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Many joggers are acutely aware of how incurring an injury can hinder running activities. Achilles tendinitis is a common injury that is felt by runners who increase the miles they run in a short amount of time. The Achilles tendon is considered to be the longest tendon in the body and it connects the heel bone to the calf. Symptoms of this includes severe pain and tenderness at the back of the heel, and the pain may extend to the calf. This may be prevented by strengthening the calf muscle which can be accomplished by standing on a step and then alternating lowering the heels until a gentle stretch is felt. Additionally, shin splints can be a common injury and can produce considerable pain and soreness. This discomfort can often be felt from the shin to the arch of the foot. Wearing the correct shoes may aid in preventing this condition in addition to strengthening the foot by performing toe raises while holding dumbbells. It’s important to speak with a podiatrist for additional information on how to protect the feet from running injuries.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training Into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause 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 How to Prevent Running Injuries
Monday, 18 June 2018 00:00

Causes of Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor circulation will often be obvious in the feet. Many patients will generally notice numbness and swelling in the toes and feet in addition to discomfort and pain while walking or standing. Diabetics may notice a slower healing process for any sores that appear on the feet and the skin may begin to change color. There are several factors that may cause this ailment including high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, which is a buildup of excess plaque in the blood. Research has shown that massaging the feet will gently circulate the blood and may bring moderate relief. Additionally, incorporating a mild exercise program into your daily routine may be difficult, but it may prove to be beneficial in attaining improved circulation and the overall health of the body. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested for information on how to manage poor circulation in the feet.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. 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

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms:

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

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 care needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
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, 04 June 2018 00:00

The Risks of Wearing High Heels Daily

Those who wear high heels are aware of the pain they cause. However, the minor pain you endure while wearing heels can lead to more serious foot ailments over time. It has been found that wearing high heels may cause extra pressure to be placed on your joints. Heels cause the natural alignment of your feet to be thrown out of balance, since they are forced into an angled position. When you wear high heels, your body weight is channeled to the ball of your foot and the tip of your heel. Consequently, extra pressure is placed on your joints which may lead to them feeling stiff and painful. Walking around in high heels also causes you to overarch your back. This may be harmful to your spine if it is done for an extended period of time. If you still choose to wear heels, you should limit the amount of days you wear them per week. If you suspect that you have foot pain as a result of wearing heels, you should consult with your podiatrist right away.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, 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.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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 Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 00:00

How Do Heel Spurs Develop?

A heel spur is a regeneration of a bone that forms on the sole of the foot. Additionally, the development of this ailment can appear in the area where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel and may produce severe pain. In most cases, a heel spur will gradually develop, and is often caused by strain experienced by the muscles and ligaments. Causes of this type of discomfort may originate from shoes that fit incorrectly, additional body weight the feet must endure, or an injury that caused the heel to bruise. Paying close attention to the general health of the feet may be a successful prevention technique for heel spurs. This may include noticing any type of aches and pain that may appear, especially on the sole of the foot. Moderate relief may be obtained from resting the foot in addition to performing gentle stretching exercises. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist for treatment options for heel spurs, which may include surgery.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main conditions spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often 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 affect other bones 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. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

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

Read more about Heel Spurs
Monday, 21 May 2018 00:00

The Effects Obesity Has On the Feet

It’s important to maintain proper foot care, and added weight can result in the development of numerous foot conditions. Being overweight may limit the type of exercise that is needed for correct body care, and the feet may be negatively affected. Edema, which is often referred to as swollen ankles, is a common side effect the feet may endure as a result of extra weight. The feet will be among the many parts of the body that will be positively affected after losing weight, which can include better blood circulation and more manageable edema. Choosing shoes with maximum support, which may typically consist of a sturdy sole, can aid the foot in achieving optimum comfort. Please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist to acquire additional information of how obesity can affect the feet

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. 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

People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

  • When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
  • Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
  • Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.

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 Obesity Affects Your Feet
Monday, 14 May 2018 00:00

Symptoms of a Sprained Ankle

A sprained ankle typically implies that the ankle's ligaments have been torn or twisted. It is considered to be one of the more common foot injuries and is frequently observed in runners or people who partake in any kind of jumping activities. Severe and excruciating pain is often associated with this type of injury, which may make it difficult to walk. Redness and swelling may be noticeable in the affected area of the foot, in addition to the surrounding area appearing bruised. Resting and elevating the ankle may alleviate a portion of the discomfort, and utilizing a compression bandage may curb the swelling. A proper diagnosis will often consist of an X-ray to eliminate the possibility of a fracture. Please consider seeing your podiatrist if you have sustained a sprained ankle.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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 Ankle Sprains
Monday, 07 May 2018 00:00

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

If you have fallen and have experienced severe pain at the top of the foot, you may have what is referred to as a broken toe. Additionally, this may occur if a heavy object has fallen on the toe and will often appear bruised and swollen. Fractures that are severe may cause the toe to become displaced, causing the toe to look deformed. It’s important to begin treatment of this condition as quickly as possible, often beginning with taking weight off the toe. At this point, the toe can be splinted to the toe next to it, which will restrict any movement from occurring. To properly diagnose this ailment, an X-ray may be performed to observe the severity of the fracture. If the big toe is broken, a walking boot may be suggested to be worn, typically for 2-4 weeks. If you feel you have broken your toe, please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist for a proper evaluation.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include: worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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 What to Know About a Broken Toe
Monday, 30 April 2018 00:00

What is a Bunion?

bunion is typically found at the bottom of the big toe. It is comprised of a growth that appears to be of a bony texture, and severe pain is often experienced. The causes for this ailment developing may originate from a predisposed inherited gene or from an injury the foot has endured. There are several ways to determine if you have this condition, which may be noticing reddened skin, a tingling sensation, or swelling in the affected area. Treatment typically involves specific surgery that can be performed to remove the bunion or choosing a more conservative method where partial relief may be obtained. Recent research has shown that wearing shoes with a bigger toe area is helpful in accommodating the bunion, in addition to pads that are placed on the bunion which may help in relieving pressure. Seeking a consultation with a podiatrist is highly recommended if you are experiencing pain or discomfort.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, 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 a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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 Bunions
Monday, 23 April 2018 00:00

What causes Athlete’s Foot?

If you experience a fungus that affects your feet, you may have what is referred to as athlete’s foot. Common symptoms of this condition may include itching, blistering, or cracked skin. If you develop athlete’s foot, it’s advised to seek treatment as soon as possible so infection can be prevented. The fungus typically thrives in moist environments, and may live on shower room floors or in public pools. Athlete’s foot can easily spread, and it’s recommended that shower shoes are worn to possibly prevent this fungus from entering the skin. Additional preventive measures may include washing the feet and drying thoroughly between the toes, using a powder to absorb excessive moisture, and avoiding wearing shoes that fit incorrectly. If you have athlete’s foot, please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about prevention and treatment options.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms:

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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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