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Tuesday, 26 December 2017 00:00

How the Foot is Structured

The relationship between the foot and the lower leg in motion is called foot biomechanics. When the foot is structured correctly, routine activities such as walking and running should typically occur without pain. The foot and ankle combine flexibility with support, providing functions that include shock absorption of one's body weight. Additionally, this part of the body acts as a lever during the push-off period before taking a step. There are 26 bones located in the foot and ankle; these bones are maintained by ligaments and tendons, helping the arches “give” when weight is placed on the foot. Functions of the arches include supporting the weight of the body while standing. The structure of the foot is anatomically linked, resulting in even distribution throughout the foot during weight-bearing activities.

If you have any concerns about your feet, 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.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics
-  Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
-  In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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.

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Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

Why Do I Have Heel Pain?

There are many different possible causes of heel pain. Heel pain may occur when constant weight is placed upon the heel. Pain is typically caused by repetitive stress, resulting in soreness and extreme discomfort. Other causes of heel pain may include wearing shoes with heels that are too low or from a worn pad in the heel area of the shoe. One common diagnosis for heel pain is plantar fasciitis, a condition which can be caused by overpronation. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. When a patient overpronates, this tissue can stretch and can become inflamed, resulting in intense pain in the arch and heel of the foot. The pain may subside as the day progresses and can feel the most intense first thing in the morning. Treatment may include cushioning and elevating the heel to alleviate pressure on the foot. If the pain is the result of overpronation, a shoe with good arch support and a firm heel may prevent the inflammation. Please consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis if the pain persists.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, 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.

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 condition of the past.

If you have any questions please 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.

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:00

How do Stress Fractures Happen?

Stress fractures develop when a bone that’s constantly under stress eventually weakens. It typically occurs on the outside of the bone and happens due to repetitive motion. Many professional athletes and runners develop this condition, as overuse of the bones in the foot is common. The way the foot is structured may be another cause, as having flat feet or higher arches may be a contributing factor in developing stress fractures. When overdoing a specific activity, the risk is high for developing these fractures. There may not be physical signs and symptoms from the fracture, but when the activity resumes, pain is often felt. An x-ray is used to determine exactly where the fracture is. Recovery comes from resting the foot and being careful not to put stress on the bones. Occasionally a medical boot is worn to keep the fracture from worsening, in addition to engaging in physical therapy. Please seek the advice of a podiatrist if you feel you have a stress fracture in the foot or ankle.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then 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. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating 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
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • 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 high impact will aggravate pain.

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.

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Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

Treatment for Plantar Warts

When the human papillomavirus enters through cuts in skin on the bottom of the foot, it can cause plantar warts. The wart may cause the skin to become thick and deformed, resulting in pain; this may make it difficult to walk. The virus is commonly acquired in warm and moist places, including shower floors and indoor pools. Eating healthy foods can help boost the immune system, which may fight off the virus. While generally not a major health concern, since many warts disappear on their own, it may be desirable to have them removed. Laser surgery, injections, or freezing with liquid nitrogen may be common treatment methods. Please consult a podiatrist to explore these options.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

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

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

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, can 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 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.

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