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By Prince William Foot & Ankle Center
November 03, 2017
Category: Podiatric health
Tags: Heel Pain  

Chronic heel pain is one of the most common foot and ankle problems. While a little pain and stiffness from time to time can be normal, heel painpersistent pain is typically a sign of an injury or orthopedic problem like plantar fasciitis. Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, a podiatrist in Gainesville, VA, recommends scheduling an appointment if you are experiencing chronic pain.

Heel Pain Treatment in Gainesville, VA

There are two types of heel pain: under the heel, and just behind the heel. One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which causes pain under the heel due to strain or inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tendon that runs the length of the foot from the heel bone to the base of the toes. Another common source of heel pain is Achilles tendonitis, which causes pain behind the heel due to strain or an injury of the Achilles tendon.

What Causes Heel Pain?

According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, heel pain is the most common podiatric complaint, and can result from a number of causes. Everything from the normal wear and tear of walking or exercising on hard surfaces, to wearing shoes with inadequate support can put strain on the bones and joints of your feet and ankles, making them more susceptible to pain and injuries.

Because foot and ankle injuries are very difficult to self diagnose, you should schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for persistent pain (lasts for several weeks, or clears up and returns). Depending on the severity and underlying cause of your heel pain, conservative treatments are usually successful in relieving heel pain. If you have low arches/flat feet, your podiatrist may recommend orthotics to help keep your feet in proper alignment and to prevent excessive strain on your feet and ankles.

Find a Podiatrist in Gainesville, VA

Don't wait for your heel pain to become debilitating. For more information about plantar fasciitis and other causes and treatment options for foot and ankle pain, contact Prince William Foot & Ankle Center by calling 703-753-3338 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bhakta today.

By Prince William Foot & Ankle Center
August 14, 2017
Category: Foot health

Many conditions can be successfully treated at home. Unfortunately, toenail fungus isn't always one of them. Despite applying an over-the-toenail funguscounter product for weeks or months, your nails may still be thick and yellow. With the help of our Gainesville, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Mukesh Bhakta at Prince Willam Foot & Ankle Center, toenail fungus laser treatment can help you finally eliminate your fungal infection.

How does laser treatment get rid of toenail fungus?

Access is the problem with drugstore fungal products. The topical medications only penetrate the first few layers of your nails and never reach the areas underneath where the fungus originates. Laser light is strong enough to reach the source of your infection and kill the fungus responsible for your infection.

Laser light heats the pigment in the fungus that creates that unattractive yellow color. The heat generated by the laser kills the fungus, eliminating your infection.

Will my toenails look better immediately?

You won't notice any change in your nails after treatment, but that doesn't mean that your treatment wasn't successful. As your nails grow, you'll soon see a small strip of clear growth at the base of your nail. Over the next several months, your nails will gradually assume their normal appearance.

Is laser treatment painful?

Although the fungi on your nail bed may not like the heat generated by the laser, you won't notice more than a mild heating or tingling sensation during your treatment. The laser doesn't produce a continuous beam of light but uses short bursts to produce the heat that destroys the fungus. Because the laser can be aimed very precisely at the site of the infection, it won't damage healthy tissue in your toes. After your treatment, you can immediately resume your usual activities.

How can I prevent toenail fungus from happening again?

Laser treatment is very effective in treating toenail fungus, but it doesn't prevent future infections. You can avoid a new infection by following these tips:

  • Wear shoes in locker rooms and shower rooms.
  • Don't share socks or shoes with other people.
  • Wear socks that wick away sweat.
  • Change your socks often if your feet sweat.

Treat your toenail fungus with laser treatment. Call our Gainesville, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Bhakta at Prince Willam Foot & Ankle Center, at (703) 753-3338 to schedule an appointment.

By Prince William Foot & Ankle Center
June 20, 2017
Category: Foot health
Tags: Foot Infection  

Podiatrists handle a number of common foot issues at their practices, including sports injuries, fractures and ligament problems. One foot infectionparticularly concerning problem is a foot infection because it could put the health of the entire foot and even the rest of the body at risk. Here are a few of the signs of a foot infection that should prompt you to call your Gainesville, VA podiatrist for immediate treatment.

Signs of a Foot Infection
As with any infection, a foot infection is caused by bad bacteria in a wound or cut. It’s a concern that podiatrists often have for patients who need diabetic foot care. In extreme cases an infection could lead to gangrene, which requires tissue removal, so it should be caught in its early stages. Here are some of the potential signs:

- Redness and inflammation around the affected site
- Intense pain when you’re walking or tenderness to the touch
- Pus or blood coming from the affected area
- Fever or nausea

What Could Cause a Foot Infection?
A foot infection often happens after there’s some type of injury to the foot. In some cases, it’s caused by an ingrown toenail that grows into the skin. In other cases, it’s due to a foot fungus that has gotten out of control. A wart on the foot could also become infected when it continuously rubs up against the inside of a tight shoe. Patients who have had foot surgery have to be mindful of infections during the healing process.

Treatments for Foot Infections
A foot infection must be treated promptly by your Gainesville podiatrist so that it doesn’t become ulcerous or gangrenous. The first step is removing any diseased tissue to allow healthy tissue to regenerate. Immediate oxygen treatment will aid the healing process. An intravenous antibiotic therapy may also be administered to thoroughly get rid of the infection. Pain medication (an NSAID) will likely be prescribed to ease any discomfort while the foot is healing. Rest therapy may be needed to ensure that the infection doesn’t reoccur.

Seek Treatment ASAP
If any of these signs of foot infections match your symptoms, see your Gainesville, VA podiatrist as soon as possible. It’s a simple problem to fix in the early stages. Call (703) 753-3338 today for an urgent visit to see Dr. Mukesh Bhakta at Prince William Foot & Ankle Center.

By Prince William Foot & Ankle Center
April 17, 2017
Category: Foot health
Tags: Ingrown Toenails  

Conditions affecting your feet can quickly begin to hinder the ability to get through your day with normal tasks like running, walking, or ingrown toenailseven just standing. Some conditions, like ingrown toenails, can become very painful and, if left untreated, cause an infection of the toe. Luckily, ingrown toenails are preventable and treatable with help from your podiatrist. Learn more about preventing ingrown toenails with Dr. Mukesh Bhakta at Prince William Foot and Ankle Center with locations in Gainesville, VA, and South Riding, VA.

What is an ingrown toenail? 
An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail grows curled down into the soft skin around it, causing pain, irritation, and even infection. Most ingrown toenails happen on the big toes. Ingrown toenails can occur due to various reasons, from wearing ill-fitting shoes which place pressure onto the toenail to cutting your toenails improperly. Those who suffer from diabetes or other conditions which restrict blood flow should be extra aware of ingrown toenails as the reduced blood flow can make feeling pain more difficult, resulting in an untreated condition which could result in a serious infection.

How can I prevent future ingrown toenails? 
Taking good care of your feet is an important part of your daily routine. Be sure to always trim your toenails straight across, taking care not to round the corners. Wear shoes with plenty of room in the toe box for your toes to lay comfortably and flat. Avoid wearing narrow, tight, or high-heeled shoes. Always change your socks daily and after any activities that cause excessive perspiration to avoid bacteria and infections.

Ingrown Toenail Treatments in Gainesville, VA, and South Riding, VA 
Ingrown toenails are usually easy to identify, with symptoms such as:

  • pain and tenderness along the side of the toenail
  • swelling of the tissue around the toenail
  • redness around the toe
  • infection which may cause discharge to flow from the toe

If you think you have an ingrown toenail, you should see your doctor as soon as possible to determine the best treatment plan for you. For more information on ingrown toenails, please contact Dr. Mukesh Bhakta at Prince William Foot and Ankle Center with locations in Gainesville, VA, and South Riding, VA. Call 703-753-3338 to schedule your appointment at the Gainesville, VA, location or 703-753-3338 to schedule your appointment at the South Riding, VA, location today!

By Prince William Foot & Ankle Center
February 09, 2017
Category: Foot health
Tags: Bunions  

You might be surprised by just how simple it is to treat your bunion.bunions

Did you know that bunions are one of the most common causes of foot pain? While experts will argue about whether high heels and tightly fitted shoes are to blame, bunions are caused by a joint misalignment and the shoes you wear can certainly exacerbate your condition. If our Gainesville, VA, podiatrist, Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, has already diagnosed you with a bunion here are some easy solutions for reducing your pain and managing your symptoms.

Conservative Care

Who says that bunion treatment has to be invasive or aggressive? Depending on how advanced your bunion is you may be able to tackle pain and discomfort with these simple measures alone:

Wear the right shoes: You want shoes that not only cushion and support your feet but also are wide enough to give your toes room to move. If your toes are bunched together then your shoes are too tight and will make your bunion worse.

Apply protective padding: Non-medicated moleskin pads can be applied over the bunion to protect it from rubbing against shoes and aggravating it. This padding can also prevent a callus from forming over the bunion.

Consider a night splint: Sometimes it’s a good idea to splint the foot at night so that it is held in the proper alignment as you sleep. This can take pressure off the bunion and reduce pain.

Take medications: If you are looking for another easy way to ease your pain you can also consider taking over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce swelling and discomfort. While medications will only provide temporary relief, they can be helpful on days when your bunion just isn’t cooperating.

Ice the angry joint: If you’ve spent a long day on your feet or your bunion is just a little-upset, try icing it to help alleviate soreness or inflammation. Make sure to always wrap ice packs in a towel and only apply it to the skin for 15-20 minutes at a time.

Surgical Treatment

If you’ve been trying every treatment in the book but nothing seems to be getting your bunion symptoms under control then it might be time to talk to our Gainesville foot doctor about whether surgery is the next step. Surgery shouldn’t be considered unless bunion symptoms are affecting your quality of life or if conservative treatment isn’t working.

Don’t let a bunion dictate what you can and can’t do. If these at-home options aren’t working for you, or if you are dealing with persistent pain, then it’s time you turned to the foot experts at Prince William Foot & Ankle Center in Gainesville, VA.

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