Unfortunately, many people don’t listen to their feet when they start hurting and continue their daily routine; however, this only makes foot problems worse. It’s important that you know when to take time to rest and also when you should turn to our Scarborough, ME, podiatrist Dr. Peter Ocampo for additional treatment.
You might have plantar fasciitis if you are dealing with:
- Heel pain that originates at the bottom of the heel
- Arch pain
- Stiffness of the arches and heel
- Swelling around the heel
- Pain that’s worse first thing in the morning
- Pain that gets worse after long periods of sitting
Of course, plantar fasciitis isn’t the only condition that can cause heel pain. Achilles tendonitis, heel spurs and other problems can also cause the same or similar symptoms. If this is the first time dealing with heel pain then it’s a good idea to see a foot doctor in Scarborough, ME, who can diagnose the problem and provide you with the most effective treatment options.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
Plantar fasciitis will often heal within a few weeks as long as you rest your feet and avoid certain activities such as running, which will only make inflammation worse. Following the RICE method (a common method for athletes dealing with sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries) can ease symptoms and allow the plantar fascia to heal. The RICE method stands for:
You may also find that anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. ibuprofen) can also temporarily alleviate pain and swelling. While over-the-counter medication shouldn’t be taken for an extended period of time, it can ease symptoms when they flare up. If heel pain doesn’t respond to at-home care after a week you should consult your podiatrist, who can recommend further treatment options.
While rare, it is possible for plantar fasciitis to become a chronic condition. Catching the problem early and treating it immediately can reduce the risk for dealing with long-term heel pain.
If you are dealing with heel pain in Scarborough, Windham, or Brunswick, ME, call Southern Maine Foot & Ankle to help you get your pain under control.
Hammertoe is a foot condition involving dislocation of a toe joint, which can cause the dislocated toe to bend in a shape resembling a hammer. Hammertoe most often affects the three middle toes of the feet. Hammertoe can be treated and corrected by a podiatrist. At Southern Maine Foot and Ankle, PA, Dr. Peter Ocampo is your Scarborough foot doctor for the treatment of hammertoes.
Causes of Hammertoe
Hammertoe occurs when the middle joint of a toe becomes dislocated, causing the toe to bend in the shape of a hammer. Symptoms associated with hammertoe include diminished flexibility of the affected toe or foot, as well as pain or discomfort in the toes and feet. Corns and calluses also tend to form near the tip of the affected toe or at the top of the dislocated toe joint. Several factors and conditions can cause the toe joint to become dislocated and lead to hammertoe, including:
- Wearing ill-fitting footwear
- Having an extremely high arch
- Suffering a serious injury to the toes
- Developing arthritis in the toes and feet
- Tightening of the tendons or ligaments in the foot
Treatments for Hammertoe
Several options are available for treating hammertoe. Serious cases of hammertoe can require surgery to correct the dislocated toe joint. Repositioning the toe joint during surgery can help the affected toe(s) return to a normal position and no longer resemble the shape of a hammer. Correcting a dislocated toe joint can also improve flexibility and alleviate any pain or discomfort that resulted from the dislocation.
Another way to alleviate the pain and discomfort of hammertoe is to wear shoes that fit properly and have extra room in the toe box. Tight-fitting shoes can cause the toes to squish together, which can aggravate an existing hammertoe condition. Cushioned inserts can also be placed inside the shoes to help with pain or discomfort. Additionally, corn pads are helpful if corns or calluses have developed in conjunction with hammertoe.
Finally, stretching exercises for the toes and feet can be beneficial for treating hammertoe. Stretching exercises help strengthen the muscles in the toes and feet, as well as increase flexibility, which can diminish as a result of hammertoe. Following an examination, Dr. Ocampo, your Scarborough foot doctor, could discuss possible treatment options with you.
Hammertoes can cause pain and discomfort, affect flexibility, and cause corns or calluses to develop. For the treatment of hammertoe, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ocampo, your Scarborough, ME, foot doctor, by calling Southern Maine Foot and Ankle, PA, at (207) 883-0865. Treatment is also available in Windham, by calling the office at (207) 892-5072, or in Brunswick, by calling (207) 729-FOOT (3668).
Ankle sprains can cause severe pain and discomfort and even limit mobility as it can be difficult to stand or walk with a sprained ankle. Minor ankle sprains often can be treated by applying ice and resting the foot. More severe ankle sprains should be examined by a podiatrist who can recommend appropriate treatment options for healing the sprain. Without proper treatment, a serious sprain could lead to chronic pain and instability. At Southern Maine Foot & Ankle in Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, Dr. Peter Ocampo is your podiatrist for the treatment of ankle sprains.
Causes of Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains occur when the ankle twists in a different direction from the foot. For example, if the ankle rolls inward as you are turning your foot in an outward direction, a sprain could occur. When the ankle twists or turns in the wrong direction, ligaments in the ankle are stretched out and can tear. Signs of an ankle sprain include pain, swelling, tenderness, instability, weakness, bruising, and limited range of motion.
Some situations and activities in which ankle sprains are more likely to occur include:
- Performing high-impact movements
- Running or jogging on rough or uneven surfaces
- Playing sports or engaging in athletic activities
- Wearing shoes with little or no support
- Wearing high heel shoes
- Jumping or hopping
Preventing Ankle Sprains
It is possible to reduce the likelihood of spraining an ankle by building strength and increasing flexibility. There are several exercises that can be performed to strengthen the ankles and increase flexibility, making them less prone to being sprained. The standing calf raise is an exercise that can help strengthen the ankles, while a simple exercise for increasing flexibility and range of motion is simply tracing the letters of the alphabet with your foot. Another way to prevent ankle sprains is to wear properly fitting footwear that provides good support for the feet.
Treating Ankle Sprains
There are several options for treating and healing ankle sprains. Your Scarborough podiatrist might even recommend using multiple treatment methods to heal and strengthen your ankle following a sprain. Severe ankle sprains could require surgery to heal properly, but the most common treatment methods include:
- Pain relievers
- Resting the ankle
- Applying ice or a cold compress
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Compression bandages
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
- Braces or splints
See a podiatrist for treatment if you have sustained an ankle sprain. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ocampo, call Southern Maine Foot & Ankle at (207) 883-0865 for the Scarborough, ME, office location. Alternatively, you can call (207) 892-5072 for the Windham, ME, office or (207) 729-3668 for the Brunswick, ME, office.
Find out why corns develop on the feet and how to get rid of them.
Corns are hard patches of skin that develop when there is too much pressure or friction placed on a skin surface over time. Even though corns are usually nothing to worry about if you are healthy, it’s important to know how to treat the issue at home and when to turn our podiatrist in Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, Dr. Peter Ocampo, for treatment.
How do I know that I have a corn?
It’s possible that you are dealing with a corn if you notice a thick patch of skin on your feet. This thick patch of rough skin usually forms a hard, raised bump, and is sometimes tender or painful to the touch.
Is a corn the same thing as a callus?
These two things may sound similar but they are a bit different. Calluses are also thickened areas of skin, but unlike corns, they don’t typically cause pain or become sore. You’re also more likely to see corns developing in less weight-bearing areas such as between the toes or on the sides of your toes.
I have a corn. Should I see a doctor?
If the corn is painful or inflamed then it’s a good idea to visit our one of our offices in Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, for an evaluation. Those with diabetes or poor circulation in the feet should seek treatment right away to prevent an ulcer from forming.
How are corns treated?
When it comes to treating corns, the goal is to avoid certain habits that could make the problem worse or cause another corn to develop. This includes wearing properly fitted shoes that don’t rub against your feet, as well as applying a protective non-medicated pad to the corn before putting on shoes.
However, if the corn doesn’t go away on its own or if it’s extraordinarily painful, then our podiatrist may need to surgically remove it. Sometimes the podiatrist will carefully trim away the hard layer of skin to remove the corn (this is something you should never try at home) or your foot doctor may recommend applying an over-the-counter medicated patch to the corn and then pumicing away the hard layer of skin gradually over time.
Soaking your feet in warm water can also soften the skin and make it easier to file away the corn (just be careful not to file too much of the skin, which can lead to bleeding and infection).
Need treatment? Give us a call!
Southern Maine Foot & Ankle is proud to serve the Scarborough, Windham, and Brunswick, ME, areas. If you are dealing with corns, calluses, or other foot problems and you aren’t sure what to do about them, call our office today: (207) 883-0865 for Scarborough, (207) 892-5072 for Windham, and (207) 729-FOOT (3668) for Brunswick.
If your heel pain seems never ending, your podiatrist — a doctor specialized in the feet and ankles — can help you get your health back on track and begin your journey to a pain-free life. Pinning down the cause of heel pain can be a tricky task, but your foot doctor’s expertise will ensure that you find the best treatment for you. Find out more about heel pain and its treatments with Dr. Peter Ocampo at Southern Maine Foot and Ankle in Scarborough, Windham & Brunswick, ME.
What causes heel pain?
Heel pain can come from various sources, but there are a few common culprits. Though many people assume their heel pain comes from an injury, an underlying condition can also contribute to a heel problem:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel spur
- Pinched nerve
- Stress fracture
Diagnosing Heel Pain
When you see your foot doctor for the first time, they will use a physical examination to inspect any outward abnormalities in the foot. They will also use this visit to gather your medical and family history, lifestyle background, and other important information. In some cases, your doctor may recognize the symptoms of a condition or injury to your foot just by looking at it. However, your podiatrist often needs x-rays or MRIs to further investigate your symptoms and examine the bone and connective tissues which lie below the surface of the skin.
Heel Pain Treatments in Scarborough, ME
Treating your heel pain depends on its cause. Since treatments for different foot-related conditions vary greatly, the best way to determine which procedures are best for you is to meet with your podiatrist. They may suggest non-invasive treatments like physical therapy, custom orthotics, or simply plenty of rest. Some conditions, however, may require more in-depth treatments or even surgery. Your doctor can help you find the best treatment plan for you and your condition.
For more information on heel pain, please contact Dr. Peter Ocampo at Southern Maine Foot and Ankle in Scarborough, Windham & Brunswick, ME. Call today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Ocampo!
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.