Blog
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 00:00

Causes of Burning Feet

If you have a burning sensation in your feet, you may have any number of conditions. The feeling of burning in the feet can be either minor or severe, generally affect people over 50, and occur most frequently during the night. Nerve damage from diabetes, vitamin deficiency or alcoholism, obesity, strain on the feet, overheated feet, eczema or dermatitis, blood disorders, or any impairment of the feet’s nerves can all lead to the burning sensation. Seeing your podiatrist is vital to understanding any underlying causes. As always, make sure you are wearing properly fitting shoes as well.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of 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 Systemic Diseases of the Foot
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 00:00

How to Treat Athlete’s Foot

Most people, especially those who lead an active lifestyle, probably have had athlete’s foot at one time or another.  It is caused by a fungal infection and usually manifests itself between the toes.  Symptoms can be redness, itching, and if scratched excessively, pain.  Avoiding skin contact with surfaces in damp, public places is a good way to keep from getting athlete’s foot.  Other ways include: wearing shoes that breathe, changing your socks, keeping your feet clean and dry, and never sharing shoes with others.  If you do come down with athlete’s foot, antifungal spray is widely available for sale over-the-counter.  Should this not be effective, a podiatrist can help alleviate the symptoms and cure you of this nuisance of an infection.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates.  Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of 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 Athlete's Foot
Tuesday, 07 February 2017 00:00

Caring For Your Feet: What Not to Miss

Since we spend a great majority of our lives on our feet, we should take utmost care of them. Experts suggest stretching the feet can reduce many issues imposed on our feet as they can suffer from a variety of ailments. The most obvious sign of a foot issue is pain. While pain without injury can be easily ignored, a lack of treatment can lead to serious chronic pain such as plantar fasciitis or arthritis. Discolored skin on the foot should not go untreated. A biopsy is usually done when the area is asymmetrical, has irregularities around the edges, and is larger than five millimeters. Numbness, swelling, and cold feet are all early symptoms of various foot issues that should not be overlooked if ongoing. Athlete’s foot and other fungal infections of the foot are often first noticed as an itchy foot. Fungal infections can be treated over-the-counter, but should be diagnosed by a professional if conditions worsen or persist.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of 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 Every Day Foot Care
Monday, 30 January 2017 00:00

High Heels Lead to Pain

One of the most common causes of foot pain for women stems from the frequent wearing of high heels. Though they may be stylish, heels can contribute to all sorts of problems.  Due to the angle that the foot is forced to maintain, circulation can be slowed or even cut off.  This can lead to leg muscle issues, a stiffened Achilles tendon, and resulting spasms and pain.  If you are suffering any kind of pain from wearing high heels, consult a doctor.  In the meantime, try to limit the amount of time that you wear them.  If you have to wear heels for work, take them off as soon as you get home.  Stretching may also help some of the symptoms, but reducing the amount of walking around you do in high heels is the best way to prevent the pain.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of 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.  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. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of 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 Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 00:00

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

If you are experiencing moderate to severe pain in your heel or foot, you may have Plantar Fasciitis.  Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the heel of the foot, causing in some cases, very extreme pain. There are many causes for this, one being overstretching of the plantar fascia ligament, which runs from the heel to the ball of the foot.  This ligament supports the arch and can be affected by both the feet below it, and the muscles above.  If the calf muscles are too tight, this can pull on the ligament and cause inflammation.  A similar thing happens if you have flat feet.  The foot stretches the ligament from below.  Other activities that can cause Plantar Fasciitis are standing for long periods of time, running while planting your heel instead of your toe, and constant stress on the plantar fascia ligament.  Make sure to stretch your calves, take care that your footwear is not worn out, and seek podiatric treatment if your condition is painful.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of 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 Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 16 January 2017 00:24

Softening Corns and Calluses for Removal

feet5Among foot conditions, corns and calluses are often seen as some of the more harmless concerns. Regardless, if a corn or callus does become troublesome, there are methods available for removal. Because calluses are essentially small areas of thick, hardened skin, softening calluses can help aid in their removal. Soaking the feet in warm water and avoiding using harsh soaps while washing can help maintain softness of the skin. Hard areas can also be buffed away using a pumice stone. If you are suffering from corns and calluses and seek ways to remove them, consult with your podiatrist.

If you have any concerns regarding 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.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:
- Well-fitting socks
- Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
- Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Salicylic acid can help in getting rid of these corns because it dissolves keratin, which is the protein that makes up a good majority of corns. Podiatrists recommend that people with diabetes not use salicylic acid but should consult with their podiatrist regarding the treatment of corns.

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 Corns on the Feet.

Monday, 09 January 2017 14:42

Arthritis Care For Elderly Patients

elderly-feetArthritis and aching joints are one of the most prevalent complaints of people 55 years and over. Dr. Kendra Zuckerman of Main Line Health states, “arthritis technically means an inflammation of the joints.” Deborah Wolf, 76, shares her time between practicing law and playing tennis, and is not ready to slow down her rigorous schedule. However, after the development of arthritis in her knees, activity has become difficult. Dr. Zuckerman advises that exercise and weight-watching is important for arthritic patients, and that anti-inflammatory drugs can also help with the pain, too. Deborah works on knee strengthening and diet-planning to keep her pain at bay.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions

Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.

Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.

Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:

Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe

Shoes that don’t fit properly

Pressure sores

Loss of circulation in legs & feet

Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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 Elderly and Feet

diabetic-foot-care3“If you want to know the state of your health, try looking down.” Poor circulation in a person’s feet can be caused by a variety of things, and it is vitally important not to ignore any hint that this may be happening to you. Symptoms to look out for include cold feet, numbness, pain, or swelling.  Diabetes can lead to poor circulation in the extremities and if left untreated, can wreak havoc on your feet. But there are many other reasons for lack of blood flow, including neurological issues, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), and smoking, among others. Causes of these symptoms can become serious so it is imperative get to a podiatrist immediately to find out what is going on.

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 doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be 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. This can restrict 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, stiffness, or weakness
  • numbness or cramping in the legs
  • skin discoloration
  • slower nail & hair growth
  • erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those 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 and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about poor circulation in the feet

Monday, 26 December 2016 22:53

Winter Coming, Cracked Heels Abound

corns2As winter approaches we all know how important it is to make sure to keep our skin from getting too dry.  Just as we use balms and moisturizers for our face and hands, there are many ways to protect against dry and cracked feet and heels.  Glycerin lotions are some of the best remedies for combatting dryness.  Hydrogenated oils are also very effective moisturizers, and can be used not only on your feet, but your ankles and legs too.  In addition, fruits like banana and pineapple have plentiful amounts of helpful enzymes to ensure smooth and crack-free feet and ankles.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are unappealing, and make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Not only may they look bad, but they can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief, or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – wearing socks with medicated creams, helps lock in moisture so it can stay on longer.

Moisturizers – applying it both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – these remove dead skin, and then you can massage cream onto your foot. This way the cream will be absorbed. The skin needs to be exfoliated; therefore the outer layer dead skin needs removal.

Change in Diet

Eating healthy, with a well-balanced diet, will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to what kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements will also help with skin tissue.

Most importantly seek a health professional for foot care if something is wrong or doesn’t seem to be working. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed.

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 cracked heels.

Monday, 19 December 2016 15:04

Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

plantar-fasciitis6Tarsal tunnel syndrome can occur as a result of compression of the tarsal tunnel, “a canal at the inside of your ankle that houses tendons (what connects muscle to bone) and your tibial nerve.” Symptoms of the syndrome can include burning, aching and sudden pain in and around your ankles and feet. Causes of the syndrome range from flat feet, constant strain on your ankles and feet and an anatomic anomaly where there is too little space for the tibial nerve. Treating your tarsal tunnel syndrome involves physical therapy, custom orthotics and massages around the affected area.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome,contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
-Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
-Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
-At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
-Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
-The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
-If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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 tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Page 4 of 14