We Answer Your Top Questions About Podiatry and Physical Therapy

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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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  • How is a corn different from a callus?

    Corns and calluses. Know the difference.Corns and calluses are similar, but they aren’t the same thing. Although they both form under pressure and from rubbing against the skin—typically from shoes—they are different and affect the feet in slightly different ways. A corn is small and usually raised. Generally it forms on the tops or sides of your toes or feet, where there isn’t a lot of weight. It has a “core,” too, which may feel soft or hard. It is usually painful when you press against it.

    A callus, however, forms in weight-bearing areas like your heel and the ball of your foot. It’s a large, flattened patch of thickened skin. Not all calluses are bad. They become problematic when they are too thick or grow too deep. This can be uncomfortable in its own right, as well as lead to cracking or splitting in your skin.

    Both corns and calluses should be monitored and taken care of regularly. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. can help you keep the skin on your feet healthy and smooth. Make an appointment at our Castle Pines, Cherry Creek in Denver, or Parker, CO, offices by calling (303) 805-5156 or using our online request form.

  • What causes an ingrown toenail?

    Walk without ingrown toenailsAn ingrown toenail could have several different causes. One of the most common culprits is actually your footwear. Shoes that are too tight, too short, too narrow, or two pointed can encourage the toenail to curve and curl, growing into your skin instead of above it. Cutting your nails too short or leaving them too long could also contribute to the problem. Nails that are too short may end up growing into the skin instead of above it. When the keratin is too long, it’s more susceptible to being pinched and curved by your footwear.

    Even an injury could play a role. Sometimes stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on it can damage the nail so it becomes ingrown. Sometimes preexisting infections or conditions may change the nail’s shape as it grows, increasing your risk as well. A few people simply have naturally curved nails that may be prone to the problem. Whatever the cause, the sooner you deal with it, the easier it is to manage it. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Cherry Creek, Parker, and Castle Pines will help you. Just call (303) 805-5156 or use the web request form to reach us.

  • What types of conditions do podiatrists treat?

    All the things podiatrists will treatPodiatrists are foot and ankle specialists that treat a wide variety of lower limb conditions, from injuries like ankle sprains to infections like athlete’s foot to painful deformities like bunions. They can help you address pain in your lower limbs when you’re active, or recover after a sports injury. Foot doctors can help you find appropriate shoes and manage toenail problems. They can even help you deal with systemic diseases that affect the lower limbs, like diabetes.

    Basically a podiatrist can treat any problem that causes pain or trouble in your lower limbs. Our experts at Podiatry Associates, P.C. are highly qualified and experienced, focusing on noninvasive, conservative treatments to help you manage or eliminate your condition. Our team is also able to perform a wide variety of surgeries, too, for the occasions that conservative methods are not enough to help you.

    If you’re at all concerned about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists here at Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, and Parker, CO. Use the web request forms or call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment.

  • Are there stretches to help prevent lower back pain?

    Stretches to relieve back painStretching can be a great help for many types of lower back pain, especially if you spend a lot of time either sitting still or standing around. The stretches loosen up tight tissues in your lower back and allow for greater flexibility. They also reduce tension in your muscles and tendons.

    There are plenty of different stretches for lower back pain. Lying on your back and pulling your knees to your chest is one simple one to try at home. Lying on your back and rotating your hips and knees side-to-side is another. A slightly more complicated stretch is called “thread the needle.” Lying on your back, bend one knee and put that foot flat on the floor. Take your other foot and cross it over your bent knee, so it’s propped there. Reach under your crossed leg to grab the thigh of your bent knee and pull it closer to your chest.

    Working with a physical therapist, like Dr. Jennifer Molner and our experts at Castle Pines Physical Therapy or Cherry Creek Physical Therapy, can help you with these stretches and more. Make an appointment online, or by calling (303) 805-5156.

  • How is lower back pain treated?

    Physical therapy for back painTreating lower back pain can vary depending on the underlying cause of the discomfort, but there are a few remedies that may help no matter what the cause. Rest is one of the most important ones. Cut back on your activities and avoid energetic actions that cause pain. Use heat packs to help relax muscles and encourage circulation in the painful area. If you recently injured your back, though, use ice to decrease swelling and inflammation. In some cases, pain medications may be appropriate. Our physical therapists will help determine what medication, if any, would be best for you.

    Physical therapy and specific exercises are especially important. These stretch out tightened back muscles and can help strengthen the surrounding areas of your core, relieving the strain on your back. Stomach exercises are particularly important, since they are directly opposite the lower back and help support it. The MLS pain laser is also a treatment option for both acute and chronic back discomfort. If you’re struggling with back pain at all, let our team help. Contact our physical therapists at Castle Pines Physical Therapy in Castle Pines, CO, or Cherry Creek Physical Therapy in Denver, CO, by calling (303) 805-5156 or using our website.

  • Is it okay for my child to wear used shoes?

    Is it ok to recycle kid's shoes?In general, it’s not a good idea for you to pass used shoes to another child. Footwear molds to the foot of the child wearing it based on the shape and unique pressures of his or her lower limbs. The sole wears down in specific places for those reasons, too. Since one child has a different foot shape and gait pattern from another, walking in someone else’s hand-me-down shoes could be uncomfortable and have a negative effect on his or her lower limbs.

    For young children using daily footwear that will be worn a lot, or sport shoes that will take a lot of abuse, new shoes really are the best. That way you can be sure the footwear is fitted to meet your son or daughter’s unique needs without wear and tear that could harm him or her. If you’re at all concerned about your child’s footwear or your son or daughter’s walking ability, talk with Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Parker, Castle Pines, and Cherry Creek, CO near Denver, CO. We’ll help you make sure your child grows with healthy, pain-free lower limbs. Call (303) 805-5156 or use our website to make an appointment.

  • Are there exercises to strengthen feet?

    Exercise to strengthen ankles and feetStrong feet and ankles are less likely to get injured and have problems, and indeed there are strengthening exercises that can help. Try simply flexing then pointing your feet, rotating your ankles, walking on or picking things up with your toes, walking on your heels, or standing with heels hanging over the edge of a step then pressing them downward. You can also lean against a wall, extend a leg behind you keeping your knee straight, and press your heel toward the floor. This stretches and strengthens your calf muscle, which goes a long way toward keeping Achilles tendon issues at bay. Even just grabbing your toes and pulling them toward you or standing on one leg at a time can do wonders! The best part is that all of these exercises are easy to do and can be done at all different times of the day.

    To find out more ways to strengthen feet and ankles, give Dr. O, DPM a call at (303) 805-5156. Podiatry Associates, P.C. has three locations for your convenience, near Denver, CO—one in Parker, CO, one in Cherry Creek, and the other in Castle Pines. 

  • Do my child's flat feet need to be treated?

    What to do about flat feet in kids?While all babies are born without arches, you should see signs of them developing around age 2 or 3. If you do not, your child may have pediatric flat foot. Many times, a supportive pair of shoes along with inserts are enough to help your child’s flat feet receive the support arches would otherwise naturally provide. However, if your child’s heels tilt out when walking, he or she finds shoes uncomfortable, or is shying away from activities or complaining about cramps or pain, a visit to Dr. O is in order. We can determine the extent of your child’s condition and help to determine an appropriate treatment option. This may include stretches and physical therapy, custom orthotics, medication, and/or rest from activities that aggravate the problem. Only in severe cases would surgery be considered. To learn more or to make an appointment with Dr. O to assess your child’s flat feet, you can reach our Parker, Cherry Creek and Castle Pines, and Denver, CO locations at (303) 805-5156.

  • Can stretches help straighten my child's pigeon toes?

    Stretches to stop pigeon toes in children!Pigeon toes are a very common walking abnormality in small children. Whether or not stretching will help your child’s feet depends entirely on why the toes are turned in. If the intoeing is caused by a mild twist in the shin or thigh, there are no stretches that will help. Most children simply outgrow the condition. If your child’s pigeon toes are from metatarsus adductus, however, there are exercises that could help.

    Typically this involves therapies similar to clubfoot treatments. Your son or daughter will go through a careful process of stretching and casting the feet to help the bones grow properly aligned. Braces or special shoes may be enough for some small children. You may need to play with your child’s feet to help strengthen the muscles and stretch them out as well. The vast majority of children’s feet respond to conservative measures. Very rarely is surgery ever needed for this condition. If you’re concerned about your child’s intoeing, let us know at Podiatry Associates, P.C. We’ll help you straighten things out. Make an appointment online, or call (303) 805-5156 to reach our Castle Pines, Parker, Denver, and Cherry Creek offices.

  • Can physical therapy correct children’s foot problems?

    Physical therapy relieves children's foot pain!Physical therapy is an extremely helpful treatment modality that can be used for many different problems at all different ages. Many of the most common foot problems growing up can be treated conservatively. Like adults, children can suffer from overuse and other injuries. Physical therapy is designed to stretch out tightness, improve foot function and range of motion, and strengthen limbs overall. This can definitely benefit children who are suffering from foot problems.

    First you must have your son or daughter’s lower limbs evaluated to be sure that physical therapy is really what he or she needs. In some cases, your child might need other treatments first. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will perform a variety of tests to identify the cause of the problem and determine what care methods will be most helpful. If physical therapy is what your child needs, we’ll help him or her learn how to perform the exercises correctly. Use our website or call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment at one of our offices in Castle Pines, Cherry Creek, Denver, or Parker, CO.