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Posts for category: Foot Condition

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.

By Michael Guerra, DPM
May 15, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: toenail fungus  

Toenail fungus can be incredibly difficult to treat at home, even if you apply over-the-counter products daily. Fortunately, laser treatments toenail fungusfrom your Burlington, VT, podiatrist, Dr. Michael Guerra can help clear your nails with less effort.

Why isn't home treatment helping?

Over-the-counter anti-fungal treatments only reach the outer layers of your toenails. The fungus can lurk deep inside nails and is often present on the skin under the nail. No matter how diligently you apply the product, it may never clear your nail.

How does laser treatment work?

Laser treatment targets the yellow pigment in toenail fungus. The energy from the light beam heats the pigment to help kill the fungal spores. The laser is aimed at only the fungus and doesn't damage any of the surrounding healthy skin.

Does laser nail fungus treatment hurt?

The laser that your Burlington foot doctor uses produces short bursts of laser energy to prevent your toe from becoming too hot. Although you'll notice that your toe feels a little warm or tingles when the laser beam is activated, treatment isn't uncomfortable in the least.

Will my toe look better immediately?

Over the course of 3-4 months a new clear nail will grow out replacing the old discolored nail.

How much downtime will I need?

There is absolutely no downtime needed with laser treatment. After you leave your foot doctor's office, you can go right back to work or continue your usual daily activities!

How can I avoid fungal infections in the future?

You can reduce your risk of developing a new infection by wearing shoes and sandals in locker rooms and other public areas. If someone in your family has toenail fungus, don't share towels, washcloths, shoes or socks. Wash shared bedding often and use the hot water wash cycle.

Fungi thrive in sweaty shoes and other dark, moist environments. Choose shoes made of breathable materials, and alternate the shoes you wear. If your feet perspire heavily, wash your feet and change your socks during the day.

Give us a call!

Are you interested in laser treatment for nail fungus? Call your Burlington, VT, podiatrist, Dr. Michael Guerra, at (802) 862-8666 to schedule an appointment!

By Michael Guerra, DPM
March 06, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Is heel pain keeping you down? Pain that occurs following an injury or early in an illness may play a protective role, warning us about the damage we have suffered. SoYour Heel Pain Could Be Plantar Fasciitis what causes heel pain?
Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition in which a band of tissue in the sole of the foot becomes inflamed, leading to severe heel pain. The pain can be so bad that it hurts to walk, much less exercise or perform daily activities. If one step causes shooting pain in your heel—especially when you first get out of bed in the morning or stand up after sitting for a long period of time—plantar fasciitis may be to blame. Contact your podiatrist immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment of your pain. 

Understanding Heel Pain with Help from Your Podiatrist

Plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, occurs when the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension. This causes the soft tissue fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length, leading to inflammation, pain and possibly the growth of a bone spur where it attaches to the heel bone.
Inflammation may become irritated by shoes that lack appropriate support, mainly in the arch area and by the constant irritation associated with an athletic lifestyle. Resting may provide temporary relief, but when you resume walking you may experience a sudden elongation of the fascia band, which stretches and pulls on the heel. As you walk the pain may lessen or even disappear, but that may just be a false sense of relief, as the pain will often return after prolonged rest or extensive walking.  
You can take steps now to avoid heel pain, including:
  • Wear shoes that fit well
  • Wear proper shoes for each activity
  • Do not wear shoes with excessive wear on heels or soles
  • Prepare properly before exercising by stretching and warming up
  • Pace yourself when you participate in athletic activities
  • Don’t underestimate your body’s need for rest and good nutrition
  • Lose excess weight
If pain and other symptoms of inflammation persist, you should limit your normal daily activities and contact your podiatrist immediately.  
By Michael Guerra, DPM
January 11, 2019
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Heel Pain  

Find out when to turn to a podiatrist to treat your heel pain.

Heel pain will happen to most people at some point during their lifetime; however, if this is the first time you are dealing with heel pain you may not know what’s going on or how to treat your symptoms. This is where our South Burlington, VT, podiatrist Dr. Michael Guerra can help you.

So, what could be causing your heel pain?

While there are many reasons why you might be dealing with this symptom the most common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis, which causes inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet and it also supports the arches of the foot.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

When there is too much pressure applied to the foot it can cause microtears within the plantar fascia, which leads to a throbbing and stabbing heel pain. Athletes, those with flat feet and those with high arches are particularly prone to developing plantar fasciitis.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

The most common symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis are heel pain and stiffness, which is usually worse in the mornings or after sitting for long periods of time. The pain may ease up throughout the day.

When should I see a podiatrist?

If you have had plantar fasciitis before then chances are good that you’ll know when another bout flares up. In this case, you may choose to ease your symptoms and promote faster healing with simple at-home measures such as rest. Of course, if this is the first time you’ve ever experienced this type of heel pain, or if at-home care isn’t giving you the relief you need, then it’s important to turn to our South Burlington, VT, foot doctor as soon as possible.

If heel pain is affecting your daily routine or quality of life then it’s important that you turn to our South Burlington, VT, foot and ankle specialists to help get you back on your feet. Foot pain isn’t normal! Let our team at Burlington Podiatry help.

By Michael Guerra, DPM
November 03, 2017
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Morton's Neuroma  

A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of your body. In the foot, the most common occurring neuroma develops at the base of the third and fourth toes. This condition is referred to as Morton's neuroma.

There are typically no physical signs of Morton's neuroma, such as a lump or a knot. Instead, symptoms may include:

  • A sharp, achy or burning pain in the ball of your foot
  • Numbness, tingling, or cramping in the toes or forefoot
  • Feeling as if you're standing on a pebble in your shoe

While the exact cause of Morton's neuroma is unknown, the growth of the neuroma seems to occur in response to injury, pressure or irritation to one of the nerves that lead to the toes. People with foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes and flat feet are at higher risk for developing a neuroma. Women are also more likely to develop this condition, as wearing high-heels or narrow-toed shoes can increase pressure on the toes. Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running.

Morton's neuroma can make walking and performing normal activities difficult and painful. Treatment options vary with severity, and identifying the neuroma in its earliest stage of development is important to avoid more invasive treatments or surgical correction. Left untreated, neuromas tend to worsen, so it's always best to visit our office at the first sign of pain.

Early treatments aim to relieve or reduce pressure on the area around the affected toes. Depending on the severity of your neuroma, a podiatrist may recommend:

  • Modifications to footwear. Wide-toed shoes relieve pressure on the neuroma.
  • Shoe inserts or padding to provide support for the arch of the foot, which removes pressure from the nerve.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications can help ease any pain and inflammation. Ask your doctor first.
  • Icing to reduce inflammation.
  • Rest to lessen repetitive pressure on the neuroma.

In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended for patients who do not respond to conservative treatments. We can help you determine the best approach for your specific condition.