Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The frequent rising on the toes of an aerobics routine often creates pain and tightness in the large muscles in the back of the legs, which can create pain and tightness in the calf and inflammation in the Achilles tendon. Again, stretching the calf muscles gently and gradually before and after the workout will ordinarily help alleviate the pain and stiffness.

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Common Running Injuries-Shin Splints

May 9th, 2017 by Mallory Snow

Aside from ankle sprains, shins splints are perhaps the most common injury to the lower body, as the muscles attached to the shin bone bring the foot up and down. The pain is usually an inflammation of the shin muscle and tendon due to stress fractures. Treat shin pain with cold compress immediately after a workout to reduce inflammation. Proper stretching before the workout should prevent the onset of shin splints. Strengthening of muscles also helps reduce shin splints.

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Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic Signs a New Doctor

March 21st, 2017 by Mallory Snow

The doctors of Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic are pleased to welcome a new colleague. Dr. Colleen Law will be joining the Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle’s team of podiatrists in July 2017. Dr Law is coming to the Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic from the exceptional and renowned podiatry foot and ankle surgical residency training program at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania. We are busy getting ready for Dr Law’s arrival. Dr Law is accepting new patients beginning July 17, 2017.

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Foot Issues and Weight Loss

March 9th, 2017 by Mallory Snow

70 Million Americans are obese. Unfortunately, obesity aggravates foot problems, such as, heel pain and flat feet. To make matters worse, sore feet makes it harder for someone to exercise and lose weight. If a person is unable to exercise, obesity can worsen and can increase the progression of diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health threats and conditions.

Don’t let that stop you from losing weight! Foot and/or ankle pain should not stop a patient from exercising, but it is important to take the first step. Seek evaluation and treatment by a foot and ankle surgeon for any chronic, activity limiting foot and ankle problems, so you can stay compliant with any physician-directed exercise programs.

If you are moderately to severely overweight, a physical exam is mandatory and necessary prior to beginning an exercise program. Once you have been cleared to exercise, be sure you don’t try too much too soon. It is important that you ramp up your routine gradually so your body is able to adjust appropriately to the stress of consistent physical activity. If you are overweight, you should avoid high impact machines like treadmills to help minimize stress and pounding on joints.

If you are experiencing foot pain, it is important to remember that many causes can be relieved non-surgically. Stretching exercises, orthotics, and good athletic socks can all help alleviate foot pain. If you have a bunion, heal pain, or another condition that requires surgery, you can still be able to participate in exercise during recovery. Non-weightbearing exercises like riding a stationary bike, swimming, or weight training can all be done during this time.

If you have diabetes, shedding the excess weight can help you control your disease. You can still exercise, even if you have experienced a foot ulceration or vascular problem caused by diabetes. However, if you have diabetes, make sure you are receiving regular foot exams to check for sore spots and assess nerve sensation. Proper foot care and footwear can help you follow a safe and appropriate exercise regimen.

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Many athletes, who play winter sports as well as spring sports, are at a higher risk for incurring a sports-related injury. These athletes and parents of athletes are encouraged, by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, to play it safe and to take precautions to prevent foot and ankle injuries. These injuries can occur when going from indoor activities and sports to outdoor activities and sports.

There is a different set of concerns when athletes transition from the winter sports season to the spring season. Athletes are often moving from one playing surface to another and the varying impact can cause stress to the foot and ankle. In addition, transitioning from sport to sport can cause overuse injuries due to muscles and bones not having time to rest.

If you, or your child, plan to participate in spring sports or activities after participation through the winter, please consider these six tips. These tips will hopefully help prevent foot and/or ankle injuries:

1.Make sure to get a preseason checkup. This can help identify any concerns that might lead to injury.

2. Be sure to take it slow. Gradually increase practice time and don’t push too hard. Make sure the athlete’s feet and ankles become accustomed to the specific sport or activity. Conditioning is VERY important in order to stay injury free, and to improve performance.

3. Make sure shoes are appropriate and broken-in. Different sport require different gear. This includes shoes. Make sure they are well-fitting and broken-in. It is also important that they are designed for the specific sport or activity. This can improve performance and eliminate heel and toe discomfort.

4. Check technique. Be sure to notice changes in form and technique. This can signal that something is wrong. Pay close attention to favoring one side, or a limp.

5. Communicate openly about pain. Inform the coach if any pain or discomfort is experienced. This can help prevent overuse injuries that are often subtle and develop over time. The sooner an injury is detected, the sooner it can be resolved.

6. Don’t forget RICE. When a foot or ankle injury is noticed, it can often be resolved with REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, and ELEVATION. If pain occurs take a break and allow time for recovery. If pain and discomfort persists, give Blue Ridge Foot & Ankle Clinic a call!

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Your Risk of a Stress Fracture Increases in the Winter

February 1st, 2017 by Mallory Snow

In the cold winter months, it is important to be aware of your injury risks. Cold weather-related injuries are possible and it is important to take precautions, and know appropriate treatments for such injuries.

Believe it or not, many hospitals report a 500 percent increase in visits to the emergency room in the winter. Many of these visits are related to slips and falls. Stress fractures are a common injury in the winter and can make everyday activities uncomfortable, and even painful. If you do not treat a stress fracture it can lead to a complete break in the bone.

Many people ignore stress fractures because they often are unable to connect recent activity/accident and foot pain. Stress fractures can occur during relatively benign activities according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Athletes often have stress fractures due to repetitive activity, but slippery winter conditions can also lead to this type of injury. In addition, seasonal sports can also lead to foot-related injuries.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of a stress fracture is extremely important, so you can seek appropriate medical treatment and care. Symptoms of a stress fracture can include pain, swelling, redness, and bruising. The symptoms can subside when you stop activity. Often when you rest, the injury will feel better, but the pain typically returns once activity is resumed. If you are still having persistent pain, and other symptoms after resting, icing, and using an anti-inflammatory medication, it is important to see a specialist.

Once diagnosed, it is important to rest. You may even need to wear a surgical shoe or boot. A small percentage of patients may require surgery.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a stress fracture, please call Blue Ridge Foot & Ankle Clinic to set up an appointment!

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In winter, the most popular women’s boots are tall, have spiked heals, and are narrow with pointed toes. Shoes like this can make you unstable in snow and ice.

If you wear a stylish low-heeled winter boot, you will avoid injury and potential crutches or a cast. It is also a great idea to scuff up the soles of your new boots, or to buy adhesive rubber soles, both of which will provide you with better traction.

If you fall in high-heeled boots you can suffer from a number of injuries. You can break your ankle, stretch or tear ligaments, or break a toe, metatarsal, or heel bone.

If you do fall and injure your foot or ankle, you should call Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic for evaluation and treatment.

To avoid winter ankle injuries:
• Keep doorways well lit so you are able to see icy patches.
• Make sure you wear shoes that provide traction to prevent slipping.
• Make sure you check for slippery spots before stepping outside for a car or doorway.
• Make sure you avoid wearing high heels outdoors.
• Make sure you warm up and stretch prior to any physical activities.

At Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic, we pride ourselves in offering advanced treatment options and research-based medical solutions for foot and ankle injuries, as well as,  all foot and ankle conditions. If you would like more information or feel you may benefit from our services, please contact the office to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

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New Year, Great Changes!

January 18th, 2017 by Mallory Snow

Blue Ridge Foot & Ankle Clinic and Albemarle-Charlottesville Podiatry Associates are pleased to announce that their practices will be combining!

The NEW Blue Ridge Foot & Ankle Clinic will include Doctors:

Stewart Chang, DPM
Kevin Murray, DPM
Robert Baglio, DPM
Samuel Schustek, DPM

We are excited about these changes, and look forward to continuing to provide our patients with convenient, quality care.

887A East Rio Court
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Phone: 434-979-8116

2050 Abbey Road, Suite C
Charlottesville, VA 22911
Phone: 434-295-4443

66 Parkway Lane, Suite 102
Fishersville, VA 22939
Phone: 540-949-5150

530 Sunset Lane
Culpeper, VA 22701
Phone: 540-825-6113

175-C Spicers Mill Road
Orange, VA 22960
Phone: 540-672-1402

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Exercising in Hot Weather

July 22nd, 2016 by Dr.Chang

heat

Beat the Heat!

How heat affects your body
Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your body. If you don’t take care when exercising in the heat, you risk serious illness. Both the exercise itself and the air temperature increase your core body temperature.

To help cool itself, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin. This leaves less blood for your muscles, which in turn increases your heart rate. If the humidity also is high, your body faces added stress because sweat doesn’t readily evaporate from your skin. That pushes your body temperature even higher.

Heat-related illness
Under normal conditions, your skin, blood vessels and perspiration level adjust to the heat. But these natural cooling systems may fail if you’re exposed to high temperatures and humidity for too long.
Symptoms of heat related illness:
  • Heat cramps. Heat cramps are painful muscle contractions.  Your body temperature may be normal.
  • Heat syncope and exercise-associated collapse. Heat syncope is a feeling of lightheadedness or fainting caused by high temperatures, often occurring after standing for a long period of time, or standing quickly after sitting for a long period of time. Exercise-associated collapse is feeling lightheaded or fainting immediately after exercising.
  • Heat exhaustion. With heat exhaustion, your body temperature rises as high as 104 F (40 C), and you may experience signs and symptoms including nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness, and cold, clammy skin. If left untreated, this can lead to heatstroke.
  • Heatstroke. Heatstroke is a life-threatening emergency condition that occurs when your body temperature is greater than 104 F (40 C). Your skin may be hot, but your body may stop sweating to help cool itself. If your heatstroke occurs during exercise in hot, humid weather, you may continue to sweat for a short time after exercising.If you develop signs and symptoms including confusion, irritability, heart rhythm problems, dizziness, nausea, visual problems and fatigue. You need immediate medical attention to prevent brain damage, organ failure or even death.
  • When you exercise in hot weather, keep these precautions in mind:

    • Watch the temperature
    • Get acclimated
    • Know your fitness level
    • Drink plenty of fluids
    • Dress appropriately
    • Avoid midday sun
    • Wear sunscreen
    • If you plan to exercise over an hour, consider a sports drink instead of water. Sports drinks can replace the electrolytes you lose through sweating.

    Exercising in the heat can improve your fitness level. Heat-related illnesses are generally preventable by taking a few basic precautions.  Be mindful of your body and stop exercising if you begin to have symptoms of heat-related illness.  Pace yourself, allow your body to acclimate to the hot temperatures, and always drink plenty of  fluids before and after you exercise.

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Toenail Fungus

July 15th, 2016 by Dr.Chang

300px-Oncymycosis
What Causes Toenail Fungus?
Bare feet in damp places are particularly susceptible to coming in contact with fungi, but the excessive perspiration that happens inside of a shoe during workouts can also create the same kind of environment. Therefore, frequent time spent in the pool or at the gym is often cited as the cause for fungal infections in the toenails.
In some cases, the fungus is contracted because of an initial injury to the nail bed. Even something as simple as a stubbed toe or an ingrown toenail can make the area more susceptible to the development of a toenail fungus.
What is Toenail Fungus & How will I know if I Have it?
Toenail fungus is an infection beneath the surface of the nail. It can be present on a toe for years without producing noticeable pain, but usually changes to the color and quality of the nail are the first indicators of its presence. The timing and severity of symptoms vary from patient to patient, but generally include:
  • darkening/discoloration of the affected nail
  • a foul smell from the nail
  • thickening of the nail
  • white marks on the nail plate
  • redness and swelling
  • spreading of the infected area
  • pain when walking or wearing shoes
If you’ve noticed a progressive change in a toenail’s color or thickness, make an appointment with your doctor to have it checked. A variety of conditions many cause thick, or discolored toenails, including psoriasis, diabetes, trauma, and constant nail polishing. If your doctor is not sure of the cause, she/he may choose to take a sample of the nail and have a fungal stain done at the lab, this will confirm whether the nail is fungal.
There are treatments available for nail fungus,  including oral medication, topical treatments and laser treatments your doctor will help you decide what is best for you.

Whatever treatment you choose, take these precautions to prevent recurrences:

  • Keep your feet as clean and dry as possible
  • Wear waterproof sandals at swimming pools or other wet public areas
  • Change your socks or hose daily
  • Clip toenails straight across and keep them shorter than the tips of your toes
  • Avoid tight hosiery, which promotes moisture retention, and wear synthetic fabric socks that wick moisture away from feet better than cotton or wool

At Blue Ridge Foot and Ankle Clinic, we pride ourselves in offering advanced treatment options and research-based medical solutions for fungal toenails and all foot and ankle conditions. If you would like more information or feel you may benefit from our services, please contact the office to learn more or schedule an appointment

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