Dr. William Knudson knows that certain foot disorders can be especially painful for his patients. When a patient enters his Leesburg, Virginia practice, Dr. Knudson sympathizes and immediately seeks to provide the patient with relief. Usually patients want to know what to expect from treatment, so his first priority is to explain to a patient his or her treatment options and a timeline for those treatments to take effect.

When one of my patients presents with neuroma, it’s likely that he or she has never heard of the condition. In fact, the patient likely only knows that he or she is experiencing foot tingling and numbness, and I understand that can be disconcerting. A neuroma is caused when a nerve becomes inflamed, causing the surrounding tissue to swell. By the time a patient makes an appointment to come into Podiatric Care of Northern Virginia, he or she is often in quite a bit of pain.

The first course of action we take when a neuroma patient arrives in our office is to evaluate the patient’s footwear. I will immediately switch the patient to flat, supportive shoes with soft insoles. Heels should be eschewed in favor of athletic shoes at this point. If inflammation has progressed, we may use orthotics to relieve pressure on the foot.

We also see quite a few patients suffering from bone spurs. In these cases, I’ll explain to my patient that footwear can play a large part in bone spurs forming and will recommend switching to a more comfortable shoe. This is especially the case if the patient has a job that requires standing or excessive walking. Some may assume that bone spurs naturally cause pain but actually, not all bone spurs are painful. Sometimes they present as a bony protrusion that simply inhibits the patient’s ability to wear certain shoes comfortably.

In most cases, we won’t recommend a specific treatment at all for bone spurs. If a patient is overweight, we might gently advise losing weight, as excessive weight can not only cause bone spurs but also can exacerbate symptoms. We will also recommend rest and ice and may give the patient a few stretching exercises that the patient can do on a daily basis to take pressure off the area.

It’s also possible that we might recommend the use of anti-inflammatories such as naproxen. By reducing inflammation, the patient can reduce symptoms and ensure long-lasting foot health.