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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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Potential Consequences of High Heels

As popular as they are, high heels can bring a variety of long-term consequences to the overall health of the feet. Because they cause strides to be shorter and with more force and cause the toes to be in a flexed position, the calf muscles can shorten and may strain easily. Also, once someone who regularly wears high heels starts wearing flat shoes, like sneakers or flip flops, there is an increased chance of injury due to the feet being placed in a new environment. A variety of conditions can be caused by regularly wearing high heels, including hammertoes, bunions, sprained ankles, bone fractures, or ligament tears. If you have been injured because of wearing high heels, or simply seek advice on avoiding injuries, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for more information.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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 Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

How To Best Protect Your Child’s Developing Feet

The bones in your child’s feet will develop over time— from the cartilage they were born with to ossified bones that are fully formed around the age of 18. For the first few months of their lives, babies’ feet are quite delicate. That is why the type of footwear you choose for your child is very important. You don’t want your child’s developing feet to be distorted by footwear that does not fit properly. Make sure footwear and socks are never tight. While your child’s feet are developing, the nerve endings in their feet are developing too and may not be able to signal if their feet are being squeezed or compressed. Since no two feet are the same, avoid hand-me-down shoes that may not be right for your child’s feet. Keep their toenails trimmed straight across without curving them or cutting them so short that it puts them at risk of developing an ingrown toenail. For more advice on how to best protect your child’s feet as they grow, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist.

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 What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease that is caused by degeneration of cartilage, a layer of tissue that lines the ends of bones and helps them move smoothly. When the cartilage is worn away, the bones begin to rub directly against each other as they move, leading to pain, swelling, and joint stiffness. Osteoarthritis often affects the joints in the feet and ankles. In addition to the symptoms of arthritis itself, this condition can also cause other foot problems, such as bunions, hallux rigidus, and corns and calluses. Osteoarthritis is associated with aging and tends to affect people over age 45. People who are overweight or obese, have a family history of osteoarthritis, or have a medical history of rheumatoid arthritis or gout are most at risk. If you are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis in your feet or ankles, please consult with a podiatrist.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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

Read more about Arthritic Foot Care

Do You Need Orthotics?

Shoe inserts that are designed to help relieve pain for a variety of foot conditions (including corns and calluses, tendonitis, bunions, heel pain, and recurring stress fractures) are known as orthotics. Orthotics can be made from various materials, such as rubber, plastic, leather, and in some cases, even metal. Podiatrists often make custom orthotics to treat specific issues. Podiatrists customize orthotics by accounting for the biomechanics of the foot as well as the function and structure of the foot. Patients who are struggling with pain in their feet may wish to consult a podiatrist who can prescribe custom orthotics that are specific to your foot.

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 Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes

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.

How the Feet Age

As the feet age over time, they begin to wear down. For example, a lot of the cushioning and the fat pads of the heel and ball of the foot begins to wear away. The skin on the feet loses elasticity and the nails become more brittle. Bone deformities and other conditions, like bunions and arthritis, may lead to an increased risk of falls. Due to the different affects aging can have on the feet, it is very important to implement routine foot care and daily inspections. If you notice that the skin on your feet has become dry, or if you are experiencing a burning or tingling sensation in your feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist right away. A podiatrist can properly diagnose and treat a wide variety of foot conditions. If it becomes too difficult to inspect your feet daily, it is suggested to schedule regular checkups with a podiatrist, especially if you have diabetes.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact the podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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 Elderly and their Feet

Diseases That Lead to Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor circulation refers to inadequate or limited blood flow. The lower limbs, and particularly the feet, are often affected. There are various medical conditions that can cause poor foot circulation. These include Raynaud’s disease, acrocyanosis, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, and peripheral artery disease. People who have a sedentary lifestyle, smoke, or have high cholesterol or high blood pressure are at an increased risk of developing poor lower limb circulation as well. If you have symptoms of poor circulation, such as coldness, numbness, discoloration, dry or cracked skin, hair loss, weak toenails, and poor wound healing on your feet, it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact the podiatrists of Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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 Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet

Tips for Dealing With Hammertoes

Hammertoes typically occur in the smaller toes of the foot. They can also be referred to  as “Mallet Toe” or “Claw Toe,” depending on how the foot is affected. These conditions often occur when the soft tissues of the foot become too tight or get injured. Tight shoes are the most common cause of hammertoe, and of the variations  can be the easiest to fix by wearing open-toed shoes and sandals, or roomy, softer closed-toe shoes. Shoe inserts, wrapping the toes after exercise, and maintaining a healthy body weight can help prevent excess pressure on the feet and toes. If discomfort persists, see a podiatrist who can recommend exercises and offer other solutions.

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

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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 care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe

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!

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