By Michael K. Block, DPM
February 22, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Foot Pain  

If you have foot pain, you've probably had to make a few adjustments to your usual routine. When every step hurts, it may no longer be Foot painpossible to run for exercise or even walk through the grocery store without needing to rest. Luckily, your Abingdon, MD, podiatrists Dr. Michael Block and Dr. Monica Cooney, offer effective therapies that will relieve your pain.

Foot pain causes and treatment

Common causes of foot pain include:

  • Plantar Fasciitis: A long, band of tough connective tissue called the plantar fascia runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your toes to your heels. Inflammation in the fascia can cause pain in your heel that's worse first thing in the morning and when you stand or walk after a period of inactivity. If you have plantar fasciitis, your foot doctor may recommend that you wear splints at night to help elongate the fascia and calf muscles, participate in physical therapy, use pain medication or begin wearing orthotics in your shoes.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis, both osteo and rheumatoid, can affect any part of your body, including your feet. If your pain is caused by arthritis, your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy and orthotics. Surgery may be an option if arthritis is severe.
  • Bunions: Bunions, those bony bumps that form at the base of your foot, occur when the joint moves out of its normal position. Without treatment, your bunion will continue to get worse. Your foot doctor may recommend tape or orthotics to improve the position of your foot. If your bunion is large, painful and interferes with your daily activities, surgery may be the best option.
  • Ingrown Toenails: An ingrown toenail may sound like a minor problem, but your toe may become infected if you don't receive treatment. After numbing your foot with a local anesthetic, your Abingdon foot doctor will remove the trapped portion of the nail. Antibiotics may also be prescribed if you have an infection.
  • Aging: The layer of fat that cushions the bottoms of your feet begins to thin as you age, which can cause pain. Orthotics just may be the perfect solution for you. In addition to improving the position of your foot, they also offer extra cushioning that can relieve aches and pains.

Ease your foot pain with a visit to the podiatrist. Call your Abingdon, MD, podiatrists Drs. Michael Block and Monica Cooney, at (410) 569-0445 to schedule an appointment.

By Michael K. Block, DPM
November 13, 2018
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Plantar Fasciitis  

Plantar Fasciitis4 Signs You May Have Plantar Fasciitis

Do you have plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is condition that creates pain in the feet. The condition is caused by straining the ligament that supports the arch of your foot. Podiatrists offer treatments that can provide relief from plantar fasciitis. The Dr. Michael Block office, which is located in Abingdon, MD, offers a full range of podiatric services. Dr. Michael Block and Dr. Monica Cooney are some of the top podiatrists in Abingdon, MD. Here are four signs you may have plantar fasciitis. 

1. Foot Pain

Plantar fasciitis causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot. Some individuals describe the pain as feeling like an ache or a bruise. The pain may develop gradually and worsen over time. The pain may be worse after you step out of bed in the morning, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or rising from sitting. The pain is usually worse after physical activity, not during it. 

2. Stiffness

Physical therapy is an important part of plantar fasciitis treatment. Plantar fasciitis can cause stiffness and limited range of motion of the foot. Climbing stairs can be difficult due to stiffness in the foot. Physical therapy can reduce stiffness, as well as improve range of motion, making you more mobile.

3. Numbness

Plantar fasciitis can cause numbness in the bottom of the foot. If you experience numbness in your foot, you may have no or very little sensation. Numbness of the foot can also occur because of an injury, nerve damage, and poor circulation to the foot (such as with peripheral vascular disease and diabetes).

4. Inflammation

Plantar fasciitis is also associated with swelling and warmth on the bottom of the foot. The swelling is caused by excessive stretching of the plantar fascia. There may also be tenderness of the bottom of the heel at the point of attachment of the plantar fascia. The key to proper diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is an exam by a podiatrist.

Whether your goal is getting back to work, the gym, sports, hobbies, or just enjoying life, our podiatrist can help. Call the Dr. Michael Block office at (410) 569-0445 right now to schedule a consultation in Abingdon, MD. We want you to live your best life!

By Michael K. Block, DPM
September 21, 2018
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Ingrown Toenail  

Ingrown ToenailIngrown toenails (a condition that's also called onychogryphosis) are painful and sometimes difficult to dislodge from your skin. In some cases, they are simply an annoyance, but they can cause wounds and infections in more serious cases. Luckily, they are preventable with regular toenail care and maintenance. Find out how you can prevent ingrown toenails and get help from Dr. Michael Block or Dr. Monica Cooney in Abingdon, MD.

How Ingrown Toenails Happen
Normally, a toenail grows straight over the skin's surface and can be easily clipped without discomfort. But in some cases, as the nail grows it cuts into the skin, causing irritation, soreness, redness, and inflammation. This is common in patients who have very fleshy toes, or who wear tight, pointy shoes that put too much pressure on the toes. Cutting the toenails too short, particularly around the edges, can cause the nails to grow inward. Some patients may be prone to ingrown toenails by heredity.

Preventing Ingrown Toenails
The best way to prevent ingrown toenails is to pay very close attention to your feet. The chance of an ingrown nail is higher when you clip your toenails too low—instead, cut each one just slightly above the place where the toenail meets the skin in a square formation. Keep the feet clean and dry. Soaking the feet in warm water and Epsom salt may help to ease pressure on the toes and loosen the nail. Throw away any shoes that could be causing the toenails to press into the skin, namely high heels and dress shoes with pointed toes.

How a Podiatrist Can Help
As much as you may try to prevent ingrown toenails, they can be difficult to control. An Abingdon, MD podiatrist can help you with simple treatments including:

- Professional toenail clipping (preventative).
- Careful removal of the toenail from the skin by your foot doctor.
- Partial nail plate avulsion (a surgical procedure for more advanced cases).
- Treating an infection caused by the toenail piercing the skin with antibiotics.

Help for Your Toes and Feet
Take better care of your toes to prevent ingrown toenails and reduce the possibility of painful infections. Schedule time with Dr. Michael Block or Dr. Monica Cooney at their podiatrist office in Abingdon, MD by calling (410) 569-0445.

By Michael K. Block, DPM
July 12, 2018
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Heel Pain  

Heel PainHave you been waiting patiently for your heel pain to go away? If you've lived with pain for more than a week or two, it may be time to make a trip to the foot doctor. Our Abingdon, MD, podiatrists, Dr. Michael Block and Dr. Monica Cooney, use a variety of treatment options to address heel pain.

When should I call an Abingdon foot doctor?

It's not unusual to experience heel pain from time to time. In most cases, the pain gets better in just a few days, and you soon forget that your heel ever hurt. Pain that lasts more than a week or two may be a sign that you've developed a foot condition that requires treatment from a podiatrist. If you ignore your pain and continue to run, walk, and work out, you may worsen your condition or even increase your risk of chronic pain and disability.

What conditions cause heel pain?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a long, band of connective tissue that connects the bottom of your heel to your toes, becomes inflamed. Once inflammation occurs, you may notice pain in your heel and the arch of your foot.

Plantar fasciitis pain is usually worse when you get out of bed or walk or stand after resting or sitting for long periods. The moment you put any weight on your foot, you may notice a sharp, stabbing pain. Plantar fasciitis is more likely to occur if you roll your foot inward when you walk, are overweight, wear worn-out athletic shoes, have high arches or flat feet, or stand for long periods of time every day.

Podiatrists offer several treatment methods to decrease plantar fasciitis pain, including night splints, anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroid injections, stretching exercises, physical therapy, extracorporeal shock wave treatment, and surgery.

Other conditions that may cause pain in the heels can include retrocalcaneal bursitis, Achilles tendinitis, heel fissures, and bone spurs. Your podiatrist can offer treatments that will address your painful symptoms and help your heel begin to heal if you're diagnosed with one of these conditions.

End your heel pain with a visit to your Abingdon, MD, podiatrists. Call Dr. Block and Dr. Cooney at (410) 569-0445 to schedule an appointment.

By Michael K. Block, DPM
May 10, 2018
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Bunion  

Bunions cause a substantial amount of foot pain. Just what is a bunion? It's a sore red, bump on the side of the foot at the base of the big bunionstoe. Fortunately, conservative interventions effectively treat bunion discomfort in most cases. Your podiatrists in Abingdon, MD, Dr. Michael Block and Dr. Monica Cooney, can diagnose and treat your bunion so you stay active and healthy.

What is a bunion?

It's a progressive deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. This reddened, sore bump causes changes the shape of the foot--sometimes to the point of affecting gait and mobility.

The symptoms of a bunion include:

  • Soreness and inflammation
  • Progressive movement of the big toe toward the second and even third toe (hallux valgus)
  • Callus formation on the bottom of the foot
  • Arthritis and stiffening of the joint
  • Friction against the inside of the shoe

Diagnosis and treatment of bunion pain

The Harvard Medical School says millions of adults suffer from bunions, but in particular, women tend to develop them more than men do. Research points to a hereditary tendency for this deformity which, when coupled with narrow shoes, high heels and long periods of standing, leads to bunion formation by mid-life.

If you suspect you have a bunion, see Dr. Block or Dr. Cooney for a podiatric exam at their Abingdon office. Your foot doctor will inspect your foot visually, check your range of motion and gait and take digital X-rays as needed. Then, the doctor will formulate a care plan to relieve your symptoms.

Common treatments may include:

  1. Rest, ice, and elevation of the foot
  2. Customized shoe orthotics, or inserts, to reduce pressure on the bunion and correct any overpronation (rolling inward of the foot) or flat arches
  3. Shoe padding to reduce pressure and friction
  4. Corn and callus removal
  5. Ibuprofen for pain
  6. Stretching exercises and physical therapy
  7. Change of footwear to shoes with better support in the arches, lower heels (no more than two inches and more room in the toe boxes, says the American Podiatric Medical Association)

Bunionectomy is the podiatric surgery which removes the typical bony bump and re-aligns the big toe joint. However, it is not the first treatment of choice for most bunion patients because conservative measures help the vast majority of people. Dr. Cooney and Dr. Block are experts in podiatric surgery and can walk you through your treatment options to arrive at the best plan for your unique needs.

Happier feet

And a happier you--both can happen when Dr. Block and Dr. Cooney treat your bunions. For a definitive diagnosis and way to pain-free feet, call their office today for an appointment: (410) 569-0445.

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Michael K. Block, DPM

3401 Boxhill Corporate Drive Suite 201 Abingdon, MD 21009