Blog
Tuesday, 04 September 2018 00:00

Causes of Blisters

If you’ve worn shoes that fit incorrectly or are too tight, the friction that occurs may cause blisters to form on the toes and feet. They are observed as small areas that are filled with fluid, which is often seen in the top layer of the skin. The blister serves as a defense mechanism to protect the skin against germs and infections from entering the body, as a result of the skin disintegrating from excess pressure. There may be many causes of blisters, including sunburn, frostbite, or a skin condition such as dermatitis. Some people may find that insect bites may be a cause of blisters, in addition to having an allergic reaction to specific chemicals. Research has shown the importance of leaving the bister alone until it can dissolve naturally, which generally occurs when the skin is fully healed. Preventative measures can be taken by ceasing to wear the shoes or stopping the activity that caused the blisters. For severe blisters on the feet, please speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to learn how they can be treated properly.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, 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.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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 care needs.

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Monday, 27 August 2018 00:00

What Are Stress Fractures Caused By?

If bones in the feet are generally overused, stress fractures may develop as a result of this type of strain. The foot bones typically absorb the weight of the body and tiny fractures may occur with specific types of repetitive motion. These may include any kind of jumping, running, or power walking activities performed over an extended period of time. Some of the symptoms that may be associated with this condition may be severe pain and swelling, and can often be diagnosed by having an X-ray performed. Additional reasons for this condition to develop may be obesity, muscle weakness, or possible side effects that may weaken the bones from certain medications. If you feel you may have developed a stress fracture in any part of your foot, it’s advised to speak to a podiatrist as quickly as possible to determine what the best treatment options are for you.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. 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 you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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 care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 20 August 2018 00:00

What Does Hammertoe Look Like?

A deformity of the toes that resemble a claw-like shape may be referred to as hammertoe. If the toes do not have adequate room to move about, they may have to bend to fit into the shoe. Additionally, if tight socks are worn, the toes may have to squeeze together, which may cause them to overlap. This condition can produce discomfort and pain, and may possibly cause corns and calluses to develop. Preventive measures may include choosing to wear shoes that fit correctly, while making sure there is ample room in the top of the shoe. Patients who have high arches or bunions may be more susceptible in developing hammertoe, and research has shown that permanent removal of a hammertoe affliction means surgery. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can recommend temporary relief options, which may include custom-made protective pads over the affected area.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of 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 occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work 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 care needs.

Read more about Hammertoe
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 00:00

Effective Ways to Prevent Falling

Recent research has shown that approximately 30 to 40 percent of seniors fall at least once per year. Many injuries may occur from the unnatural act of falling, including breaking a foot or spraining an ankle, in addition to possibly affecting the overall health of the body. There are simple steps that may be implemented to avoid falling, and as a result, the chances of a serious fall from occurring may be diminished. It’s important to choose shoes that fit correctly and it is beneficial if they have a non-slip sole. For those seniors who exercise regularly, their strong muscles and tendons may aid in providing the necessary strength to prevent a fall from occurring. Additionally, living in a clean and uncluttered environment may help older people to walk without tripping. It may be helpful to obtain regular medical checkups, which may include an eye exam and a reevaluation of any medications that are taken.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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 care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention

We all know the importance of buying shoes that fit properly. When shoes fit correctly, the feet will not only feel better, but may improve the overall well being of the body. Research has shown that it’s beneficial to purchase shoes during the day when the feet are typically at their largest. After having a salesperson properly measure your feet, the shoes should be tried on and walked in to ensure an optimum and comfortable fit. Being aware of how your feet feel in the shoes and trusting your comfort level, will aid in determining the shoe size that is correct for you. When standing in the shoes, a half-inch of space is generally ideal between the end of the shoes and the longest toe. If you find that any particular pair of shoes needs to be “broken in,” that may typically be a sign of an improper fit. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about how to properly fit for shoes.

It is important to find shoes that fit you properly in order to avoid a variety of different foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

Shoes have many different functions. They cushion our body weight, protect our feet, and allow us to safely play sports. You should always make sure that the shoes you wear fit you properly in order to avoid injuries and deformities such as: bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more. It is important to note that although a certain pair of shoes might be a great fit for someone else, that doesn’t mean they will be a great fit for you. This is why you should always try on shoes before buying them to make sure they are worth the investment. Typically, shoes need to be replaced ever six months to one year of regular use.

Tips for Proper Shoe Fitting

  • Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot
  • Don’t buy shoes that fit too tight, expecting them to stretch to fit
  • Make sure there is enough space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right
  • Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe, but by how the shoe fits your foot

The shoes you buy should always feel as good as they look. Shoes that fit properly will last longer, feel better, and improve your way of life each day.

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 care needs.

Read more about How to Get a Proper Shoe Fit
Monday, 30 July 2018 00:00

How Did I Get My Flat Feet?

People who have the condition known as fallen arches, or flat feet, generally have feet that roll inward due to lack of arches. Both feet lie flat on the ground while standing, and this may cause shoes to wear out faster than usual, or wear out unevenly. Possible symptoms of this ailment may include swelling around the ankle and surrounding areas, and many patients experience pain in the feet because the ligaments and muscles may be strained. Research has shown the purpose of the arch is to evenly distribute weight across the feet, which supports the body. If the arch is absent, the feet may undergo stress in addition to damage being done to the tendons and ligaments. Having flat feet is a common foot condition, resulting from numerous causes. These may include inherited traits, injuries to the foot and ankle, or muscle diseases such as cerebral palsy. If you have the condition referred to as flat feet, please speak with a podiatrist who can properly guide you to correct treatment options.

Flatfoot

Flatfoot is a condition that occurs when the arches on the foot are flattened, which allows the soles of the feet to touch the floor. Flatfoot is a common condition and it is usually painless.

Throughout childhood, most people begin to develop arches in their feet, however, some do not. Those who do not develop arches are left with flatfoot. The pain associated with flat feet is usually at its worse when engaging in activity. Another symptom that may occur with those who have this condition is swelling along the inside of the ankle.

It is also possible to have flexible flatfoot. Flexible flatfoot occurs when the arch is visible while sitting or standing on the tiptoes, but it disappears when standing. People who have flexible flatfoot are often children and most outgrow it without any problems.

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop flatfoot. Those who have diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of flatfoot development. Other factors include aging and obesity.

Diagnosis for flat feet is usually done by a series of tests by your podiatrist. Your podiatrist will typically try an x-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI on the feet. Treatment is usually not necessary for flat foot unless it causes pain. However, therapy is often used for those who experience pain in their flat feet. Some other suggested treatment options are arch supports, stretching exercises, and supportive shoes. 

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Monday, 23 July 2018 00:00

What Happens to Feet During Pregnancy?

For pregnant women, the general health of the feet may be affected. The additional weight gain may cause the feet to become bloated, and has been known to alter some women’s sense of gravity. The alignment and posture in the body may change, and the feet may become affected as a result of the differences in standing and walking that many women endure. Becoming flat-footed is a common ailment that may affect many pregnant women. The arches may temporarily disappear as a result of the pressure the feet must withstand from the additional weight. Additionally, edema, or water retention, is a common condition that many pregnant women experience, and this typically occurs as a result of the blood becoming thicker during the pregnancy. There are several ways to partially alleviate any discomfort that is often associated with edema. These may include elevating your feet as often as possible, eliminating salt from your diet, and stretching the feet, which may enhance the general health of the body. If you have concerns about the effects of pregnancy on the feet, please consult with a podiatrist for additional information.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to 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 Pregnancy and Foot Health
Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

How to Online Shop for Shoes

For people who prefer to buy shoes online rather in store, it may be difficult to get your correct shoe size. One of the most important steps in buying a pair of shoes online is to look at the size conversion chart on the website. You should measure your foot at home and follow the size guide for each shoe you purchase. When measuring your feet, you should beware of the fact that one foot may likely be larger than the other. It is also important to note that socks play a major role in how your feet will measure out. When trying on winter boots, you should choose a size that will allow you extra room for when you wear thick socks in cold weather. Lastly, you should stick with brands you are familiar with when buying shoes online. This tip is helpful, because if you stick with a shoe brand you already own, you will know what size will fit you if you decide to order online.

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 our offices located in Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Getting the Right Shoe Size: To Keep Your Feet Happy
Monday, 09 July 2018 00:00

Why Does Heel Pain Occur?

There are several types of heel pain that many people experience. This type of discomfort may range from Sever’s disease, which affects children, to plantar fasciitis that is a result of inflamed tissues that connects the heel to the sole of the foot. Some patients endure pain that can be felt behind the heel because of an Achilles tendon injury, which is referred to as Achilles tendinitis. Research has shown that many patients notice pain in the heels as a result of consistent pounding, which may originate from frequent running or power walking. Other reasons that heel pain may occur can be from a condition known as heel bursitis, which may come from an injury, or when improper footwear is worn. Additionally, patients that exhibit poor posture may be at risk in experiencing varying degrees of heel pain, which may be observed during running or walking. If you have heel or foot pain, please consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for proper information about available treatment options.

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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Monday, 02 July 2018 00:00

Can Plantar Fasciitis be Treated?

A condition referred to as plantar fasciitis typically affects people who stand for the majority of the day. People who enjoy jogging and hiking may also be affected as it is often the result of a repetitive strain injury. This ailment may become noticeable when the pain is felt in the arch and heel of the foot, and is often worse in the morning. For mild cases, relief may be found by wearing shoe inserts and stretching the foot frequently. This condition may become worse if not treated properly, and daily activities may become hindered as a result of chronic plantar fasciitis. Recent research has shown the importance of consulting with a podiatrist for proper treatment options which may include custom arch supports, shock wave therapy or possible surgery.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. 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 one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affects people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is 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 care needs.

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
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