My Podiatry Blog

Posts for category: Foot Health

By Maryland Podiatry Center
March 24, 2020
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Plantar Fasciitis  

With the constant pressure and weight we put on our feet, there's no wonder foot pain is a common complaint. However, when pulling off your shoes and propping up your feet isn't enough to find relief, you could be suffering from a nasty problem called plantar fasciitis.

This common condition can result in intense and possibly debilitating foot pain. Fortunately, the doctors here at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City are experts in treating Plantar fasciitis. Here is what to know about the condition, and how we can help you find relief.

What is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a thick tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the tissue becomes irritated and inflamed.

What can cause plantar fasciitis?

  • Wearing flimsy, high heeled, too big or small or unsupportive shoes
  • Standing for prolonged periods of time
  • Being overweight
  • Having tight calf muscles
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Having flat feet
  • Participating in exercise that puts constant pressure on your feet, such as sprinting

How do I know if I have plantar fasciitis?

If you are experiencing one or more of the following, your foot pain may be the result of plantar fasciitis:

  • Pain, ranging from mild-to-severe, on the underside of your foot near or on the heel
  • Swelling of your heel
  • Stiffness in your heel
  • Pain that is particularly bad in the morning
  • Pain that increases when you stand
  • Pain that intensifies when you are carrying heavy objects

How can I treat my foot pain?

Your podiatrist at our Ellicott City office will first examine and press on your foot to feel for tenderness. Depending on the severity of your plantar fasciitis, your podiatrist may recommend one or more of the following at home or in-office treatments:

  • Icing the area
  • Wearing well-fitting, supportive shoes or using inserts
  • Physical therapy
  • Cortisone injections
  • Wearing a splint or brace
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Sticking to low-pressure exercises
  • Avoiding activities that put excess pressure on the foot, such as jumping or running
  • Taking an over-the-counter oral pain reliever
  • Stretching your arches

If none of the above lend the relief you need, your podiatrist may talk to you about surgical options at our Ellicott City office.

Need relief? Give us a call

If foot pain has you on the sidelines, call Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City at (410) 992-8504. We're here to get you back on your feet!

By Maryland Podiatry Center
November 14, 2019
Category: Foot Health
Tags: Heel Pain  

Heel pain can prevent you from participating in your favorite activities, such as working out or playing sports, and even make simple Heel-Painactivities like walking or standing difficult. Fortunately, heel pain can be treated. Here at Maryland Podiatry Center in Ellicott City, MD, Dr. John Murphy can explain which treatments are appropriate based on the cause and type of heel pain that you have. Read on to learn more!

 

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain can be the result of several factors or conditions. The stress and strain caused by performing repetitive movements, such as jogging or running daily, can lead to heel pain. Another common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis, which can develop when the plantar fascia tissues along the bottom of the foot become irritated and inflamed. People who overpronate when stepping are especially likely to develop plantar fasciitis. Some other common causes of heel pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Foot injuries
  • Stress fractures
  • Tendonitis
  • Heel spurs

 

Treatments for Heel Pain

There are several ways to treat heel pain. For minor heel pain caused, resting the foot, applying ice, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers is sometimes all that is needed to alleviate the pain and allow the foot and heel to recover from any minor tension or strain. Wearing supportive footwear with sufficient cushioning for the foot and heel can also reduce heel pain, as well as prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Chronic or more severe heel pain should be treated by a podiatrist. Depending on the specific cause of your heel pain, your Ellicott City podiatrist might recommend one or more of the following methods for managing and treating your heel pain:

  • Custom orthotics—Devices placed inside the shoes to provide cushioning and stability, as well as support for the arches.
  • Physical therapy—Helps improve flexibility in the feet and ankles, as well as strengthen the muscles in the feet.
  • Night splint—Helps keep the plantar fascia tissues in the foot in a stretched position for an extended time, which can reduce pain.
  • Walking cast—A removable cast worn for several weeks that immobilizes the foot so that it can rest and heal from injury.
  • Corticosteroids—A medication injected into the foot to reduce inflammation and alleviate heel pain.
  • Surgery—Surgery is sometimes needed to remove painful heel spurs/heel calluses or to correct structural problems in the foot that are causing heel pain.

 

Need Relief? Give Us a Call

It is possible to experience relief from heel pain. A podiatrist can help by determining the cause of your heel pain and developing a suitable treatment approach. For the treatment of your heel pain, schedule an appointment with Dr. Murphy, your Ellicott City podiatrist, by calling Maryland Podiatry Center at (410) 992-8504.

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!