Items filtered by date: September 2023

Monday, 30 October 2023 20:00

Reasons for Swollen Feet

Swollen feet can cause both inconvenience and discomfort, but ignoring them may be dangerous, as edema can be a symptom of an underlying condition. One of the most common causes of swollen feet is pregnancy, which can be the result of increased fluid retention and hormonal changes. Injuries to the leg or ankle can lead to swelling, as ligaments stretch beyond their normal range of motion. Lymphedema, another cause of swelling, results from the accumulation of lymphatic fluid, often after cancer radiation therapy or lymph node removal. Venous insufficiency, which stems from damaged vein valves in the legs and feet, can also cause the feet to swell, and can be accompanied by potential symptoms such as ulcers and skin discoloration. Infections pose a risk, especially for those with diabetic neuropathy or nerve problems, making regular foot exams with a podiatrist essential for diabetics patients. Certain medications can induce foot swelling as a side effect, necessitating consultation with a podiatrist. Arthritis can affect joints, causing swelling as a result of increased synovial fluid or inflammation. While mild foot swelling may not always warrant medical attention, chest pain, breathing difficulties, or shortness of breath require immediate evaluation as they may indicate pulmonary edema. If you notice sudden or unusual swelling in your feet, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist at your earliest opportunity.

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact Thomas Vail, DPM of Step Alive Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:

  • Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
  • Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
  • Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
  • Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.

Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet. 

Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.

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


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Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, are a common condition that affects individuals of all ages. Identifying whether you have flat feet involves recognizing various signs and symptoms. First, stand on an even surface and observe the soles of your feet. If your arches touch the ground entirely or appear significantly lowered, you may have flat feet. Pain or discomfort in the feet, particularly in the arches, heels, or calves, can also indicate flat feet. Additionally, your shoes may wear out more on the inner side, revealing your foot's pronation pattern. Consulting a podiatrist for a thorough evaluation and diagnosis is essential to determine if you have flat feet. A podiatrist will explore appropriate treatments and support options for your specific needs. If you think you have flat feet, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with this type of doctor as soon as possible.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Thomas Vail, DPM from Step Alive Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  


  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn


If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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

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Toenail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis, can be a persistent and unsightly problem. However, staying vigilant and proactive can help you maintain healthy toenails. One of the primary prevention strategies is maintaining good foot hygiene. Regularly wash your feet with soap and water, ensuring to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Keep your toenails trimmed and cut them straight across to prevent debris buildup. Opt for breathable footwear and moisture-wicking socks to reduce the risk of fungal growth in damp environments. If you visit public pools or locker rooms, it is helpful to wear shower shoes that can minimize contact with potentially contaminated surfaces. Additionally, avoid sharing personal items such as nail clippers or shoes with others. Lastly, manage underlying health conditions, as problems like diabetes or weakened immune systems can increase susceptibility to toenail fungus. If you have toenail fungus, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist for effective treatment methods and additional prevention strategies.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Thomas Vail, DPM of Step Alive Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.


  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail


If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.


In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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


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Monday, 09 October 2023 20:00

Pregnancy and Foot Woes

Pregnancy is a transformative journey filled with numerous physical changes, some of which can lead to aches and pains in the feet. These discomforts are often attributed to the body's natural adjustments to accommodate the growing baby. One common issue is swollen feet and ankles, caused by increased blood volume and pressure on leg veins. This can result in edema, a condition where excess fluid accumulates in the feet and ankles, causing swelling and discomfort. Another reason for foot pain during pregnancy is weight gain, which places added stress on the feet, leading to arch pain or plantar fasciitis. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also affect ligaments and tendons, potentially causing instability and discomfort. To alleviate these discomforts, pregnant individuals are advised to wear supportive, comfortable shoes, and to elevate their feet whenever possible. Additionally, engaging in gentle foot exercises can help to improve circulation and flexibility. Understanding these common aches and pains can help expectant parents navigate this incredible journey with more comfort and confidence. If you would like more information about specific foot conditions during pregnancy, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Thomas Vail, DPM from Step Alive Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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

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A broken toe can happen to anyone, whether it is from a sudden accident or a simple misstep. The first step in treating a broken toe is recognizing the signs. Pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty in moving the toe are common indicators. If you suspect a break, it is essential to seek medical attention promptly. To confirm the broken toe, a diagnosis is often needed by having an X-ray taken. In the meantime, you can take some steps to alleviate discomfort. Resting the affected foot and elevating it may help to reduce swelling. Immobilize the toe by buddy-taping it to an adjacent healthy toe, which can provide support and stability during the healing process. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help to manage pain, and it is helpful to avoid putting weight on the injured toe. If the fracture is severe or displaced, the toe may need to be reset or placed in a splint. Healing a broken toe takes time, so it is advised to be patient and take good care of your injured toe. If you have broken your toe, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat this injury.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Thomas Vail, DPM from Step Alive Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

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

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