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Podiatrist - Cromwell
162 West St Ste K
Cromwell, CT 06416

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By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
September 11, 2019
Category: foot deformities
Tags: corns   calluses   arthritis   Hammertoe   orthotic device  

Do you notice that your second, third or fourth toe appears to be bending at the middle joint? This can be an early sign of a deformity known as hammertoe. At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, we want patients to better understand this condition and the importance of seeking treatment early.

What Causes Hammertoes?

Hammertoes are the result of an abnormality in the balance of the muscles in the toes. Factors that can increase the risk of a hammertoe developing include:

  • Improperly fitting footwear—particularly shoes that are too tight in the toe box
  • Heredity
  • Trauma
  • Arthritis

Treatment Options

As the toe becomes more bent, the pain from walking and pressure from shoes increase. Secondary problems like corns and calluses may also develop on the affected toe. In addition to pain and discomfort, however, an even greater reason to seek treatment is to prevent the toe from becoming permanently rigid in that position. Our podiatrist Dr. Adam Mucinskas will prescribe the treatment that is best for you. Some possibilities for relief include:

  1. Change your shoes—choose footwear made of soft material with roomy toe boxes.
  2. Stretch it out—exercises can be done to stretch the toe and strengthen surrounding muscles.
  3. Add some padding—nonmedicated gel cushions and pads can be applied to ease pain and provide a barrier between your foot and your shoe.
  4. Put it on ice—applying an ice pack to the hammertoe several times a day can reduce inflammation, swelling and pain.
  5. Ditch high heels—get rid of anything over 2-inches high, because they put too much pressure on your toes. Discard styles with narrow, pointy fronts as well.
  6. Tape it up—the foot doctor may use taping to correct the imbalance of the muscles in the toe.
  7. Go custom—an orthotic device prescribed by the podiatrist is made according to a model of your unique foot. The orthotic can help with the muscle imbalance and redistribute weight to relieve pain and inflammation.

A last resort, if conservative measures don’t bring relief, is a surgical procedure to correct the hammertoe.

If you believe you have a hammertoe forming, contact our Cromwell office for an appointment by calling: (860) 632-5499.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
April 17, 2019
Category: foot deformities
Tags: hammertoes   corns   calluses   orthotic  

Hammertoes get their name from the characteristic appearance they have been bent at the middle joint and causing the toe to look like a hammer. At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC, we often find that patients don’t know much more about this condition than what it looks like. Hammertoes, however, are a progressive condition and, for that reason, they need to be evaluated and treated as early as possible.

What’s the Cause?

Hammertoes can occur in the second, third, fourth or fifth toe. The most frequent cause of this condition is a muscle/tendon imbalance that occurs as the result of a biomechanical or neurological change in the foot. Other contributing factors to hammertoes are:

  • Genetics—a predisposition to hammertoe can be inherited
  • Trauma
  • Tight shoes that force the toe to remain in a cramped position for long periods of time

Diagnosis

Although the appearance of a hammertoe may seem obvious, our podiatrist Dr. Adam Mucinskas will examine your toe and get a complete medical history. The foot doctor may also order digital x-rays (which can be done right in our Cromwell office) to assess the severity of the deformity and also as a baseline for future monitoring of the toe.

Treatment Options

Initially, hammertoes will be flexible but, as time goes on, they can become rigidly bent and unable to straighten out. This can lead to secondary problems such as corns and calluses forming on the top of the toe from the pressure and friction created between the bent toe and footwear. There are several conservative treatment methods available, including:

  • Modifying footwear—choosing shoes with soft, roomy toe boxes and avoiding pointy styles or shoes with high heels can help relieve pain and pressure on a hammertoe.
  • Exercises and physical therapy—to stretch the toe and strengthen surrounding muscles.
  • Splinting or strap—to help straighten and realign the toe.
  • Custom orthotic device—these are used in your shoes to help properly position the foot and help correct any underlying biomechanical causes of hammertoe.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct a hammertoe.

If you suspect you have a hammertoe, contact our Middlesex County office today for an appointment by calling: (860) 632-5499.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
February 06, 2019
Category: shoes

Here’s a surprising statistic: According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, 9 out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small for their feet and 8 out of 10 women say their shoes hurt. Here at Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC, we want our patients to know that too-tight shoes can lead to a myriad of foot issues. Here are a few of the common foot problems we see due to improperly-fitting shoes:

  • Ingrown toenails – if shoes are too tight in the toe box, toes get cramped in together. This greatly increases the chances of getting an ingrown toenail. A jagged-edged nail or one that is too short being shoved into the skin around the nail can start growing back into the skin. Ingrown toenails can be incredibly painful and can lead to infection if the skin is penetrated and bacteria enter the wound.
  • Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus – fungi and bacteria absolutely love damp, dark places with little or no air circulation. That sounds exactly like the environment created inside a shoe that’s too small!
  • Bunions, hammertoes, or other deformities – when toes are forced into an unnatural position over and over, such as being crammed together in a small shoe, they can eventually work themselves out of their normal position. As displacement progresses, bones can become deformed, causing permanent disabilities as a new toe position can be painful and change a person’s gait.
  • Corns, calluses, and blisters – these three issues are caused by friction or pressure being applied to an area of the foot repeatedly.

The best way to avoid any and all of these issues is to shop for shoes properly! Always have your feet measured by a professional when you shoe shop. Age or life conditions such as pregnancy can change your foot size and shape. If you know you need new shoes, try to go out shopping for them at the end of the day when your feet are their most swollen.

If you’ve got questions about fitting shoes, or if you’re dealing with any of the above-listed foot issues, give us a call today. At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC, our podiatrist Dr. Adam Mucinskas can help to answer any questions you might have. He’s got years of experience to diagnose and treat any foot or ankle issue and get you back on your feet quickly. Our conveniently-located office serves the Cromwell, Connecticut area. Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment at (860) 632-5499.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
November 14, 2018
Category: senior foot care

It seems like with today’s busy lifestyles, aging does not always lead to senior citizens slowing down. In fact, many are staying active well into the “golden years.” One of the most important things to maintain an active lifestyle is to also maintain foot health.

How does aging affect feet?

As we age, our feet change in many ways. Below are some of the many things you might experience

  • Arthritis. Nonstop business and the wear and tear of life take a toll on the joints in your feet, which can cause them to stiffen and become painful!
  • Balance issues. Peripheral neuropathy can creep up and cause loss of sensation, weakness, and coordination issues. Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk of neuropathy, and diabetic risks increase with age.
  • Foot and ankle swelling. Swelling is common with seniors and can come from hormonal shifts, cardiovascular disease, vein issues, or medications.
  • Skin Issues. Lesions and other skin abnormalities are more likely to pop up as you age. Many growths or abnormalities are benign, but cancerous melanomas may also develop. Any new skin lesion or growth should be checked by a podiatrist. Older skin is also prone to drying, which can cause cracked heels, corns, and calluses.
  • Toenail changes. Toenails often become thickened and more brittle with age, which can make them difficult to trim. To prevent ingrown toenails, always ensure that you trim them straight across.

Best practices for aging feet

Here are some tips to keep your feet spry and healthy:

  • Wash them daily in warm water with soap and dry them thoroughly, paying attention to between the toes. Afterwards, apply a soothing moisturizing cream.
  • Do daily foot checks. This is especially important if you have diabetes. Check between the toes, and use a mirror to check the soles. If you notice cuts, abrasions, blisters, or new growths, call us.
  • Keep up with an aerobic exercise program to keep your blood flowing nicely. Check in with your doctor to ensure healthy and safe exercise.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide stable support and have good padding and extra room for your toes.

One of the best things you can do for your feet is to keep up with regular podiatry visits. If you’ve got questions about your feet as you age, we’re here for you at Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC. Dr. Adam Mucinskas keeps up-to-date on all the latest podiatric health issues and utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment techniques. Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment at our conveniently located office in the Cromwell, Connecticut area: (860) 632-5499.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
September 12, 2018
Category: foot facts

Feet are so cool! Obviously, we believe that here at Feet First Foot Care Specialists. We talk about feet nonstop! Mostly though, we talk to our patients about how to prevent and treat the foot woes that they are currently dealing with. Today, we thought we’d share some lesser-discussed foot facts with you. Here are four fun things about feet that you might not have known:

  1. Each of your feet has over 250,000 sweat glands that produce sweat! Collectively, that means our feet can produce up to a half of a pint of sweat each day. That might seem gross to you, but it’s fascinating to us! It’s also a great reason to bring a pair of socks to change into in the middle of the day. Just think of that next time you’re thinking about walking barefoot on a gym locker-room floor!
  2. Standing for an hour can actually make your feet feel more tired than if you were walking for the same amount of time! This is because standing uses just a few muscles, which means that the muscles being used are being used in an extra concentrated manner. They are working hard to compensate and balance your weight. This can be exacerbated by improper footwear or any pre-existing foot condition.
  3. Everyone suffers from foot issues! Up to 5% of Americans have developed corns, calluses, fungal infections, or ingrown toenails. These are all issues that your podiatrist is trained and equipped to help you handle if you’re dealing with any of them.
  4. Some people are born with flat feet. We know that our feet sometimes lose arches over time as we age or if we put on too many pounds, but some people are naturally born without that arch. If you notice this issue in your child, it can often be corrected using custom orthotics.

Like I said, we love feet! If you have any foot issues you need to talk about, Dr. Adam Mucinskas here at Feet First Foot Care Specialists is here to help. Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment at our conveniently located office in the Cromwell, Connecticut area: (860) 632-5499.



 








 

 

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162 West St Ste K
Cromwell, CT 06416