My Blog
By Dr. Robert B. Kierstein
May 02, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Corns   Calluses  

Protecting your feet from corns and calluses is easier than you might think.corns, calluses

Do you notice these thick, hard patches of skin on your feet? Are the soles of your feet covered with calluses or are there corns developing at the joints or tips of your toes? While these issues are common and not often serious for a healthy individual, our Kirkland, WA, podiatrist Dr. Robert Kierstein also knows that preventing issues is a lot easier than dealing with the problem once it happens.

Here are two of the most effective and simplest methods for preventing corns and calluses from developing.

Wear the Right Shoes

One of the biggest reasons corns and calluses form is improper footwear. If you are wearing shoes that don’t provide enough cushioning and support, that are too tight, have a narrow or pointed toe box, or are a bit loose then the friction and pressure from the shoes could lead to the buildup of a corn or callus.

Make sure that the shoes you wear fit you properly and don’t put pressure on any areas of the foot. Turn to a specialist shoe store for measuring advice and to choose the proper footwear for you, especially if you deal with corns and calluses regularly.

Wear Orthotics or Protective Pads

If you find that the soles of your feet are prone to calluses and even the proper footwear isn’t enough to keep them at bay then you may want to turn to our Kirkland, WA, foot doctor for custom orthotics. These prescription shoe inserts can provide your feet with ample support, cushioning and shock absorption to prevent corns from forming, even on the go!

If you find yourself dealing with calluses on a specific area or areas of the foot (e.g. the joint of one of your little toes or the joint at the base of the big toe) then you could apply a non-medicated protective pad over the area before wearing shoes to prevent any friction or pressure to those susceptible areas.

Whether you are dealing with foot pain or you are curious to find out whether custom orthotics are right for you, don’t hesitate to turn to our foot specialist in Kirkland, WA. We provide comprehensive foot and ankle care to keep your feet happy and healthy.

By Dr. Robert B. Kierstein
March 05, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

What foot deformity occurs in women ten times as frequently as in men of the same age? it's the common bunion, say researchers at bunionsHarvard Medical School. Causing pain, redness, and even limited mobility, bunions can be treated. For particulars, seek the advice of Dr. Robert Kierstein, your highly experienced podiatrist in Kirkland, WA who wants the best for your feet and overall well-being.

The typical bunion in Kirkland

It's a sore, red bump at the base of the big toe. It affects the metatarsophalangeal joint, the juncture between the first metatarsal bone of the foot and the pharynx bone of the first toe. With a bunion, the toe bends inward toward the second or even third toe, and sometimes, other deformities such as hammertoes, corns, and calluses form.

While most bunions affect the big toe, smaller deformities, called bunionettes or tailor's bunions, form on the fifth, or little, toes. As the size of a bunion increases, so do the associated discomforts, including:

  • Thickened skin on the bottom of the feet
  • Pain when walking
  • Arthritis and bursitis
  • Numbness or a burning sensation

Why bunions develop

While people are not born with bunions, the tendency to develop these foot problems may run in families. Usually, women develop bunions more often then men do, and certain lifestyle factors set the stage for their development, including:

  • Wearing shoes with poor support, narrow toe boxes and heels that are too high
  • Trauma to the foot
  • Improper gait with too much weight placed on the inside surface of the foot and on the toes

Treating bunions

The good news is that bunions can be corrected, and while surgery, or bunionectomy, may be an option, it definitely is not the first, or only, choice. More conservative measures generally reduce the inflammation, pain and other symptoms.

If you come to see Dr. Kierstein regarding bunion symptoms, he'll visually inspect your foot and take digital x-rays to view the bone structure. If he confirms a bunion, he'll develop a care plan to reduce pain and swelling and help bring the toe into proper alignment.

Treatment measures may include:

  • A change in shoes to ones with a wider toe box and better overall support
  • Shoe padding to reduce friction on pressure points
  • Corn and callus removal
  • Stretching exercises and other kinds of physical therapy
  • Night splints to realign the big toe (especially helpful with young people)
  • Customized orthotics, or shoe inserts, to relieve pressure and correct gait problems
  • Cortisone injections to reduce swelling and over the counter medications to relieve pain

Fix those feet

Dr. Kierstein is experienced in all aspects of podiatric medicine. He can help you with your bunions or any other foot health concerns. To arrange a consultation, please contact his office in Kirkland, WA at (425) 899-5331.

By Dr. Robert B. Kierstein
December 19, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Heel Spurs  

Heel pain is one of the most common foot problems according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. While the occasional bout of heel painpain or discomfort after a long day on your feet, or from wearing uncomfortable shoes is usually normal, ongoing or recurring pain can be a sign of a heel spurs. Dr. Robert Kierstein, a podiatrist in Kirkland, WA, offers diagnostic and treatment options for heel spurs and other foot and ankle conditions and injuries.

Treatment for Heel Spurs in Kirkland, WA

Heel spurs are bony protrusions on the underside of the heel bone. Because heel spurs sometimes develop in conjunction with plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain that results from inflammation to the large ligament that spans the length or your foot from the heel bone to the base of the toes, the two conditions are sometimes referred to interchangeable. However, only 5% of people with heel spurs report experiencing heel pain according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Causes and Risk Factors for Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are caused by calcium deposits on the heel bone, which can cause sharp shooting pain during movement. Although anyone can develop heel spurs and plantar fasciitis, there are a few factors that may increase the likelihood of developing one:

  • Age - they are generally more common over the age of 40
  • Being overweight/obese
  • Wearing shoes with inadequate support
  • Repeatedly standing for long periods of time

In some cases, people with low arches (also known as flat feet) may put additional pressure on certain parts of the foot while walking or participating in physical activities like distance running, increasing the risk of inflammation of the plantar fascia and heel spurs.

Find a Podiatrist in Kirkland, WA

If heel spurs and pain have been interfering with your physical activity and quality of life, contact our office by calling (425) 899-5331 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kierstein today.

By Dr. Robert B. Kierstein
October 17, 2017
Category: Foot Care

When your Achilles tendon is injured, walking, running, jumping or even standing on your toes becomes painful and difficult. Our Kirkland, achilles tendonWA, podiatrist, Dr. Robert Kierstein, treats a variety of conditions that cause foot and ankle pain, including Achilles tendon problem. He discusses common conditions and treatment options.

Achilles tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis occurs when the Achilles tendon, the long tendon that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone, becomes inflamed. If you have the condition, you may notice pain and swelling at the back of your heel that feels worse after you've been active. Other symptoms can include difficulty moving your foot and tight calf muscles. The condition often occurs in people who run for exercise, but other factors can increase your risk, such as flat feet, jobs that require lots of standing, poorly fitting shoes and tight calf muscles.

Achilles tendonosis

Small tears and scar tissue can develop in your tendon if you have Achilles tendonosis. The condition may be more likely to occur if you continue to participate in your normal activities despite experiencing Achilles tendinitis symptoms, or return to running or other activities before healing completely. If you've experienced ankle pain for weeks or months, Achilles tendonosis may be to blame.

Ruptured Achilles tendon

Ruptures occur when your tendon partially or fully tears. They're common during a fall or accident, but can also occur if you participate in sports that involve jumping or running. Achilles tendon ruptures cause sudden, severe pain and are often accompanied by a popping sound. If your Achilles tendon is ruptured, you won't be able to put your weight on your leg.

How are Achilles tendon problems treated?

When you visit our Kirkland office, we'll ask you to describe your symptoms and perform an examination that will allow us to diagnose and treat your Achilles tendon problem. Achilles tendinitis often improves if you rest your leg for a week or two, apply ice, take anti-inflammatories, wear a compression bandage and keep the leg elevated. Exercises that help stretch your calf muscles can also be helpful.

If you're diagnosed with Achilles tendonitis, physical therapy to break apart scar tissue, orthotics and walking boots can be helpful. You may also benefit from shockwave therapy and other therapies that facilitate healing.

Achilles tendon ruptures often improve with rest. Anti-inflammatories and ice can reduce pain and swelling, while a walking boot and heel wedge will reduce stress on the tendon as it heals. If the rupture is severe or doesn't respond to more conservative treatments, you may need surgery.

Are you concerned about Achilles tendon pain or foot pain? Call our Kirkland, WA podiatrist, Dr. Kierstein, at (425) 899-5331 to schedule an appointment.

By Dr. Robert B. Kierstein
August 17, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: ankle sprain  

Experienced an ankle injury? Find out if you could be dealing with a sprainankle sprain

Whether you were just recently in a car accident or you just love playing sports with your friends, there are so many scenarios in which foot and ankle injuries can happen. Our Kirkland, WA, podiatrist Dr. Robert Kierstein is here to share the telltale symptoms of a sprained ankle and when you should come in for professional care.

You may have a sprained ankle if you are noticing:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion or flexibility
  • Pain when putting weight on the affected foot

Since there are a variety of ankle injuries that can present with these symptoms it’s important that you visit our Kirkland, WA, foot doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above.

We will be able to diagnose the condition by examining the foot and asking you questions about your symptoms. We may also need to run imaging tests (X-rays) to determine the extent of the injury and to see whether you are dealing with a serious injury.

How is a sprained ankle treated?

The treatment plan we create for you will really depend on the severity of your sprain. In most cases, simple self-care measures can be taken to reduce symptoms while the ankle heals. Common treatment options include:

  • Icing
  • Rest
  • Elevation
  • Compression
  • Ankle braces or supportive footwear
  • Crutches (for more extensive sprains)

The best piece of advice is to rest your foot as much as possible and to stay off of it. Avoid certain activities that could exacerbate your condition. If you have a mild sprain, symptoms usually go away within a week to 10 days; however, if you are dealing with a more severe sprain than it could take six weeks or more for the injury to fully heal. When you come in for treatment we will be able to provide you with the information you need to get your ankle health back on track.

If you ever have any concerns about the health of your feet or ankles don’t hesitate to call our Kirkland, WA, podiatry office to find out how we can help you. When in doubt, pick up the phone and give us a call. We are here for you.

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