My Podiatry Blog

Posts for category: Foot Health

By Maryland Podiatry Center
May 29, 2019
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Bunions  

The pain in your feet is unending. It centers on your heel and arch, and it is most acute when you rise in the morning or after you have been sitting for a long time. What's the source of this discomfort? At Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, Dr. John Murphy treats all kinds of foot pain. Read about some of the common causes and interventions here!

Causes of foot pain

The most common one is plantar fasciitis. An aching discomfort, plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of the connective tissue on the arch of the foot. The plantar fascia connects the heel to the base of the toes, and it's prone to develop this condition when people:

  • Are on their feet for long intervals
  • Pronate their feet excessively toward the midline
  • Engage in sports such as running, tennis, and dancing
  • Have very tight calf muscles
  • Don't stretch before gym workouts

Rest and ice help relieve this foot pain, says your podiatrist in Ellicott City. So do over the counter anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, orthotics (especially heel cups) and shoes with sturdy arch support.

Dr. Murphy sometimes advises in-office EPAT, or Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology. This minimally-invasive, FDA-approved therapy sends acoustic pressure waves into the bottom of the foot, reducing scar tissue and speeding healing through increased circulation.

People with plantar fasciitis often have accompanying bone spurs on the heel, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. If the problem with the plantar fascia is corrected, the pain from the spur usually resolves without any need for surgery.

Another common podiatric ailment is onychocryptosis, or an ingrown toenail. Caused by nail irritation, fungus, and incorrect nail trimming, this painful problem leads to substantial discomfort, particularly if the toe becomes reddened, swollen, or infected.

Partial nail avulsion, or removal, solves the problem. Dr. Murphy also advises shoes with wide toe boxes and straight-across trimming of all toenails.

Finally, bunions are an arthritic deformity involving the base joint of the big toe. Age, tight shoes, and heredity all contribute to the pain, rigidity, and resulting immobility of bunions.

 

Some bunions require surgery to remove the bump on the foot and to re-align the big toe. However, many bunions also respond well to:

  • Low-heeled shoes with firm support in the arch
  • Customized shoe inserts
  • Shoe padding
  • Callus and corn removal at the podiatrist's office
  • Stretching exercises

 

Are you in pain?

Why not see what Dr. John Murphy at Maryland Podiatry Center can do for you? He offers the best in diagnostics and treatment options for a wide variety of podiatric conditions, including foot pain. Call the office today for an appointment:(410) 992-8504.

By Maryland Podiatry Center
January 11, 2019
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Heel Pain  

Don’t let heel pain keep you from your daily routine. We can help!

It can be startling to get up in the morning and notice a stabbing pain in your heel. What could it be? While heel pain is a very common issue with many different causes, it’s important to understand what’s going on and when you should turn to our Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist, Dr. John Murphy, for care.

 

The Causes of Heel Pain

The two most common causes of heel pain are plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. These conditions lead to inflammation of and around the heel. If you experience pain under the heel this is most likely due to plantar fasciitis, whereas pain located above the heel bone is often caused by Achilles tendonitis.

Of course, there are other problems that can also lead to heel pain including,

  • Stress fractures
  • Bruising
  • Sprains and strains
  • Ruptured Achilles tendon
  • Bursitis
  • Heel spur
  • Arthritis
  • Osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone)
  • Haglund’s deformity (a bony protrusion that develops on the back of the heel)

 

Visiting a Podiatrist

When you come into our Ellicott City office for an evaluation, our foot doctor will ask you a series of questions that pertain to the symptoms you are experiencing. Some questions include,

Q. Where is the pain located?

Q. How would you describe the pain you are experiencing (e.g. burning; stabbing)

Q. When did the pain begin?

 

We will also physically examine your foot to check for anything that may be affecting the ligaments, bones, nerves, or soft tissue. While some cases of heel pain can be diagnosed through a simple physical exam and by discussing your symptoms, we may need to run imaging tests such as X-rays to confirm your diagnosis. By determining the cause of your heel pain, we can provide you with the right treatment plan to suit your needs.

If you are managing your heel pain with simple at-home measures like icing, resting, compression, and pain relievers but aren’t experiencing any relief from your symptoms, you should also schedule an appointment with our podiatrist so that we can create a more effective course of action for treating your condition.

 

Seeking Relief? Give Us a Call!

Maryland Podiatry Center located in Ellicott City, MD, is dedicated to providing a wide range of foot and ankle treatment options. Don’t let heel pain affect your quality of life—call our office today at (410) 992-8504 to find out what’s going on and learn how we can help you!

By Maryland Podiatry Center
January 03, 2018
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Orthotics  

“Orthotic“ means “to straighten or align” in Greek, but when it comes to your feet, these devices can do so much more. Dr. John Murphy, orthoticsyour podiatrist in Ellicott City, MD, has the experience and training necessary to determine if you need an orthosis to help with your foot or ankle issue. The right orthotic device can make a big difference and your mobility and your comfort, so read on to learn more about orthotics and their benefits here!

What are orthotics?

Orthotics deals with using devices like braces or shoe inserts to correct problems with the feet and ankles; orthoses are the devices themselves. These can be purchased over the counter or can be custom-made for you; the severity and nature of your specific problem will determine if you need a prescription from your Ellicott City podiatrist. Custom-fitted orthotics typically last several years before needing repair or replacement.

Why do I need orthotics?

There are many reasons why a person would need to wear an orthotic device. Some medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or spina bifida, can affect mobility in such a way that moving around is very difficult without the help of a brace or other type of supportive orthosis. Some people naturally have anatomy, such as fallen arches, a shorter leg, or club foot, that needs correction; orthotics can help with this too.

Working with your Ellicott City podiatrist is the key to finding the correct and properly fitting orthosis for you, so if you’re having mobility issues, contact Maryland Podiatry Center today to set up a consultation. We want to help you get on your feet in the new year and for many years to come!

By Maryland Podiatry Center
April 21, 2017
Category: Foot Health

Don’t let athlete’s foot affect your foot health. Find out how to protect yourself.athlete's feet

If you’ve ever had athlete’s foot before, you remember the unpleasant itching, redness and burning of the skin. Chances are pretty good that you would like to avoid experiencing that again at all costs. Our Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist Dr. John Murphy completely understands, which is why we are here to provide some advice on how to keep your feet athlete’s foot-free.

Fungus is all around us, but there are certainly places where it loves to thrive. These areas tend to be damp, dark and cool. Common environments for fungus to breed include public restrooms, school locker rooms and even your local gym’s locker and shower area.

It’s also possible to get athlete’s foot from a nail salon if they don’t sterilize their tools as often or as effectively as they should. The best thing you can do is wear shoes at all times, even when using a public shower. Carry those shower shoes with you or wear sandals in these areas to reduce your risk of athlete’s foot.

While going barefoot puts you at risk for a fungal infection, most people assume that if they just wear socks and shoes all the time they will be fine. Of course, there are some misconceptions regarding this. As our Ellicott City, MD, foot doctor will tell you, you shouldn’t wear the same socks and shoes everyday, as this can easily become a damp, dark breeding ground for fungus.

When you are in the comfort of your own home, this is the perfect time to kick off those shoes and let your feet breathe a bit. If your feet are prone to becoming sweaty, apply an antifungal powder to your feet and shoes before putting them on. Never wear your socks more than once and don’t wear shoes twice in a row (give them time to air out completely).

Do you have questions about athlete’s foot? Having issues treating the problem yourself? Then call Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD, today to get the problem figured out.

By Maryland Podiatry Center
February 22, 2017
Category: Foot Health
Tags: foot care  

What your podiatrist in Ellicott City wants you to know

Your feet are an important   but often overlooked part of your body. It’s easy to take your feet for granted. So how do you take proper care proper foot careof your feet? Dr. John Murphy at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD wants to share the facts about what your feet need.

A proper foot care regimen is easy, and should only take a few minutes out of your day. Remember to:

  • Thoroughly wash and dry your feet every day.
  • Apply moisturizing lotion or cream to your feet daily
  • Trim your toenails straight across with no rounded corners

Examine your feet daily with a hand mirror to look for:

  • Discolored, thick nails (signs of nail fungus)
  • Cracks or cuts that aren’t healing (signs of infection)
  • Scaling, peeling skin (signs of Athlete’s foot)
  • Abnormal growths like bunions, corns or calluses

Don’t forget to wear shoes that support your feet and don’t crowd your toes. Wearing the right shoes can help you avoid bunions, hammertoe, corns and calluses. Replace shoes that are old and worn out, and try to avoid going barefoot.

If you play sports, always wear shoes that are appropriate for the sport you are playing in order to avoid a sports injury.

In the summer, don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your feet. SPF 15 is great for daily wear, but use SPF 30 if you are outside for an extended period of time.

Be sure to include a regular visit to your podiatrist every year, especially if you have diabetes. Foot problems like ulcers and diabetic neuropathy can develop, causing you pain and loss of mobility. Dr. Murphy can help you guard against potential life-altering problems with your feet and toes from diabetes.

Remember that foot pain is not normal and that you don’t have to deal with foot pain by yourself. To find out more about how to take proper care of your feet, call Dr. Murphy at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD. Call today and protect your feet!