We Answer Your Top Questions About Podiatry and Physical Therapy

Podiatry Associates NurseHave questions about bunion removal, orthotics and more?

When you live in constant pain, you have questions about what causes your pain and how you can get the relief you crave. Get the answers you need from our podiatrists and physical therapists.

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  • What’s the fastest way to get rid of toenail fungus?

    Laser treatment is the quickest cureThere are multiple treatments for toenail fungus, though some are faster than others. The fastest way to eliminate the infection is through toenail laser treatment. Laser nail therapy specifically targets the microorganisms under your nail while leaving the keratin intact. In just a few treatments, the infection can be entirely eliminated. This allows your toenail to regrow healthy, clear keratin that then pushes out the old, discolored, damaged areas.

    Traditional fungal nail treatments take a little longer to work. Topical medications have to be applied every day to the infected nails for as long as it takes to destroy the infection—which can be months. Oral medication is more efficient, since it travels through the blood stream to combat the fungus. Depending on your situation, you may have to take pills for a few weeks to a few months.

    No matter which treatment you use, your nails will have to regrow new keratin to be completely clear again. Certain treatments simply allow this to happen more quickly than others. Podiatry Associates, P.C. will help you determine the best method for your fungal nails. Contact our Cherry Creek, Parker, Aurora and Castle Pines, CO offices today for an appointment by calling (303) 805-5156 or by using our website.

  • Can I straighten out a hammertoe?

    HammertoeHammertoes are common conditions that can be straightened out with treatment. Most treatment for this minor deformity is conservative. Since painfully bent toes are often related to wearing tight shoes, you may need to change your footwear to roomier, more supportive styles. Orthotics may help if arch trouble is contributing to the problem. Stretches or exercises can help as well by loosening tightened tendons and strengthening the foot overall. Special pads can alleviate rubbing or pressure on the bent joint.

    If the hammertoe is too rigid and doesn’t improve with noninvasive measures, your joint might need to be straightened surgically. The extent of the surgery will depend on how severe your condition is. It might involve releasing or moving tightened tendons, or cutting and moving bone tissue in your fixed joint. Ultimately how your hammertoe gets straightened out will depend on your unique feet and situation. Our experts at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will help you determine the best way to care for your bent digit. Contact our offices in Castle Pines, Parker, Aurora and Cherry Creek, CO, for more information or an evaluation today. Simply call (303) 805-5156 or use our website contact forms.

  • Why are my toes crooked?

    Spreading ToesToes that are stuck in a bent position, or “crooked,” develop their deformities for a variety of reasons. It could be that your shoes are too tight, or that there’s too much pressure on the ball of your foot and it’s straining your toes. It’s also possible a preexisting condition like arthritis or other injuries, particularly to the nerves or tendons, influenced the problem. Ultimately toes develop these deformities when their tendons aren’t able to straighten your joints out again, and the digits become stuck.  

    These “crooked toes” go by a couple of different names depending on which joint is fixed: hammertoes, mallet toes, and claw toes. Hammertoes are a problem with the middle joint bending and getting stuck. Mallet toes are an issue with the last joint bending sharply down, so your digit looks like a mallet. Claw toes involve one or more of your digits curling under completely, so all the joints are at least slightly bent. If you’re struggling with these kinds of crooked toes, know that you do need treatment to eliminate the problem. Let Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Cherry Creek, Castle Pines, Aurora and Parker, CO, help you. Call (303) 805-5156 or use our website to reach us.

  • Why do I have a sharp, stabbing pain in my heel?

    Pain from high heelsSharp, stabbing heel pain can be caused by a number of different conditions, but the most common one is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a problem with the ligament that attaches to the bottom of your heel and runs the length of your sole. Too much pressure, overuse, and hard impacts over time can overstretch and damage the ligament. It becomes irritated, swollen, and tightened. As a result, when you take a step, you make the damage worse. You’re left with a sharp, stabbing pain in your heel—particularly first thing in the morning, or after you’ve been on your feet for a while.

    Plantar fasciitis, like other heel pain culprits, doesn’t get better on its own. You’ll need to intervene with active treatments to help alleviate the irritation, swelling, and tightening so the damage to the ligament can heal. Let our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. help you take care of your lower limb health, particularly for heel pain. Contact our offices in Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, Aurora and Parker, CO, through our website or by calling (303) 805-5156 for more information or an appointment.

  • What causes plantar fasciitis?

    Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel painPlantar fasciitis, the most common culprit for heel pain in adults, is caused by over-stretching and irritation in the plantar fascia band. This ligament attaches to the underside of your heel bone and runs the length of your sole to attach to your toes. It supports the arch and helps your foot absorb shock by stretching slightly when you take a step. However, too much pressure, repetitive impacts, and general overuse can strain the plantar fascia and contribute to micro-tears in the tissue. The ligament grows inflamed, irritated, and swollen, thickening and stiffening as a result.

    Anyone can develop plantar fasciitis, but it’s particularly common among athletes who subject their feet to a lot of pressure, people with faulty foot biomechanics, and those who stand or walk for work. Getting older and being overweight increases your risk for this condition, too. The only way to eliminate the pain is to get it treated—and sooner rather than later. Let Podiatry Associates, P.C. help you live pain-free. Contact our offices in Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, and Parker, CO at (303) 805-5156 or online for more information or an appointment.

  • What is a hammertoe?

    How you get a hammertoeA hammertoe is a common, minor toe deformity that affects one of your small digits. The middle joint of a small toe gets stuck in a cramped, bent position, so your digit looks somewhat like a hammer. This happens because of an imbalance between the muscles and tendons that keep your toe straight. One of the connectors tightens or shortens, keeping the joint stuck in a bent position. Often this happens because tight, poorly fitting shoes either cramp your digits or put pressure on your forefoot and strain the tendons attached to your toes. Other problems like arthritis, injuries, and even bunion deformities can contribute to this condition.

    As a result of the bent joint, wearing certain shoes may be painful for you. You’re more likely to develop calluses and have toe pain. Normally hammertoes are simple to treat using non-invasive, conservative methods. If those methods fail, however, a simple hammertoe surgery can correct the problem at the source and eliminate your pain. Let Podiatry Associates, P.C. help you take care of any toe troubles today. Just use our website or call (303) 805-5156 to contact our offices in Castle Pines, Denver, Aurora and Parker, CO.

  • What is dry needling?

    Learn about dry needlingDry needling is a technique that targets “trigger points” in your muscles with thin needles to help relieve pain and improve muscle function. Your trigger points are hard, painful knots in muscle tissue. They can make it very difficult and uncomfortable to perform ordinary daily tasks. This problem is often called myofascial pain syndrome, and it’s most common in the neck and the arms. Dry needling inserts very thin needles through your skin to the knotted up muscle below. The targeted process stimulates the trigger point, helping the tightened tissue to relax. This relieves your pain and allows your muscles to function much better.

    This technique is not the same thing as acupuncture, though it can seem similar. The process can also be used as just one aspect of a treatment plan; often it’s paired with stretches and exercises targeting the tightened muscles. Let our experienced team help you get the pain relief you need today. Contact Castle Pines Physical Therapy and Cherry Creek Physical Therapy for more information about dry needling or our other treatments. You can use our website or call (303) 805-5156 to reach our Colorado offices.

  • What’s the difference between a bunion and a bunionette?

    A bunion and bunionette are very similar, but they have one key difference: they develop on opposite sides of your foot. A bunion is an enlarged bump at the base of your big toe, where the digit meets the ball of your foot. A bunionette is a swollen bump on the outside of your foot at the base of your smallest toe. Also called a tailor’s bunion, this is an issue with the fifth metatarsal bone tilting away from its neighbors while the little toe tilts toward the other digits, causing the joint to bulge outward—just like a bunion, but on the outside of the foot. Pressure on the bump inflames and irritates it, creating swelling and pain. This can make it uncomfortable to wear certain shoes.

    Although bunions and bunionettes are not the same, they are very similar and develop for similar reasons. The best way to take care of either condition is to address it before it gets worse. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will help you eliminate the pain and prevent the problem from deteriorating. Contact our offices in Parker, Castle Pines, Aurora and Cherry Creek, CO for more information or an appointment by calling (303) 805-5156.

  • What are the most common endurance sports injuries?

    Injuries common to distance runnersEndurance sports take their toll on the body over time, which can create a number of common injuries. Some of the most common endurance sports injuries include Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, and stress fractures.

    • Achilles tendinitis is a problem with irritation, thickening, and stiffening in the Achilles from repetitive pressures on your feet.
    • Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that creates heel pain from repetitive hard impacts.
    • Patellofemoral pain is discomfort under your knee cap, which develops over time as your knee gets strained by hard impacts, jumping, or poor technique.
    • IT band syndrome is an issue with inflammation on the inside of your knee from the stabilizing band there rubbing against your bones.
    • Stress fractures are painful cracks in your bones from repetitive hard impacts.

    All of these injuries are common to endurance sports. This is because your lower limbs are performing the same motion over and over again, aggravating the tissues, or they’re absorb many hard impacts and strain over time. All of these conditions are very treatable. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will help you start treatment right away. Make an appointment by calling our Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, Aurora or Parker, CO, offices at (303) 805-5156.

  • Do I have to wear my orthotics all the time?

    How often you should wear orthoticsHow often you wear your inserts depends on why you’re wearing them, but in general, your custom orthotics are much more effective when you wear them consistently. Custom orthotics are designed to help support your feet and correct abnormal motion while you are using them. When you remove them, your feet will go back to the way they were. Custom orthotics are kind of like prescription glasses: they are helpful when you use them, and when you don’t, they aren’t able to work.

    If you’re new to wearing orthotics, however, your feet may need time to adjust to them. Remember, if you have biomechanical issues, your feet and body have gotten used to this unhealthy way of functioning. Changing what feels “normal” to you may involve an adjustment period, so at first you might only wear your orthotics for a few hours at a time. Our foot doctors at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will help you determine if you need orthotics and how to transition to using them safely. Make an appointment with our foot doctors online or call (303) 805-5156 to reach our offices in Parker, Castle Pines, Aurora or Cherry Creek, CO.