Monday, October 10, 2011

Turf Toe: A Tough Injury to Overcome

With the fall weather comes football season – and unfortunately, with football season comes injury. Whether you find yourself at your local football field to cheer on your own football star, cheering on your high school team from the stands, watching the Buckeyes take the field on Saturdays or the Bengals or Browns on Sundays, chances are you’ll hear the expression “turf toe” at one time or another this season. The expression turf toe might lead one to believe that the injury is a minor ailment limited only to those wearing football helmets and jerseys; however, this is not the case. Turf toe often plagues dancers as well, and can actually impact anyone in the right circumstances as it is an injury to the soft tissue around the big toe joint that occurs when the toe is extended beyond its normal range of motion.

Turf toe isn’t a simple injury that pulls a player out of a game or a dancer out of a single performance. It can leave athletes sidelined for weeks in extreme pain.

The good news is that there are a few precautions you could take to limit your risk for turf toe. The number one recommendation is to wear shoes with support to prevent the toe joint from bending too far. Your podiatrist may also be able to recommend or prescribe special inserts for you that will help prevent this.
Particularly if you’ve had more than one battle with turf toe, it may benefit you to consult with a physical therapist or sports medicine specialist to see if there are steps you can take to help correct any problems with your natural gait or develop some ways to help reduce the likelihood of injury.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Feeling the Pinch this Autumn? Bunions May Be to Blame

With the curtain closed on summer and sandal season, fall is the season during which Community Foot Specialists sees an upswing in patients whose feet are feeling the pinch in their closed-toe footwear. This seasonal phenomenon seems to focus on women, although there are men who have this issue. The common culprit? Painful bunions that were given room to breathe during sandal season, but now face close quarters of a fall boot or shoe.

Bunions are abnormalities that form on the joint at the base of the big toe in the form of a bony bump. They occur when the big toe pushes against the other toes, which force the big toe joint in the opposite direction. As time passes, the abnormal positioning of the toe enlarges the joint. This further crowds the toes of the foot and causes pain and discomfort.

Bunions can occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes is tight shoes, although they can also come about as a result of an inherited structural or mechanical defect, a stress to the foot, or a medical condition.

To help avoid bunions, don’t wear pointed shoes. Choose footwear with a wide foot box to give all of your toes plenty of room. If bunions become so painful that they impede daily activities, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons recommends discussing surgical options with your podiatrist. However, please note that Community Foot Specialists firmly believes in exhausting the most conservative foot care treatment options first before considering surgery.

Community Foot Specialists can be reached at 937-426-9500. Or you may visit our website to request an appointment, view common conditions we treat, or get any other info you might need.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tips on Orthotics


If you have orthotics or are considering purchasing them, you may want to consider the following tips to ensure that you are getting the most for your money and doing the best thing for your feet. First, keep in mind that orthotics are not just for wearing with one particular type of shoe – they can be worn with athletic shoes, dress shoes, work boots, snow shoes – pretty much all types of shoes that have a back to them and provide some support at the base of the shoe.  

When going shoe shopping, be sure to bring your orthotics with you and wear them when trying on new shoes. You want to be sure that the shoe will work with the orthotic while providing comfort and the right kind of support for your foot. Likewise, you want to be sure that the orthotic will work with the shoe you have in mind.

Also, you will want to have the same shoes or stockings that you plan to wear with the shoes you purchase so that you can see how they work with your orthotics and your shoes. Make sure they are comfortable and functional.

Return to your podiatrist’s office for a follow-up evaluation of the functioning of your orthotics to ensure that they are working as they should with your feet. Your podiatrist will work to be sure that he or she has prescribed the orthotic to best meet your specific needs.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moving to Electronic Medical Records


by Dr. Allen C. Guehl

Regardless of your opinion on health care reform and whether the U.S. will be able to convert all medical records into the electronic format by the 2014 deadline, there is no denying that in this technological age, movement toward electronic medical records is all but certain.

Community Foot Specialists wants to be a step ahead of all other Dayton Ohio podiatrists in terms of electronic medical records. We are already well on our way to achieving compliance ahead of the 2014 deadline.

So what does the shift to electronic medical records mean for our patients? Even if you are just visiting us for heel pain or ingrown nails, we will be asking all patients for updated allergy information, including information on the severity and type of allergic reaction you may experience. We will also be asking for your email address, so that you can also have access to your electronic medical records if you choose to. Electronic medical records will also allow us to send your prescriptions directly to your pharmacy, which we hope will be an added convenience for you. Although we will only be treating your feet, electronic medical records will also allow us to communicate your plan of care to your family doctor to help streamline your overall care.

We ask for your patience and understanding as we transition. We are hopeful that this change to electronic medical records will be beneficial for all of our patients and for us as your doctors. If you have any questions or concerns about electronic medical records, please let us know. Your privacy and health information is very important to us, and we take your concerns very seriously. Thank you.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Study: More Americans Having Bouts with Gout

A new study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism reveals that 8.3 million Americans suffer from the incapacitating condition of gout – up from 6.1 million Americans 20 years ago.

Gout is caused by high uric acid levels in the bloodstream, causing crystals that precipitate in joints of the foot. Gout pain typically affects the joint of the big toe. (This is true in just about 75% of cases.) As uric acid levels increase, so does the likelihood of gout pain. Gout pain typically manifests in episodes – called gout attacks or gout flares. During a gout attack or gout flare, a person feels an extreme amount of pain and experiences severe swelling and redness in the big toe. A gout attack or gout flare can last just hours or days, but over time they can last longer, occur with greater frequency, or even become more painful.

These attacks or flares may occur only at certain times of the year. Typically they start during the night without warning. Patients sometimes complain that it hurts to even have a sheet touch the inflamed area when lying in bed. A number of triggers have been identified which are responsible for gout attacks. They include alcohol, dehydration, certain medications, stress, certain diets that are high in purines from meat and fish, and rapid lowering of uric acid levels with medication.

Treatment of gout is usually done with anti-inflammatory medication and steroids. Lifestyle changes – such as the avoidance of alcohol, diet low in purines from meat and fish, and even exercise – can be helpful in lessening the likelihood that you will suffer from gout attacks.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Worried about warts? Here's what you should know.

With the beautiful summer weather comes more time by the pool. And with more time by the pool comes more foot ailments – particularly plantar warts.

This is because plantar warts are caused by a virus. They are fairly common, occurring on the sole of the foot. They are more prone to develop in areas on the sole where there is more pressure and friction.

The wart develops on the superficial, outermost area of the skin and appears as a thickened growth – almost like a callus. While normally not painful, if the wart is located on an area that is subjected to pressure it can become quite tender.

It is important to know that because warts are caused by a virus, they are contagious. In summer, it is common to see a number of patients with plantar warts picked up from walking barefoot at the pool or using the pool showers without wearing flip flops or water shoes. While plantar warts can be seen in all age groups, they are most common among children 12-16. We also see an upswing of plantar warts in the fall when college students head back to the dorms.

Since warts are common among children, it is important to make sure your children understand the importance of wearing footwear whenever possible, even when walking around the pool and especially in the shower/locker room area. Also, you should make a point to ask your child about their feet periodically or check their feet yourself for any evidence of warts or other foot conditions. Sometimes they may be embarrassed to tell you about a problem, think it is normal, or not even notice that there is a problem. However, if they are walking barefoot in your home, they could be spreading the virus on your floors and putting other members of your family at risk for warts.

And finally – please do not try any do-it-yourself fixes to rid yourself of the warts. At Community Foot Specialists, we’ve seen patients who have tried cutting the wart from your foot or the duct tape remedy you read about various places on the internet. Resorting to such methods may lead to infection. We have a few different methods available to treat the affected area. Contact our office for details.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Make Sure Wedded Bliss Doesn't Spell Agony for Your Feet

Are you taking a walk down the aisle anytime soon? Invited to a wedding where you plan to dance all night? Make sure you say “I do” to wearing appropriate foot wear for the occasion – and your feet will thank you.

If you are the one making the trip down the aisle, don’t make your shoes your ‘something new’ for the day. Take some time to break in new shoes prior to your wedding day. Wear them around for the length of time you would be wearing them on that particular day to put them to the comfort test (and acclimate your feet to them). If they are not comfortable enough to wear for as long as you would want them to, you may want to consider getting two pairs – one fancier pair to make it through the ceremony and formal photos, and another more comfortable pair to kick up your heels in at your reception. Flip flops tend to be a popular reception shoe, but most do not provide much in terms of support. And if you are wearing a long gown, flip flops might prove a tripping hazard.

Also, if you are the bride, you may want to suggest that your bridesmaids change into more comfy shoes at the reception so you will have more company on the dance floor as you dance the night away.

If you are a guest to a friend or family member’s nuptials, do not overlook comfort when selecting your footwear – particularly if you plan to join the bride and groom on the dance floor for much of the evening. There are numerous styles of formal footwear that you could choose that would provide both the necessary support and the welcome comfort to ensure that your feet will be feelin’ fine.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Importance of Consistent Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes runs in my family. Maybe that is why I have taken a particular interest in diabetic foot care, because for me it is personal.

If you are diabetic and reading this article in one of our offices, kudos to you for making regular visits to a podiatrist part of your diabetes management plan. But please keep reading - there is much you can do to help yourself and others with diabetic foot care.

Anyone with diabetes, regardless of whether they are experiencing any foot problems at the time, should receive an annual foot exam to help identify any potential changes in the condition of their foot. But they should be looking at their feet - or asking a caregiver or loved one to look at their feet - on a daily basis to be alerted to any injury or change in condition that would require a call or visit to the podiatrist. Remember that with diabetes comes a possible decrease in circulation in your feet and possible nerve damage, resulting in a loss of sensation in the feet. This sensation would normally serve as the body’s warning if an injury or ulcer were to develop.

If you know someone who is diabetic that has not had a foot exam in the last year, please encourage him or her to call our office and schedule an appointment. Share with them the knowledge that annual foot exams should be an integral part of their diabetes management plan, and that their podiatrist should be a valuable member of their health care team.

Thank you for trusting your foot and ankle care to Community Foot Specialists.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dismissing Diabetes Diet Myths: #1 - Eating Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes

It is no secret that living with diabetes means you may have to change your eating habits and possibly cut back on certain foods to manage the condition. But there are a number of ‘diabetes diet’ myths out there that simply aren’t true. Let’s lay one to rest today.

#1: Eating Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes – The amount of sugar you consume is unlikely to cause diabetes on its own. Diabetes occurs when your body’s ability to turn food into energy is disrupted. The body is supposed to break down the food you eat into glucose, which is a type of sugar needed to power the cells of the body. The pancreas makes a hormone called insulin, which helps cells utilize glucose for fuel. In Type 1 Diabetes, the pancreas does not make insulin. This usually occurs in children or young people, and is thought to occur as a result of something happening with the immune system. In Type 2 Diabetes, the pancreas either does not make enough insulin or the insulin does not work properly. In some instances it is both. Type 2 Diabetes can occur in people of any age, although being overweight increases risk. Gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy for some women when hormone changes prevent insulin from working properly. While the condition may resolve after the birth of the child, those with gestational diabetes usually need to take insulin.

Essentially, it is important to note that it is not the amount of sugar that’s to blame – it is the body’s ability to metabolize that sugar properly and turn it into energy that is the problem. So while eating sugar won’t cause diabetes, when you are at risk for diabetes or when you have diabetes, it is important to limit your sugar intake somewhat.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dayton is home to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WBAFB) and each September, it is also home base for the Air Force Marathon. This year the marathon is scheduled for Saturday, September 17, and registration is open to all runners 18 and older. Many Dayton and Springfield area runners participate in the full marathon, half marathon, or 5k – and many will do so without properly preparing their feet for the race.

Whether you are training for a marathon or just starting a running program, it is important that you take good care of your feet and get them ready for the distance you are covering. Here are some tips to help you do just that:


Cover three-quarters of the distance you’d be running before the race. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should run it – you can definitely walk it instead of run – but your feet should know what that distance is going to feel like. That way you’ll get a sense of whether to expect blisters, chafing or another type of irritation prior to race day and can prepare accordingly.


No time for new shoes. The shoes you wear on race day shouldn’t be brand new, but they shouldn’t be old either. Shoes with right around 100 miles on them are ideal. Break them in about a month before the marathon with shorter distances and then wear them for your training walk.


Gear up. Wear what you will be wearing on race day for your long training days (including the walk) to ensure that everything will work well for you during the race. Race day is not the time to try out new gear – you want everything you use to be tried and true by race day!

These tips will help you get ready to run – no matter the distance you plan to cover! To keep a step ahead of the competition, you may also want to consider custom orthotics made especially for your feet. Call our office to schedule an appointment to be fitted for custom orthotics today!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Can a Foot Doctor Help With Back Pain?

Those of us involved in podiatry on a day to day basis know that problems with your feet can often be indicative of conditions that one would not normally associate with the feet. Diabetes is a prime example of a condition that at first glance many people don’t realize heavily impacts the feet.

But did you know that certain types of back, hip or leg pain could also potentially be caused by an issue with your feet?

For example, if you have lower back pain, you may have what is known as Morton’s Toe/Morton’s Foot. Morton’s Toe/Morton’s Foot is defined by a long second metatarsal and it could potentially be responsible for what is causing you pain. This condition can not only cause pain in the lower back area, but it can also cause pain throughout the body.

There is an easy examination the doctor can do to determine whether you may have Morton’s Toe/Morton’s Foot. And the good news is that with Morton’s Toe/Morton’s Foot, you don’t have to live with the chronic pain. Treatment options for Morton’s Toe/Morton’s Foot include correcting the pronation of the feet by placing a thin pad under the ball of the foot in all shoes. You want to be sure you do not place it under the second metatarsal because even though it may seem like the logical thing to do in order to give local pain relief to that area, it may make Morton’s Foot worse where it exists or it could even create the symptoms of the condition when the foot is otherwise normal.

If you are experiencing inexplicable lower back pain from which you have not been able to find relief, you may want to schedule an appointment with one of our Dayton and Springfield area podiatrist to determine whether you may have Morton’s Toe/Morton’s Foot.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Custom Orthotics vs. Drugstore Orthotics

Many people can benefit from utilizing orthotics – from those looking to get a jump on the competition by increasing their endurance or improving their athletic performance to those looking to simply restore balance, alleviate foot fatigue and prevent a range of foot problems from occurring in the future.

Orthotics are anatomically molded devices developed to better support the foot. Worn under the heel and arch of your foot, they can relieve not only foot pain, but leg and back pain as well by alleviating some of the causes of the problems. Orthotics are a great solution for many people. While there are orthotic inserts you can pick up at a drugstore near you, honestly they don’t work as well as custom orthotics because they aren’t developed specifically for your feet.

Custom orthotics are custom made devices created from an actual cast and mold of your foot taken by a foot doctor. They essentially realign the foot to control abnormal motion, which can help correct for any imbalances or incorrect alignment and allow the individual wearing them to walk or run more naturally. We recommend getting custom orthotics made for your feet to provide you with the most comfortable and suitable fit possible.

Here at Community Foot Specialists, our doctors can get you a great fitting custom orthotic for a very reasonable price. Custom orthotics can be ordered through our office for only $80. Schedule your appointment to get your custom orthotics with us today by calling 937-426-9500 or visiting www.daytonfeet.com. We look forward to serving you and all your foot care needs!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Foot Fact #6

The size of your foot is just about the same size as your forearm - from wrist to elbow.

Bonus fact: Your height is just about the same as your 'wingspan' - which is the distance from fingertip to fingertip if you were to raise your arms out to your sides at shoulder height to form a T.

(Of course that last one wasn't a foot fact, but pretty neat nonetheless!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Put a Little Spring in Your Step

We've had a wet April here in the Dayton and Springfield areas, so it appears that sandal season is starting a bit later this year than in others. If your feet aren't quite in top shape, here are some tips from the American Podiatric Medical Association to get you there.

1. Soak the feet with warm water for at least 10 minutes. Footnote: APMA recommends adding Epson salt, herbal soaks or oils for additional relaxation.

2. Remove thickened, dead skin build up (also known as calluses) around the presoaked heels, balls and sides of the feet with a pumice stone or foot file. Foot note: APMA advises not using a razor because it removes too much skin and can easily cause infection or permanent damage to the skin if used incorrectly.

3. Use an exfoliating scrub on the soles, sides and tops of the feet to eliminate dry, flaky winter skin. Footnote: Try Pedinol’s Hydrisalic Gel, which holds the APMA Seal of Approval.

4. Apply and massage a healthy amount of emollient‐enriched skin lotion all over your feet to hydrate the skin and increase circulation. Footnote: Remove any excess moisturizer from the toenails and in between toes as this can be a bastion for bacteria. Try AmLactin moisturizing cream, which holds the APMA Seal of Approval.

5. Clip toenails with a straight edge toenail clipper to just above the top of each toe to ensure nails do not become curved or rounded in the corners. Footnote: Try using Sole Savior’s SOS Safe Salon PedicureKit, which holds the APMA Seal of Acceptance.

6. Before bed, very lightly wrap cellophane around your entire foot. The cellophane will act as a makeshift sauna by locking in moisture.

7. Apply nail polish to the toenails only if the nail is healthy. Remove polish regularly to let the nail bed breathe.

8. Practice good foot hygiene, including daily washing of the feet with soap and water, drying feet carefully, particularly between the toes.

9. If any skin or nail conditions exist, see a podiatrist for a medical diagnosis.

10. Inspect your sandals or flip‐flops from the previous year. Discard any that appear too worn.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Foot Fact #5

Women are 4 times as likely to have foot problems than men. The likely culprit? High heels and other types of shoes that do not provide adequate support!

It is important to wear shoes with support built in. If you must wear high heels, go for those with a lower heel or change into high heels from more comfortable, supporive shoes when at work.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Foot Pain Getting in the Way of Exercise for Many Americans

by Allen C. Guehl, DPM
A recent survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medicine Association, found that 72 percent of those surveyed indicated that they do not exercise because foot pain prevented them from doing so.
The survey also found that respondents viewed their feet as the least important part of the body in terms of health and well-being, but the number one body part to experience pain.
For those of us who practice podiatric medicine, this information is disheartening. We know we can provide relief for many of those people complaining of foot pain. We know the critical importance of the feet to overall health and well being. We know that foot pain is not normal and may be an early indication of a number of health problems including diabetes, arthritis, and nerve and circulatory disorders.
With obesity rates across the U.S. on the rise, and foot pain – especially heel pain which is very common in the Dayton area – identified as a deterrent to exercise for many Americans, it seems the key to better overall health may be found in the feet. You can take the first steps for your foot health by scheduling an appointment at one of our offices today. You can also help others who may not realize that relief for their foot pain is possible. Please talk to those you love if they are living a sedentary lifestyle to find out if foot pain is what is standing in their way. If foot pain is holding them back, encourage your loved ones to schedule an appointment with a qualified podiatrist. If they live here in the Dayton or Springfield areas, we’d love to help them get moving toward a healthier lifestyle.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Foot Fact #4

The average person takes about 18,000 steps a day! Just think of how many steps that would mean a person would take in a year – not to mention a lifetime! In a year, the average person would take 6.5 million steps. That’s a lot of work for your feet!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pediatric Foot Pain: NOT Growing Pains!

If your child complains of foot or ankle pain, don’t dismiss it as just growing pains. Children do have foot pain that is attributable to many different causes. Some conditions are easily treatable and apparent – like ingrown toenails and plantar warts.  Some are less apparent, such as those relating to the mechanics of the foot. Those conditions do not manifest themselves in any visible ways, so you may not realize there is a problem.

If your child complains of foot pain, and starts shying away from physical activity, becoming more sedentary and possibly gaining weight, please schedule them for an appointment to have a foot exam. They could have a problem that could be relatively easily corrected by an orthotic by anti-inflammatory medication. In the vast majority of pediatric podiatry cases, and particularly with the conservative treatment philosophy of our foot doctors, surgery is NOT always needed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Foot Fact #3

What are shoe sizes based on? Well, they were originally devised in England by King Edward II who declared in 1324 that the diameter of one barleycorn - which is 1/3 of an inch - would represent one full shoe size. In England, that is still true. In the U.S. and Canada, shoe sizes have changed a bit from their English roots. Below is a web graphic showing different size conversions across the world:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What is a Chiropodist?

A chiropodist is basically another name for podiatrist. The term chiropodist is most commonly heard in the United Kingdom and podiatrist is mainly used in the United States. In the U.S., a podiatrist must be licensed as a Doctor of Podiatry Medicine, which also requires a four year undergraduate degree.

Chiropodists and podiatrists both treat conditions affecting the foot and ankle such as heel pain, arthritis, ingrown toenails, corns, calluses, athlete’s foot, weak ankles, foot fatigue, and swollen painful feet.

The term podiatrist was actually coined here in America in the 18th Century by David Low.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Foot Fact #2

Your feet contain 25% of the bones in the entire human body. That’s a lot of little bones, so it is no wonder that they are subject to stress fractures especially considering the weight they carry on a daily basis.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance? Dancing Feet Subject to Injury

Typically, a dancer’s foot injury is lumped under a general sports medicine heading even though many of the injuries are atypical of those traditional athletes may suffer. That, combined with the fact that with the competitive nature of dance as a career, many professional dancers tend to want to cover up their injuries in an attempt to protect their careers, means that many dance injuries aren’t treated promptly, which can cause further complications.

Overuse or trauma are the two most prevalent injury categories, and dance injuries can fall into either category. However, the most common category is overuse. A number of different factors can contribute to overuse injuries experienced by dancers including age, nutrition, strength and flexibility, biomechanical imbalances, schedule, non-healed injuries, shoes, and flooring.

Common overuse injuries suffered by dancers include stress fractures, a dancer’s fracture (typically associated with a ballet dancer coming off of pointe, tendonitis, shin splints, metatarsalgia, and neuroma. Dancers also suffer from more than their share of warts, corns and calluses, toenail bruising, and blisters.

The key with any injury – whether it be dancing-related or otherwise – is to seek treatment swiftly. Particularly with dancing, early intervention when an injury first occurs may help cut down on rehabilitation time.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Foot Fact #1

Ever wonder why your feet sweat so much? Well, they have around 250,000 sweat glands for starters! Your feet can excrete as much as half a pint of moisture each day. The moisture and darkness provide the perfect breeding ground for fungus, which is why it is important to change your socks often and keep your feet as warm and dry as possible.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Possible Cause of Heel Pain in Children: Sever's Disease

If your child complains of heel pain, you should definitely take their complaints seriously. Children – particularly those who are athletic/physically active in the early part of puberty, which for girls typically happens between 8 – 10 years of age and for boys between 10 – 12 years of age – may have what is called Sever’s Disease. This condition occurs in children during their growth stages when the growth plate in the heel is injured. What typically happens is that in early puberty, bones grow faster than muscles and tendons. Muscles and tendons become tight as a result and the heel is less flexible. When the child stands or bears any weight on his or her heel, the tight heel tendons may put too much pressure on the back of the heel, injuring the heel and causing Sever’s disease.


Signs that your child may be suffering from Sever’s disease include pain in one or both heels that usually occurs with activity (usually around the time your child would begin a new sport or season), a tendency to tiptoe, walking with a limp, increased intensity of pain when running or jumping. Another sign is if your child’s heel hurts when you squeeze both sides toward the very back of the heel.

The good news about Sever’s disease is that it is highly treatable with non-invasive methods. The first thing to do is to stop or limit any activity that causes the child pain. Treat the injured heel with ice for 20 minutes at a time, 3 times a day. If you notice that your child has a high arch, flat feet, or bowed legs, you may want to bring your child in to one of our six clinic locations for orthotics, arch supports, or heel cups. For a child with severe heel pain, your doctor may recommend acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.

Stretching exercises can help lessen the pain of Sever’s disease; particularly those that stretch the hamstring and calf muscles and tendons on the back of the leg. These stretches should be performed 2 or 3 times a day and held for about 20 seconds in both legs, even if only one heel is experiencing pain.

Sever’s disease does not typically cause any long term problems, but you should call your doctor if the pain doesn’t get better after treatment, the pain gets worse, or if you notice swelling or changes to the skin color. Typically after treatment, children feel better anywhere between 2 weeks and 2 months. The doctor will let you and your child know when it is safe to resume normal physical activity.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011: American Diabetes Association Alert Day - Know Your Risk

26 million Americans are impacted by diabetes. A quarter of those individuals are not even aware that they have the disease and can live for years without knowing it until more serious complications arise.

Today marks the 23rd Annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day, which is a one day “wake-up” call to Americans to determine if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, or if they may already be affected and not realize it. The ADA is looking to rally one million people to take the Diabetes Risk Test over the course of the next month as part of their “Join the Million Challenge”.

In addition to the 26 million diabetic Americans, approximately 79 million have prediabetes which means their blood sugar is higher than normal but not yet to diabetic levels. That is one in three American adults currently at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that there are ways to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among those at risk. Losing just 7% of body weight through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) coupled with healthy eating can reduce your risk.

The Diabetes Risk Test is provided by the American Diabetes Association to help individuals determine their risk. All people have to do is answer simple questions about their weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors. You can get the test by visiting www.stopdiabetes.com, calling 1-800-DIABETES, or texting JOIN to 69866. While the Alert Day is today, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails can affect anyone, but they typically afflict males more than females and adults more than children. An ingrown toenail is a toenail that has grown into the skin instead of overtop of it.

A number of things could cause an ingrown toenail. Cutting the toenail too short or rounding the edge could cause it to grow into the skin. Shoes or socks that don’t fit well can also be the culprit – they may press the nail into the toe, encouraging it to grow into the skin rather than over it. If you play soccer or dance, stub your toe, or do an activity that can injure the nail, you may also come to have an ingrown toenail.

The good news is that ingrown nails are treatable. We can take care of your nail here at Community Foot Specialists if you are in the Dayton, Springfield, Beavercreek, Centerville, or Vandalia, OH areas.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stay In the Game: Avoiding Baseball Related Foot and Ankle Injury

From Little Leagues through the Major Leagues – baseball and softball players put a lot of strain on their feet and ankles. Ankle sprains are a common baseball injury that can occur when players run the bases and step on or slide into the base. Should a sprain occur, the RICE principle (listed below) should be followed.


Rest- Rest your ankle. Don’t walk on it.

Ice- Ice should be immediately applied. It can keep the swelling down and should be kept on the area for 20 to 30 minutes, three or four times a day.

Compression- Wrap and immobilize the ankle to help keep swelling down.

Elevate- Elevate the ankle above heart level as much as possible for up to two days.

Follow up with a podiatrist to help fully evaluate the extent of your injury. You could have possible injuries to tendons that will not properly heal unless a treatment plan is followed, which could lead to chronic instability and recurrent sprains.

The ankle is not the only area of concern for baseball injuries. Overexertion and excessive training can cause Achilles tendonitis or heel pain in a player. Gentle, regular stretching of the calf muscles before, during, and after a game can help minimize aggravation in the Achilles tendon and overall pain and tightness in the calf. The often abrupt starting and stopping in baseball is usually the culprit.

One of the main things to remember is to wear proper footwear for the sport you are playing. In baseball and softball, that means wearing cleats, spikes, or sneakers.

Cleats should only be worn on the field, and should be introduced gradually to baseball and softball players so that they can get a feel for them and how they differ from other athletic footwear when practicing or playing the game. Cleats certainly will help improve traction; however they can leave ankles more susceptible to twists and turns.

Spikes are made to be a lighter, more flexible alternative to cleats. They engage with the ground in a different way than cleats do, and should also be introduced gradually.

Sneakers are appropriate footwear for many who only play recreationally or those children under 10 years who aren’t yet ready for cleats.

Irritation, redness, or blisters experienced after wearing cleats could be a warning sign of a biomechanical problem in the player’s legs or feet. No matter the footwear selection, if pain is experienced during play it should be addressed immediately. Call Community Foot Specialists to schedule an appointment.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Unexplained colorful Toes

Raynaud’s disease is an elusive, relatively misunderstood condition that can go on for years prior to a person taking action to address their colorful toes. The smaller blood vessels in your body become susceptible to minor contractions that can cause your toes to become multicolored. Raynaud’s most commonly occurs in cold weather areas and in smokers. The blood vessels in the feet and toes vasospasm, or over react, causing the toes to transition between three colors. Initially, they turn white, then blue and finally may appear bright red before returning to their natural color.
Though not entirely well understood, there are some factors that contribute to, or point to, the diagnosis of Raynaud’s in the toes or the feet:
- Most commonly in cold weather

- Smokers are at a greater risk

- Women between the age of 25-40 are most commonly inflicted

- Toes may feel cool to the touch and go numb

- Can be triggered by stress
If you fear that you may have Raynaud’s disease, or Raynaud’s phenomenon, you should see your podiatrist. Steps should be taken to reduce the severity of attacks. Keeping the areas most susceptible warm, if you smoke, stop, and in some cases medications that can widen the blood vessels can be prescribed.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Do It Yourself Foot Care: When to See a Podiatrist Rather than the Drugstore

You would think after walking the aisles of your local drugstore that many of your foot ailments could be solved by picking up product off the shelves without having to set – well, foot – in a podiatrist’s office. In reality, while some of these products may work to solve your problem, others may cause other issues for you. Here’s a run down of what to try and what to toss in terms of drugstore foot care remedies for the following ailments:

Blisters. These ailments can often be handled at home without the help of a podiatrist. Make sure that if the blister pops, you cover it with a sterile dressing or Band-Aid and monitor it to make sure it is healing properly.

Ingrown Nails. Drugstore remedies can often do more harm than good with ingrown nails. Doing it yourself may put you at risk for infection. Schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists to avoid the possibility of infection and have the nail removed. Letting a professional handle this problem may help you get rid of the problem for good.

Wart Removal. The medications you get from the drugstore are relatively mild and may be useful for some people in remedying this condition without visiting a podiatrist, however if left on the foot too long, it can cause ulcerations. Our podiatrists could utilize more effective medications or perform simple procedures to make your warts disappear. If you have neuropathy, you should NEVER use over the counter wart removers without the supervision of a podiatric physician.

Toenail Fungus. There are all sorts of sites on the internet that claim success in eliminating toenail fungus by using a variety of household products (bleach, duct tape, white vinegar to name a few), but there’s no science-based evidence to support these claims. We recommend scheduling a visit for the podiatrist to evaluate your foot and determine the best course of treatment for you.

Sprains and Strains. Initial treatment for these injuries can be done at home, using the RICE principle. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. However, if swelling is persistent after applying this principle, you should schedule a visit with the podiatrist’s office in order to determine the extent of the injury.  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Did the insoles claiming relief from high heel pain pass the test?

Many companies who specialize in products for the feet are trying to cash in on the trend towards those fashionable, and occasionally painful, high heel shoes. If you wear high heels, which according to the American Podiatric Medical Association are about 90% of women, and have experienced some foot pain, you may have spent some time in the foot care aisle at your local grocery or pharmacy. They are marketing insoles made specifically for high heel wearers that claim, “guaranteed relief of foot aches and pains” or “all day comfort.”
So, did those claims stand up to the test? Consumer Reports says no. In a report just published this month, consumer reports noted that of the 14 women who tried these insoles made specifically for high heels, none of the wearers reported a relief in their foot pain. A couple wearers said that the shoes were a little more comfortable, but the insoles were not worth the money.
Local podiatrist, Dr. Allen Guehl, says that much of the foot pain that he sees can be attributed to ill fitting shoes. The size of feet changes over time, and you should measure your feet each time you are considering purchasing a new pair of shoes. The other recommendation that he has is a pair of insoles that are made custom for your feet by your podiatrist. He says that they can be a little more expensive, but they will provide more support and last for many years. He agrees with Consumer Reports, saying that these insoles act more as a cushion than actual foot support.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Neuroma Removed from Foot of Hollywood Star Jennifer Grey

Jennifer Grey, recent winner of Dancing With the Stars and star of 80s classic Dirty Dancing, tweeted yesterday that she had a neuroma removed from her foot.

"I had a neuroma the size of a small city removed. I think I went down a shoe size on one foot. After Dancing With The Stars it just got worse and worse, so do whatcha gotta do," she tweeted.

Neuromas are non-cancerous, or benign, growths that arise in nerve cells that can occur in various places of the body.  One of the most common types of neuromas is found on the foot.  Called Morton's Neuroma, it is the thickening of the tissue around a nerve at the base of the toes. It is usually found between the third and fourth toes of the foot, and symptoms of the condition include pain and a burning sensation in the afflicted area, numbness, and cramping.  A lump can develop at the base of the toes due to swelling and abnormal cell growth and may be accompanied by a burning pain in the ball of the foot.  The condition can be brought about from wearing high-heeled or too-tight shoes, high-impact exercise, or an injury. 

Grey's tweets revealed that the neuroma got worse after she finished Dancing With the Stars so she felt she had no choice but to have it removed. 

Here at Community Foot Specialists , we tend to have a conservative approach to neuromas and will exhaust all other treatment options prior to scheduling surgery to remove it.  If you live in the Dayton or Springfield, OH areas and suspect you may have a neuroma or any other foot condition that causes you pain or discomfort, please visit our website http://www.daytonfeet.com/ to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable podiatrists at one of our six locations around Dayton and Springfield, OH.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Ugly Truth About Uggs

Buyers beware – the trendy Ugg brand sheepskin boots and their generic counterparts may be hurting your feet! While they may look soft and cuddly, studies have shown that the slipping and sliding going on inside the boots combined with the limited arch support they provide is putting unnecessary strain on muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.
The makers of Ugg boots maintain that their boots provide more support than the knockoff variety, but many experts see no real difference between the two.
If you want to continue to wear the popular boot, Dr. Allen Guehl, a Dayton-area podiatrist recommends that you do so sparingly and when you aren’t going to be doing a lot of activity. They aren’t the type of boots you want to be wearing if you are walking or standing all day. You may also want to add supportive insoles to help cushion your feet and provide more support, which can be custom made orthotics fitted for you in our office, or over-the-counter drugstore insoles.