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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 affect 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.

 

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When the weather starts to warm up, you may be tempted to show off your feet with open-toed shoes. However, if you want them feeling healthy and fresh you should take extra precautions to make sure your feet are summer-ready. Wearing low-quality flip-flops and sandals without arch support may cause bunions, blisters, corns, and calluses, so it is important that you limit, if not avoid, wearing them during the summertime. In order to prevent conditions such as plantar fasciitis, you should choose a sandal that has cushioning and arch support so your feet are comfortable while you walk. Nevertheless, the amount of time you spend wearing flip-flops should be limited so that you can avoid injury and other foot conditions.

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.

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As warm weather approaches, many people choose to wear flip-flops. The flip-flop has been a popular summer shoe for decades, however there are many podiatrists that would caution against its usage. Foot injuries may occur as a result of wearing flip-flops, including stress fractures and blisters. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission on Emergency Room Visits, 25,300 out of 198,437 emergency room visits due to footwear were caused by wearing flip-flops. Although some of these injuries were minor cuts on the toes, others were more serious such as sprains and tendinitis.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, 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.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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, 08 October 2018 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Gout

The medical condition referred to as gout is often the result of excess uric acid in the blood levels. Crystals will typically form and lodge in the joints of the big toe, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. There are several symptoms associated with this condition, and these may include swelling, redness and tenderness at the base of the big toe. The crystals generally cause inflammation and there may be extreme pain that is associated with this. Gout attacks may be the result of an inherited trait, or may occur from the foods that are ingested. Specifically, these foods may include an overindulgence of red meat, alcohol, or shellfish, and these may affect the uric acid in the blood. If you are suffering from this condition, please consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for correct treatment remedies.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. 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 form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment 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.

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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.

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Monday, 11 June 2018 00:00

The Benefits of Stretching the Feet

There are numerous joints, tendons and muscles that the feet are comprised of. The result of learning proper stretching exercises will not only feel good, but may aid in the general well-being of the foot. There are several benefits of stretching the feet and these may include restoring the foot’s natural motion and strengthening the muscles that may possibly enable the toes to move with ease. An effective stretch that will help the sole of the foot is practiced by sitting in a chair and placing one foot over the opposite thigh. As the toes are gently pulled back, a stretch will be felt along the bottom of the foot. Additional stretches may include placing the arch of the foot on a tennis ball and slowly rolling it back and forth, while occasionally pressing on the knee to obtain increased intensity. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about the benefits of performing proper foot stretches.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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, 06 May 2019 00:00

Foods Related to Gout

When excess uric acid exists in the bloodstream, crystals can form that lie in the joints of the big toe. When this occurs, it can produce a painful condition known as gout. There are several symptoms that are associated with this ailment, which often include severe pain and discomfort, redness, or swelling. Some patients are more susceptible to gout attacks if diuretics are taken, which can treat high blood pressure, in addition to taking low-dose aspirin. If episodes of gout are infrequent, avoiding them may be as simple as implementing healthy dietary changes. Foods that are high in purine levels can cause uric acid crystals to form in the joints, and it is beneficial to eliminate them from your diet. These foods include shellfish, red meat, and excessive alcohol. If the gout attacks become severe, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can recommend treatment, which may include medication.

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.

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Osteoarthritis, sometimes called the “wear and tear” arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage between the joints breaks down. This can be very painful, especially in the feet. One way of treating a disease like this is the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. To start, blood is procured from the patient and then processed to prepare the custom injections. The injections promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints, and other soft tissues. There is minimal risk to the patient because the plasma given is from the patient’s very own blood. Studies show that PRP injections can significantly reduce pain in osteoarthritic patients and improve quality of life.

If you are suffering from a foot condition, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the amount of platelets. The plasma is then re-injected into the site of injury or damage, assisting the body in repairing damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissue. PRP helps the body speed up its healing process.

Uses of PRP

Injuries affecting the foot sometimes don’t heal properly because of poor blood circulation. The healing time slows down, and recovery time is affected by poor blood supply. PRP injections will speed up recovery and resolve this issue.

Treatment

PRP is the first regenerative treatment for damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. No surgery needed. It is only applied with an insertion of a needle.

Ultrasound – An ultrasound is needed for proper placement of the platelets.

Injection – When the first injection is received, the patient will return to the doctor in about 2 to 3 weeks and monitor the recovery process.

Recovery time – Some people respond to treatments differently. Therefore, depending on your condition, the doctor will make any remaining decisions on how many more injections are needed, or if any additional ones are even required.

Benefits

One may be able to avoid major surgery, and recovery time will be cut down. PRP injections also avoid creating scar tissue and damage to the area. Risks are also very low using PRP as a treatment. There is no risk of rejection, contracting a disease from using another person’s blood, or infection.

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, 21 February 2017 00:00

Causes of Burning Feet

If you have a burning sensation in your feet, you may have any number of conditions. The feeling of burning in the feet can be either minor or severe, generally affect people over 50, and occur most frequently during the night. Nerve damage from diabetes, vitamin deficiency or alcoholism, obesity, strain on the feet, overheated feet, eczema or dermatitis, blood disorders, or any impairment of the feet’s nerves can all lead to the burning sensation. Seeing your podiatrist is vital to understanding any underlying causes. As always, make sure you are wearing properly fitting shoes as well.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of 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.

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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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