Podiatry Frequently Asked Questions

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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  • 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.

  • 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 are the best exercises for diabetes?

    Get in shape to fight diabetesThe best exercises for diabetes involve aerobics and strength training without increasing your risk for foot problems, like ulcers. Aerobic activities like walking, riding your bike, swimming, water aerobics, stair climbing, low-impact aerobics, rowing, and moderate to heavy gardening are all excellent activities without hard impacts on feet. If you can safely protect your lower limbs, running, hiking, tennis, skating, skiing, and dancing are also fun alternatives. They do, however, involve harder impacts on your feet. Strength training builds up your muscles and your physical stability. Weight lifting, resistance band training, and exercises that use your own body weight—push-ups, sit-ups, wall sits, and more—work your muscles without stressing your lower limbs, either.

    For any kind of exercise with diabetes, you simply have to remember to start slow and work your way to more intense activities. Be extra careful with your footwear. Don’t take warm ups or cool downs for granted, either, and invest in your daily foot care. If you’re struggling to get started exercising when you have diabetes, let our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. help you. Call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment at our Cherry Creek, Parker, or Castle Pines, CO, offices.

  • Can my weight affect my feet?

    Measuring his waistlineWeight can definitely affect foot problems—particularly if you are overweight. Your lower limbs support the pressure of your entire body whenever you stand. More than that, they have to handle the hard impacts of your weight bearing down when your lower limbs strike the hard ground. They heavier you are, the more your feet have to support. Being overweight unfortunately puts a lot of strain on the bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles in your feet and ankles. Your feet have to work much harder to function correctly. This can contribute to overuse, soreness, and all sorts of painful problems.

    On top of this, being overweight increases your risk for systemic problems that affect your lower limbs, such as diabetes, gout, and peripheral arterial disease. Diabetes and peripheral arterial disease contribute to ulcers and serious infections. Gout can lead to excruciatingly painful episodes that make using your foot very difficult. Maintaining as healthy a weight as possible is one way to avoid these issues. If you’re struggling with weight and foot problems, let our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C., help you. Call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment at our Cherry Creek, Castle Pines, and Parker, CO, offices.

  • 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 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. 

  • Are there safe sugar substitutes for those with diabetes?

    Safe sugar substitutes for diabetesAdded sugar is bad for a diabetic diet, since it loads up carbs and can spike your blood sugar. You don’t have to give up sweet foods altogether, though. Safe sugar substitutes can be used in place of natural sugar, keeping things sweet without adding calories or carbs. Like everything else in life, of course, you’ll still need to eat or drink these things in moderation, but they can help you enjoy desserts or just a sweeter meal without risking dangerous spikes in your blood sugar levels.

    There are six (6) FDA-approved sugar substitutes: acesulfame K, aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, neotame, and advantame. You can buy foods that use these ingredients instead of regular sugar, or you can get them for your kitchen and use them yourself. Keep in mind, they are extra sweet, so they should be used sparingly. In baking, they’re often combined with real sugar for better baking effects. If you’d like help figuring out sugar substitutes in your diabetic diet, let us know at Podiatry Associates, P.C. We’re happy to help. Call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment at our Parker, Castle Pines, or Denver offices.

  • What are the best foods if you have diabetes?

    Diabetic-friendly fruits and vegetablesThere are many different foods that are good for diabetes. Fresh, frozen, and even canned vegetables without added salt or fat are very good for you. Non-starchy veggies are best. This includes asparagus, artichoke, broccoli, cucumbers, leeks, onions, beans, peppers, and squash, among other things. Whole grains are much better for you than any refined flours or grains. Look for whole-grain varieties of bread, crackers, cereal, pasta, and so forth. Lean meats and beans are your best sources for proteins. This includes fish and soy-based products. For poultry and other meats, remove the skin and cut away fats. Eat fruit in moderation to add some sweetness to your meal. Select low-fat dairy products and look for low-sodium options as well.

    If you’re struggling to find foods that fill you up when you’re accommodating your diabetes, let us know at Podiatry Associates, P.C. We’ll help you figure out menus that fit your needs and help keep your whole body as well as your feet healthy and strong. Call (303) 805-5156 to make an appointment at our Cherry Creek (Denver), Castle Pines, or Parker offices. You can also use the website to reach out to us.

  • Do I need special shoes if I have diabetes?

    Special shoes for diabetesWhen you have diabetes, you do need to invest in shoes that fit correctly and appropriately support your feet. For some people, this can simply mean sneakers. For others, this does mean “special shoes” like prescription diabetic footwear. Typically people who need this special, custom footwear have developed problems in their lower limbs that make wearing regular shoes uncomfortable or more likely to create ulcers.

    There are several different types of diabetic footwear. In-depth shoes accommodate changes like hammertoes or allow for custom orthotics. Special healing shoes cushion the lower limbs as you recovery from surgery or a diabetic wound. Custom shoes work well if you have developed a more permanent deformity that needs accommodation. Our foot doctors at Podiatry Associates, P.C. will help you decide what footwear best fits your needs. Just call (303) 805-5156 or use our contact page to make an appointment at our Castle Pines, Parker, or Denver, CO office locations.

  • How often should I see a podiatrist if I have diabetes?

    Checking a diabetic footWhen you have diabetes, you should actually see a podiatrist like Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen on a regular basis to make sure your lower limbs are healthy and head off potential problems. You should have a full foot exam at least once a year to check everything over. You may want to have smaller appointments periodically to take care of calluses, nail problems, or any other minor but important foot care work. If you notice any changes to your feet when you perform your daily checks, have them checked right away to prevent problems from getting worse. If you develop an ulcer, get emergency care for it within 24 hours.

    If you have diabetes, you really should see a podiatrist whenever you’re concerned about your feet. Because of how complications with diabetes can suddenly change, you shouldn’t wait if you’re at all worried about your lower limbs. Our team at Podiatry Associates will make your diabetic foot care a priority. Call our Castle Pines, Cherry Creek or Parker, CO, offices at (303) 805-5156 for an appointment.