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Wednesday, 24 September 2014 08:48

Swimming Class Helps Seniors Exercise Feet

Sue Asher of Manville, NJ leads a swimming aerobics class for senior citizens at Cooper Pool during the summer. The class is not very strenuous, but it does help the participants avoid and ease arthritis and other joint problems. The program strengthens their feet, legs, and arms with doable exercises such as pointed kicks and walking around the pool.

“Class starts at 10:45 but between 10:30 and 10:45 we catch up on things that are happening in the town, happening with the senior citizens and it is our social time,” Asher said. “Then we do our exercises and work hard.”

Swimming can be very helpful in exercising the feet or in rehabilitating an injury. If you want to learn more about the benefits swimming has on the feet, see one of our six podiatrists of at Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our Doctors will let you know if you have any lower extremity problems that could be resolved by exercising in the water.

Benefits of Swimming and Foot care

Our feet receive the most stress on a daily basis. Walking, running, and long standing contribute to pain and stress on the feet. Swimming helps promote circulation and keep the body feeling great and healthy.

Benefits of swimming:

Improve blood circulation

  • Swimming is a good, safe way to get in extra physical activity and improve circulation, without causing further trauma to the feet

Relieve aches or pains

  • It takes all the pressure off of them, allowing the feet to relax and recover, and     improves blood flow to them.

Circulation overall for diabetics

  • Swimming contributes to blood flow, and increase oxygen levels within the body.

Reduce foot inflammation

  • Swimming in warm water can increase blood flow and make it easier to move       and stretch the afflicted foot. The feet are also exposed in water, giving them much needed air.

Swimming the helpful alternative:

Many people like the elderly and diabetics suffer from weakened muscles and joints. A water sport like swimming will support the body, thus allowing him or her to move freely.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one 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 the Benefits of Swimming and Foot Care

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 13:58

UK Woman Discovers Plantar Wars in Heels

Kelly Bradford discovered several hard lumps had formed on her heels, which she first confused as corns due to the rough texture of the cluster. The U.K. woman decided to visit a physician upon realizing the growths were much more uncomfortable than corns and salicylic acid did not seem to fix the problem. Eventually, it became difficult for Bradford to even place her feet onto the grown since the lumps had become so painful.

Bradford’s physician concluded that plantar warts had grown in clusters on her heels. The warts had begun to pinch the nerves on her feet causing the extreme pain she was feeling. The sensitivity in Bradford’s heels went away after a few weeks with the help of the cryotherapy and a few over the counter treatments.

Not all cases of will be as painful as this instance; however, any pain caused by warts should be reported to a physician. If you have plantar warts, see podiatrist Dr.Joe Smith of Berks Foot & Ankle Associates, Inc. Dr. Smith will provide you with a proper consultation and quality treatment.

About Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are found on the feet. These warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) getting into open wounds on the feet. You can recognize plantar warts by a hard bump on the foot. They are usually found on the heels or balls of the feet. Plantar warts are usually not a sign of anything dangerous but do not ignore them if they do cause pain or embarrassment.

If you do have a plantar wart, you may notice some pain when standing but since these warts are not cancerous or dangerous, a podiatrist only needs to be seen if there is excess pain. Although plantar warts don’t often call for treatment, there are options available. They can be frozen off, removed by an electric tool or burned off using laser treatment.

Home remedies are also available to help with plantar warts. An apple cider vinegar soak can help remove the wart. You can soak your feet in the vinegar for 20 minutes before using a pumice stone to remove any loose skin from the wart.

For more information about Plantar Warts, follow the link below.

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

Read more about Plantar Warts

Because a number of children are begin specialization of a sport at such an early age, new research suggests that children may want to wait until they are older. Specialization is generally advised to begin at 15-yearsof age, when boys have only three years left of growing and when girls are finishing their growth spurts.

 “During growth spurts, the growth plates are at a higher risk for injury,” according to Dr. Liebeg of Akron Children’s Hospital. Sever’s disease is a foot condition that commonly occurs in growing children, especially physically active kids. The condition manifests as the inflammation of the heel’s growth plate.

Parents should not be alarmed if their child has developed Sever’s disease, as it is common in children and can be treated. See one of our six podiatrists at Berks Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, Inc. Our podiatrists will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Toe gait- develops in which the child must change the way they walk to avoid placing weight on the heel. This can lead to other problems as well in the future.

Symptoms

Acute pain – pain asscoiatied with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

For more information about Sever’s Disease, follow the link below.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices in Hamburg, PA or Shillington, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Sever’s Disease

Wednesday, 03 September 2014 17:49

Shoe Inserts May Prevent Tendon Injuries

University of Central Lancashire faculty member Dr. Jonathan Sinclair conducted a study to determine the role orthotic insoles could play in preventing an Achilles tendon injury. The study gathered 12 male runners and observed them as they ran with and without orthotic insoles. The surface they ran on was a mat equipped with special sensors to measure their strike force.

The study shows that wearing orthotic insoles improved the runners’ resistances to Achilles tendon injuries by dampening the amount of pressure of the tendon in question. “This probably happens because orthotics offer further cushioning to that already provided by the shoe midsole,” Dr. Sinclair claims.

Achilles tendon injuries can be very serious and should always be treated by a medical professional. If you think you have this kind of condition, pay a visit to one of our six podiatrists at Berks Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, Inc. Our podiatrists can help you make a complete recovery from your Achilles tendon issue.

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 cause severe 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 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. Often the doctor will order an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment will involve rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries.
For more information about Achilles Tendon Injuries, follow the link below.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices in Hamburg, PA or Shillington, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries

Instability training can help athletes strengthen their feet and ankles, allowing them to jump higher and maneuver more quickly. Instability training involves practicing many different types of motions using the lower extremities. The idea is for athletes to use equipment like balance boards, trams, and rubber bands to help fortify their stabilizer muscles.

When using a mini-tram or balance board, athletes should change positions constantly to work all their muscles. To work out the feet, put the rubber bands on and move the lower extremities up and down and side to side. Another effective exercise involves standing on one foot while on a trampoline for about 30 seconds at a time.

Exercising the feet can make the muscles stronger and more resistant to injury. To learn more about how to properly exercise the lower extremities, visit one of our six podiatrists at Berks Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, Inc. Our podiatrists can teach you about the benefits of working out the lower extremities and show you a few simple routines you can do.

Exercise for Your Feet

If you spend most of your time on your feet, or don’t either way your feet should deserve attention. There are many people who exercise regularly and still don’t spend enough time to care for their feet. Your foot does get exposure that requires maintenance since your health has a lot to do with footing.

Exercises

Toe rise – this exercise involves standing on the tip-toes for a count of 15 seconds, then resting your feet on ground. This exercise should be repeated three times a day to strengthen the feet.

Toe Pick-ups – the toes are exercises that are done by picking up small items using your toes. This helps strengthen the muscles on the upper part of the feet. Three sets along with 15 seconds being held should be completed. Small items like marbles or stationary will work.

Ankle Pump – can be performed upwards or downwards. The workout can be completed both ways at the same time. This involves flexing the foot either towards the shin or to the ground.

For more information about Exercise for Your Feet, follow the link below.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices in Hamburg, PA or Shillington, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Exercise for Your Feet

A study found that an herb called thunder god vine (lei gong teng in Mandarin) performs as an effective treatment for those suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Over a six month period, 206 patients were administered some form of treatment. Some of these patients were given just the herb. Others were given a popular pharmaceutical drug known as methotrexate. A percentage in the group was given both the herb and the drug. 
Of the patients that only too methotrexate, forty-six percent achieved the standard improvement. In contrast, there was a fifty-five percent approval rating for those who only took the herb. For the patients that used both the drug and herb, the improvement rate at seventy seven percent. Thunder god vine has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and is known as Tripterygium wilfordii to botanists.
Characterized by stiffness and lack of mobility, Rheumatoid Arthritis is a painful condition that needs medical attention.  For treatment options, see one of our six podiatrists at Berks Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, Inc. Our podiatrists will take care of any foot conditions and determine a treatment plan that is right for you. 


What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.


Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet
Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area. 


Symptoms
- Swelling & pain in the feet
- Stiffness in the feet
- Pain on the ball or sole of feet
- Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

For more information about rheumatoid arthritis please follow the link below.
If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices in Hamburg, PA or Shillington, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more on Rheumatoid Arthritis 

pic1Illinois native Joe Legat recently became a member of the 50Sub4 club, which means he completed a marathon in less than four hours in every state in the U.S. His final race was the 2014 Kona Marathon in Hawaii.

During the time Legat was seeking membership in 50Sub4 he suffered several debilitating setbacks, including a case of Morton’s neuroma in his foot and a heart condition called atrial fibrillation that required him to get surgery. It also took him two tries to finish a race in Hawaii within the allotted four hours. Now that he’s in 50Club4, he’s thinking about trying to scale the highest mountain peak in U.S. every state for his next challenge.

Sometimes Morton’s Neuroma can be so severe that surgery is needed to get rid of it. If you think you might have a neuroma in your foot, seek the care of one of our six podiatrists at Berks Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, Inc. Our podiatrists will help you decide whether or not you want an operation and answer any questions you might have.

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the third and fourth toe and the ball of the foot, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible to this condition. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones. Women are more likely than men to have an occurrence of this foot condition. When a person has Morton's neuroma, it can feel as if they are walking on stones or marbles.

What Increases the Chances of having Morton’s Neuroma?

 

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot area.
  • Jogging, running and any sports that involve constant impact to the foot area.
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformity may put you at a higher risk for developing Morton’s neuroma.

 

If you suspect that you may have this condition, you should visit your podiatrist. A podiatrist will first conduct a thorough physical examination to check for palpable masses between the bones of the foot.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices in Hamburg, PA or Shillington, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Morton's Neuroma

HamblinAfter winning two silver medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin’s future seemed to be full of possibilities. She was even preparing to participate in 2012 Summer Olympics in London. But then she got heel spurs and an Achilles tendon injury, which meant that she would have to get surgery.

Hamblin had an operation done in 2012 and wasn’t able to start running again until six months later. The 2012 Olympics had come and gone, so she decided to use the 2014 Commonwealth Games as an opportunity to stage her return to glory. She’ll be competing in the 800m and 1500m at this year’s competition, the same categories she won medals in in 2010.

Hamblin must be relieved that her painful bone spurs are gone. If you find yourself hampered by this irritating condition as well, call one of our six podiatrists at Berks Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, Inc. Our podiatrists can care for your feet with an unparalleled level of expertise and help you to feel better in no time.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be a cause from small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching it to the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot. Bone may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs. Pain sometimes intensifies with age. Heel spurs are known to cause a substantial amount of pain. Spurs are sometimes related to plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often times because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to poke and affect other boners and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. Medicines, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

For more information about Heel Spurs, follow the link below.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices in Hamburg, PA or Shillington, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Heel Spurs

david-rossDavid Ross had plantar fasciitis in left foot in 2007, when used to play for the Cincinnati Reds. The tendon later completely ruptured during the offseason of that year, effectively curing his condition.

Now Ross believes he’s dealing with another case of plantar fasciitis, this time in his right foot. He’s hoping that if plays through it it’ll rupture on its own like the last time. The Red Sox, his current team, are fine with this plan, since his abilities as a catcher are indispensable. “It's something that's been on and off," manager John Farrell said of Ross’ condition. “This is something he's managed fairly well.”

Playing sports with a foot or ankle injury isn’t usually advisable unless you have the consent of a medical professional. If you have a problem in your lower extremities but wish to keep participating in sports, see one of our six podiatrists at Berks Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, Inc. Our podiatrists will assess your condition and let you know if you can continue playing without causing more harm.

Playing Sports With Foot Injuries

Many types of foot injuries affect athletes over the course of their athletic career. Despite their setbacks, many of these athletes will continue to play with mild foot injuries and attempt to ‘push’ through the pain. In order to be able to prevent injuries, it is important to stretch before any activity, wear proper footwear and replace shoes as needed. Some of the foot injuries athletes are at risk for include:

  • Turf toe- upward bending of the big toe outside normal range of motion
  • Stress Fractures
  • Overpronation- excessive foot movement during gait
  • Plantar Fasciitis- swollen ligament in the foot’s base
  • Strains

There are many types of treatments that are necessary to keep the injury from becoming more serious. Ice is often used to reduce swelling and inflammation while applying a compression bandage can help reduce pain and stress on the foot. For more serious injuries it is recommended to consult with a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist as fractures and other serious conditions may require surgery.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices in Hamburg, PA or Shillington, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Playing Sports with Foot or Ankle Injuries

akhil-viz1Triathlete Akhil Viz entered the 2014 Cotswold 113 with the objective of finishing the race in less than four and a half hours. The first two segments of the competition proved to be little trouble for Viz. However, when Viz started the final running portion, that is when the true challenge began.

This difficulty level was there since Viz had to adjust his biomechanics to running as opposed to cycling or swimming. Viz was almost worn out towards the end, but he was still able to accomplish his goal by finishing with the impressive time of 4 hours and 29 minutes.

Biomechanics make up your body’s movements. For foot and ankle conditions and injuries, contact one of our six podiatrists at Berks Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, Inc. Our podiatrists can treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 structure and 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 to the area.

Modern technology improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes providing a better understanding of podiatry concepts for biomechanics.

For more information about Biomechanics in Podiatry, follow the link below.

If you have any questions feel free to contact one of our offices in Hamburg, PA or Shillington, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Biomechanics in Podiatry

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