Find Answers to Your Questions About Foot Care and Injury Prevention

Our Palm Desert podiatry team fields questions daily. Do you have a question about how to manage your foot pain? Do you have a question about the safety of a current footwear fad? Do you want to know more about foot and ankle injury prevention? If so, we hope you find the answers you need here.

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  • What should I look for in athletic footwear?

    First things first: “athletic shoes” is a category, not an individual style. If you’re going to be engaging in sports, aerobics, dancing, or other athletic activity (and we think you should!), you should always look for a shoe designed with that activity in mind. If you ask your everyday tennis shoes to multitask, your risk of getting hurt go through the roof!

    Beyond that, athletic shoes should provide a good fit and be comfortable from the moment you put them on—no “break-in” period should be required. The shoe should grip your heel firmly—you don’t want it too tight, of course, but the shoe should not slip around as you walk, run, or move side to side. Other attributes to look for will depend on your sport—for example, higher tops for basketball to prevent ankle injuries, tougher and flatter soles for court sports, more flexibility for running or jogging, etc.

    If you don’t know what to look for, stop by a specialty shoe store—they’re specially trained to find you what you need. And if you need help with properly addressing sports injuries or getting set up with any necessary orthotics to safely accommodate existing problems, give Dr. Danciger in Palm Desert, CA a call for a prompt appointment. Reach us online or dial 760-568-0108.

  • What things can I do to keep my feet healthy?

    You need your feet to last you a lifetime. If your feet are in pain, you can’t work, or play, or do any of the things you need or want to do. But how do you keep them healthy for the long haul?

    There are too many tips to mention, but here are some of the big ones:

    • Eat right. A healthy diet doesn’t just keep your waist slim; it also nourishes and strengthens the nerves, muscles, bones, and other tissues in your feet and ankles.
    • Wear practical, comfortable shoes. Avoid heels and flip flops.
    • Thoroughly wash and dry your feet every day, and change socks and shoes as frequently as necessary to avoid fungal infections.
    • Inspect your feet every day for cuts, scrapes, swelling, or other problems, especially if you have diabetes.
    • Make an appointment with your podiatrist as the first sign of any trouble—proactive care is by far the best strategy to keep feet healthy and avoid long-term issues.

    To schedule an appointment with Dr. Harvey Danciger in Palm Desert, CA, please give our office a call at 760-568-0108.

  • Can orthotics help with underpronation?

    Yes, they can!

    Underpronation, also known as supination, may not get the same kind of press as overpronation, but orthotics can still help compensate and correct for this gait abnormality.

    Those who underpronate (that is, their weight falls disproportionately on the outsides of their feet when walking or running) tend to have high arches, so orthotics with good arch support and soft cushioning tend to be very helpful. You’ll also want a flexible, lightweight shoe with a curved last, as this will help encourage your foot to roll inward more when you step.

    The right custom-made orthotic will be specially made to fit your exact foot shape, control your gait, and redistribute your weight evenly across your sole, whether you overpronate or underpronate. If you’re experiencing foot pain, the best decision you can make is calling Dr. Harvey Danciger for a full evaluation. From conservative therapies to custom orthotics and surgery, he is an expert in helping people regain a pain-free stride. Give us a call at 760-568-0108 for an appointment.

  • Can exercise help my circulation?


    While we always caution those with circulatory disorders such as peripheral arterial disease (PAD) not to push themselves too hard and always exercise safely, regular activity is one of the best ways to improve circulation, halt symptoms such as claudication, numbness, and leg pain, and slow or even reverse disease progression. Simply walking for about an hour at a time, 3-5 times per week, often has a profoundly positive affect on alleviating PAD symptoms, with most people noticing a change within the first month. Other exercises, such as leg strength training, may also be effective.

    That said, we don’t want you to launch into an exercise program without checking with Harvey R. Danciger, DPM first. The combination of circulatory or heart issues and the dry desert heat can be dangerous, and we want you to be safe. Give our Palm Desert, CA office a call at 760-568-0108 or connect with us online to schedule an appointment today.

  • Are all Orthotic’s equal?

    The answer is definitely no!!!  A functional orthosis is made to re-align the bones and joints of the feet to allow better function of the muscles, the feet and legs.  It is important to have a proper casting of the feet in the corrected position for the orthosis to be made correctly.


    A custom orthosis is not something that a salesperson measures your foot and then goes into the back room and brings out an arch support for you, like many stores will do.  They do say it is a custom device and charge a lot of money for them.  Be Careful!!!  A true functional orthosis takes time to make by a qualified lab.  It is not done in a few days.


    For further information on orthosis, or to be evaluated to see if functional orthosis will benefit you, give our office a call.  760-568-0108 or schedule an appointment online

  • What is a ganglion cyst?

    A ganglion cyst is a small, circular growth filled with a jelly-like fluid, emerging on top of a joint capsule or tendon sheath. Most commonly, they range from roughly the size of a pea to about an inch and a half across, can grow or shrink (or even disappear over time), and are usually found on the wrist or top of the foot.

    Also known as “Bible bumps,” these growths are benign, non-cancerous, and almost never medically serious, although they can cause pain and discomfort or impair mobility depending on their size and location.

    It’s not really clear why these masses form—one theory suggests that a damaged capsule or protective sheath allows fluid to leak into a space, causing the bump.

    Though they’re often harmless, you should have a suspected ganglion cyst checked out by Harvey R. Danciger, DPM as soon as you notice one. We want to make sure it isn’t something serious, and we can offer treatment options or lifestyle modifications that may help your cyst shrink or even go away. Set up an appointment today by dialing (760) 568 – 0108.

  • How is dysplasia related to feet?

    Fibrous dysplasia, a rare condition in which healthy bone is gradually replaced by a fibrous, scar-like material, is most commonly found in the shins, thighs, pelvis, upper arms, and skull. However, any bone can be affected, and your feet are no exception.

    This condition weakens bones and puts them at greater risk of developing deformities and fractures. Due to the fact that your feet absorb the stress and shock that accompanies walking, standing, running, and bearing all of your weight every day, they are especially vulnerable if the disease strikes there. You may initially notice a dull ache that becomes progressively more painful over time; as the damage progresses walking may become difficult or almost impossible.

    If you notice any early symptoms, contact Dr. Harvey Danciger, DPM right away for an appointment. Although there is currently no cure, early detection and careful observation and symptom management can dramatically improve your outcomes. Give us a call in Palm Desert, CA by dialing (760) 568 – 0108 today.

  • Can orthotics help with flat feet?

    Of course!

    Orthotics won’t “fix” your flat feet—the only thing that can change your foot shape is surgery—but they can cushion, reposition, and realign your feet to protect sensitive spots, minimize pain, and even improve your overall biomechanics.

    For flat feet, over-the-counter insoles (not “true” orthotics) that can provide some relief include low profile insoles and arch supports. Mass-produced inserts won’t last as long as custom orthotics and often won’t work as well, but in less severe cases may be effective—you can experiment and see if you can find a pair that works for you.

    Orthotics made by Harvey Danciger, DPM, can be a very effective solution. Although they’re more expensive than OTC insoles, they are much more durable and are custom-fit to the contours of your own, unique flat feet. They can provide the support and cushioning you need, while improving your biomechanics and preventing your feet from overpronating.

    If you’re experiencing foot pain from flat feet, give our office a call today. We’ll take the time to listen to your concerns, examine your feet, and provide the correct treatment plan, whether you need orthotics or not. You can reach us at (760) 568-0108.

  • What is metatarsalgia?

    Metatarsalgia is the term given to ball of foot pain, sometimes accompanied by bruising or inflammation. It is not a specific injury or disease in itself, but thought of more as a symptom associated with other conditions. 

    Pain in the ball of the foot is a common occurrence with multiple potential causes ranging from obesity to stress fractures to arthritis. Determining the causes of a specific case will likely have an effect on the overall course of treatment, but most standard discomfort can be cared for through conservative measures. Resting the foot, application of ice, and foot-strengthening exercises may be recommended. Other courses of finding relief may include laser therapy or the prescription of orthotics to compensate for abnormal foot shapes and correctly redistribute weight along the foot.

    If you are suffering from pain in the ball of your foot, don’t try to ignore it. Let Harvey R. Danciger, DPM, and his expert staff diagnose the root of the problem and set you on track to healthier, happier feet. Schedule an appointment at our Palm Desert, CA, office by calling (760) 568-0108.

  • Is Enchondroma Painful?

    No, enchondroma is not usually painful. Most people with this noncancerous cartilage tumor in their foot don’t experience any symptoms. Usually, the benign growth is only discovered after an X-ray has been taken for another injury, like a fracture.

    However, if you’re experiencing pain, contact us right away. We’ll need to know if it happens during a period of rest or if it starts at night and wont’ go away—this can be concerning. Pain from activity isn’t as much cause for concern. To ensure that the tumor isn’t cancerous or aggressive, we will take a look at your bone through an X-ray.

    If you’ve tried many treatments for foot pain with no relief, you might be asking yourself “What is this pain in my foot?” Harvey R. Danciger, DPM, can answer that question for you. Call our office in Palm Desert, CA, today by dialing (760) 568-0108. You can also reach us online.

  • What is causing my painful, tingly feet?

    The most common reasons for painful, tingly feet are peripheral artery disease and the intermittent claudication associated with it.  People who are suffering from these conditions have arteries that become clogged and narrow, which leads to poor blood flow and circulation.  When your blood cannot travel through your arteries at a normal pace, you suffer from intermittent claudication, which is characterized by painful, tingly feet.

    Some common risk factors for the condition include smoking, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and advanced age.  Medications— like aspirin—that prevent blood clots or medical surgeries, are typical treatments for peripheral artery disease and intermittent claudication. They can help reduce both swelling and discomfort.

    We know people in Palm Desert California like to be active, and tingly, painful feet get in the way of what you love.  Call Dr. Harvey Danciger at (760) 568-0108 to schedule an appointment. He can help get you back to an active and pain-free lifestyle today.

  • Can lasers help reduce the pain from gout?

    The Cutting Edge laser can absolutely help with decreasing the pain from gout.  It is a non- invasive treatment and can help decrease the pain and swelling from gouty attacks.  Gout can be extremely painful in the acute stages and this form of therapy can help reduce the pain and swelling of the affected joints.


    Visit Harvey R. Danciger, DPM for relief of gouty attacks.  He has been treating patients with gout effectively for many years.   (760) 568-0108

  • Is walking beneficial to my health?

    Walking is very beneficial to your health.  Walking about 20 minutes per day at a moderate pace, which is the equivalent to walking about 2,000 steps, has been shown to reduce the risks of cardio vascular disease (CVD) and improve your health.  This was shown to reduce the incidence of CVD by 10% in people who had an impaired glucose tolerance, but also reduced the risk of CVD by 8% in the general population.


    This study supported the fact that exercise is extremely important for your overall health.

    Moderate activity can lower the risk of circulatory problems in all people.


    If you are having problems walking due to pain in your feet, give us a call so we can get you back on track for better health.  Call Dr. Danciger at (760) 568-0108

  • Why do my feet smell?

    The odor you smell is caused from bacteria on the feet.  Some people are more susceptible to having smelly feet than others.  People’s feet sweat different amounts and if the shoes are damp, the bacteria and fungus grow causing odor in the shoes and subsequently in the foot. 


    There are some things you can do to try and decrease the smell.  Wash your feet daily with a good cleansing solution and water.  Make sure your feet are dry, use powders on them and if needed change your socks during the day if they become wet.  Put antifungal powders in your shoes at night.  Sometimes medication is needed to reduce the amount of sweating that occurs on the feet.


    If you are embarrassed to remove your shoes due to smelly feet, call our office, (760) 568-0108, for an appointment and see what can be done to eliminate the odors.

  • Are flatfeet hereditary?

    The answer is can be.  Many people think they have a flat foot because when they stand the arch flattens out.  This is not a flat foot, but indicates too much motion in the foot or pronation.  A true flatfoot would not have an arch when you are off your feet either sitting or lying down.  This type of flatfoot does have a hereditary component.


    A flatfoot can also be somewhat flexible or it can be rigid.  It is important to differentiate between the two different types.


    If you think you have a flat foot or have symptoms of fatigue, cramping, stumbling in the legs or feet, call the office to schedule an appointment to see if treatment is needed.

  • Will I have any pain with the laser?

    No.  Our MLS Laser, from Cutting Edge, does not produce heat like almost all of the other lasers, thus you do not feel anything during treatment.  Our laser does not need to be in constant motion like the others lasers do, thus avoiding any complications from being stationary.  The other lasers, if not in motion, can cause deep heat and damage to the tissues.  MLS laser technology avoids all that.  You will only feel the benefits after the treatment is done.  There are no restrictions for you after treatment so you can typically resume your normal activities.


    If you are suffering from any pain in the foot or ankle, numbness or tingling, or have discolored toenails, give Palm Desert podiatrist Harvey Danciger a call to see if the laser is an option for you.

  • Orthotic devices are hard, how can they be comfortable?

    Orthotic devices are rigid devices made from a cast-impression of your feet.  These are taken in the corrected foot position to allow the best functional control.  They are made from your feet, each one is different depending on the individuality of each foot, and is used for your feet only. 


    Patients typically will say how can they be comfortable when they see a sample, however, when they receive theirs and use them, they almost immediately say these are very comfortable and their feet feel better already.


    Don’t wait to get relief.  Come see Dr. Harvey Danciger and let him explain the advantages of custom functional orthosis.

  • What can cause cramps in legs?

    There are numerous causes of leg cramping.  One cause is PAD- Peripheral Arterial Disease.  This disease results in a decrease in blood flow to the muscles thereby restricting oxygen and nutrients from getting into the muscle cells and can cause cramps.


    Another cause can be overuse of the muscles during walking, standing and exercise.  As the muscles become strained during activity, they remain warm and usually do not cramp.  When you rest, the muscle shortens and certain movement can cause cramping.


    Another cause can be from nerve compression.  The large nerve behind the knee, the tibial nerve, can become compressed by the calf muscles, when one is standing, walking or other activities, and can cause cramping in the leg or foot.


    To determine what the cause of your cramping is, visit Harvey R. Danciger, DPM in Palm Desert, California.  Phone (760) 568-0108

  • What does P.A.D. mean?

    P.A.D. is the abbreviation for Peripheral Arterial Disease.  This is a disease of the circulatory system where the blood is not flowing properly and not getting to the tissues, to supply the proper nutrients.  This can cause muscle cramping in the legs when you walk, cold feet or extremities, nail changes, skin changes with thinning and dryness noted, and other symptoms.  Elevation of the legs can cause increased pain and coldness to the skin because of a decrease in circulation.


    If you have been suffering with any of these symptoms, Dr. Harvey Danciger, a Palm Desert podiatrist, can evaluate the problem and may want to do a non-invasive circulation test to help diagnose the problem.  (760) 568-0108

  • Is one foot larger than the other one?

    For the majority of people, one foot is larger than the other foot.  It may only be a half size larger or could be more.  It is very important to fit the larger foot for the proper shoe size or irritation to the toes could cause problems and pain.  There should be a thumbs width space between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe.