My Blog

By Peter Y. Siroka, DPM
January 14, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions

Be able to spot the telltale signs of plantar fasciitis.

If you are a dedicated runner, or if you simply spend most of the day on your feet, then you may find yourself dealing with achy, sore feet. Of course, heel pain is a frequent complaint. While there are many things that could be to blame for heel pain, one of the most common causes our Stamford, CT, podiatrist Dr. Peter Siroka sees is an inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis.

If you’re dealing with heel pain here in Stamford, CT, you may wish to read on to find out more about the signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

You have flat feet or high arches

People with flat feet or incredibly high arches are more at risk for dealing with plantar fasciitis related heel pain. Imbalances or structural abnormalities in the foot can put more stress on the plantar fascia, leaving you prone to developing plantar fasciitis at some point during your lifetime.

Those with flat feet or high arches should talk with their podiatrists about types of footwear that can support both the heel and arches of the foot properly to prevent heel pain.

Your feet pain is worse in the morning

If you have plantar fasciitis, then you’ll most certainly be reminded of it in the morning. The first few steps once getting out of bed can cause a sharp, stabbing pain. That’s because the inflamed tissue stiffens while you are sleeping and walking around stretches them out. You will notice the pain subsiding as you continue to move around throughout the day.

Your pain eases with activity

Once the plantar fascia is stretched out you may notice heel pain improving; however, this is not a sign that you should get back to your daily workout. While you may find that the heel pain doesn’t bother your physical activities (for the most part), you will notice pain coming back with a vengeance as soon as you stop. If you have heel pain the best thing you can do is rest and avoid physical activity until the plantar fascia has fully healed.

Your pain radiates to the arches of your feet

The plantar fascia run the length of the feet from the heel bone to the toes and it also provides the arches of the feet with support, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the pain you feel at the bottom of the heel may also radiate to the arches of the feet. It’s particularly important that you wear supportive shoes (even around the house) to provide additional cushioning and support for your feet at this time.

Dealing with heel pain for the first time? Not sure if you are dealing with plantar fasciitis? Don’t worry; our Stamford, CT, podiatry team can give you the answers and care you’re looking for. Simply call us at (203) 614-8185 to schedule an evaluation.

By Peter Y. Siroka, DPM
December 24, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

Bunions are bony protrusions along the side of the foot near the base of the big toe. They can develop when the metatarsophalangeal joint that connects the large toe to the rest of the foot becomes dislocated. Bunions will not heal on their own, but different treatment options are available. Plus, there are steps you can take to prevent them in the first place. Dr. Peter Siroka, the experienced podiatrist at our office in Stamford, CT, can help with bunions treatment and prevention.

Causes of Bunions

The primary cause of bunions is a dislocated toe joint. When the metatarsophalangeal joint slips out of place, the big toe slants toward the smaller ones. This slanted position can cause the dislocated joint to push up against the side of the foot and protrude outward, resulting in the formation of a bony bump which is known as a bunion. In addition to the discomfort of a dislocated big toe joint, the friction produced when the interior of the shoes rub against the bunions can also lead to pain and discomfort.

Many factors can contribute to a dislocated metatarsophalangeal toe joint. A toe or foot injury is one possible cause. Other causes include foot deformities or certain medical conditions, such as arthritis. Additionally, wearing shoes with high heels or that are extremely narrow or too tight on a regular basis can also cause the metatarsophalangeal joint to become dislocated. Bunions can develop when any of these factors lead to dislocation of the metatarsophalangeal joint.

Preventing Bunions

It is possible to prevent bunions by avoiding some of the factors that can contribute to a dislocated toe joint. For example, wearing shoes that have enough room for the toes so they are not cramped together can minimize the possibility of developing bunions. Further, wearing shoes with a low heel is also helpful.

Another way to prevent bunions from forming is by wearing custom orthotics inside your shoes. Orthotics provide cushioning, stability, and support. Additionally, custom orthotics correct foot alignment problems that could be putting excess strain on the metatarsophalangeal joint. Wearing orthotics can help reduce friction, inflammation, instability, pain, and discomfort.

Treatments for Bunions

Several methods are available for treating bunions. It is best to seek professional treatment if you do develop bunions since they will not go away on their own. Some options available at our office in Stamford for treating bunions include:

  • Special exercises to increase joint mobility
  • Custom orthotics to stabilize the toe joint
  • Protective padding in the shoes to reduce friction
  • The use of a night splint to realign the toe joint
  • Removal of foot corns and calluses
  • Surgical intervention

There are two main methods for performing bunion surgery. One approach is referred to as a head procedure. It involves strategically cutting the bone just behind the toe joint so that the joint can be repositioned. A pin or screw is used to hold everything in place so the joint does not become dislocated again. The other method is called a base procedure. This approach is a bit more involved and treats the bone near or behind the joint of the big toe. Different methods can be used in based procedures to return the bone and joint back to the proper position.

We can help you prevent bunions with individualized recommendations, such as specific exercises for improving joint mobility or custom orthotics to reduce friction and correct faulty foot alignment. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Peter Siroka for help preventing or treating bunions by calling our office in Stamford, CT, at (203) 614-8185.

By Peter Y. Siroka, DPM
November 05, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: orthotics   Custom Orthotics  

Do you suffer from foot, ankle, leg or back pain? Custom orthotics provided by your Stamford, CT, podiatrist, Dr. Peter Siroka, may offer the solution to your problem.

What are orthotics?

Your feet must be perfectly aligned and balanced to properly support the weight of your body. Even minor issues can affect foot balance, alignment and stability and lead to foot, leg or back pain. Your arches might be too high or too low, your feet may turn in or out when you walk, or you may have a foot injury or deformity. Your orthotics are custom-designed for your feet and your specific foot condition.

Orthotics don't just offer arch support, although that's certainly an important function. The prescription shoe inserts also keep your feet properly aligned, prevent excessive foot motion and absorb shock. Thanks to the cushioning effect they offer, orthotics can reduce the risk of sores and blisters if you have diabetes or help you avoid common running injuries like shin splints, runner's knee and tendonitis.

What types of orthotics are available?

During your visit to the Stamford podiatry office, your foot doctor may recommend one of these orthotic types:

  • Rigid Orthotics: These full-length inserts are made of rigid plastic or carbon. They can be helpful if you have leg pain, flat feet, back pain, different leg legs, an abnormal gait, or if you overpronate (turn your feet in when you walk.)
  • Semi-Rigid Orthotics: Semi-rigid orthotics also extend from your heels to your toes, but consist of a layer of softer materials over a rigid core. The orthotics provide a little cushioning and also help control balance and foot movement. They may be recommended if your child's toes turn in or out, or you have foot pain. Semi-rigid orthotics are a good choice for athletes too.
  • Soft Orthotics: Made of softer, more flexible materials than the other full-length orthotics, soft orthotics absorb shock, reduce pressure on the feet and offer ample cushioning. Soft orthotics may be a good option for you if you have diabetes, arthritis, bunions or hammertoes.
  • Heel Cups: Heel cups fit in the heel area of your shoes and offer extra cushioning that can reduce the pain of Achilles tendonitis, thinning fats pads under the heels, plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.

Orthotics offer a simple solution to pain and discomfort. Call your podiatrist in Stamford, CT, Dr. Siroka, at (203) 614-8185 to schedule your appointment.

By Peter Y. Siroka, DPM
August 19, 2020
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

While many people think that bunions are just pesky bumps on the side-bottom portion of their big toe, they can be really serious since they change the affected toe’s anatomy, and in turn, the whole foot. Bunions develop over time, and what starts out as a big toe pointing directly towards the adjacent toe will gradually end up permanently altering the alignment affected foot’s bones.

This is why prompt diagnosis and treatment from your foot doctor, Dr. Peter Siroka of Peter Y. Siroka, DPM in Stamford, CT and serving Fairfield County, is critical to prevent your bunion’s progression.

Why You Have a Bunion

Bunions could be genetic or caused by constant and prolonged wearing of ill-fitting and unsupportive footwear. They likewise worsen when wearing footwear that is too small, fit improperly, and too tight. In some cases, arthritis and other inflammatory diseases could also result in bunions.

How a Bunion Feels Like

Most individuals don’t feel bunion symptoms during the early stages of its development. As the bunion grows, however, they may feel these telltale symptoms:

  • Physical pain or discomfort in the affected toe
  • Swelling, redness, and/or a burning sensation in the area
  • Walking difficulties
  • Possible numbness in the affected toe

Non-Surgical and Conservative Bunion Treatment Options

  • Wear properly-fitted footwear with sufficient toe space.
  • Have your footwear stretched professionally to provide room for the toes.
  • Cushion the bunion with pads to minimize pain.
  • Avoid things that lead to pain, including standing too long.
  • Wear customized orthotic devices as recommended by your foot doctor in Stamford, CT.

Surgical Bunion Treatment

Your podiatrist might recommend surgical intervention if after trying all the recommended non-surgical methods, you still feel pain and are having issues with walking. The specific type of bunion surgery you’ll need to undergo will be based on your age, the extent of deformity, your activity level, and overall health.

Bunion surgery is used for correcting the big toe’s anatomical position. It entails putting back the bones, nerves, tendons, and ligaments in their proper positions, and the removal of the bunion. It’s usually an outpatient procedure, and the recovery time would vary based on the procedures performed on the bunion.

Ready to Get Much-Needed Relief From Your Bunion? We Can Help

Arrange an evaluation with your foot doctor here at Peter Y. Siroka, DPM in Stamford, CT and serving Fairfield County, Dr. Peter Siroka, by dialing (203) 614-8185.

By Peter Y. Siroka, DPM
April 13, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Diabetic Foot  

Diabetes can have an effect on your health in a variety of ways. While it's well-known that watching your diet helps to manage the effects of diabetes, not everyone is aware that foot health is also an important component of diabetic care. Fortunately, by following these simple steps to prevent injury and infection, keeping your feet healthy isn't difficult.

Dr. Peter Siroka, your foot doctor in Summer St. Stamford, CT, is committed to working alongside his diabetic patients to educate them about the best ways to care for their feet.

Why foot health matters to diabetics

Diabetes doesn't just affect the way the body processes sugar; it can also damage the blood vessels and the way nerves receive pain signals, particularly those in the feet since they are the extremity that is furthest away from the heart. So, when a foot or ankle injury occurs, even a minor blister or scrape, it can be difficult to heal and may lead to an unnoticed open wound that is subject to infection. The lack of blood circulation to the feet compounds this problem because the healing process is diminished. Severe cases of diabetes-related foot ulcers can result in systemic infection, gangrene, or amputation.

How diabetic people can care for their feet

Foot doctors like Dr. Peter Siroka in Summer St. Stamford are an invaluable resource for people with diabetes. They can quickly diagnose and prescribe treatment for potential problems, as well as educate their patients about the steps needed to avoid foot wounds. These include:

  • Wash your feet every day. Use a mild soap, soft sponge, and lukewarm water to keep your feet clean. Dry them completely afterward.
  • Inspect your feet daily. Use a handheld mirror to visualize any areas that are difficult to reach. Any cuts, blisters, scrapes, or nail issues, no matter how small, should be reported to your podiatrist.
  • Wear clean, dry socks. Change your socks daily and consider wearing socks and footwear designed for diabetic people.
  • Never go barefoot. Even indoors, make sure to wear close-toed shoes or slippers.
     

If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, consult your foot doctor in Summer St. Stamford, CT, should be near the top of your to-do list. Call our podiatry office at (203) 614-8185 to make an appointment with Dr. Peter Siroka.





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