12-57 150th Street
Whitestone, New York 11357

718.767.5555

Dr. Stanley J. Zawada and the Family Foot Center staff have provided quality care to those suffering from foot pain and problems for more than 25 years.

We take ANY INSURANCE that lets US treat YOU!

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Your Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic and chronic autoimmune disease. It develops when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues. Among its other health consequences, RA can affect the feet. Because rheumatoid arthritis can inflict considerable damage over time, it’s important for patients with RA to work with a podiatrist.

Signs and Symptoms

Most patients with RA that affects the feet develop symptoms in multiple joints, often in both feet. The pain can affect the sole or ball of the foot. As the pain grows increasingly worse, patients are likely to experience functional impairments such as problems walking normally. The affected joints can be warm to the touch, and stiffness and swelling can be present. RA can give rise to other foot health problems, including hammertoes, corns, and bunions. Sometimes, the bones in the feet may even begin to shift out of their proper positions. This may result in fallen arches, which exacerbates the pain and walking difficulties. In addition to these health issues, patients with RA are likely to experience systemic symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, and fever.

Causes and Risk Factors

This autoimmune disease attacks the synovium, which is the lining around the joints. The inflammatory response causes the synovium to thicken. Eventually, cartilage and bone can be destroyed, and tendons and ligaments will weaken. It isn’t known exactly why some people develop RA, but several risk factors have been identified. These include being a woman between the ages of 40 and 60, having a family history of RA, being obese, and being a smoker.

Treatment Options

Rheumatoid arthritis is incurable, but your podiatrist can improve your comfort. Medications are available to manage the painful symptoms and even delay the progression of the disease. Injected steroids can address the inflammation in the feet and physical therapy can help maintain mobility. In some cases, a podiatrist may recommend surgery to manage certain deformities such as bunions and hammertoes.

For all of your podiatric medicine needs in Whitestone, you can put your trust in Family Foot Center. Our highly trained podiatrist offers both conservative and surgical treatment options. New and current patients can reach us at (718) 767-5555 to request an evaluation.

Could Your Shoes Be to Blame for Your Foot Pain?

One of the most impactful ways to protect your foot health is simply to choose the right footwear. Wearing the wrong shoes can create many health problems that you’ll need to see a podiatrist for. These can include bunions, hammertoes, corns, and plantar fasciitis—just to name a few. If you’ve developed persistent foot pain or similar symptoms, visit a podiatrist promptly to prevent the problem from getting worse.

Bunions

Bunions are often caused by wearing shoes that do not give the feet enough room. You may have a bunion if the base of your big toe appears to protrude away from the foot. Although this may be painless initially, it can cause significant pain and swelling as the bunion grows larger and the toe begins to point inwards. To treat bunions, your podiatrist will likely recommend a change in footwear and other conservative treatments. Surgery is sometimes necessary.

Hammertoes

In contrast to bunions, hammertoes affect the middle joint of the toes. A hammertoe occurs when this joint curls upward, rather than extending outward. This condition often develops because of shoes that are too tight. Hammertoes can affect any of the toes except for the big toe. If you notice signs of hammertoes, see a podiatrist as soon as possible. This problem is easily corrected when treated early, but may later require surgery. Hammertoes may also lead to corns, inflammation, and open sores.

Corns

Corns, which are thickened areas of skin, can develop when the shoe exerts too much pressure on the foot. Before corns get too painful, switch to a shoe with a roomier toe box and consider using foam pads in the area to reduce the friction.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the band of tissue on the bottom of the foot. It can cause very sharp, severe pain in the heel when weight is placed on the foot. If you have plantar fasciitis, your doctor may recommend a shoe with more cushioning in the heel. Orthotic inserts and cold therapy can also help.

Here at Family Foot Center, we understand how debilitating severe or chronic foot pain can be. Visit our foot doctor serving the Whitestone community to figure out the exact cause of your symptoms and get personalized treatment recommendations. You can reach us today at (718) 767-5555.

How Often Should You Replace Your Running Shoes?

Podiatrists recommend replacing running shoes regularly to reduce your risk of injuries. Over time, the cushioning and support of a high-quality running shoe will degrade. Unfortunately, many runners replace their shoes too late. The frequency at which you should get new shoes depends on how many miles you typically run each week and the starting quality of your shoes. Generally, aim for a new pair of shoes every 300 to 500 miles. If you aren’t sure what your particular needs are, ask your foot doctor for guidance.

He or she may advise you to consider whether you’re experiencing any new aches and pains. This could be a sign that your shoes are no longer giving you the proper support and may be compromising your foot health. You could also press your thumb into the midsole area of the shoe. If it feels hard and unyielding, rather than comfortable and cushioning, then it’s time to get some new shoes.

Athletes and non-athletes alike can turn to a foot doctor in Whitestone for expert guidance. Call Family Foot Center at (718) 767-5555 and let us know how we can help you.

What You Can Do to Prevent and Treat Hammertoes

Hammertoes are painful foot deformities that are characterized by the abnormal bend of toes in the middle joint. This abnormality should be evaluated by a podiatrist as soon as possible. If you wait too long to visit a foot doctor, the deformity will worsen and be more difficult to treat conservatively.

Watch this video to find out what recommendations your foot doctor may make, such as a change in footwear or the use of shoe padding and inserts. Of course, prevention is always best. You can reduce your risk of developing hammertoes by wearing properly fitting shoes with a wide, deep toe box.

If you notice the potential signs of hammertoes and you live in Whitestone, you can turn to Family Foot Center for expert help. Call (718) 767-5555 to request an examination with our podiatrist.

Common Types of Foot Fungus and How to Avoid Them

Foot fungus can be an embarrassing condition to have, but it’s important to seek medical care instead of trying to hide the signs of an infection. A podiatrist can help you treat all types of foot and toenail infections. He or she will also give you some valuable tips for reducing your risk of recurrent fungal infections.

Types

Two of the most common types of foot infections are athlete’s foot, also called tinea pedis, and toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis. Athlete’s foot is highly contagious. It typically begins between the toes. If you have athlete’s foot, you’ll likely notice a red, scaly rash in these areas, along with intense itching. Athlete’s foot can also sometimes involve blisters, ulcers, or very dry, scaly skin that extends from the soles up the sides of the foot. Athlete’s foot is caused by the fungus that also causes jock itch and ringworm. As the term implies, toenail fungus affects the nails. It typically begins as a yellow or white spot that gradually causes nail discoloration, thickening, and even crumbling. Toenail infections are often the result of a dermatophyte fungus, although they might also be caused by yeasts and molds.

Footwear

To prevent athlete’s foot and fungal nail infections, your podiatrist might recommend a change in footwear. Look for socks that feature wicking material that keep moisture away from your skin. Choose shoes made from a breathable material that help keep your feet dry. If you use public pools or locker room shower areas, always wear sandals or shower shoes in these public places. Replace your shoes as soon as they become worn out; wearing old shoes can introduce infection.

Hygiene

Keep your feet as clean and dry as possible. After bathing or swimming, be sure to thoroughly dry the spaces between your toes. Apply talcum powder or an antifungal powder to your feet before putting on socks. After trimming your toenails (straight across, not curved), wash your hands well.

Foot fungus is one of the many foot health problems we can treat here at Family Foot Center in Whitestone. If you’ve been suffering from dry, itchy feet, foot pain, or other symptoms, you can schedule an appointment with our podiatrist right away. Call (718) 767-5555 or browse our website for more information.

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