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COVID-19 UPDATE: We are now able to schedule for non-emergency and routine foot care as well as elective procedures.
We have rearranged our schedule and patient volume with special disinfecting measures in place to keep you safe in our office. Please note:
1) If you are not feeling well prior to your appointment then reschedule for a later date.
2) Wear a mask in the office (Masks are available for those that may need one).
3) We request only one person accompany you to your appointment.
4) We have limited appointments available so plan ahead and schedule in advance if possible.
5) Notify us if you will be late or can't make your appointment.
We appreciate your patience and support during these trying times!
Be well, Dr. Thomas Silver

Golden Valley, MN (763) 231-2341

August 2020

Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

What Caused My Cracked Heels?

Dry, cracked heels can have a variety of different causes. Standing for prolonged periods of time, especially on a hard floor, wearing thin-soled shoes, or obesity, can increase pressure on the heel, causing cracks to appear. Conditions such as eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, palmoplantar keratoderma, and juvenile plantar dermatosis affect the skin of the feet and could increase the risk of developing cracked heels. Certain systemic conditions, like diabetes or neuropathy, can make one more likely to develop cracks and may make it more difficult to feel those cracks due to a loss in sensation in the feet. Another common cause of dry, cracked heels is footwear without a proper back, such as open sandals and flip-flops, because they expose your heels to the elements and don’t provide adequate support. If you have dry, cracked heels that are causing you pain or discomfort, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Thomas E. Silver from Westwood Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Golden Valley, MN. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

When Should I Get New Orthotics?

Custom orthotics are frequently prescribed to treat various foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, arthritis, and gait abnormalities. Once you begin wearing custom orthotics, you may find being on your feet a lot more pleasant. Unfortunately, orthotics can and do wear out over time. If you find that your feet have begun to hurt again after wearing your orthotics for a while, then it may be time to replace them. It is also recommended that you inspect your orthotics for wear and tear. If you see cracks, broken pieces, or thinned soles, the orthotics are likely past their best. It is also recommended to check the bottom of your shoes for signs of uneven wear. Orthotics are meant to correct any deformities in your feet and your shoes can tell you if there are any signs of uneven wear. If you are experiencing any type of foot pain and think that you may benefit from orthotics, or if you wear orthotics and think that you might need a new pair, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Dr. Thomas E. Silver from Westwood Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Golden Valley, MN. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes
Monday, 17 August 2020 00:00

Strengthen Your Feet by Practicing Yoga

To help keep your feet strong and flexible, it can be beneficial to practice certain yoga stretches. One stretch you can practice is performed by standing on your feet, and slowly lifting yourself up on your toes. Slowly lower yourself to your beginning position, then rock forward and backward on the heels. Another yoga stretch you can practice involves standing on a step with your heels slightly hanging off. Begin lifting your heels up and down, repeating this action. These stretches can help prevent injury by strengthening your feet and increasing their flexibility. For more advice on what yoga stretches are beneficial for the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Thomas E. Silver from Westwood Foot Clinic. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Golden Valley, MN. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stretching Your Feet
Monday, 10 August 2020 00:00

Do I Have a Bunion?

Bunions are bony lumps that are on the side of the foot next to the big toe. Some common symptoms include the big toe pointing towards the other toes or hardened and red skin over the bump. Bunions may also cause pain on the bottom or side of the foot when walking or wearing shoes. If you are experiencing pain from a bunion, some tips include wearing wide shoes with a soft sole, using bunion pads, or losing weight. If the pain is getting worse, or you have diabetes, it is important to consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist can provide options for pain relief, and bunions can only be removed via surgery from a podiatric surgeon.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Thomas E. Silver of Westwood Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Golden Valley, MN. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What Are Bunions?

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by the compression of the tibial nerve in your ankle. The tibial nerve can become compressed as the result of trauma, such as a fall, or from overuse. Tarsal tunnel syndrome might also arise as a complication following an ankle sprain or other lower limb injury, or following surgery. People who are diagnosed with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis are at an increased risk of developing tarsal tunnel syndrome. The typical symptoms of this condition are a tingling, pins and needles sensation along the inner side of the ankle or foot, pain during extended periods of walking or standing, a burning sensation in the foot at night, and weakness in the muscles that bend the toes. If you are experiencing any symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Thomas E. Silver of Westwood Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Golden Valley, MN. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
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