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General

What is a podiatrist?

When should I see a podiatrist?

What is causing joint pain in my feet?

What effects can smoking have on my feet?

What can I do to treat shin splints?

What is causing my feet to smell and how can I cure it?

What should I do on a daily basis to take care of my feet?

What can food do for your feet?

Ankle Conditions

What is an ankle sprain and how long does it take to recover?

Arthritis and Joint Conditions

What are the symptoms of Gout?

What foods trigger gout attacks?

Does Exercise help arthritis?

Bunions

What are some bunion treatment options?

How long does bunion surgery recovery last?

Children’s Foot Care

What should I do about my child’s foot pain?

Circulatory Conditions

What are the signs of poor blood circulation?

Diabetes

Is my diabetes causing the burning/tingling sensation in my foot?

I have cracked skin on my feet, what can I do?

Is dry skin a side effect of diabetes?

How can I take care of my foot if I have diabetes?

Why don’t diabetic foot ulcers heal?

Fractures

How do I know if I have a broken bone in my foot?

What’s the difference between an ankle sprain and a fracture?

Forefoot Conditions

What is causing this pain in the ball of my foot?

What is the difference between hammer, mallet, and claw toes?

Heel and Arch Conditions

Why do I have pain in my heel?

Can obesity cause heel pain?

What are some good stretches for heel pain?

What is the best way to treat heel pain?

What should I do to relieve bursitis pain?

Nail Conditions

What are the treatments for an ingrown toenail?

Why are my toenails discolored?

Orthotics and Shoes

What can custom orthotics do for me?

Can footwear really make that big of a difference?

What are the best shoes for people with flat feet?

What kind of running shoe should I buy?

Are my shoes giving me bunions?

What do wear patterns in my shoes say about my feet?

Skin Conditions

How do I know if I have athlete’s foot?

Does athlete’s foot happen to only athletes?

What is the difference between a corn and a callus?

What is a foot neuroma?

How do you treat plantar warts?

Sports Injuries

Do I have a sprain or a strain?

How can I prevent stress fractures?

How are stress fractures treated?

What is turf toe?

Toenails

What’s the best way to trim toenails?

Q: What is a Podiatrist?

A: A podiatrist is a doctor that specializes in conditions of the foot and ankle. It is though several years of experience and education, that a doctor will officially be name a certified podiatrist. More specifically, the doctor is required to finish a four year undergraduate degree and receive four years education from a college of podiatric medicine. After all of this training and education is completed the doctor is officially named a podiatrist.

Dr. Lawrence Kales completed his Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He then took his education further by attending Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine.

Now with over 30 years of experience, Podiatrist Lawrence Kales is known for his outstanding customer service and treatments for bunions, diabetic foot care, hammertoes, heel pain, ambulatory foot surgery and all other foot and ankle conditions. He is also recognized as a diplomat of the American Board of Ambulatory Foot Surgery. Currently, Podiatrist Lawrence Kales owns two offices located in Hudson and Spring Hill Florida. It is through these offices and his affiliated hospitals that he serves the greater West Pasco and West Hernando counties of Florida.

Podiatrists are recognized by the federal government as physicians in most states. By the end of their education they are able to specialize in foot surgery, sports medicine, bio mechanics, orthopedics and primary care.

If you are suffering from a foot condition, contact our office and end your suffering.

Q: When should I see a podiatrist?

A: Almost all foot conditions will get worse over time. Seeking medical attention early is the most effective way to prevent complications. If you are suffering from diabetes, toenail fungus, heel pain or ingrown toenails, you should see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

For patients with diabetes– Diabetes can have devastating effects on your feet. By means of diabetic neuropathy and poor blood circulation, foot conditions such as foot ulcers, calluses and cracked skin can get infected easily and eventually lead to amputation.

For patients with toenail fungusToenail fungus, if left untreated, can cause your toenails to turn yellow, crack and eventually fall off. Since toenail fungus is contagious, your loved ones are also at risk because of your condition.

For patients with heel pain – Since there are many different kinds of heel pain, it is important to get your feet checked as soon as possible. In many cases, if left untreated, pain will get worse and the work required to stop the pain will become difficult. We always treat heel pain conservatively first but surgery can be required to stop advanced stages of heel pain.

For patients with ingrown toenailsIngrown toenails should be checked immediately. As a toenail begins to grow into the toe, pain will follow. As time passes the nail will begin to irritate and break into the skin of your toe. When this happens your toe can get infected and eventually lead to a bone infection.

So the simple answer is: Do not wait. Most foot conditions can be treated conservatively and pain free during the onset of the condition. This is not only cost effective but also the healthiest way to live.

Q: Is my diabetes causing the burning/tingling sensation in my foot?

A: Diabetes can have many different affects on the feet. But one of the most common is diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy refers to nerve damage in the feet. It is also direct result of unbalanced blood glucose levels and poor blood circulation tied to diabetes. This type of neuropathy is also known as peripheral neurpathy.

Nerve damage can cause a change in walking posture, which can lead to foot ulcers, blisters and calluses. If left untreated these problems can get worse and lead to infection. This is especially true for foot ulcers.

As you continue to walk with poor posture, you will apply excessive pressure to different parts of your foot with out even knowing. This will cause a foot ulcer to form. If a foot ulcer goes untreated, it can get infected and eventually lead to amputation. One great way to avoid this is to get explore the various types of footwear for diabetics.

It is important that you consult a podiatrist immediately if you have have these feelings. Additionally, it is important for you to examine your feet on a regular basis in case you have sustained a foot injury.

At our office we will fully evaluate your condition and diagnose according to your health and needs. Neuropathy can be a very difficult condition to treat and diaganose, but with over 30 years of experience, Podiatrist Lawrence Kales will effectively treat your problem. Remember, promptly getting help will allow you to avoid many complications in the future.

Q: I have cracked skin on my feet, what can I do?

A: Dry skin can lead to cracked skin down the road. Cracked skin commonly develops around the heel of the foot first. It is important if you have dry skin on your feet, to take care of it as soon as possible. You can do this by applying creams or moisturizers. It is important to avoid using regular hand lotions because they commonly contain alcohol which will only dry your skin further.

If you start to experience bleeding from your cracked skin it is important that apply an anti-biotic cream and contact our office immediately! We can prescribe effective creams that will help fight infection and stop your skin from drying out. Podiatrist Lawrence Kales will also help you understand your condition and help to prevent it from happening again. You can call our podiatric office in Hudson at (727)868-2128 and our Spring Hill office at (532)683-5799.

Q: Is dry skin a side effect of diabetes?

A: Dry skin is often associated with diabetes. This is caused by poor blood circulation associated with diabetes. By restricting the amount of blood that reaches your feet, you are also restricting the amount of nutrients that reach your foot. The result of this is dry skin.

Since many diabetics have dry skin on their feet, it is important that they perform regular foot examinations. Because of diabetic neuropathy and poor blood circulation, many sores and open wounds resulting from dry skin can go un-noticed. After time, the wounds can get infected and will require extra work for full recovery.

If you have dry skin, do not wait to start treating it! By staying on top of your condition you will be able to prevent many complications. If you would like to set up an appointment with Podiatrist Lawrence Kales, you can call our podiatric office in Hudson at (727)868-2128 or our Spring Hill office at (352)683-5799.

Q: How do I know if I have athlete’s foot?

A: There are many different skin conditions associated with feet. One of the most common is athletes foot. This condition will often present itself with red, swollen and sometimes blistered, scaly skin. It is also common for it to cause severe itching.

Diagnosing athlete’s foot can be a difficult task, making it important to have any of the described symptoms evaluated promptly. Many times the symptoms of athlete’s foot closely resemble several other skin conditions such as eczema, or dermatitis. For this reason it is always best to contact our office. Improper diagnosis could cause your condition to get worse and could prolong the irritating itching.

Having over 30 years of podiatric experience, Dr. Lawrence Kales will be able to quickly determine the cause of your skin condition. After diagnosis, Podiatrist Lawrence Kales will prescribe a treatment plan that is most effective for your special case. Contact our Hudson podiatric office by calling (727) 868-2128. You may also call our Spring Hill podiatric office at (352) 683-5799. Requesting an appointment can be done easily through our online appointment request form.

Q: Does athlete’s foot happen to only athletes?

A: The answer is a big NO! Athletes foot is caused by a contagious fungal infection and can be contracted by anyone. You can encounter and contract the fungi in a public restroom, locker room, or at home. If someone in your family already has athlete’s foot, it is important that their footwear, sheets and towels get cleaned regularly. Avoiding going barefoot is also essential. This will prevent the fungi from spreading through your house.

The name “athlete’s foot” comes from the fact that it is most frequently seen in athletes, but do not let the name deceive you! Podiatrist Lawrence Kales has treated many people with this foot condition just from having walked around barefoot or in flip-flops.

If think you have athlete’s foot or have been unsuccessful clearing up a case with home treatments, do not hesitate to contact us! Call our podiatric office and stop the itching before it starts to get worse. You can contact us by calling our Hudson office at (727) 868-2128 or by calling our Spring Hill office at (352) 683-5799.

Q: Can footwear really make that big of a difference?

A: Shoes are important for all activities and should fit properly, regardless of your day-to-day activities. Whether you are diabetic, an athlete or are on your feet all day, wearing the correct footwear can help you avoid and treat a number of foot problems. This means avoiding heel pain, bunions, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, hammertoes, and foot ulcers.

For some people, like those with flat feet, corrective footwear may be required for optimal comfort and proper foot mechanics. This can be prescribed in the form of an orthotic or a carefully prescribed shoe. If you have flat feet or suffer from daily foot pain, your shoe could be the culprit. By choosing the correct footwear you could end your pain.

By contacting our office you can set up an appointment with Lawrence Kales DPM. Podiatrist Lawrence Kales will carefully assess your foot and lifestyle to prescribe the right footwear and give you the knowledge needed to pick the best shoe for your foot.

Q: How can I take care of my foot if I have diabetes?

A: Daily foot care is essential for any diabetic. Combining poor blood circulation and nerve damage, a diabetic’s foot becomes especially vulnerable to an array of problems. If you have diabetes, the most effective ways to take care of your foot are the following:

Wear proper footwear: By wearing properly fitted shoes and socks, you avoid constricting the amount of blood to your feet. You will also avoid the development of blisters, foot ulcers, corns and calluses.
Proper foot hygiene:By using warm water, and a gentle touch when washing you can care for your dry skin. Dry skin can lead to cracking skin, which, for diabetics, can lead to infections.
Exercise and plan an effective diet: By closely monitoring your blood glucose levels and exercising regularly you will promote healthy blood circulation. This will help with the effects of nerve damage and allow sufficient nutrients to reach the feet.
Daily foot inspections: You should check your feet at least once a day to make sure you have not developed a blister, sore or ingrown toenail. If you detect an abnormality you should contact our office immediately.

If you have an open wound or are developing a foot condition, contact our office as soon as possible. By leaving your foot untreated, you are susceptible to infection and in some cases, amputation.

Q: Why don’t diabetic foot ulcers heal?

A: There are a few specific answers to the question, “Why don’t diabetic foot ulcers heal?” The first is that nerve damage (neuropathy), a common symptom of diabetes due to high glucose levels, can inhibit your ability to even feel the wound in the first place. Since ulcers often develop on the bottom of the foot, an inability to feel pain can make a minor wound turn into a major ulcer over time.

Second, high glucose levels can also cause fatty deposits to form in your arteries. This impairs your circulation, which means the nutrients and oxygen necessary for healing do not reach the wound quickly.

Lastly, when blood sugar levels are high, your immune system does not work as efficiently, which is an imperative part of the healing process.

If you require treatment for an injury or ulcer, do not wait one more day before calling Dr. Lawrence Kales for treatment. Delayed intervention for an ulcer could result in possible amputation. Call Bayonet Point Foot Health Center in Hudson, FL, at (727) 868-2128 or Spring Hill Foot Health Center in Springhill, FL, at (352) 683-5799 for an appointment today.

Q: What is causing this pain in the ball of my foot?

A: Pain in the ball of the foot is a common occurrence for many people and can have many different causes. This pain is medically known as metatarsalgia and can come with many different sensations and descriptions of pain. Pain will often present itself in the middle of the foot when flexing or putting weight on the foot.

Strenuous activities, awkward foot mechanics, genetics and footwear can all play big roles in the development of metatrasalgia. This means having flat feet, high arches, bunions, hammertoes, Morton’s toe can all contribute to ball of the foot pain.

Adjusting footwear could stop your pain. In some cases treating metatarsalgia effectively can be difficult. That is why it is important to contact our office. Podiatrist Lawrence Kales will analyze your foot and prescribe custom orthotics if needed.

Q: What is the difference between hammer, mallet, and claw toes?

A: Hammertoes, mallet toes, and claw toes are all similar foot issues in the fact that toes are bent into an abnormal position. These conditions are all formed over the course of years and are typically caused by footwear that is too tight. Women are more likely to experience them more often than men on account of the nature of high heel shoes. The heel height and narrow toe box tend to lead to these deformities.

In spite of all the similarities, these are not the exact same issue. A hammertoe bends down at the middle joint. A mallet toe bends down toward the ground at the joint closest to the tip of the toe. Claw toe bends up at the joint where the foot and toe meets and then down at the other two joints, so the toe curls toward the floor.

No matter which of these three conditions you may be experiencing, Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle can provide the expert care and treatment you need. Call (352) 683-5799 for our Spring Hill, FL, office and (727) 868-2128 for our Hudson office.

Q: Why do I have pain in my heel?

A: Heel Pain has many different causes and understanding yours can help you stop the pain. Many cases of heel pain are the result of inflation in the plantar fascia. This is known as plantar fasciitis and is the result of strenuous physical activities, ill-fitting footwear, flat feet, and many other factors.

When talking about heel pain, the main cause comes down to daily tasks. Simply changing to tiled flooring in your house can cause heel pain to occur. If you are on your feet all day, or participate in sports, the constant stress and strain will result in heel pain.

Treatment for heel pain can be as easy as changing your shoes. For others custom orthotics or rest may be required to ease the pain. If you have had a long history of heel pain, surgery may be required. In either case, Podiatrist Lawrence Kales will effectively treat your condition.

Q: What is the difference between a corn and a callus?

A: Corns and calluses are closely related, but are not the same. Both appear as hard bumps on the surface of the foot. The location and look of the bump can indicate what you have and help you understand what is needed for treatment.

Corns typically appear as small protrusions with a hard center and swollen skin. These are commonly found on parts of the foot that do not experience force from body weight. This means you will find them between your toes and on top of your toes. Corns tend to be painful when pressing on them.

Calluses will appear as rough patches of skin on parts of the foot that encounter body weight. This means you will find them on the ball and heel of the foot. Most commonly, calluses show up as dry, flakey and yellow or grey in color. Pain from a callus is not normal and should be addressed promptly.

Both corns and calluses result from wearing ill-fitting socks or shoes. If you experience pain from a corn or callus, you should seek help from one of our Florida podiatric offices. By requesting an appointment online you will be one step closer to ending your pain.

Q: What is a foot neuroma?

A: A neuroma will typically occur in the ball of the foot and refers to a benign tumor on a nerve. However, when talking about the foot, a neuroma is commonly mistaken for Morton’s Neuroma. Contrary to the implications of the name, morton’s neuroma is a not a tumor. It is actually a swelling or thickening of tissue around a nerve in the foot. This swelling most typically occurs between the 2nd, 3rd and 4th toes.

Many patients describe the symptoms as “stepping on a stone or marble”. This feeling is related to other foot problems such as metatarsalgia, and bone fractures. To properly understand your condition, a doctor will take an x-ray and look for swelling of soft tissues and fractures.

Treatment for Morton’s Neuroma can be administered at our Spring Hill and Hudson Florida offices. If you are sick of dealing with the feeling in the ball of your foot, give us a call or schedule an appointment online.

Q: What are the treatments for an ingrown toenail?

A: Ingrown toenails occur when your toenail begins to grow into the side of the toe. For some people this can be a very serious condition and for others the problem may only be irritating. In either case, you should seek medical attention.

Treating an ingrown toenail early can prevent severe pain, and infection. If an infection occurs, treatment will require antibiotics, and, depending on the severity, amputation. However, this is rarely the case and treatment will require an easy matrixectomy procedure.

A matrixectomy is a simple surgical procedure with a short recovery time. Podiatrist Lawrence Kales will numb the toe, cut the toenail and remove the ingrowing section of the toenail. As time passes, the toenail will grow back in the proper position.

Depending on your condition, Podiatrist Lawrence Kales may use less invasive techniques to treat your ingrown toenail. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, contact one of our Florida offices. You call our Spring Hill Podiatry Center at (352)683-5799 or our Bayonet Point Foot Health Center at (727) 868-2128.

Q: Why are my toenails discolored?

A: Toenail discoloration can have a variety of causes. A stubbed toe can cause bruising under the toenail. A black toenail can be the result of blood pooling under the nail (hematoma), after trauma to the area. This is common among runners when the toenail is repetitively pushed against the ends of running shoes. Most commonly, discoloration comes from a fungal infection within the toenail. When fungus gets embedded under the toenail, it can cause it to turn white, yellow, or even greenish.

The health of your nails can be a clue to your overall wellness, and there are cases where discolored nails are the result of a chronic condition such as diabetes or diseases of the heart, liver, kidney or lungs. Yellow, slow-growing nails could also be indicative of lymphedema, which is a swelling of tissues due to an accumulation of fluids.

Do not wait to contact our office if you notice any abnormalities occurring with your toenails. Call us today at (727) 868-2128.

Q: What are the signs of poor blood circulation?

A: Poor blood circulation is a common problem found in diabetics and patients with peripheral vascular disease (PVD). In either case it is very common to see the first signs of decreased blood flow in the calf, ankles and feet.

For diabetics, poor blood circulation will result in neuropathy which will cause a loss of feeling in the foot accompanied by a burning or tingling sensation inside the foot. If you are experiencing this sensation and have diabetes it is important that you start to monitor your blood glucose levels and contact our office to get your feet examined.

Other common symptoms of poor blood circulation can be a result of PVD. Patients who have this disease will notice a decrease in hair growth on the legs, a feeling of weakness in the legs, loss of feeling in the legs, change in skin color and sores.

If you are showing any of these signs in your calf, ankles or feet, you should contact our office immediately. When dealing with circulatory problems, early and preventative treatments are always better.

Q: What is causing joint pain in my feet?

A: There are over 30 joints in your foot. Since arthritis mostly attacks joints and areas between bones, your feet are at a high risk of developing arthritis. Most people describe pain from arthritis as having stiff, swollen and painful joints.

If arthritis is the cause of your pain, there are several factors that could be contributing to the results. For many people, arthritis will develop as a result of age, weight, family history, bone trauma and genes.

If you are experiencing pain and severe swelling in your big toe, there is a good chance that you are experiencing Gout. This condition can be passed through genetics and flare ups, also known as gout attacks, will occur after eating certain foods.

If you are experiencing joint pain, do not hesitate, call our office. Podiatrist Lawrence Kales has over 30 years of experience and will effectively treat your condition. You can reach our Bayonet Point Foot Health Center by calling (727)868-2128 or our Spring Hill Podiatry Center by calling (352)683-5799.

Q: What are the symptoms of Gout?

A: Gout is a buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint. It will most commonly affect the big toe, but can also occur in the knees and ankles. Generally, this condition will present itself with sudden and extreme pain. It is usually accompanied by redness and inflammation of the affected joint.

There are many contributing factors that lead to a gout attack. They include the following:

Genetics – Gout can be passed through genetics. If your father or mother have gout, you are more likely to experience it.
Diet – Foods high in purines can contribute to a gout flare up. When digesting purines, they become uric acid. These foods include herring, tuna, red meats, and turkey. You should also avoid sodas and drinks high in sugar because they increase uric acid production.
Diabetes – If you have diabetes or high cholesterol, you are at a higher risk of getting gout.
Medications – Some medications can cause gout flare ups. If you think your medication is causing a flare up, you should contact a doctor immediately.

Gout can cause extreme pain for many people. If you are suffering from gout, you don’t have to anymore! Get help today!

Q: Does exercise help arthritis?

While it may be a natural response to take things easy when you have arthritis, it may actually do your body more harm than good. A common misconception is that activity can further aggravate joint pain, but when done in a healthy manner, exercise can help arthritis. Since there are different types of arthritis, it will be important to first talk with Dr. Lawrence Kales to decide which activities are best for your situation.

Exercise helps to keep joints flexible which may otherwise become stiffened over time. It helps maintain bone strength and also makes the muscles around your joints stronger. Strong muscles relieve stress on your joints. Being overweight can add further stress, so maintaining a healthy weight through exercise is important.

We have many treatment options to help if you are living with painful arthritis in your feet or ankles. Contact Dr. Lawrence Kales today at (727) 868-2128 or visit us online to request an appointment at our Spring Hill or Hudson, FL offices.

Q: What effects can smoking have on my feet?

A: Most smokers know about the health concerns related to the habit. But very few smokers know about the effects that smoking can have on your feet.

Since smoking can constrict arteries in the body, a smoker is at an increased risk of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). PAD is a disease that refers to an obstruction or constriction of arteries in the lower extremities. This causes an inadequate amount of blood to be supplied to your lower extremities. In return you will experience:

    • Pain or weakness in your feet – This is a direct result of poor blood circulation and may be a sign of peripheral neuropathy.
    • Development of sores, wounds or ulcers – This is caused by an adjustment in your walking structure.
    • Decreased hair growth and change in skin color – Your legs do not receive needed nutrition to maintain healthy hair and skin tone.

If you have diabetes and smoke, the effects of smoking on your feet will be evident. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should contact our office.

Q: Can obesity cause heel pain?

A: Heel pain is one of the most frequent reasons for patients visiting our Spring Hill and Hudson offices. Generally the cause of pain is plantar fasciitis, which is especially prevalent in patients who are overweight.

Plantar fasciitis refers to heel pain that is caused by an inflammation or overuse of the band of tissue that connects your heel to your toe area. Most patients describe this pain as heel pain in the arch of the foot.

If you are overweight, the amount of stress applied to the foot can be too much for it to handle. As you continue to walk and stay active, the tissues in your feet become overused and overstressed causing heel pain.

If you are overweight and are thinking about starting a new workout routine, visit our office so that we can make exercise a comfortable experience for you. Podiatrist Lawrence Kales will be able to prescribe orthotics and educate you about the importance of shoe selection, specific to your foot’s needs.

Q: What can I do to treat shin splints?

A: Shin splints occur when the tissues and muscles tear around the shin bone. This causes swelling and pain when walking, running or jumping. For most people this pain will subside within a few days, but for others a reoccurrence can happen whenever they are physically active.

Most typically, shin splints can be treated with rest, ice and the purchase of a new pair of shoes. In the case where shin splints are a constant nuisance, a structural defect may have to be corrected. This determination can be made by visiting our office.

At our office, Dr. Kales will analyze the mechanics of your foot and prescribe an effective treatment for your condition. Based on the diagnosis, he may prescribe custom orthotics or shoes to realign your foot. This will eliminate improper mechanics, and treat the source of your shin splint problem. If you have any foot pain, prevention and early treatment are always most effective.

Q: What is causing my feet to smell and how can I cure it?

A: If you have smelly and overly sweaty feet you could be experiencing the effects of plantar hyperhidrosis. With over 250,000 sweat glands in your feet, it is common for people to question if their feet sweat excessively. And when the feet sweat, they provide an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. This results in smelly feet.

For most people, sweaty and smelly feet can be taken care of by taking a little extra time to care for your feet. To do this you can follow these steps.

    • Wear socks that absorb sweat. Typically cotton socks are ideal for this. They allow your feet to breathe properly and they soak up the moisture from sweat. This will prevent bacteria from developing on your feet.
    • Throw out your old shoes and alternate between different shoes every day. Switching between shoes will give your footwear time to breathe and also reduce the chances of bacteria developing.

If you have more questions about your smelly feet or overly sweaty feet, contact our office and stop the embarrassment today!

Q: How do I know if I have a broken bone in my foot?

A:There are many different kinds of breaks that your foot can encounter. If you are physically active or participate in sports, the chances of a break or fracture become higher. Strong indications of a broken bone include swelling, tenderness when pressure is applied, and a popping noise when the pain started, or even pain that becomes persistent and more intense as time passes.

A stress fracture is a common injury seen in patients who are physically active. These breaks are hard to self-evaluate because when they occur, there can be very little immediate pain. As time progresses, the pain will get worse, but many people convince themselves that the pain will go away.

If you have persistent pain in your foot, get it evaluated. You may have encountered an unexpected break. At our office we will take an x-ray of your foot and determine the exact cause of pain. Always remember that foot pain is not normal and it can be treated.

Q: What can custom orthotics do for me?

A: Custom orthotics can provide care for many problems seen at our office. They offer a great way to conservatively treat conditions, so that you can get back to your daily routine without the down time from surgical treatment.

If you have diabetes, flat feet, heel pain, back pain, hip pain, or knee pain, orthotics may be the best option for you. Shoe inserts will realign your foot so that it executes proper mechanics. This means that when you walk, you reduce excessive pressure applied to your foot which in turn eliminates pain due to flat feet. It can also prevent the development of ulcers and bodily pain.

Over the counter orthotics typically do not help your condition and can make some problems worse. Before purchasing any kind of shoe insert, it is important to see Podiatrist Lawrence Kales. He will evaluate your foot’s mechanics, and the shape of your foot, to make the most effective device for your foot.

Q: What are the best shoes for people with flat feet?

A: Flat feet are typically caused by genetics. Passing from one family member to the next, flat feet can be the source of daily foot, back, hip and knee pain. One great way to provide pain relief is to carefully select the right shoe for your lifestyle.

Arch support is critical for those with flat feet. If you are on your feet all day long, it is important that you find a shoe with plenty of arch support, control and very little flexibility. This will help keep your foot aligned in a way that will avoid over stretching your arch and reduce the strain on your body.

If you have flat feet, it is always best to see a podiatrist. At our office, we will examine your feet and provide a complete analysis of your foot’s mechanics. If needed, podiatrist Lawrence Kales will prescribe orthotics to treat feet that are flat.

Q: What is an ankle sprain and how long does it take to recover?

A: An ankle sprain occurs when the foot twists, or stretches in a way that causes tearing of tissues and ligaments in the foot. They are very common in all age groups and professions. Typically they occur when you least expect and can keep you limping for weeks. Recovery time varies greatly depending upon the severity of the sprain.

To guarantee a speedy and effective recovery, it is important that you get your ankle looked at by a professional. Podiatrist Lawrence Kales will examine the affected ankle and determine whether you have encountered minor or major tearing. Sprained ankles also have similar symptoms of a stress fracture.

In the case that you have minor tearing, you should refrain from applying pressure for 4 – 6 weeks. Because ankle sprains often reoccur, it is important that you see your podiatrist before returning to your activities. Working your ankle too hard, too fast will likely result in re-injury.

Q: What should I do on a daily basis to take care of my feet?

A: Your feet are the foundation of your body. For this reason, many people will experience bodily pain from a simple foot problem. This is also why taking care of your feet is so important. If you can keep your feet healthy, you can help keep your body pain free.

Many people convince themselves that their foot pain is normal and will eventually go away. This allows many conditions to go untreated, and also increases the chances of needing surgery. To care for your feet on a daily basis you should:

    1. Examine your feet regularly.
    2. Purchase new shoes if your shoes are old, worn out or do not fit correctly.
    3. Keep your feet clean.
    4. Trim your toenails properly and regularly.

Foot pain is not normal. If you have foot pain, it is important that you visit our office before it is too late. If you have diabetes, it is especially important that you visit a podiatrist, and take care of your feet on a daily basis.

Q: How do you treat plantar warts?

A: Plantar warts are common among all age groups. While most plantar warts do not pose a critical threat to your health, some will cause pain. In this case, treatment can be done by freezing, drying, or surgically removing the wart.

Since plantar warts are a viral infection affecting only the skin of your feet, eliminating the source can be difficult when the dealing with severe cases. At our office, we will provide the best treatment options for your wart.

In some cases, warts on your feet can disappear without direct treatment. To help your body accomplish this, you should make sure that your feet and shoes are cleaned regularly. This will help stop the wart-causing virus from spreading.

If you have any questions about your plantar wart, you should contact one of our Florida offices. Podiatrist Lawrence Kales will evaluate your wart and determine if direct treatment is needed.

Q: What are some good stretches for heel pain?

A: Heel pain is often caused by an inflammation of the plantar fascia. This is a thick band of tissue that connects your toes to your heel. It also plays a vital role in maintaining the structure of the foot. If you have a poor structure to your feet or wear shoes that cause pain, you will likely experience heel pain.

If you are having pain in the arch of your foot, you should try the following stretches:

    • Grab a water bottle or tennis ball, sit down and place it under your foot on the ground. Now roll the arch of your foot over the ball or water bottle and feel the stretch.
    • Grab a towel and sit down on the ground with your legs in front of you. Once seated grab one end of the towel with your left hand and the other end with your right hand. Now place the ball of your foot into the middle of the towel and extend your leg. This should create a “U” like shape in the towel and should cause a stretch in the arch of your foot. Hold for 15 seconds and bend your leg, at the knee to relieve the stretch.

If you have tried both of these stretches and your heel pain persists, you should contact our office and get professional help.

Q: What is the best way to treat heel pain?

A: The heel is the largest bone in your foot and a common area to experience pain and discomfort. It may be due to plantar fasciitis, a heel spur, Achilles tendonitis, or possibly a fracture.

How you treat heel pain depends on the cause and the severity of your injury. Rest is most often the first line of defense to alleviate further stress and pressure on the heel. Other treatment options include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, footwear modifications, Lawrence Kales will prescribe custom orthotics, as well as strapping and splinting. In severe cases heel surgery may be necessary to resolve the problem and bring pain relief. For plantar fasciitis, as an example, surgery can release the plantar fascia from the heel bone to reduce the tension and eliminate your pain. If you have a large bone spur it may need to be removed as well.

We can find the reason for your heel pain and provide treatment that will get you back to doing the things you love. Contact Dr. Lawrence Kales today in Hudson, FL at (727) 868-2128 or in Springhill, FL at (352) 683-5799.

Q: What can food do for your feet?

A: The food we eat can affect our entire body and can cause problem throughout the body – the feet are no exception. For diabetics, properly monitoring and controlling their blood sugar is important to avoid neuropathy. If neuropathy is allowed to go out of control, there can be several consequences.

By consuming healthy amounts of protein and iron you can help promote strong and healthy toenails. With healthy toenails can protect your nails from cracking which can result in ingrown toenails.

Since your immune system and your diet are closely related, eating the right foods can promote a healthy immune system which in turn can help you prevent conditions like toenail fungus, athletes foot and plantar warts.

Before starting any diet regimen, it is important that you consult a doctor first. At our office we can help you get on the right track.

Q: What should I do about my child’s foot pain?

A: Foot pain in children is not normal. Although your child may be going through a growth spurt, it is important to give special attention to their foot pain. Depending on the child’s age there are different possibilities as to what may be causing the pain.

Most humans are born with flat feet. As time passes it is normal that an arch develops. When the arch does not develop correctly, it can cause heel, back, hip and knee pain later in life. Most people will have a fully developed foot by the age of 15. If you have a child with flat feet past the age of 15, you should seek advice from a podiatrist.

During development, there are some factors that can cause pain. Sever’s disease is one common cause of foot pain during development. This can cause heel pain, and pain through the entire body. If you child is complaining about foot pain and walks on their toes, you should consider visiting a podiatrist before the condition intensifies.

Q: What kind of running shoe should I buy?

A: Running shoes have many different parts that can offer many different benefits to your routine. When shoe shopping, you should look for a shoe that attends to the needs of your foot. If you have flat feet, you should focus on looking for a shoe that provides stable motion control. If you have a foot type similar to the average person, you may want to consider a neutral shoe type. This will provide both the stability and control that you need for your activity.

Every foot is different and choosing the perfect shoe for your foot can be tricky. If you have tried several different options and are experiencing foot, ankle or shin pain, contact our office and seek the professional care of podiatrist Lawrence Kales.

Lastly if you have any questions about your foot type, let us help you figure it out. Lawrence Kales DPM will analyze your foot and recommend the best shoe type for you.

Q: What should I do to relieve bursitis pain?

A: The pain you are experiencing is due to the bursa sac in the affected joint becoming irritated and inflamed. Under extended pressure or from the same motion over and over, the bursa fills with extra fluid as a response to the added friction, which is at the root of your discomfort. To relieve bursitis pain you need to remove pressure on the joint, which most often requires avoiding activities that aggravate the bursa.

In addition to rest, use ice for 10-15 minutes at a time, several times a day, and we can recommend the best over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications for your situation to reduce pain and swelling. While resting, you can also do some gentle range-of-motion exercises to prevent joint stiffness. Avoid smoking as this inhibits the healing process.

Bursitis is a painful problem that can affect your activity level if you don’t treat it. If you have joint pain in your foot or ankle, contact Dr. Lawrence Kales for treatment that will make a difference. Call Bayonet Point Foot Health Center in Hudson, FL at (727) 868-2128 or Spring Hill Foot Health Center in Springhill, FL at (352) 683-5799 for an appointment today.

Q: How can I treat my ingrown toenail?

A: Anyone who has experienced ingrown toenails knows how painful and uncomfortable they can be. Often caused by ill-performed pedicures or shoes that are too tight, ingrown toenails have a habit of recurring, if not treated correctly. To avoid the risk of doing further damage, it’s important to seek help from a podiatrist.

Once you’ve made an appointment with Podiatrist Lawrence Kales, he will evaluate the severity of your ingrown toenail and determine which treatment is best for you.

To temporarily relieve pain from an ingrown toenail, soak your toe in warm water a few times each day. You should also make sure to keep your toe clean and dry when it’s not soaking. When tight shoes squeeze your toes, it can not only cause the problem, but also worsen existing ingrown toenails. This makes it vital to wear shoes that give your toes enough room to move.

Q: Are my shoes giving me bunions?

A: While bunions are often attributed to your heredity, wearing shoes that are too tight is another common culprit for causing this painful deformity.

Take a good look at your shoes.

You might notice that the heel is higher than the front, resulting in a slope towards the front of your toes. Many shoes not only have a sloping foot bed, but also a narrow toe box – meaning that there isn’t much room for your toes to spread out. The sloped nature of these types of shoes pushes your weight to the front of the shoe, which then pinches your toes together. The repeated wearing of shoes with these characteristics is one of the things that can cause a bunion.

If you have questions about your footwear and whether they might be causing damage to your feet, make an appointment with Lawrence Kales DPM. He can evaluate your feet and help you determine what shoes are best for you.

Q: What do wear patterns in my shoes say about my feet?

A: Your old shoes can offer clues about your foot structure and overall health. Looking at your wear pattern can indicate how your feet strike the ground, how your gait may be affected, or how a certain condition or deformity is affecting your feet.

Wear on the outer edge of the sole often indicates your foot supinates, or rolls too far outward, often because of high arches. Wear along the inner edge means it likely overpronates—rolls too far inward, as often happens with flat feet. If the heel is significantly worn down, this can indicate overpronation or that you overstride when you walk or run.

Dr. Lawrence Kales can evaluate your wear pattern to identify the source of any pain or potential problem areas, and to guide you toward proper shoe choices. Call for an appointment at Bayonet Point Foot Health Center in Hudson, FL at (727) 868-2128 or Spring Hill Foot Health Center in Springhill, FL at (352) 683-5799.

Q: What foods trigger gout attacks?

A: Gout is a complex form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling and inflammation in the joint of the big toe. High levels of uric acid in your blood cause needle-like crystals to form in the joint. Foods high in purines can increase uric acid, making diet choices extremely important to prevent a gout attack.

Foods known to trigger an attack include organ meats, herring, anchovies, red meat, seafood, foods high in saturated fat, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, and foods or drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. Limiting your intake of these foods will help to ward off an attack, but if one should happen do not hesitate to call our office for help. We can provide effective treatment for quick relief of your symptoms. To make an appointment with Dr. Lawrence Kales, visit our contact page for office locations and phone numbers.

Q: Do I have a sprain or a strain?

A: The average person is familiar with the terms “sprain” and “strain,” but understanding which injury you sustained can be a source of confusion, especially since both are marked by pain and swelling.

If the source of your pain stems from a specific source of physical trauma, like landing on the side of your foot, then you probably sustained a sprain. The area of your lower limbs most commonly impacted by such an ailment is the ankle.  This results in such symptoms as limited mobility of the joint and bruising. Additionally, you may have heard a “pop” at the time of injury.

A strain is a condition stemming from overuse that affects either muscle or tendon tissue.  This is accompanied by muscle spasms and an impaired ability to use the affected muscle.

Sprains and strains can be treated at home with the use of ice and rest, but if you cannot move your ankle, or it hurts to take more than four steps, come in to Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle for an evaluation with Lawrence Kales, DPM. Call (352) 683-5799 for our Spring Hill, FL, office or (727) 868-2128 for our Hudson office today.

Q: How can I prevent stress fractures?

A: When you put repetitive stress on your bones, tiny cracks can develop called stress fractures. Often they are the result of overuse, intense training, and worn out shoes. It makes sense, then, that the best way to prevent stress fractures is to gradually build the intensity of your workouts. Warming up prior to exercise is key. Make sure that your shoes fit properly, are in good shape, and are appropriate for the activity too. It’s a good idea to cross-train, incorporating low-impact exercises into your routine to cut down on repetitive stress. Also, make sure that you get plenty of calcium in your diet to keep your bones healthy and strong.

Follow these guidelines and you should stay injury free for miles! To get more prevention tips, contact Lawrence Kales, DPM in Hudson, FL: (727) 868-2128, or Spring Hill, FL: (352) 683-5799.

Q: How are stress fractures treated?

A: Stress fractures are often treated conservatively, with nonsurgical methods generally proving to be quite effective. Your first step is to stop the activity that led to this common overuse injury. These fractures are often caused by an increase in physical activity, and continuing to remain active will cause them to worsen.

Your body needs time to heal, so rest is a vital component of the treatment process. Keep in mind that it can take from 6 to 8 weeks for your bone to heal completely. Ice will help reduce pain and swelling, and we can advise on appropriate frequency and duration. We may immobilize the area to reduce pressure on the bone. In rare instances, surgery may be recommended to ensure complete healing for fractures in areas that have a poor blood supply.

When you have pain that develops gradually and subsides with rest, you may have sustained a stress fracture. Contact Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle to have our foot specialists provide an accurate diagnosis for you and create your effective treatment plan. Call our Spring Hill, FL office at (352) 683-5799, our Hudson office at (727) 868-2128, or use our online form to request an appointment.

Q: What’s the difference between an ankle sprain and a fracture?

A: Understanding the difference between an ankle sprain and an ankle fracture is an important step in knowing what treatment you may need. Each condition typically results in pain, swelling, and difficulty walking, so they can be difficult to distinguish based on the symptoms alone.

Looking at these injuries from a structural perspective, though, a sprain is when a ligament that connects bone to bone has become pulled, stretched, or even torn due to excessive motion. A fracture is simply a break in the bone itself. In either case, it is best to make an appointment with our practice and receive an accurate diagnosis.

Whether you have sprained or fractured your ankle, Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle has the expertise you need to get you on the path to recovery. We offer expert podiatric care for any foot or ankle problem that you may experience and will get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Our offices are located in Spring Hill and Bayonet Point, FL for your convenience. Schedule an appointment today by calling our Spring Hill office at (352) 683-5799, our Bayonet Point office at (727) 868-2128, or using the online form.

Q: What are some bunion treatment options?

A: Bunion treatment options fall into either of two categories: conservative treatment or surgery.

The nonsurgical, conservative methods of dealing with this condition are centered on decreasing stress and pressure on the affected toe(s), alleviating pain, and reducing inflammation. One such method is the use of padding and tape to keep your toe in proper position. Another is to simply change shoes, opting for a more comfortable pair that offer plenty of room in the toe box. Icing a bunion can also provide relief from soreness and inflammation, as can special stretching exercises.

If such conservative treatments do not alleviate your pain, and your bunion is interfering with your day-to day activities, surgery can be performed. Depending on the severity of your condition, procedures range from removal of swollen tissue to realignment of bones.

If you live in the Spring Hill or Hudson areas of Florida and are seeking treatment for a bunion that is causing pain and difficulty, contact Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle and make an appointment today. The phone number for the Spring Hill office is (352)-683-5799 and the number for the Hudson office is (727) 868-2128.

Q: What is turf toe?

A: Essentially, turf toe is a sprain suffered by the big toe joint. This often happens as the result of injury during sports competition or practice, particularly when the big toe joint undergoes an excessive upward bending. The name of this injury is derived from the fact that it is especially common for athletes who play on artificial turf. A foot can easily stick to the hard surface and, as a result, the big toe joint jams.

Many people hear the term “turf toe” and immediately think of football played on artificial turf, but this nagging injury can affect athletes who participate in a variety of sports, including soccer, gymnastics and dance.

The injury is generally treated with conservative, nonsurgical methods. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) is helpful, along with a change to shoes that are not especially flexible. Only in severe cases marked with prolonged pain is surgery required.

If you are suffering with this ailment and need expert care, come see Lawrence Kales, DPM at Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle. Call (352) 683-5799 for our Spring Hill, FL, office, (727) 868-2128 for our Hudson office, or schedule an appointment online.

Q: What’s the best way to trim toenails?

A:  Toenail trimming plays a bigger role in preventing ingrown toenails than most people probably realize. It may be tempting to round your toenails, but avoid doing so. The best way to trim a toenail is to clip it straight across with a few small cuts and leave it roughly even with the edge of your toe. Even cutting at an angle is dangerous, because if the nail grows towards your skin, it could become ingrown. Clip your nails when they are dry, instead of wet. Wet nails might rip, bend, or lead to a rougher cut. Don’t forget to disinfect the tools you use, to prevent infections.

If you need help with understanding the best way to trim your toenails, or those of your children, Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle is the place to go. We have offices located in Bayonet Point and Spring Hill, FL and are ready to provide the answers to any questions you have or treatment for any foot or ankle injury or condition. Reach us today by calling (352) 683-5799 for our Spring Hill office, (727) 868-2128 for our Hudson office, or by simply using our online form.

Q: How long does bunion surgery recovery last?

There is a certain degree of variance regarding how long it might take for you to recover from bunion surgery. A typical timeframe for the recovery period following such a procedure can range from 6 weeks up to 6 months. The actual amount of time depends on factors like how much soft tissue and bone are impacted by the surgery and how close you adhere to the post-op instructions we provide. Complete healing for the affected area can take up to a year.

Before we recommend surgery as an option for dealing with this condition, our foot specialists will attempt to provide pain relief by using various nonsurgical techniques. These conservative methods can include switching your footwear, taking medication, and using shoe inserts, pads, or splints. Only when these are inadequate does surgery become an option we may explore.

Let us help you find relief from the pain and discomfort that difficult bunion is causing you. Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle has offices conveniently located in Spring Hill and Bayonet Point, FL. Schedule an appointment online or call us at (352) 683-5799 for our Spring Hill office or (727) 868-2128 to reach our Hudson office.