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feet3With New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week coming to an end, designers will be seen attending and presenting their shows with their hair pulled back and heels left in their closet for a more comfortable foot wear. One Designer, Anya Hindmarch attempted to comfortable revive her guests with bright and familiar objects, logos, but her models were also kept in sneakers and more comfortable shoes. Models walking down the runway in what resembled gymnastics leotards gave way to a more comfortable outlook of the week, one without blisters and calluses and other issues caused by the effects of high heels.

High heels have a history for causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because they are associated with femininity. Despite their appeal, they can cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

What parts my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – may shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – they decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain. Also, the vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems. Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet. Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising. If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work. Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock; you can buy either full inserts or metatarsal pads.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about the effects of high heels.

ingrown-toenail3Spring and summer weather is a sure indication of sandals, bare feet, and painted toes. Some women, however, have to contend with foot conditions such as ingrown toenails that developed over the winter months. Experts provide women with4 tips for ingrown toenail prevention and treatment. Be careful while cutting toenails and be careful to not cut the cuticles. Wear shoes that do not squish toes or force the big toe inward. Clip toenails straight across. Finally, soak the feet in a solution of ½ cup iodine and 1 gallon of warm water for 15 to 20 minutes a day.

Ingrown toenails are very painful and could lead to other complications. If you have any concerns about your ingrown toenails contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about ingrown toenails.

corns2Women’s golfer, Katrina Bradford, suffered a broken toe yet still participated in the team golf event with teammates Fiona Cummins and Helen Stewart. Despite the broken toe, Bradford's team still won by the smallest margin. With the Walker Cup and Solheim Cup coming, this win was exactly what the team was waiting for. Although Bradford did not let her broken toe hold the team back, Fiona was the real star of the event, making moves that made the competition very easy for her team members.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • throbbing pain
  • swelling
  • bruising on the skin and toenail
  • the inability to move the toe
  • toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

If you have any concerns please feel free to contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about a broken toe.

foot-care6In a China of the past, women with bound feet were stereotypical and quite common. The practice was popular due to the belief that small feet were a sign of beauty and attraction. The practice was eventually outlawed in the country following strong opposition from 19th-century Christian missionaries. Despite its outlaw, elderly women with bound feet can still be found, particularly in China’s rural areas. Relatives of women with bound feet can recall the practice’s negative effects; bound feet caused poor circulation, which often brought along severely unpleasant headaches.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our podiatrists will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. It usually restricts the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development.

It can also cause:

-muscle pain        -numbness in legs

-cramps              -skin discoloration

-weakness          -slower nail & hair growth

-stiffness            -erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes and or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, or who are over 50.

If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always see a doctor as they will help try and fit a regime that suits you. A doctor will also prescribe you medication which will help for PAD.  

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about poor circulation in the feet.

Monday, 21 September 2015 00:00

Start-Up Creates Orthotic Flip-Flop

orthotics5Jackson Hole, WY based Kickstarter company Foot Flops have created a line of heat-molded orthotic flip-flop styles this week. Foot Flops customizable to each owner’s foot using patent pending HEAT technology made from Thermo-Form foam. The flip-flops are heated in an oven for five to seven minutes and are stepped on immediately upon removal for precision of support. The Foot Flop creation takes up to twenty minutes to cool and complete.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain, but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct over arched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you, or if you have a more severe foot issue, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and more severe heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses, and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist on the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain free.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technologies to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Orthotics

toenail-fungus7Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that has been diagnosed in 1.3 million Americans. Nearly 60% of sufferers not properly treated will be left unable to work within ten years, so it is important to keep an eye on the warning signs in order to treat and control the disease as soon as possible. Puffiness, swelling, feeling stiff, constant fatigue, as well as pain or tenderness in the joints are all signs of RA. Typically RA will cause pain on both sides of the body and periods of flare ups will come and go. The disease has also been known to start in the smaller joints, such as the toes, gradually moving up to the ankles and other bigger joints.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and joint pain can become very painful and debilitating if left untreated. For more information about Rheumatoid Arthritis and its symptoms, consult with one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

- Swelling & pain in the feet
- Stiffness in the feet
- Pain on the ball or sole of feet
- Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

For more information about rheumatoid arthritis please follow the link below.

If you have any questions, please contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more on Rheumatoid Arthritis

stretching4Although exercise is important in maintaining overall health, wearing the proper shoe for each exercise is crucial to maintaining foot health and overall performance. According to Dr. Kade Paterson of the University of Melbourne, wearing the wrong shoe for certain exercises can cause a variety of injuries such as blisters, ingrown toenails, stress fractures, heel pain, etc. A sprinting shoe is made up of completely different components than cross fit, walking, or trail running shoes and wearing the wrong type of shoe will not protect your feet from potential injuries. Additionally, Dr. Paterson notes that many foot problems during exercise stem from wearing a shoe too big or too small. Getting your feet properly measured in addition to wearing properly cushioned socks will reduce injury.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you to gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important and often we forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate not to have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure its good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rise, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, also flexing the toes and involving the shins may help too. It is best to speak with your doctor regarding how to do these fitness steps and how often is right for you. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different and it varies from individual to individual to determine what should be done for you to maintain strength in your feet.

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technologies to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about exercising your feet.

running-shoe9Celebrity runners such as Tiki Barber, Katrina Bowden, and Uzo Aduba recently shared their marathon running tips while training for the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon, TCS New York City Marathon, and the Boston Marathon. “I’ll soak in an ice tub, do lots of stretching. And I get massages on a regular basis which helps a ton,” stated Tiki Barker on his recovery. Prone to plantar fasciitis, “30 Rock” star Bowden states, “I have to roll out my feet on a plastic ball every couple of days.” This helps ease the stabbing heel pain caused by the condition. Uzo Aduba of “Orange is the New Black” recalls overrunning and developing what she thought was a fracture in her foot. Since then she has learned to pace herself and slow down in order to progress.

Runners can still be prone to running injuries even with proper precautions. If you are suffering from a running injury see one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will provide you with quality treatment and assist you with all of your foot and ankle concerns.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber, this will help you gain better flexibility.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries

fungal-toenail2Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn broke her ankle while training in New Zealand. Since then, Vonn has since traveled back to the United States to further evaluate the injury. The gold medalist was quick to turn to social media to display her injury, “Unfortunately I crashed today and have a small fracture in my ankle,. Headed home now but will keep u posted,” she stated adding, “See ya later New Zealand!” Last season Vonn suffered an injury that forced her to miss the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. So far it is still early enough that she can recover by the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Broken Ankles

A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  • Swelling around the area
  • Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about broken ankles.

flat-feet10According to a study published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, young boys who practice judo were found to have higher arches and better balance compared to boys who were not as active. Flat feet rates in young boys have been higher recently due to a lack of proper diet and exercise altering foot position and gait. Since Judo is practiced barefoot and on flat surfaces, it causes stimulation in the proper receptors on the bottom of the feet.

Typically flat feet in children will develop around age six. If you suspect that your child has the condition, speak to one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot and ankle related questions and attend to all of your podiatric needs.

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet are a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. Standing about 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arch never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – if you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms:

Pain around the heel or arch area

Trouble standing on the tip toe.

Swelling around the inside of the ankle.

Flat look to one or both feet.

Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and treatments for your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Flat Feet

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