Toenail fungus appears after there has been a fungal infection on the feet. There are noticeable symptoms that often accompany this condition, including the nail becoming thick and having a yellowish tinge, in addition to lifting off of the nail bed. Many patients notice their nails appear brittle, and the edges of the nail may crumble. If there are existing medical conditions, the possibility of developing toenail fungus may increase. These include diabetes, vascular disease, or immune system issues. Additionally, if you wear shoes which are not made of a breathable material, a fungal infection of the feet may develop. One treatment option includes taking prescribed medicine for several months. If you feel that you may have toenail fungus, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can determine the best course of treatment for you.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna of Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
- Warped or oddly shaped nails
- Yellowish nails
- Loose/separated nail
- Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
- Brittle, broken, thickened nail
If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.
In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.
In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
The tissue that is located on the bottom of the foot is referred to as the plantar fascia. It connects the toes to the heel bone, and establishes the arch in the foot. If this band of tissue becomes inflamed, the medical condition known as plantar fasciitis may develop. This can be a result of wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or it may happen if the foot is overused, or not stretched properly. Additionally, if patients run frequently on uneven surfaces, or if there is a sudden weight gain, the chances of developing this condition may increase. The symptoms that are associated with plantar fasciitis often include foot pain when taking the first steps after waking up, and discomfort while participating in running and jumping activities. If you feel you have developed this condition, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
- Excessive running
- Having high arches in your feet
- Other foot issues such as flat feet
- Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
- Being on your feet very often
There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.
- Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain
There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Many runners know the importance of preventing running injuries. This is helpful in avoiding injuries that are caused by over training, wearing improper shoes, or running excess miles in limited time. Research has indicated it is beneficial to have your feet properly measured to determine correct size shoe. Additionally, shoes can lose cushioning as they are worn, and it is helpful to replace running shoes approximately every 500 miles. Performing routine stretches can loosen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the foot, and this is important in possibly preventing running injuries. If you are considering spending time running or jogging, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward techniques that can prevent running injuries.
Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna of Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will treat your foot and ankle needs.
How to Prevent Running Injuries
Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.
What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.
Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Preventing Running Injuries
Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bones of the feet. They occur as a result of participating in activities that cause the bones in the foot to weaken and crack faster than the healing process can begin. This can occur due to several reasons, including training in your chosen sport before adequate healing has been completed, increasing the amount of time training in a short period of time, or running on different surfaces. The symptoms that are associated with stress fractures often include swelling, burning pain, and difficulty walking on the affected foot. Effective treatment begins with staying off the foot for several weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. This can be accomplished by wearing a cast. If you have sustained a stress fracture, speak to a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.
Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.
Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.
What Are Stress Fractures?
Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:
- People affected with Osteoporosis
- Tennis or basketball players
- High impact workouts
Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
If you have conditions concerning your feet and ankles, you will most likely visit a podiatrist. Doctors of this type treat many foot ailments, including bunions, hammertoe, and ingrown toenails. Many podiatrists design custom-made orthotics, in addition to performing corrective surgery. Podiatrists can choose to practice in a variety of venues. These include hospitals, private or group practice, and extended care facilities. Mandatory schooling consists of four years of college, followed by completing two years of residency training. If you are interested in pursuing a career in podiatry, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can help you in determining if this career path is right for you.
If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is a Podiatrist?
Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.
A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:
- Physical therapy
- Orthotic inserts or soles
- Surgery on lower extremity fractures
A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about What is a Podiatrist?
Many soccer players will develop blisters at some point while participating in their chosen sport. They typically form on the bottom of the foot or on the back of the heel. This is a result of consistent friction that comes from shoes that do not fit correctly. They are often painful, and a player’s natural instinct to avoid discomfort causes the gait to change. This is likely to increase the risk of an ankle or knee injury, and overall playing performance may be impacted as a result of the pain that is caused by a blister. Research has shown the first sign of a blister is a “hot spot”, which is a tender and warm portion of the skin where the friction has occurred. Keeping the affected area covered and dry is important while taking part in soccer events. Additionally, it is helpful to wear athletic socks that are made of synthetic material. There are methods that can be implemented, which may help to prevent blisters from developing. These include measuring your foot, which determines the correct shoe size, and purchasing shoes at the end of the day when the feet are at their largest. If you have a blister and would like additional information about the treatment and prevention of this ailment, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.
Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna of Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.
What Are Foot Blisters?
A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.
How Do Blisters Form?
Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.
Prevention & Treatment
It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Lockport and Medina, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Blisters
As pregnancy progresses, the body’s natural response is to produce additional fluids that accommodates the needs of the growing fetus. Most women experience swollen feet as a result of this, which can be uncomfortable. Research has indicated this accounts for approximately twenty-five percent of the weight that is gained during pregnancy. There are additional reasons why the feet become swollen. These include standing for extended periods of time, drinking large amounts of caffeine, or eating foods that are high in sodium content. There are methods that can be implemented to help reduce possible swelling. These consist of elevating your feet frequently throughout the day, wearing shoes that are comfortable, and spending limited time outside in the warmer weather. If you would like additional information about how pregnancy affects the feet, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.
Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.
What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?
One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward. This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.
Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages.
How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?
- Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
- Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
- Wear shoes with good arch support
- Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
- Elevate feet if you experience swelling
- Massage your feet
- Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet
Many elderly people who fall may find difficulty in getting up without assistance. Research has shown that twenty percent of people in their mid-sixties will endure a fall, and many of these falls may lead to serious injuries. This is one reason why it is important to implement methods to help prevent falling. These may include learning about side effects that may occur while existing medications are taken, wearing glasses, using hearing aids consistently, and removing any clutter in the home that may be present. It may also be helpful to wear shoes that fit correctly, and using grab bars in the bathroom and shower area can play a significant role in preventing falls. If you would like additional information about the importance of falls prevention, please consult with a podiatrist.
Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.
Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.
How to Prevent Falls
Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:
- Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
- Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
- Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
- Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
- Utilizing a walker or cane
- Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
- Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness
Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.
An important facet of caring for elderly people may involve paying close attention to their feet. This can be accomplished by noticing if there are any changes that may have occurred. There are symptoms to look for which may include open sores, discoloration, or pain. There are measures that can be implemented which may prevent uncomfortable foot conditions from developing. Cracked heels may be avoided by washing and drying the feet thoroughly, followed by utilizing a moisturizing cream. Additionally, it’s important to properly trim the toenails which may prevent ingrown toenails from developing. It may be beneficial to measure the feet frequently, and buy appropriate footwear that can accommodate changes in size. If you would like additional information about how to care for elderly feet, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist.
Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
The Elderly and Their Feet
As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.
- Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
- Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
- Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
- Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
- Shoes that don’t fit properly
- Pressure sores
- Loss of circulation in legs & feet
- Edema & swelling of feet and ankles
Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.
As the weather gets warmer, many people enjoy spending time outdoors. When the feet are properly stretched, aches and pains in the feet may diminish, and this can help to make daily activities more enjoyable. Research has indicated that practicing yoga may be beneficial in developing balanced alignment in the feet, which may positively affect the overall health of the body. Additionally, when proper stretching techniques are implemented, the healing process may be accelerated in existing foot conditions. One particular stretch, called "weaving," may be helpful in finding mild relief from an aching bunion. This is achieved by weaving your fingers through the toes on the opposite foot, creating space between them. If you would like additional information about the benefits of stretching the feet, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist.
Why Stretching is Important for Your Feet
Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Harry I. Zirna from Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Stretching the Feet
Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first to determine if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.
- Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
- Similar to the previous exercise, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
- Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
- Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.
It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising to ice and rest the foot. It is advised that you then see a podiatrist for help.
The soft tissue on the side of the big toe may become inflamed if a condition known as an ingrown toenail exists. This may occur when the nail grows into the skin surrounding the big toe, and is known to cause pain and discomfort. Many patients notice symptoms that may include pain in the affected toe and surrounding areas, swelling, or a discharge draining from the toe. There may be methods that can be implemented which may help to prevent ingrown toenails. These may include trimming the toenails straight across, and wearing shoes that have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Mild relief may be found when the foot is soaked in warm water frequently throughout the day. If your ingrown toenail becomes infected, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.
Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Harry I. Zirna of Lockport Foot Care, PLLC. Dr. Zirna can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.
- Improper toenail trimming
- Improper shoe fitting
- Injury from pedicures or nail picking
- Abnormal gait
- Poor hygiene
You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.
Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.
Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.
Bunions are visible deformities located at the joint of the big toe and they can cause discomfort or pain. Bunions are either genetic or arthritic. Genetic bunions are hereditary, while arthritic bunions are caused by external factors. Examples of external factors are regularly wearing heels or experiencing an injury to the foot. Both types of bunions can vary in their size and degree of pain. The size of a bunion is not indicative of how much discomfort and pain it causes. It is possible for a large bunion to cause no pain, while a small bunion may result in extreme pain. The amount of pain a bunion causes also increases by the amount of pressure applied to the joint and how regularly you are on your feet. If you have a bunion and it concerns you, then it is recommended that you speak with a podiatrist to learn more about the condition.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why Do Bunions Form?
Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions
How Are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How Are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts