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Monday, 25 September 2017 00:00

What to Know About Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon, while the largest and thickest tendon in the body, is prone to being injured just like any body part. Tendinopathy, the breakdown of the tendon, generally occurs from overuse—especially from athletic activities. In some cases, the tendon can even rupture completely. While overuse directly causes the injury, there are other factors that increase the risk. These factors include bending the foot backwards, or dorsiflexion, weak calf muscles, and pronation. Compared to other muscle recoveries, tendons take longer to heal and can even take up to a year to fully recover. While anti-inflammatory medication may bring relief, it will not heal the injury. Ultimately, the best thing to do for an Achilles tendon injury is to see a podiatrist. Podiatrists offer the best treatment options and recovery programs for such injuries, and they can help patients heal properly so they can get back in the game.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. 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.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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 tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Stress fractures, or painful hairline fractures of the bone caused by fatigue, can happen to anyone. While small, they can be serious if not taken care of. Treatment generally involves rest, but prevention is always preferential. To prevent stress fractures, start with upping your calcium and vitamin D intake. Both calcium and vitamin D help promote healthy bones, which can prevent fractures. A good pair of sneakers can help prevent stress fractures in addition to a number of other foot injuries. At least one study shows that improper running stride can increase the likelihood of injury. Those who are very skinny are more likely to suffer from fractures, so maintaining a healthy body weight and diet is essential. Last but not least, when exercising be sure to gradually increase intensity over time; do not do this immediately. Fatigue from overuse is a common cause for stress fractures, so knowing your limit is an important part of preventing injury. If you think you have suffered a stress fracture in the foot, see a podiatrist immediately for a proper diagnosis.

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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Monday, 11 September 2017 00:00

Finding the Right Shoes to Deal With Foot Pain

Most adults are on their feet for hours on end throughout the day. It’s no surprise then that many suffer from foot pain. One of the most common forms of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue. Stretching and orthotics, like sole inserts, can help reduce pain. Making sure that your shoes provide proper arch support and cushioning can also relieve pain and other ailments. Women should be on the lookout; one study found that most women wear a shoe size that is half an inch too small. Furthermore, foot sizes still change even as you get older. While all these suggestions may help relieve foot pain temporarily, it still may not go away; in that case, it may be best to see a podiatrist. 

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.

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

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Suzie, an average woman, had felt a numbing and burning sensation in her foot for several years. She had been consistently told by doctors that she was experiencing neuropathy and that there was little that could be done. Only after her doctor referred her to a podiatrist did she become aware that what she was actually experiencing was tarsal tunnel syndrome, an often misdiagnosed condition that causes a variety of nerve problems such as numbness or burning sensations in the foot. Regular doctors often have trouble identifying tarsal tunnel syndrome and only through special nerve tests conducted by podiatrists can proper diagnosis and treatment be prescribed. If you are experiencing numbness and pain in your foot, be sure to seek out a podiatrist.

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 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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