Blog
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 00:00

Foot Care while Hiking

Those who enjoy hiking as a regular activity should be sure to employ foot care while on the trail to avoid potential pain and injury. The first step to maintaining proper foot care while hiking is to be aware of one’s surroundings. Many hiking-related foot injuries and conditions often occur as a result of not being aware while on the trail: rolled ankles, broken toes, and blisters. When hiking, be sure to wear shoes that are breathable and that either dry quickly or are waterproof. When trying on hiking boots or shoes, finding a great fit is important. With modern innovations in footwear, hiking boots are becoming lighter and more comfortable.

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
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 00:00

What is Gout?

Gout is one of the most commonly recorded medical conditions throughout the world’s history. This condition is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the joints. Uric acid comes from purines, which are found in meat products. The body can’t always get rid of all the uric acid, and this results in the formation of crystals which accumulate in the joints. Gout usually occurs near the big toe, and its symptoms include pain, swelling, tenderness, and reddish discoloration. Unfortunately, the pain associated with gout could last for days. You are more likely to have gout if you have high blood pressure, a heavy alcohol intake, or if you take diuretics.  Be sure to watch your diet, and consult with a meddical professional.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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 Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Published in Blog

In a recent study conducted in the Boston area, correlations between obesity, foot pain, and foot disorders were investigated. The sample size of the study was 2445 men and women with an average age of 68. In men, severe obesity, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 kg/m^2 or more, was found to be associated with foot pain. For women, both moderate (30-34.99) and severe obesity were associated with foot pain. The general conclusion of the study was that regardless of foot posture and dynamic foot function, as one’s BMI increased the likelihood of foot pain increased as well.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned 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.

Obesity and your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of 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.

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet
Published in Blog
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 00:00

Understanding Hammertoes

If you have hammertoes, it may be due to a number of factors including improperly-fitting shoes or muscle and nerve diseases that can affect your feet. Hammertoes are described as bent and curled toes, seeming to resemble the claw of a hammer. The condition is permanent and may require treatment if pain progresses. Typical treatment includes wearing the proper footwear and physical therapy. A final option is surgery for severe cases, but consulting with your podiatrist first about your condition is recommended before deciding on the surgical option.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?
Published in Blog
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 00:00

Preventing Poor Blood Circulation

If your feet feel cold, especially during these winter months, it is because it is your body’s natural response for conserving heat when it is too cold. Your body “tries to maintain its internal temperature by constricting small blood vessels under the surface of the skin. This allows more blood to move deeper in the body, so your core stays warm.” However, this causes your body’s extremities, like the feet, to receive poor blood circulation. When taking care of your cold feet, try to wear warm, breathable socks that help wick away moisture. Opt for wool in place of cotton. Other methods include warming your feet up in warm water, drinking hot liquids, moving around to get your blood circulation going, and investing in shoe inserts to help insulate the insides of your shoes.

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 podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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 Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Published in Blog