My Blog

By Michael Guerra, DPM
September 27, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Bunions  

With the ability to cause nagging discomfort throughout the day and prohibit daily movements as simple as walking, bunions can quickly turn from a barely noticeable bump on your toe, to a painful deformity that detracts from your over wellbeing. Fortunately, if caught early, you can prevent this podiatric issue from developing into a serious problem. Read on to learn if you could be suffering from this condition, and whether you should take a visit to your local podiatrist.


Signs That You May Have a Bunion

Generally forming on the side of your big toe, bunions are hard, bony lumps that are often caused by wearing poorly-fitted shoes (especially high heels), having genetic predispositions, or experiencing a foot injury. If you think that you may have a bunion, be on the lookout for these symptoms:

  • A bony protrusion at the base of your toe
  • A generally red discoloration
  • A feeling of tightness in previously comfortable shoes

The above-listed symptoms describe the beginning stages of a bunion, a point during which your podiatrist will likely recommend a conservative approach to treatment. However, you may require more extensive medical care if you begin to notice these signs:

  • Persistent pain and swelling
  • Periodic numbness of the foot
  • Restricted and slowed movement of the toe/foot



For less serious bunion cases, ones in which there isn’t pain yet and movement is still unrestricted, your podiatrist may recommend:

  • Soaking your foot in warm water
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as Aspirin
  • Wearing appropriate shoe inserts
  • Avoiding tight-fitting footwear

In severe bunion cases, your podiatrist will likely recommend a more rigorous treatment approach in order to alleviate pain and increase mobility. Some of these options include:

  • Custom-made orthotics to maintain toe alignment
  • Regular physical therapy and a specialized exercise regiment
  • Bunionectomy, a surgery to remove the bunion and realign the foot (this is only necessary in the most extreme of cases)


Concerned? Contact Us

If you feel that bunions are disrupting your life, then take the pro-active approach and schedule an appointment at our office to learn how to regain your health.

By Michael Guerra, DPM
September 26, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Plantar Fasciitis  

Is heel pain affecting your feet in Burlington, VT? If so, you may be wondering what’s going on and whether it’s something you can treat on your own. Our podiatrist Dr. Michael Guerra sees a lot of patients suffering from heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Not sure whether you are dealing with plantar fasciitis? Here’s how to tell,

While there are many conditions that can cause heel pain the most common cause is plantar fasciitis, a condition that leads to irritation or inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia runs lengthwise along the soles of the feet and provides the arches with support. Therefore, you may be dealing with plantar fasciitis if you experience heel pain and stiffness at the bottom of the heel that may radiate to the arches of the feet. There may even be swelling around the heel.

Heel pain will usually be worse in the morning when first getting up. This is because the relaxed and constricted fascia stretches out when you move; therefore, those first few steps may result in a stabbing and severe pain that usually eases up as you continue to move around. Exercising, climbing stairs and other physical activities can also exacerbate your pain.

Don’t Ignore Heel Pain

It may be tempting to just go about your day or even continue working out despite the pain but this is a bad idea. Foot pain, particularly any new or persistent pain, should be evaluated by our Burlington, VT, foot doctor as soon as possible. After all, there are many issues that could cause heel pain and you might not have plantar fasciitis.

Luckily, plantar fasciitis can often be treated with simple conservative care such as resting, icing, stretching and wearing appropriate footwear that supports the arches of the feet. A podiatrist may prescribe custom orthotics if you are prone to heel pain. Those with chronic heel pain may require more aggressive treatment such as shockwave therapy, steroid injections and even surgery (in very rare cases).

If you are dealing with heel pain for the first time it’s important that you have a foot specialist in Burlington, VT, that you can turn to for an evaluation. Burlington Podiatry is here to provide you with the care you need. Call our office today.

By Michael Guerra, DPM
August 30, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Foot Odor  

The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, which means they have the ability to sweat profusely. With your feet encased in your shoes all day and the sweat unable to evaporate, bacteria will begin to grow rapidly. Bacteria then begins to break down the sweat, generating an unpleasant odor. Other factors can contribute to increased perspiration, including anxiety, hormonal changes, medications and various skin conditions.

Foot odor is a common problem, especially among those who perspire excessively, but it can be both embarrassing and physically uncomfortable. If you suffer from foot odor, rest assured that simple lifestyle changes and improved personal hygiene can help reduce and eliminate the smell.

Easy Ways to Eliminate Foot Odor

Since most foot odor is caused from excess sweat and the growth of odor-causing bacteria, it's relatively easy to control and reduce foot odor on your own. Start by taking the following preventative steps:

  • Keep your feet clean by washing them with an antibacterial soap on a regular basis to minimize bacteria.
  • Keep feet dry as moisture enables the growth of bacteria.
  • Alternate shoes and avoid wearing the same pair for multiple days in a row.
  • Choose open shoes such as sandals when possible, allowing air onto the feet which evaporates sweat and slows the growth of bacteria.
  • Wear cotton socks which wick away moisture and absorb perspiration.
  • Apply foot sprays and powders to the feet. Ask your podiatrist for recommended products.
  • Disinfect, wash and discard foul smelling shoes as necessary.

The causes of foot odor are typically not harmful to your health, but do create an environment for the growth of fungus and bacteria. It's not unusual for infections such as toenail fungus and athlete's foot to develop as a result.

When improving your foot hygiene doesn't help reduce the smell, you may need to visit your podiatrist, as persistent foot odor can indicate an infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem. Visit our office, and we'll work with you to determine the cause and most effective treatment for your condition!

By Michael Guerra, DPM
July 31, 2019
Category: Podiatry
Tags: Sprained Ankle  

Signs and Treatment for Sprained Ankles

Do you have a sprained ankle? Ankle sprains are among the most common injuries. Ankle sprains sprain occur when the ligaments in the ankle are stretched or torn. Ankle sprains can be very painful and incapacitating. If you have an ankle sprain, it's a good idea to see your podiatrist. Read on to to learn about the signs and treatment for sprained ankles.

Signs You Have a Sprained Ankle

1. Pain: An ankle sprain can be painful and can make it hard to carry out your day-to-day activities. You may also feel discomfort when you place weight on the affected area. The pain may worsen when the area is pressed and during standing or walking.

2. Redness: A sprained ankle can cause warmth and redness around the affected area. If your ankle is warm, red, and swollen, it is inflamed. Warmth and redness is caused by increased blood flow to the area.

3. Swelling: When an ankle is injured with a sprain, inflammation occurs. Swelling is the body’s protective response to an injury. Inflammation occurs because of increased fluid in the tissue. This is a normal reaction of the body and is the start of the healing process. However, sometimes the body produces more swelling that necessary.

4. Bruising: A sprained ankle causes bruising around the affected joint. A contusion, commonly known as a bruise, is made up of blood beneath the skin. A bruise results in a discoloration of the skin. Bruising is a result of injury to the blood vessels in the skin.

5. Stiffness: A sprained ankle causes limited range of motion and stiffness. Inflammation and pain often limit movement after the injury. Your podiatrist may advise against moving the ankle to allow your ankle to heal. Your podiatrist may also design an exercise program to reduce stiffness after the injury.

Treating a Sprained Ankle

1. Rest your ankle: All ankle sprains require a period of rest. Resting your ankle will allow the healing process to begin. Stay off your feet to allow your ankle to heal. Gently exercise your ankle on a regular basis to reduce stiffness. Avoid strenuous activites, such as running and aerobics, until you can walk without it causing any pain.

2. Elevate your ankle: Keep your ankle raised above the level of your chest for several days after injury. Use pillows to keep your foot elevated. Keep your foot elevated for a few hours per day until your ankle stops swelling. Elevation is important after an injury as it helps to reduce the amount of blood flow to the injured area. This helps to reduce the inflammation, bruising, and pain.

3. Ice your ankle: Ice treatment can help decrease pain, swelling, bruising, and muscle spasms. To make an ice pack, fill a freezer bag with ice. Put an ice pack on your injured ankle for 10 minutes every 2 hours. Wrap an elastic medical bandage around the ice pack to hold it in place. You should not use ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. If you have circulation issues or diabetes, talk to your doctor before applying ice.

4. Compress your ankle: Apply a compression bandage from the toes to above the ankle. Wrapping your ankle will help to avoid bruising and swelling. Wrap the bandage around your ankle and foot, and secure it with medical tape. Make sure the bandage doesn't restrict blood flow to your toes or make the pain worse. Do combine compression with elevationa and rest whenever possible.

5. Take a pain reliever: If you have severe pain, a narcotic pain reliever can make you feel better. An OTC pain reliever may also help reduce the pain and swelling. Most medical professionals recommend anti-inflammatory medicines such as naproxen, ibuprofen, or ketoprofen. You can also take acetaminophen for pain, although this medicine does not reduce inflammation. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

6. See a doctor: A podiatrist can diagnose and treat an ankle sprain. Your doctor may order x-rays to determine if you have a broken bone in your ankle. You may receive an ankle brace to keep your ankle from moving and allow ligaments to heal. Your doctor will also give you medications to reduce swelling and pain. Once you can bear weight without increased pain, your doctor will add strengthening exercises to your treatment plan.

Whether your goal is getting back to work, hobbies, sports, the gym, or just enjoying life, a podiatrist can help. If you have an ankle sprain, search for a podiatrist in your area and schedule an appointment. A podiatrist can help you get back on track in no time!

By Michael Guerra, DPM
July 19, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Heel Pain  

If jogging, walking, or even just standing causes a sharp pain in your heel, you may have plantar fasciitis—an inflammation of the foot's Heel Painconnective tissue that is most evident in the morning or following exercise. The condition can make everyday activities painful and difficult, but with the help of Michael Guerra, DPM, of Burlington Podiatry in Burlington, VT, your feet can soon be feeling great once again!


What causes heel pain?

The plantar fascia ligament, a tissue that attaches your heel bone to your toes, can become irritated for many reasons, including wearing shoes without proper supports, carrying heavy amounts of weight, or doing repetitive foot exercises. Additionally, if you have flat feet, high arches, or tight calf muscles you may be more susceptible to heel pain. If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, the bottom of your foot will likely feel tender, with pain centralized on the underside of your heel.


What our Burlington office can do for your pain

Depending on the severity of your heel pain, your podiatrist may try or recommend one or more of the following:

  • Shock wave therapy ( EPAT)
  • Massaging and icing of the area to reduce inflammation and dull pain
  • Physical therapy exercises to relax the tissues around the heel bone, including stair, towel, slant board and dynamic stretches
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Custom orthotic shoe inserts to reduce strain and irritation
  • Cortisone injections to decrease inflammation
  • Night splints to keep your heel stretched out as you sleep
  • Shock wave therapy to inflict micro trauma on your tissue and stimulate it to heal
  • Abstaining from weight-bearing activity


Give us a call

If you are suffering from heel pain, contact Michael Guerra, DPM in Burlington at (802) 862-8666 today.

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