who are active in sports may find that orthotics increase their endurance, strength, and performance. Orthotics can also help to avoid future foot problems.

Just like individualized foot care, our custom orthotics and inserts are designed to meet the specific needs of each patient who comes to us for treatment. They are the most non-invasive professional way to begin treating problems with foot mechanics. If you’re tired of painful steps taking the smile out of your day, it’s time for specialized podiatric care. For comprehensive foot care for everyone in your family, please call Port Townsend Foot & Ankle Center, P.S., 360-385-6486, located at 204 Gaines Street, for an appointment. Our practice serves the surrounding communities of Chimacum, Quilcene, Brinnon, Port Ludlow and Sequim.

HINT: Custom orthotics will be designed to treat the unique requirements of your feet.

Psyched To Bike

Cyclists are no strangers to foot problems. This is due to the fact that the foot is the contact point with the cycling pedal. The more you cycle, the more the fat padding under the ball of your foot wears thin. Achilles tendon problems can occur, particularly with cyclists who cover a lot of miles. This tendon can

get inflamed from continuous friction. Sesamoiditis, the inflammation of the two small bones known as the “ball bearings of the foot,” can cause swelling or rupture under the stress of cycling. The pinching of small nerve branches between the second and third or third and fourth toes can cause numbness in the toes. Should cycling cause you discomfort, see your podiatrist.

For those who participate in sports of any kind, professional attention and guidance can help reduce the potential for discomfort and injury. And since difficulties with your feet can adversely affect your performance, comfort, and lifestyle, we invite you to call us for an appointment at Port Townsend Foot & Ankle Center, P.S. to receive comprehensive podiatric care geared to your individual foot-care needs. Your feet are our specialty at 204 Gaines Street, where office hours are by appointment and emergencies are seen as promptly as possible. PH: 385-6486. Credit cards are accepted, and financing is available.

HINT: Bicycle pedals with a wider platform distribute the impact on the feet better than smaller pedals.

Gettin’ Ready For the Rhody …

It’s that time of the year again. All of the weekend warriors come out of the closet. And so do the injuries!

Keeping in shape, no matter what the physical activity is, requires a year round regimen and proper preparation.

If you tend to hibernate during the winter months, don’t just jump back in at full throttle.

That’s an invitation to a season cut short by pain and injury. This is especially true for running. Even folks who run all year round need to keep the body in top form to avoid getting hurt.

Stretching before and after a run will help avoid sprains and strains. Dressing appropriately for the weather will also help one to use energy more efficiently.

And don’t forget about those shoes! If your running shoes are worn out, the body will be absorbing unnecessary shock. This can lead to tendonitis and shin splints. Not pretty! It’s also key to wear a shoe that fits well and that matches one’s foot type. For example, an overpronater (flat footed person) needs a shoe that gives added support in the arch. One may benefit from wearing an orthotic, a custom made, or prefabricated insert for added support and/or extra sock absorption.

So, Spring has sprung. Enjoy the weather and get those legs moving. But make sure to prepare your bodies and wear the right clothing and shoegear.

For an appointment & consultation, please call Dr. Reiner at the Port Townsend Foot and Ankle Clinic, 360-385-6486. We’re located at 204 Gaines Street.

If the Shoe Fits …

Have you ever wondered why your painful feet get relief when you get home from work or play and take your shoes off? Maybe the pain is

due to the shoegear. Poorly fitting shoes can be the primary cause of foot, ankle, leg and even back pain. This also holds true if one is wearing the wrong shoegear for the activity that seems to ignite the pain. Shoegear that is too short or narrow, for example, can cause painful ingrown toenails. A shoe too big may allow excessive slippage of the feet, possibly leading to blister formation. And what about insufficient cushion and shock absorption? This can lead to multiple muscular and skeletal aches and pains, especially if one’s work or play environment is on hard surfaces.

Wearing properly fitting shoegear that is designed for the activity at hand, can help avoid these and other multiple painful issues.

And then there are the preexisting problems, such as bunions, hammertoes and flat feet. Feet like these need special attention when selecting shoegear. That is, if one wants to have comfort and avoid surgery. Certified pedorthists are highly trained professionals with the knowledge and experience to tackle these issues. A pedorthist can help select the right shoe and the correct fit, as well as make appropriate adjustments and modifications using various inserts and padding.

For a consultaion and evaluation, please contact Merida Reiner, Cped at the Port Townsend Foot & Ankle Center, 360-385-6486. 204 Gaines St.

Wart Warning

Viral infections can cause warts to appear on the feet or other parts of the body. To either prevent these elevated blemishes on the skin’s surface from spreading or simply for cosmetic reasons, many individuals opt to have the warts removed. Typically, warts are first treated with medicines and then undergo an acid treatment. If these non-surgical methods do not have a satisfactory result, surgery is then considered. The simple surgical procedure is typically done with local anesthesia in the podiatrist’s office or outpatient center. It causes a minimum of pain and very little scarring. After surgery, the foot must be kept dry for several weeks due to the high risk of infection. Wart removal is usually covered by insurance.

Warts! Nobody wants them and, luckily, there are several effective methods available today that podiatrists can use to get rid of them. But since they are an infection caused by a virus, warts almost never go away on their own and you’d be smart to have your podiatrist get rid of yours once you discover one on your foot. For experienced, compassionate care for foot problems of all kinds, we welcome your call at Port Townsend Foot & Ankle Center, P.S., 385-6486. We’re located at 204 Gaines Street, where office hours are Mon.,Tues., Thurs. 9-4; Wed. 12-4.

 HINT: Lasers are often used to kill warts by severing their blood supply.