My Blog
By Arthur Kaplan, D.P.M.
November 01, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Treating toenail fungus

Toenail fungus--it's one of the most common podiatric problems children, teens, and adults have. Causing thickened, yellow, brittle nails, onychomycosis (the medical name for toenail fungus) spreads easily and can be stubborn to treat. If you see one or more of your toenails changing shape, color, and texture, see your foot doctor right away. They have the expertise and treatments to give you ten clear toenails once again.

How toenail fungus starts

The micro-organism thrives in dark, moist environments--sweaty socks and sneakers being prime candidates. Additionally, shared towels, nail clippers, shower room floors, and pool decks breed toenail and Athlete's Foot fungus. In fact, if you suffer periodic outbreaks of itchy, uncomfortable Athlete's Foot, you're more prone to onychomycosis, says the American Academy of Dermatology.

Conquering toenail fungus

Your foot doctor sees scores of patients with toenail fungus. Visual inspection is the main diagnostic tool, and for mild cases of onychomycosis, the podiatrist may recommend creams or ointments applied topically. Oral medications are an option as well.

Additionally, modern podiatry offers innovative laser treatments which kill the micro-organism right where it lives. Painless and very effective, laser treatments are applied to all ten toenails to prevent re-infection.

Unfortunately, toenail fungal infections can become quite severe and spread to the nail bed. When infection is severe, the podiatrist may advise complete removal of the toenail to prevent further problems.

Prevention is best

Of course, if you can avoid toenail fungus, your feet and nails will look and feel their best, and you won't be embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes or sandals in the warm weather. However, some people are more prone to this common infection--diabetics, those with poor peripheral circulation and individuals who are immunosuppressed.

Regardless, your podiatrist recommends these preventive measures for healthy, fungus-free nails:

  1. Wash your feet with soap and water daily, and dry them with a clean towel.
  2. Clip your toenails straight across with a clean clippers.
  3. Wear clean socks daily.
  4. Change your gym shoes after a workout. In fact, alternate pairs if possible, letting your footwear dry out between wearings.
  5. Wear flip-flops or shower sandals in the locker room and poolside, too.
Look after those feet and nails
 
They're the only ones you have. For ongoing care of your feet and ankles, see your foot doctor each year for a routine examination. He or she will get to know you and your podiatric health needs well so you stay active and feel great.
By Arthur Kaplan, D.P.M.
October 23, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Pain  

Heel PainFigure out What’s Causing Your Foot Problems and Get Back to What Matters.

If you put your foot through daily abuse, as many of us do when we wear high heels or worn out tennis shoes, then it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that at some point you may experience heel pain. No matter if the pain is mild or severe, chances are good that you may need to visit our Port Washington, NY, podiatrist, Dr. Arthur Kaplan, to figure out what’s going on.

What Are the Causes of Heel Pain?

While there are many injuries or conditions that can lead to heel pain, more often than not it’s caused by one of these issues:

  • Plantar fasciitis (the number one cause)
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Sprains and strains
  • Fracture
  • Heel spur
  • Bursitis

Both plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis are the results of overuse and lead to inflammation in different areas of the foot. The location of the pain can give you insight into what’s causing your heel pain, as pain that lies under the heel is often caused by plantar fasciitis, while pain above the heel bone is usually the result of Achilles tendonitis. These conditions are common in runners and other athletes.

How Is Heel Pain Treated?

Heel pain can usually be managed with simple at-home care and rest. The most important thing you can do is to avoid high-impact activities such as running and to rest your feet as much as possible until the pain goes away. Even once the pain goes away, you’ll want to slowly get back into your daily activities and regular workout routine to make sure that you don’t cause another flare-up.

Other ways to manage your symptoms until the inflammation goes away include:

  • Taking non-steroidal pain relievers to temporarily get rid of pain and swelling
  • Stretching the foot and performing therapeutic foot exercises every day
  • Wearing a brace or splint to bed to support the foot
  • Wearing custom orthotics and properly fitted, supportive footwear

When Should I See a Doctor?

If your heel pain is severe or if you can’t put weight on the heel, it’s important that you visit our foot doctor in Port Washington, NY, as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.

Of course, if you are dealing with heel pain that doesn’t seem to be easing up or responding to at-home care either, then you should visit the experts at NY Sports Podiatry in Port Washington, NY, as well. Call us today at (516) 883-8313 to see how we can help!

By Arthur Kaplan, D.P.M.
October 03, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Care   Heel Spurs  

Have you been experiencing any heel pain or bothersome tenderness without any obvious cause? Although heel spurs themselves sometimes do not cause acute discomfort, they are frequently associated with the painful inflammation known as plantar fasciitis, a condition commonly described as feeling like a knife is wrenching through your foot. Read below for more information on the typical causes, symptoms, and treatments of heel spurs.

What is a Heel Spur?

A heel spur is often the result of overstraining foot muscles and ligaments, overstretching the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes), and repeatedly tearing the heel bone membrane. From these actions arises a calcium deposit on the underside of the heel bone. Risk factor for developing the condition include:

  • Possessing any walking gait abnormalities

  • Regularly running or jogging on hard surfaces

  • Wearing poorly fitted or overly worn shoes

  • Wearing shoes that lack arch support

  • Being excessively overweight or obese

What are The Symptoms?

Heel spurs do not carry many symptoms by themselves. However, they are often related to other afflictions, most typically plantar fasciitis. The most common sign of this combo of conditions is a feeling of chronic pain along the bottom or back of the heel, especially during periods of walking, running, or jogging. If you are experiencing this recurring inflammation, it is a good idea to visit your local podiatrist's office and inquire about undergoing an x-ray or ultrasound examination of the foot.

What are the Treatment Options?

The solutions to heel spurs are generally centered around decreasing inflammation and avoiding re-injury. They include:

  • Applying ice on the inflammation

  • Performing stretch exercises

  • Wearing orthotic devices or shoe inserts to relieve pressure off of the spur

  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to relieve pain

  • In extreme cases, surgery can be performed on chronically inflamed spurs

If you are dealing with symptoms of heel spurs or pain in your feet, turn to a podiatrist so that we can get you back on your feet. Don't ignore your pain.

By Arthur Kaplan, D.P.M.
August 31, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Arthritis  

Arthritis is a joint condition that affects roughly 54 million American adults according to the Arthritis Foundation. It can show up in joints all around the body, including the feet and toes. When the joints of the feet are affected by inflammation, it affects a patient’s ability to move their toes, bend their feet up or down, and turn on a dime when participating in athletic activities. Learn the steps that you can take to care for arthritic feet and improve your overall foot health.

Arthritis in the Feet
Arthritic joint pain, which is usually caused by an inflammatory reaction, is most commonly felt in the big toe, ankle, and the middle part of the foot. There are many different types of arthritis conditions that could affect the feet, including psoriatic, reactive, and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form—it is caused by the bones rubbing together, making the joints feel stiff and painful. Patients who are overweight are more likely to struggle with arthritic feet, as are seniors. Some people have had arthritis since childhood (juvenile arthritis or JA), making them more likely to develop foot deformities like bunions and struggle with swollen joints.

Arthritis Treatments
Though arthritis isn’t a curable condition, the symptoms can be eased with treatment so that you can continue to walk, jog, exercise, and work without debilitating pain. These are some of the ways your podiatrist may treat arthritis in the feet:

  • An X-ray or other imaging test to examine the condition of the joints.
  • Physical therapy exercises to make the joints more flexible.
  • Orthotic device or shoe for better foot support.
  • Joint injections (corticosteroids).
  • NSAID drugs (anti-inflammatories).
  • Surgery to remove inflamed tissue around the joints (Arthroscopic debridement) or fuse the bones (arthrodesis).

Caring for Your Feet
Seeing a foot doctor is an important part of caring for arthritic feet. But there are also some actions you can take at home to keep your feet and joints in good condition:

  • Get rid of shoes that put too much pressure on your joints, like high heels or sneakers that don’t support the ankles.
  • Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salt and massage your feet when relaxing.
  • Commit to doing the toe and foot exercises suggested by your podiatrist.

Treating Arthritic Feet
Arthritic feet shouldn't prevent you from carrying on with normal life and physical activities. Get help from a podiatrist as soon as you start to experience symptoms and take extra steps to care for your feet.

By Arthur Kaplan, D.P.M.
August 10, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: orthotics  

Custom OrthoticsPeople with foot-related issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, fallen arches, or an imbalance of their left and right feet may feel frustrated with the lack of results from shoe inserts purchased over-the-counter. If you've had this experience, it's time to contact Dr. Arthur Kaplan, your podiatrist in Port Washington, NY, to ask about custom orthotics. Custom orthotics are just that, shoe inserts made just for you from precise measurements taken by Dr. Kaplan. They're one-of-a-kind to fit the shape of your foot and correct, cushion, and balance out its abnormalities. Learn about some of their benefits here.

Movement

With uncomfortable foot conditions or a noticeable limp, you may feel reluctant to get up and move around much. You may also tire easily because of the effort it takes to walk. Being sedentary can lead to a host of other problems; muscle atrophy, obesity, and blood clots. Custom orthotics can help restore your confidence and your energy by changing your gait and the way your feet make contact with the ground. When it's comfortable to move, you'll feel much more motivated about getting up and walking around.

Spinal alignment

If you're dealing with a foot problem like the ones we mentioned above, you may also have lower back pain as a direct result. This typically happens due to your posture being thrown off in an attempt to compensate for lack of mobility or strength. When you're wearing custom orthotics from your Port Washington podiatrist, however, you'll likely find that the pain in your lower back is greatly diminished or disappears entirely.

Are you interested in walking more comfortably and feeling more confident! Contact NY Sports Podiatry in Port Washington, NY, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Arthur Kaplan and find out if custom orthotics are right for you!





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