Posts for category: Foot Care
Your podiatrist in Ellicott City, MD, can help with a sprained ankle.
Your ankles are important, and when you lose ankle stability due to a sprained ankle, it can dramatically affect your life. You may be unable to stand, support your weight, or walk around. Your podiatrist can help when you have suffered an ankle sprain.
Dr. John Murphy at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD, offers a wide range of foot care services, including treating ankle sprains.
Ankle sprains are common, and you don’t have to be an athlete to experience one. Even stepping off of a curb, or walking on uneven ground can cause your ankle to twist. The twisting motion stretches the ligaments and tendons, causing uncomfortable inflammation, swelling, and pain.
When you sprain your ankle, you may:
- Hear a loud popping sound
- See signs of bruising and swelling
- Feel pain when you put weight on your foot
- Feel tightness in your ankle and have problems moving your ankle
If you experience an ankle sprain, you can try a few easy home remedies like these:
- Elevating your ankle to take the weight off of it
- Use ice packs on your ankle to reduce swelling
- Wrap your ankle in compression bandages to support it
For moderate to severe ankle sprains that don’t respond to home therapies, you need to seek out professional treatment from your podiatrist. Your podiatrist may recommend:
- Taking prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy and stretching to increase flexibility and mobility
- Wearing a cast or walking boot to support your ankle
- Using crutches to take the pressure off of your ankle when you walk
You may suffer an ankle sprain from everyday activities, or from running, jogging, hiking, and other sports. You are also more likely to suffer an ankle sprain as you age, or if you have balance or strength issues.
You don’t have to suffer when you experience an ankle sprain. To find out more about sprained ankle treatment and other foot and ankle services, call Dr. Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD, at (410) 992-8504 now!
Orthotics are prescription shoe inserts designed by your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist, Dr. John Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center. They could ease your pain and increase your comfort. Adding orthotics to your shoes offers these important benefits:
Better support for your feet
Your feet help support your entire body and keep the bones in your legs, hips, and back properly aligned. Conditions like flatfoot, foot imbalances, and excessive pronation (turning your feet inward) can affect the ability of your feet to adequately support your body and may lead to leg or back pain. Orthotics support your arches and keep your feet balanced, relieving pain and reducing stress on your feet.
Fewer aches and pains
Orthotics add a little extra cushioning to your shoes and relieve pressure on muscles and tendons, reducing the pain of bunions, arthritis, achilles tendonitis, stone bruises, plantar fasciitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis. The inserts can also help you avoid foot pain if your job requires you to spend hours on your feet.
Reduced risk of diabetic ulcers
Pressure on your feet may increase your risk of developing slow-healing ulcers if you have diabetes. Orthotics reduce pressure, preventing ulcers from forming. The inserts also decrease friction, which can cause blisters.
Your Ellicott City, MD, foot doctor may recommend orthotics if you have a condition that affects the alignment of the bones in your feet, like bunions or a hammertoe. The inserts improve alignment and slow the progression of the condition. Altering alignment with orthotics can also be helpful if you have plantar fasciitis. When your foot is aligned correctly, stress on your plantar fascia decreases, which may reduce your heel pain.
A solution for gait and balance issues
You're less likely to lose your balance, fall, or twist your ankle when you wear orthotics. Orthotics also improve gait issues that affect the way you walk. A gait problem may lead to pain in other parts of the body if it's not corrected.
A simple way to reduce your risk of sports injuries
Orthotics are an excellent choice if you participate in sports or activities that involve walking or running. If you wear the inserts every time you exercise, your risk of developing plantar fasciitis, shin splints, retrocalcaneal bursitis, achilles tendonitis, and other overuse injuries will decrease.
Are you ready to try orthotics? Call your podiatrist in Ellicott City, MD, Dr. Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center, at 410-992-8504 to schedule your appointment.
Toenail fungus can be unsightly and embarrassing, but Maryland Podiatry Center and Dr. John Murphy can help. Read about toenail fungus and contact your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist if you are concerned about your feet.
How did I get toenail fungus?
Fungus thrives in humid and damp conditions, so patients pick up fungus from damp areas like locker rooms, public showers, and swimming pools. Certain patients are more susceptible to fungal infections like the elderly, diabetics, or patients with circulatory issues. If you have foot fungus it can infect the nail bed and cause the following symptoms:
- Discolored areas or streaks in the nail
- Brittle or flaking toenails
- Thickening toenails
If you notice these symptoms, talk to your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist about how long you've been experiencing toenail fungus.
What can I do about toenail fungus?
After discussing your medical history, your podiatrist will examine your foot and toenails, and take a sample of the fungus to be analyzed. With a confirmed diagnosis, you and your doctor can discuss the best treatment. There are several treatments available for toenail fungus and the best one for you will depend on your case and your medical history.
Topical treatments are available for toenail fungus and are applied directly to the toenail, but many patients need more than one measure to get rid of toenail fungus completely. Antifungal cream needs to be applied frequently so it's a commitment to use it as directed, but it can help clear up the fungus.
There are some oral medications available that can help clear up a fungal infection. These are powerful drugs that should only be used as prescribed. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects and your medical history before taking any medication.
Laser therapy is a non-invasive procedure that attacks the fungus without damaging the nail. Ask your podiatrist if this treatment is right for your case. In severe cases where the toenail is damaged, it can be surgically removed.
Preventing further fungal infections is a matter of being vigilant and taking care of your feet. Keep your feet clean and dry because dry feet are less likely to become infected. Don't share items like socks or nail clippers, and wear sandals in damp public areas like locker rooms and swimming pools.
Dr. John Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center can help if you're struggling with toenail fungus. Contact us in Ellicott City, MD, at (410) 992-8504.
See that bumpy bone jutting from the side base of your big toe? That’s a bunion, and it could swell and become painful in some cases. Basically, bunions develop when tissue or bone that surrounds the joint swells due to excessive pressure on the big toe.
In some people, a bunion could likewise cause the big toe to lean towards the neighboring toe. This is known as displacement and could result in issues with your other toes. Dr. John Murphy, here at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD, regularly treats bunions. Until your consultation, however, here are tips on caring for your bunions at home.
Home Care for Bunion Relief
- Choose your footwear wisely. Pick shoes that offer a deep and wide space for your toes as well as shoes with great arch support and flat or low heels. Avoid wearing high-heeled, narrow, pointed, or tight shoes. If you must wear heels, make sure to remove them for a few minutes every 30 minutes to an hour and stretch your feet.
- Call your podiatrist to check if an OTC pain reliever will help with your symptoms. Make sure to follow all your doctor’s instructions for taking the medicine.
- Try shoe inserts, toe spacers, arch supports, or bunion pads. These can aid in shifting your weight as you walk to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the big toe and your bunion. Ask your podiatrist in Ellicott City, MD, for recommendations.
- Place a cold pack or ice on your bunion for about 15 to 20 minutes as needed. Always place a thin towel between your skin and the ice.
- Elevate the affected foot whenever you lie down, sit, or ice your bunion. This will help minimize swelling.
When Home Care Doesn’t Give You Relief
Call your podiatrist or seek urgent medical care if you’ve done all the at-home care tips above but have developed the following symptoms:
- Severe pain
- Your toe feels cooler than usual and looks pale or have changed color
- Your toe feels numb, weak, or tingly
Also, you should pay close attention to any changes and call your podiatrist if your symptoms don’t subside, particularly if the swelling and pain worsens. Your podiatrist may need to inject steroids into your bunion to see if it helps with the swelling. But if your symptoms persist, your podiatrist may recommend surgery.
Get In Touch With Us For Advice or Concerns About Bunions
Schedule a consultation with your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist, Dr. John Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center by dialing (410) 992-8504.
Preventing Heel Pain
You may, like many people, take your feet for granted, but they play a very important role in your daily life. Every time your stand, walk or run, they are responsible for carrying your weight. They are built to handle it and to cope with all the forces placed upon them on a daily basis. In fact, they can withstand up to four times your body weight. However, because they have to meet such demands, they are also prone to strain and injury. When this happens, it can affect your whole routine. Dr. John Murphy is a foot doctor at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD. He is dedicated to treating all forms of foot and ankle pain.
How to Avoid Heel Pain
You can avoid heel pain in the following ways:
- Do ankle exercises: Doing foot and ankle stretches when you wake in the morning and before you go to bed at night can help. Stretches will keep your muscles and ligaments supple and relieve tension at the end of the day. This can help you minimize your risk of injury.
- Wear orthotics: If you spend a lot of time on your feet at work or you practice running or athletics, wearing shoes with support or orthotic devices can help to protect your feet from strain or injury and help you avoid heel pain.
- Massage your calves: Keeping your calf muscles free from tension can help you reduce heel pain by minimizing your risk of plantar fasciitis. This is a condition that causes heel pain when your plantar facia, which connects your toes to your heel, becomes strained. Massaging your calf muscles for just 30 seconds several times a day can help.
If you live in Ellicott City, MD and you are experiencing heel pain, you can call Dr. Murphy at (410) 992-8504 to schedule an appointment.