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Arthritis5Osteoarthritis, a form of arthritis, occurs when the body’s immune system begins attacking healthy cartilage and tissue. “Eighty percent of North Americans have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis by age 65, and sixty percent have significant pain.” As osteoarthritis is a progressive chronic disease, the cartilage of the joints wears down over time and there is no known cure. Symptoms of the disease include gradually increasing pain throughout the body, which are usually treated with NSAIDs, or non-steroidal pills.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment,contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of different joints in your body, such as in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. On top of this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help to temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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 arthritic foot care.

ankle-surgeryDevin Robinson, forward for the Florida Gators, had to have foot surgery and was sidelined for up to four months in late April. Robinson had surgery for a stress fracture in his left foot. He had originally entered the NBA draft on April 4, meaning he can return to the Gators for his junior season. There is hope that he will be ready to play for the start of the next season if he chooses to return.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to fix a foot ailment. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to help with the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary are:

  • Removing foot deformities like bone spurs and bunions
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction
  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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 foot surgery.

plantar-fasciitis6If you’re waking in the mornings with pain in your feet, it may be because you have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is described as heel pain that occurs as a result of inflammation and injury of the plantar fascia, which stretches along the bottom of our feet’s soles. Our plantar fascias are “prone to overuse injuries,” and symptoms of the condition include “morning stiffness, stiffness after working out, and pain while walking barefoot.” Treating your plantar fasciitis involves investing in custom orthotics, changing your footwear, anti-inflammatory medication, splints and physical therapy.

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

Monday, 23 May 2016 22:19

Causes of Heel Pain

heel-painHeel pain can be caused by a variety of different foot problems. Plantar fasciitis, a foot condition that is a leading cause of heel pain, can occur anytime, anywhere. The condition is caused by inflammation of the plantar fasciia, which runs across the soles of the feet. Heel spurs can also cause heel pain, so it’s important to see your podiatrist to properly diagnose the problem. Stretching your sore muscles is vital to recovery, as well as icing the sore spots and investing in orthotics.

Anyone can wind up suffering from heel pain. If your heel is hurting contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

  • Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.
  • Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.
  • Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

-          Wearing ill-fitting shoes                     

-          Wearing non-supportive shoes

-          Weight change           

-          Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a thing of the past.

With the advancements in technology and greater knowledge of how muscles and joints work, physical therapists can turn things around dramatically.  

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 Heel Pain

slower walkingAs we age, our feet wear down over time, as “our body absorbs two to three times their weight due to gravity.” According to podiatrist Dr. Joy Rowland, our feet gradually become longer and wider, our ligaments and tendons become “a little bit more lax over time,” and our feet can develop foot deformities such as hammertoe. We also begin losing the fat pad that supports our feet as we age, so it’s important to change your shoes often as your feet change too.

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 your 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 technologies to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Elderly and Feet

Monday, 09 May 2016 13:52

Managing Your Bunion Condition

bunions7Bunions are characterized as unsightly bumps that run along the side of your big toe, potentially leading to irritation and pain as we walk or run. Preventing bunions is as simple as finding footwear that gives your feet enough room to move and doesn’t push your toes together. Conditions such as “low arches, flat feet, and loose joints and tendons” make your feet more prone to bunions. Treating your bunions involves accommodating your feet by wearing comfortable shoes that are wide as well as seeing your podiatrist to find proper treatment.

Bunion surgery usually occurs after non-surgical methods have proved to be ineffective. 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 your pain free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs by the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

  • Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
  • Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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 bunions.

childrens-feet15Bacteria thrives in moist, public places such as gyms, and can lead to infections such as plantar warts. To avoid contracting contagious infections like plantar warts, take precautions when using public gym equipment. Clean any gym equipment you plan on using, and cover up any open wounds. Wear flip flops in the locker rooms and public shower areas. Also bring your own gym equipment.  

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Legions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing
  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

Treatment

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, will help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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 plantar warts.

childrens-feet11When the time comes and your childstarts walking on his or her own, it’s important to choose the right type of footwear for them. Footwear at a young age can impact how children’s feet develop as they grow older. Remember to look for shoes that are comfortable, breathable, soft, and lightweight. Avoid stiff leather and check that the sole is made of flexible and padded material. Shoes should have enough room for the toes to wiggle. Change them every few months as necessary.

Looking out for potential foot and ankle injuries as well as general health is vital in maintaining proper development in children’s feet.If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, consult with one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your podiatric needs.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet in childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care from birth to school-age.

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

  • Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet
  • Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. Be sure the child wears comfortable and protective shoes so that they can grow into their feet properly.

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet

  • Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus
  • Be watchful of any pain or injury
  • Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible
  • Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play

Children of all ages are constantly developing and growing, and as a parent you want to make sure that nothing is hindering their maturation.

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 keeping children’s feet healthy.

Monday, 18 April 2016 23:32

Joey King Out with Broken Foot

broken-foot6Minnesota’s Joey King, the only senior on the team, is out with a broken foot injury, at the time undetermined for how long. He is expected to miss the last two games of his school career. “It’s a crushing blow,” said Minnesota coach Richard Pitino, going on to say that “it makes a difficult situation much more difficult. But we just have to move on and do the best we can.”

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. To learn more, consult with one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your podiatric needs.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury.

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue (foot)
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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 Broken Feet

broken-foot4According to triathlete-europe.competitor.com, eating your way to stress fracture recovery may be the way to go. The site suggests establishing “good pre- and post-training nutrition habits,” eating foods rich with nutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Make sure to get adequate sleep, as “it assists with nutrient absorption and recovery.” Maintaining a healthy diet of protein and carbs will help with training and physical therapy as well as stress fracture prevention.

Activities, where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. If you have any concerns consult with one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your podiatric needs.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

The Stress Fractures occur on the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. Then the feet and ankles lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection the bones receive the full impact of each step. The stress on the feet causes cracks to form in the bones, thus called stress fractures.

What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

-runners                                  

-people affected with Osteoporosis

-play tennis or basketball

-gymnastics

-high impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures, and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves in high impact will aggravate pain.

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 Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

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