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Dr. Szpiro is a Participating Provider with the Beth Israel Lahey Physicians Organization

We are featured as one of the 5 Best Podiatrists in Boston, MA

We see pediatric patients!

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Where Is the Plantar Fascia?

The condition plantar fasciitis exists when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. It is the band of tissue that is found on the bottom of the foot that can become torn or damaged from a foot injury. Additionally, it may happen from standing for most of the day, or from frequently walking on hard surfaces. Many people experience general foot pain with plantar fasciitis, and the foot may feel stiff and tender. It is beneficial to adjust daily living activities, and to temporarily stop doing what caused the pain. There are patients who find mild relief when specific foot exercises and stretches are performed, in addition to possibly wearing orthotics in their shoes. In severe cases, surgery may be a necessary option to repair the damaged portion of tissue. If you have heel pain, please confer with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose plantar fasciitis, and offer you correct treatment advice.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact the podiatrists  from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Odorous Feet in Children

Although having smelly feet is not always necessarily cause for serious concern, bad-smelling feet can be bothersome. If your child is complaining about their feet producing a foul odor, there are several things that you need to be aware of. The odor that is being emitted from your child’s feet is caused by bacteria. After your child spends a whole day sweating in a pair of sneakers, for instance, that sweat facilitates the multiplication of bacteria. If your child is not wearing socks, typically this only exacerbates the extent to which the bacteria can grow in your child’s shoes. In certain cases, your child’s shoes might even be home to a type of bacteria named Kyetococcus sedentarius. This bacteria can produce especially foul odors because they release volatile sulfur compounds. If you are concerned about your child’s smelly feet, be sure that they wash their feet and wear a new, clean pair of socks every day and alternate shoes regularly, especially if they get wet or sweaty. See a podiatrist for more ways in which you can protect the health of your child’s feet.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact the podiatrists of Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet

Two Types of Hammertoe

When the toe joints become out of balance a condition known as hammertoe may develop. This is considered to be a deformity and can happen from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely. The joints in the toes become affected and can bend downward, resembling a hammer. Additionally, genetic reasons may cause this condition to occur, where there is an imbalance in the tendons. An injury to the toes may cause a hammertoe to develop and many times corns and calluses form on top of the bent toes. Research has indicated that is important to wear shoes that fit correctly. A shoe that fits well has enough space between the longest toe and the top of the shoe, ensuring the toe will not touch that part of the shoe. Flexible hammertoe generally happens in the beginning stages of this ailment. This is noticeable because the toes can still be straightened despite being in a fixed position. When the toes are unable to straighten this is classified as rigid hammertoe, and surgery may be necessary to correct it. If you notice signs of hammertoe, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment techniques.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

Removing Corns on the Feet

Corns are hard, callus-like growths that can develop on your feet. They usually develop in response to repeated pressure applied to a point on the foot, usually from ill-fitting or tight footwear. If you have corns on your feet, you should consult with a podiatrist to address the problem in the best possible way. In some cases, you might be able to remove the corn with a few at-home remedies. However, those with diabetes, circulatory disorders, and certain other conditions should never attempt to treat a corn by themselves. The most common way to remove corns involves soaking the feet in warm water for approximately ten minutes. This is done to soften the affected skin on the feet. After this step, you may be able to gently file down the outer layers of the corn by using a pumice stone or an emery board. However, it is important not to file excessively because you might end up injuring the deeper layers of the skin. There are also a variety of over-the-counter products that you might find useful in attempting to remove the corn on your feet. For example, you can use products such as lotions or scrubs that contain salicylic acid. This acid works to break down the corn. When in doubt, it is best to contact a trusted podiatrist who can help you determine the best way for the corn to be removed.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact the podiatrists of Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctors to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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

Read more about Corns and Calluses

Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Do I Have a Heel Spur?

A common reason that people can have heel pain may be related to heel spurs. It is defined as a calcium deposit that develops on the bottom of the heel, and sometimes causes severe pain and discomfort. The band of tissue that runs along the sole of the foot is known as the plantar fascia. This helps the foot to withstand daily walking and standing, in addition to supporting the arch of the foot. If it is stretched beyond its limitations from overuse, the body may naturally respond by building extra bone, which is known as a heel spur. Contributing factors that may lead to this condition include wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, obesity, and advanced age. Common symptoms of a heel spur are pain in the bottom of the heel that can worsen while walking or running, and feeling a bump when the heel is touched. Mild relief may come from resting the affected foot as often as possible, and it can help to temporarily cut back on exercise as the foot heals. If you have heel pain, it is strongly suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat heel spurs.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Heel Spurs

What Are Orthotics?

When visiting a podiatrist, you will be able to consult with medical professionals who can help you create treatment plans for foot afflictions you might have. Depending on your affliction, a podiatrist may recommend the use of orthotics for your feet. Orthotics are specially designed full shoe inserts, heel inserts, and other devices that are meant to provide support or correction to your feet. Unlike inserts that you may be able to purchase at the pharmacy, orthotics are personalized and built to fit your specific foot. Orthotics may be used to rectify deformities in the structure of the foot, support the ankle, or improve foot functioning. These devices have been used to help patients suffering from conditions including arthritis, heel spurs, high arches, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and back pain. Orthotics can be built with rigid materials and significantly flexible substances. While many patients have benefitted from the use of orthotics, success is largely dependent on several factors such as the kind of shoe to which the orthotics are applied as well as the amount of time that the patient actually wears the devices. Each patient is understandably different, and so you might consider consulting with a podiatrist to determine whether or not orthotics could help you address your foot conditions.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors 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 Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Orthotics

What Can Cause Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The tarsal tunnel is an important part of foot function. When one of the nerves inside the tarsal tunnel becomes compressed, tarsal tunnel syndrome can develop. This can happen as a result of a fracture, bone spur, or foot deformity. A common symptom that is associated with this condition can include a burning and tingling sensation in the bottom of the foot and heel. Additionally, some patients notice shooting pain in one or more spots in the foot. An effective diagnosis can include having the Tinels’ Test performed, which consists of tapping on the nerve as it passes through the tunnel. Patients can find mild relief when the correct footwear is worn, and orthotics may be needed for additional support. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is treated by a podiatrist, and it is strongly suggested that if you have these symptoms, an appointment is scheduled as quickly as possible.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact the podiatrists of Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors 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 Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

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