Find Answers From Our Roanoke Podiatrists About Your Foot and Ankle Pain...and About Our Practice!

We love to hear (and answer) your questions! Listed are some frequently asked questions we receive at office, as well as some answers to others that we think you may find very informative. Make sure to check out our blog as well, where you’ll find in-depth articles on common feet and ankle problems.

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Heel and Arch Pain

What kinds of conditions can orthotics help?

Orthotics are versatile medical devices custom crafted for your feet that can be used to treat a wide array of foot and ankle issues. This is not an exhaustive list, but some of the conditions include – bunions, corns and calluses, cavus foot (high foot arch), flat foot, hallux rigidus, neuromas, and plantar fasciitis.

The reason these devices are so versatile is that we create them specifically for your feet and based on your unique gait. They are constructed from either soft or hard (or both) materials and can provide cushion or structure, depending on the intended function.

There are inserts that can be bought in the store, but those are not intended to cure a medical condition and should only be used for additional cushioning or arch support.

If you have a condition that might benefit from a pair of custom orthotics, contact Shenandoah Podiatry today. Call our Roanoke, VA office at (540) 904-1458. You can also use our online form to request an appointment at either location.

Can exercise relieve arthritis pain?

In the long run, staying active can help relieve arthritis pain. The disease causes pain and stiffness in your joints. This comes from a breakdown in the cartilage that covers the ends of your bones, which is something that no amount of movement can change. However, strengthening the muscles that support and surround the joint can help. Exercising also improves your range of motion and flexibility and allows you to maintain a healthy weight—all of which make a big difference.

The key to this is choosing the right kind of exercise. Running and other high-impact activities are not the right way to approach this. Instead, opt for swimming, yoga, or water aerobics, which can provide an array of benefits for you.

If you have arthritis and exercise is not part of your routine, Shenandoah Podiatry is here for you. We will take the time to understand your current condition and then find physical activities that are right for you. Our office can also administer a variety of treatments, so contact us today via our online form or give us a call at (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke office.

Do orthotics help pain from a heel spur?

There are a variety of ways that we can treat a bony growth on the bottom of your heel and one of the effective, conservative treatment methods is to use orthotics for heel spurs. When a heel spur has developed due to a biomechanical imbalance, these customized inserts can help correct the issue. It is important to note that these foot supports are not the same as the mass-produced shoe inserts that you can buy at retail stores and nationwide pharmacies. Those inserts can provide cushioning, and possibly arch support, but are not prescribed, medical devices that are created specifically for your feet.

When faced with the pain and discomfort that can accompany a heel spur, come see Dr. Jennifer Keller or any of the professional staff at Shenandoah Podiatry. We will examine your condition and determine the best course of treatment to eliminate the pain and discomfort. When we determine that orthotics will be effective at treating our clients, we customize them to make sure the problem is being addressed. Make an appointment at our Roanoke, VA office by calling (540) 904-1458 or use our online form.

What is a bone spur?

A bone spur is a growth that forms on a normal bone, typically when your body tries to repair or protect itself by producing extra bone tissue. Contrary to the “spur” in the name, these growths are not usually sharp. They are often smooth, but may cause pain and discomfort when they press or rub against other tissue and wear it down. In cases where it is not creating any issues, there is no need for treatment of the bony growth, especially since it’s not likely that you would even be aware that you have one.

When you do have pain that stems from a difficult bone spur, Shenandoah Podiatry is here for you. We will examine your condition, give an expert diagnosis, and provide the first-class treatment you expect from our practice. We have an office conveniently located in Roanoke, VA to better serve you. To schedule an appointment, call (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke location, or schedule online today.

How Can I Soothe Heel Pain After A Long Day at Work?

Being on your feet for long periods of time can make for a pretty painful end of the day—especially for your heels. One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the ligament that spans the bottom of your foot. fPain is often worse in the morning since the ligament tightens in your sleep, making your first step difficult. As you walk around, the tissues will loosen up and pain will subside, but only temporarily. Left untreated, the problem will get increasingly worse, especially if you continue to stress it with overuse.

There are stretches you can do to soothe heel pain and help relieve symptoms, but the best thing you can do is rest. If you must be on your feet, take breaks often and try to avoid hard surfaces. Icing the area and taking anti-inflammatory medication can help as well. Also, wear shoes that provide plenty of arch support and slip in some custom orthotics to add even more.

If you are experiencing heel pain, Dr. Jennifer Keller and Dr. Marshal Gwynn can help. Call Shenandoah Podiatry at (540) 808-4343 in Blacksburg, VA, or (540) 904-1458 in Roanoke.

What is different with Betterforms (Shenandoah Podiatry’s over the counter insert) and custom orthotics than the one’s I can get made on the machine at Walmart?

The over-the-counter inserts you purchase in stores such as Walmart are prefabricated based on shoe size only, the scanner at Walmart will check if you have a high arch, flat foot, etc. but still is just prefabricated and not custom made to your feet. Our OTC inserts are also prefabricated but have a better arch support and heel cup to help keep your foot stable and is a great alternative for those with insurance policies that won’t cover custom orthotics or cannot afford them. Custom orthotics are the best option if you want an insert designed to support your foot and correct any malalignment you may have.

Flat Feet

Do flat feet hurt?

Flat feet is a fairly common and usually painless condition, but that does not mean that there are no issues associated with it. Some symptoms include fatigued feet, swelling, difficulty with moving, and, yes, even pain. The larger issue with low arches is how they affect other body parts, including the ankles, knees, and hips.

When you have flat feet, they often overpronate when you walk or run. This means that the foot rolls excessively inward as it completes the motion from the heel striking the ground through the final push of the toes. As your body tries to compensate, the alignment of your legs is thrown off and your joints may pull in a manner in which they were not intended.

If your low arches are causing you pain, Shenandoah Podiatry can help. Dr. Jennifer Keller is an experienced podiatrists who provides world-class treatment. Call our Roanoke office at (540) 904-1458 or schedule an appointment online and get the pain relief you need today!

How can flat feet be treated?

Treatment for flat feet includes a handful of conservative, nonsurgical options that work well. Before you seek medical assistance, you could try wearing shoes that are designed for individuals who have low arches. There are an array of athletic shoes that are tailored for people who have this particular condition, but you can also purchase over-the-counter inserts to help provide arch support.

Another form of flat feet treatment that is particularly effective is the use of orthotics. Orthotics are similar to inserts, but with the key distinction that these medical devices are prescribed and completely customized for your unique feet. The inserts you buy in stores are mass-produced and do not offer the same level of treatment for you.

When you suffer from issues that can arise from having flat feet, you need the experts at Shenandoah Podiatry. Dr. Jennifer Keller provides exceptional foot care for those who live in the Roanoke area. Call (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke office or schedule an appointment online to receive the relief you need from foot and ankle pain today.

Diabetic Foot Care

I am diabetic and I have a blister on my foot. Should I be concerned?

There is one answer to this question: Yes! A blister on a diabetic foot may indicate a severe infection. Because diabetic feet respond differently than healthy feet, redness, heat, and drainage are usually positive signs of a severe infection. This is one example of something I would consider to be an emergency.

Charcot Foot

What is Charcot foot?

Charcot foot is a bone deformity in the foot that is the result of severe neuropathy. Someone who is unable to feel pain or other sensations in his or her feet from nerve damage may unknowingly walk in an abnormal manner or bear weight on an injury such as a sprain. Over time, this may weaken the bones to the point where they fracture and shift, eventually altering the shape of the foot.

In addition to the deformity, symptoms of this condition may include redness, warmth to the touch, swelling, and pain. Detecting this problem early is vital, as damage can become much worse the longer the foot is used without treatment.

If you have diabetes or neuropathy, report any signs of foot damage or abnormality to Dr. Jennifer Keller and the staff of Shenandoah Podiatry as soon as possible. We can fully evaluate your foot and determine the best route of action to provide healing and prevent serious conditions from developing. Schedule an appointment by calling our Roanoke office at (540) 904-1458 or our Blacksburg office at (540) 808-4343.

Nail and Skin Care

Why are my toenails turning black?

There are a couple of different reasons why your toenails may be turning black. The most likely cause of black toenails is physical trauma experienced by your foot. If you dropped something heavy on your foot, it might result in discoloration from bleeding or a blood clot under the nail.

Another form of trauma that might not be as immediately evident is the kind that takes place within the shoes of long-distance runners. When toes repeatedly hit the fronts of running shoes, and particularly if nails are not trimmed properly, it can lead to black toenails.

Other causes include chronic ingrown nails, fungal infections, and even health problems that affect the rest of your body. Although this is quite rare, malignant melanoma is a possible explanation for a black toenail. This is an extremely serious medical condition, so it is important to have an expert diagnosis.

If you need further information, treatment for a painful nail, or want to be sure that your black toenail is not malignant, Shenandoah Podiatry is here for you. Contact our Roanoke, VA office by calling (540) 904-1458.

I am diabetic and found a blister. Should I be worried?

Blisters raise the potential for a break in the skin that could lead to infection, so you should absolutely be concerned. It is possible that diabetic blisters may appear on your legs or arms, and then go away on their own in 2-4 weeks, but these are quite rare. However, it is better to seek help and have it not be a big deal, than to let it go and face potential amputation.

Additionally, blisters may be an indication that you already have a severe infection. Keep in mind that your immune system cannot fight off infection particularly well, and this could lead to a dangerous condition for you. If the blister is intact, take every precaution to keep pressure off of it and come in to see us as soon as you possibly can.

If you have diabetes and discover a friction blister on your foot, contact Shenandoah Podiatry as soon as you can and make the earliest appointment possible. Dr. Jennifer Keller or Dr. Marshal Gwynn will give you the care you need at either our Roanoke or Blacksburg, VA, locations. Call (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke office or (540) 808-4343 for Blacksburg today!

How do I know if I have toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus is a common nail condition with some distinct symptoms. A fungal infection damages keratin and changes it. Typically nails grow dull and discolored, often appearing yellow, gray, or brown. There may be a build-up of debris under the nail tissue. The keratin typically becomes brittle and crumbly or ragged. It may change shape and grow distorted as well. You may notice a slightly foul odor. Over time, you may find it more painful to wear certain shoes.

The most accurate way to tell if you have developed a fungus is to have your nails tested. Shenandoah Podiatry can scrape a little keratin off the top of your nail and have it analyzed in a lab to confirm any fungal infections. Once we’re sure of your condition, we help you begin treating it. Don’t just guess about your lower limb issues. Contact Shenandoah Podiatry in Roanoke and Blacksburg, Virginia for accurate care. Use the website or call to make an appointment with us: (540) 904-1458 for Roanoke, or (540) 808-4343 for Blacksburg.

Can I Treat Dry and Cracked Heels at Home?

If you have dry, cracked heels, you can blame your parents! This problem is often hereditary. Conditions like diabetes can cause dry heels as well, and sometimes your skin just dries out with age. Fortunately, in most cases, you can treat yourself at home.

The first step toward smoother skin is keeping your feet moisturized. After bathing, smooth dry areas with a pumice stone then liberally apply a rich, creamy lotion. Lock the moisture in by putting on socks, or even sleeping in them. You can also try soaking your feet in lemon juice—the acid from the lemon erodes away dead skin. Re-apply lotion often and avoid hot showers, as well as caffeine and alcohol. Drink plenty of water instead. Using a humidifier in your home can help too. If nothing seems to be working or you notice your cracked heels are bleeding, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Keller or Dr. Marshal Gwynn of Shenandoah Podiatry. You can reach our Roanoke, VA office at (540) 904-1458, or our Blacksburg, VA location at (540) 808-4343. We can help your heels be healthy again!

Are pedicures bad for my toenails?

Everyone loves to pamper themselves once in a while, and pedicures are a popular way to do so. However, before heading to the salon you should take some precautions to avoid possible problems. Otherwise your pretty feet could wind up with some unsightly issues, like warts, athlete’s foot, and fungal nails.

Foot baths are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria and fungus. It’s important to make sure the salon you choose follows strict sterilizing techniques, not only for the baths, but also the tools. Take some time between appointments as well so that toenails can take a breather from being painted. If you can’t stand being without color, it’s best to choose a polish with healthy ingredients such as the Dr. Remedy line of nail polish we carry at Shenandoah Podiatry.

For more tips on avoiding the possible risks from a pedicure, or if you’d like to pick up some of our polish, just call (540) 808-4343 in Blacksburg, VA, or call (540) 904-1458 in Roanoke. Dr. Jennifer Keller and Dr. Marshal Gwynn are happy to help keep your feet and nails healthy and looking good!

Ingrown Toenails

How can I prevent ingrown toenails?

Proper grooming techniques go a long way when it comes to preventing ingrown toenails. Be sure to keep nails clean and trim them straight across, never following the curve. In addition, nails should be kept even with the tips of your toes—any shorter and pressure from your shoes could direct the nail to grow into the surrounding tissue. Shoes that are too tight or narrow can pinch toes as well and cause nails to become ingrown, so it is important to have well-fitting footwear, too.

You can avoid this painful problem by following these tips. However, if despite your best efforts you suspect that your toenail is becoming ingrown, make an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Keller or Dr. Marshal Gwynn at Shenandoah Podiatry today. It is especially important to do so if you have diabetes, as an ingrown toenail can result in serious complications. To learn more or to schedule a visit, call (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke, VA office, or (540) 808-4343 for our Blacksburg location.

Will the procedure (ingrown/wart) be done during my first visit?

We will try to do most procedures the same day as long as time permits and with ingrown nails as long as the patient has no heart condition, joint replacement or reason they need to be on an antibiotic prior to the procedure. In some cases we have sent an antibiotic to the patient’s pharmacy and scheduled them to come back later that same day after taking the antibiotic one hour prior to the procedure.

Toenail Fungus

Does laser treatment for fungal nails hurt?

Laser treatment for fungal nails is an effective, safe, and generally painless procedure. This FDA-approved therapy does provide a slight warming sensation for some, but the majority of our patients report no pain or discomfort. This is an ideal way of handling a condition that can impact your quality of life, lead to embarrassment, and even pose a risk of serious health problems for individuals who live with diabetes or immune disorders.

Our laser therapy treats the condition at its source and will not damage your nail or surrounding tissue. This is a “walk in, walk out” procedure that takes only half an hour and you can go right back to your daily activities immediately afterwards.

You do not have to live with unsightly fungal nails! Contact Shenandoah Podiatry and find out more about treating your condition with laser therapy. Call our Roanoke, VA office at (540) 904-1458 or request an appointment online.

Can fungal toenails be treated?

Fungal toenails can definitely be treated, but it is important to keep in mind that this condition will not go away on its own. If you want to eliminate toenail fungus and have the clear, healthy nails you deserve, you need to begin treatment with one of our skilled foot specialists. This process will take some time, so do not wait too long before starting.

There are various treatment methods available for this condition, but we are finding that laser nail therapy is a quick and effective option that provides optimal results. Our office uses PinPointe laser treatment which is safe and proven to restore nails. A single session only takes half an hour and you will walk out the door afterwards without an issue.

Don’t let the embarrassment of unsightly, discolored toenails keep you from wearing sandals or going barefoot on the beach in warm weather! Let the experts at Shenandoah Podiatry restore your nails to a healthy, natural state with the use of effective laser nail therapy. Schedule an appointment with our Roanoke, VA office by calling (540) 904-1458 or use our convenient online form.

How long does laser treatment for toenail fungus take?

The laser procedure typically takes about 30 minutes.

When is it safe to paint my nails or have a pedicure following treatment?

You can apply polish immediately after the treatment. It is important that you remove all nail polish and nail decorations the day before your treatment.

Is the laser treatment for nail fungus painful?

Most patients feel no pain. Some may feel a warming sensation. An isolated few may feel a slight pinprick.

Is there a recovery period from fungal laser treatment?

No. The treatment is a walk in/walk out procedure.

How does toenail fungus laser treatment work?

The laser kills fungus that lives in and under the nail. The laser light passes through the nail without causing damage to the nail or the surrounding skin. At the time of the procedure, the toenail will not become instantly clear— it takes time to grow out.

What are the symptoms of fungal nails?

Fungal nails appear to be yellow, brown, dry, brittle, cracked, thick and/or raised. Also, fungal nails can be associated with athlete’s foot (dry, itchy skin).


How do I know if I should have my bunions fixed or leave them alone?

There are two lines of thought on this issue. The younger you are, the better your healing potential. You are also less likely to have other medical conditions or arthritis in the joint that can affect the outcome of the surgery. But, there is always that small possibility that you develop a complication after surgery. So, if it is not hurting, leave it alone. I usually suggest waiting until it starts interfering with what a person wants to do.


Can bunions be taken care of at home?

Bunion treatment at home can be effective in relieving pain and preventing the deformity from becoming worse. There are various methods to try and reduce toe pain, some of which may work better for you than others. You might try applying ice to the joint for 10-20 minutes, being careful not to expose your skin to too much cold. Warm soaks, stretches, and non-prescription medication may also prove comforting.

Perhaps the most helpful treatment is to wear proper shoes. Make sure they are roomy, have wide and deep toe boxes, and support your arch well. Keep heels low or flat, and avoid anything that places pressure on the big toe joint. Bunion pads and soft patches around pressure areas can also help.

While you can find some relief at home, Dr. Jennifer Keller and the staff at Shenandoah Podiatry can perform a full evaluation of your condition and offer special treatments, including custom orthotics, which can take pressure away from your bunion and have your foot feeling even better. Schedule an appointment by calling our Roanoke, VA office at (540) 904-1458 or our Blacksburg office at (540) 808-4343.

Sports Injuries

How Often Should I Replace my Shoes?

When you replace your running shoes will depend on your unique foot needs and the type of shoes you wear. Most shoes last between 300 and 500 miles, though minimalist footwear may need to be retired sooner. The best tips for running shoes, though, advise you to consider your unique feet and footwear. These deciding factors include how your feet feel when you run and the visible signs of wear and tear on the shoes. Check to see how worn the tread on the outsole has become. If this is growing very thin, it may be time to replace your shoes.

How they feel when you run is also important. The shoe’s midsole, which isn’t visible, breaks down over time and loses its supportive properties. As this happens, you’ll notice a flat feeling to the shoe. Your feet may wear out and feel achier than normal. This is a sign that you definitely should replace your footwear. If you develop an injury, you’ve already waited too long. If you’re concerned about replacing your running shoes, let Shenandoah Podiatry in Virginia help. Contact us for more information through the website or by calling (540) 904-1458 for the Roanoke office, or (540) 808-4343 for the Blacksburg location.


What causes stress fractures?

Stress fractures are common overuse injuries we treat that are caused by repetitive application of force or stress. These often result in athletes from excessive running or jumping, especially in such sports as track and field, basketball, and cross country. In addition to sport-related causes, normal use of a bone weakened by osteoporosis can also lead to one of these hairline cracks happening.

Preventative measures include building up frequency, duration, and intensity of your workout program gradually rather than making sudden changes. You can also reduce your risk by cross-training with low-impact activities and getting proper amounts of calcium and nutrients in your daily diet.

When you feel pain in a specific location that worsens in time, and has no obvious point of origin, it is likely that you have suffered a stress fracture. These fractures are commonly found in the foot, ankle, or lower leg and you should make an appointment with our practice for a proper diagnosis and effective treatment plan. Contact Shenandoah Podiatry by calling (540) 904-1458 to reach our Roanoke, VA office or schedule an appointment online.

Can I still exercise with a stress fracture?

When considering whether or not to exercise with a stress fracture, the answer depends on what kind of exercise you are contemplating. Running, jumping, and playing tackle football are definitely out of the question when you have sustained a stress fracture. Low-impact activities like swimming, bicycling, yoga—and maybe even walking—are not only possible, but also something we often recommend for patients who are dealing with this injury. These kinds of activities are a great way to maintain conditioning and physical health while waiting for your fracture to completely heal.

Proudly serving the Roanke, VA communities, Shenandoah Podiatry is your source for accurate diagnoses, effective treatment, and patient-centered care for any foot or ankle issue you may be experiencing. Contact our friendly staff by calling (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke office, or by using the form on our website today.

Children's Feet

Should children's flat feet be treated?

All babies are born with flat feet, but normally around age 6 an arch begins to develop. Sometimes, though, children’s feet stay flat and an arch never forms. This may never bother your child and in that case, there is no need for treatment. However if the condition causes pain, inhibits movement, and is keeping your little one from participating in activities, then treating flat feet becomes necessary to ease discomfort, as well as to prevent future foot problems.

Stretches can help to loosen a tight Achilles tendon, a common issue for those with this condition. There are also exercises to help strengthen the arch. When choosing shoes for your child, opt for a pair with plenty of support and cushion. You may even want to slip in a soft insert for added comfort.

For more information on treating flat feet in children, visit Shenandoah Podiatry. Dr. Jennifer Keller and Dr. Marshal Gwynn are happy to answer your questions and help your child get back to doing all the things that kids do! For an appointment, call (540) 808-4343 in Blacksburg, VA, or (540) 904-1458 in Roanoke.

General Foot Care

What is peripheral arterial disease?

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is common condition where narrowed arteries do not allow a normal level of blood flow to your limbs. This disease has widespread implications, but profoundly affects your feet and legs on account of their physical distance from the heart.

Since your legs do not receive an adequate amount of blood flow, symptoms like leg pain and cramping frequently accompany PAD. In addition to these, other signs of this ailment include leg numbness, cold sensations, and sores that either heal slowly or not at all.

The goals for treating this condition are to manage the symptoms and stop its progression. Treatment includes quitting smoking, eating well and exercising, as well as medications or surgery to increase function of the blood vessels.

If this sounds like something you are experiencing, make an appointment with our Roanoke, VA office and we can create a treatment plan for you. Shenandoah Podiatry is here to help you and your family with any foot or ankle problems, so contact us today through our online form or by calling (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke location.

Should I pop my blister?

If you have developed a blister that is not causing any issues, you should simply let it run its course. Eventually, the fluid inside will be reabsorbed by your body and the skin on the outside will dry up and fall off.

However, if you have developed a blister and live with diabetes, definitely do not attempt to pop it! Doing so creates a risk of infection that your immune system may not be equipped to effectively fight. Instead of popping blisters, a better course of action is to contact our office and let our foot professionals help you.

If you are otherwise healthy and the blister is causing pain or severe discomfort, you can consider popping it. When you take this route, be sure to sterilize the needle with alcohol, wash the surrounding area beforehand, treat the area with antibacterial ointment afterwards, keep the external flap of skin intact, and cover it loosely with a bandage.

When you need help with a troublesome blister, make an appointment with Shenandoah Podiatry and let the professionals handle it for you. Contact our Roanoke, VA office at (540) 904-1458 to schedule an appointment.

What is metatarsalgia?

Metatarsalgia is a common injury in which the long bones that run along the ball of your foot—the metatarsals—become inflamed. This often causes a burning, aching, or sharp pain just beneath the toes. It might also feel like there is a stone in your shoe when you walk.

Inflammation of the metatarsals often occurs as a result of overuse, especially with runners who regularly pound the ground with the fronts of their feet. Additional factors, including a tight Achilles tendon, flat feet, or improperly supportive footwear, can place excess pressure on the metatarsals and contribute to the problem.

If you suffer pain in the ball of the foot that doesn’t improve after several days of rest, contact Dr. Jennifer Keller and the staff of Shenandoah Podiatry. We can properly determine the source of your discomfort and recommend treatments and lifestyle changes that can find your relief. Schedule an appointment with our Blacksburg office by calling (540) 808-4343 or our Roanoke office by calling (540) 904-1458.

Is this procedure going to hurt?

Every procedure is a little different, and the same is true of everyone’s pain tolerance, so this really depends on each individual case. We take every precaution to make all of our procedures as painless as possible. When administering shots, for example, we use a cold spray to reduce any sensitivity towards feeling the needle. No matter what type of podiatric care we are providing for you, we will go slowly and carefully explain what we are doing. Our goal is to make you feel as comfortable as possible, and we have found that this helps our patients.

At Shenandoah Podiatry we do our best to provide top-notch foot and ankle care with the least amount of pain or discomfort for you. If you have a medical condition that requires our services, come to either our Roanoke or Blacksburg, VA, offices and see Dr. Jennifer Keller or Dr. Marshal Gwynn. Call (540) 904-1458 for an appointment at our Roanoke office, or (540) 808-4343 for our Blacksburg office, and get the care you need today!

Why is my Family History Important for foot care?

Your family history provides our doctors with important insight into your health and that of your feet. You may have inherited conditions that can affect your feet, like diabetes or heart and circulatory problems. Biomechanical and structural issues that you are born with can cause any number of foot conditions, too. Knowing if you are prone to certain problems can not only help us treat them, but possibly prevent them from occurring in the first place. Your family history alerts us to possible complications that may arise as well. It also helps us to determine reasons behind issues that you are having, which in turn allows us to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

To learn more, contact Dr. Jennifer Keller and Dr. Marshal Gwynn at Shenandoah Podiatry in VA. You can reach us by calling our Blacksburg office at (540) 808-4343, or by dialing (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke location.


Why does my 2nd toe hurt?

When you experience a vague pain in your forefoot, particularly with regard to your second toe, it is possible that you have a condition known as Freiberg’s disease. In addition to pain, other observable symptoms of this ailment include stiffness, a limp, or even swelling if the synovial membrane that lines the inside of your joint has become inflamed.

This condition is more likely to be found in patients aged 13-18, and especially female athletes who fall in that age range. The exact cause of Freiberg’s disease is unknown, but it can arise from traumatic injury or an interrupted growth process in the metatarsal. It is also more common for individuals who have long second toes, because this situation increases the amount of weight placed on the second metatarsal head.

If you, or a loved one, are experiencing pain in the second toe, come see Shenandoah Podiatry as soon as possible. Early treatment for this ailment can help prevent it from becoming a chronic condition. Our expert staff will administer the care you need when you visit our Roanoke, VA office. To make an appointment, call our Roanoke office at (540) 904-1458, or use our online form.

What is Freiberg’s Disease?

Freiberg’s disease is a rare condition that can become a debilitating ailment if not treated properly; it can even cause the onset of arthritis at a young age. Symptoms of this disease often include a vague forefoot pain, stiffness (particularly in the second toe), and a limp. Swelling may become apparent if there is inflammation of the synovial membrane on the inside of the joint.

The exact cause of this condition is unclear. Some, but not all, cases can be traced to a traumatic injury. In other instances, typically noted in adolescent patients, Freiberg’s stems from interruptions of normal growth processes at either the end of the bone (the epiphysis) or the growth plate (the apophysis) and results in fragmentation of the joint surface. Also, when the second toe is longer than the big toe, it assumes greater pressure and weight than it should, which leads to issues in its metatarsal joint.

When you, or a loved one, have the symptoms of Freiberg’s disease, it is important to come in and see us at Shenandoah Podiatry sooner rather than later. Our expert staff will give you the treatment and care that you need. Call our Roanoke, VA office at (540) 904-1458, or schedule an appointment online today.

Is there a certain time of day to buy shoes?

Our feet tend to change size during the day, so the time you go shoe shopping actually can make a difference when it comes to finding a proper, comfortable fit. The best time to try on shoes is toward the end of the day, during the late afternoon or early evening. Our feet typically swell throughout the day, and the later hours is when our feet are usually at their largest. That’s the best time to fit; otherwise, a shoe purchased in the morning might not feel so perfect later on. Also remember to measure both feet and to concentrate on fitting the one that is larger, if one is.

If you have more questions about how footwear applies to your foot health, Dr. Jennifer Keller and the staff of Shenandoah Podiatry can provide the answers you need. You can schedule an appointment with us by calling (540) 904-1458 for our Roanoke office.

What insurance do you accept?

We accept most insurances including:

  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • United Health Care
  • Optima Health
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • Medicare
  • Humana
  • Medcost
  • BIND
  • Tricare
  • Carilion Clinic
  • Medicare
  • Tricare and Tricare for Life
  • Medicare Supplements

Will I need a referral?
Our office does not require referrals, however if your insurance provider requires a referral, we will need a formal referral sent from your primary care doctor. Some insurances that usually require referrals are:

Tricare Prime
Medicaid Medallion
United Healthcare Services Co. of the New River Valley
Anthem Healthkeepers
Also, most HMO Plans

Is insurance going to pay for this visit/treatment/product?
All visits are subjecto to co-pay and deductable. All information given to us by the insurance company is only a quote and not a guarantee of payment.

Why do you need to know when I was seen by my family doctor last?

With any patient seen for diabetic foot care or at risk foot care, the insurance companies require the date of your last family doctor visit, diabetic doctor or cardiologist be listed and be within the past six months when submitting the insurance claim in order for the visit with us to be covered.

Why do you need to get my weight, blood pressure, etc. to treat my foot problem?

These are all a part of your vital signs which are recorded at each visit as part of your chart. If we see that your blood pressure is low or high we may suggest you be seen by your Family Doctor. Some medications we may prescribe may depend on weight for the dose amount.

Is this procedure/shot, etc. going to hurt?

Everyone has a different tolerance for pain. The shot may feel like a bee sting, we use a cold spray to reduce the chance of you feeling the needle. We will go slow and explain what we are doing as we go along to make you feel as comfortable as possible.

How long has Dr. Keller been in this office/in practice?

Dr. Keller (formerly Dr. Feeny) started the practice in Troutville in 2001.

Is there a certain time of day that is best to shop for shoes?

Oddly enough, yes! It is best to shop for shoes at the end of the day. As the day progresses, your feet change in width and length. To prevent injury to your feet caused by an ill-fitted shoe, wait until the evening to go shopping.