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Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:00

How do Stress Fractures Happen?

Stress fractures develop when a bone that’s constantly under stress eventually weakens. It typically occurs on the outside of the bone and happens due to repetitive motion. Many professional athletes and runners develop this condition, as overuse of the bones in the foot is common. The way the foot is structured may be another cause, as having flat feet or higher arches may be a contributing factor in developing stress fractures. When overdoing a specific activity, the risk is high for developing these fractures. There may not be physical signs and symptoms from the fracture, but when the activity resumes, pain is often felt. An x-ray is used to determine exactly where the fracture is. Recovery comes from resting the foot and being careful not to put stress on the bones. Occasionally a medical boot is worn to keep the fracture from worsening, in addition to engaging in physical therapy. Please seek the advice of a podiatrist if you feel you have a stress fracture in the foot or ankle.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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.

Read more about Heel Pain
Tuesday, 20 February 2018 00:00

The Benefits of Exercising the Feet

While some exercises are performed routinely, it’s common for many people to be unaware of the importance of stretching the feet. The feet are the foundation of the body, and maintaining the health of the foot and strengthening the muscles are crucial for overall health. Exercises that promote balance can establish stability in the body, and this is generally accomplished in just a few minutes each day. One of the stretches that helps to keep the feet strong are heel raises, in which the heels are raised and lowered while the feet are hanging over a step. This will not only strengthen the ankle and foot, but the Achilles tendon will benefit also. Rocking back and forth on the balls of the feet also aids in maintaining balance and helps to prevent ankle injuries from occurring. Typically, the feet will become more flexible from doing proper exercises, which will aid in the general well being of the body.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries and build strength. If you have any concerns 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.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important, and we often forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate enough to not have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rises, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, and flexing the toes. It is best to speak with Our doctors to determine an appropriate regimen for your needs. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different, and the activities required to maintain strength in the feet vary from individual to individual. 

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

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 Exercise for Your Feet
Tuesday, 30 January 2018 00:00

Is My Child Suffering From Athlete’s Foot?

Many people get athlete’s foot, including children. Your child may complain of itching on the feet or may possibly experience a burning sensation. Occasionally there may be redness or an unpleasant odor that may develop from in between the toes. These may all be symptoms of athlete's foot, an uncomfortable fungal infection that typically develops within the feet and can possibly travel to other parts of the body if left untreated. It’s recommended for you and your child to consult with a podiatrist, who may test for the fungus by taking a small skin sample of the affected area. Treatment often consists of applying a powder or cream which may contain medicine to kill the fungus, enabling the foot to feel better quickly. Additionally, making sure your child does not wear shoes as often as possible and keeping the feet dry is important in keeping the fungus from growing. Prevention of this condition may include putting antifungal powder in your child’s footwear and drying the feet thoroughly, especially in between the toes.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. 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 treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Athlete's Foot 101

Research has shown patients who are overweight may develop heel pain. This may be a result of the excess pressure that is exerted on the heel, and may lead to the uncomfortable condition known as plantar fasciitis. Practicing consistent exercise is often recommended to lose additional weight, and this may be difficult to accomplish if chronic heel pain is present. There may be other types of heel pain that can develop as a result of being obese. These may include flat feet, bunions, or certain types of arthritis. If you are overweight, and have chronic foot pain, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly assist you in treating any foot pain you may have.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. 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

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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 Obesity and the Feet
Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Preventing Athlete's Foot

Everyone relies on their feet to get them through the day, but active people tend to rely on them a little more. Paying attention to the condition of your feet is important for overall foot health and care. Active people are more likely to face symptoms of athlete’s foot, because they sweat more than the average person; these symptoms include foot odor and fungus growth. Feet are loaded with sweat glands, which can produce up to a half-pint of moisture a day. Keeping feet dry and clean is the first step in preventing odor; ways to do this include washing your feet daily, regularly changing socks, and alternating footwear. The inside of shoes provides the perfect breeding ground for fungus. The damp and dark environment attracts organisms that cause athlete’s foot. The methods used for preventing foot odor also protect against festering organisms that lead to fungus. If you begin to notice distinct foot odor or fungus growth, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist so you can properly treat this condition and prevent the fungus from spreading further.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. 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 treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

Causes of Blisters on the Feet

One of the main reasons blisters on the feet may develop is from friction that may typically come from wearing shoes and socks that are too tight. They appear as a small area filled with fluid, which is a natural protectant of the skin, and will commonly develop as a result of an injury or infection that has occurred. When a blister develops on the foot, pain and discomfort will generally accompany this ailment and can possibly be treated by placing a cover over it while wearing shoes. There may be several additional reasons why blisters may form on the feet. These may include being exposed to freezing temperatures, which may cause frostbite, or the opposite may be true when the skin endures an extreme sunburn. If you have an allergic reaction to an insect bite or to a specific chemical, unsightly blisters may form to protect the skin as the healing process occurs. If you are experiencing blisters on the feet, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist for information about treatment options.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. 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 develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often 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.

How Do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

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 Blisters

Many diabetic patients are aware of the importance of properly taking care of their feet. A common condition that can affect this group of people may be a form of neuropathy, and this may inhibit the ability to feel any wounds or cuts that may be present on the feet. Additionally, the skin may become dry as a result of being diabetic, and measures can be taken that may provide moderate relief. This may include washing and drying the feet thoroughly, followed by utilizing a good moisturizer on most of the foot. It’s important to avoid applying this product between the toes, which may aid in preventing a possible infection. Diabetics may experience foot ulcers, which is an uncomfortable and painful condition that occurs on the bottom of the foot or under the big toe. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is strongly suggested to consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can determine the best course of treatment for you.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns 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.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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 Diabetic Foot Care
Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

What are the Causes of an Ingrown Toenail?

A medical condition that is known as onychocryptosis, also referred to as an ingrown toenail, can cause uncomfortable pain and soreness. This is a condition that generally develops when the corner of the toenail cuts into the skin surrounding the nail. There are several causes for this ailment to occur, including wearing shoes that are pointed in the toe area, frequently wearing high heels, or choosing to wear shoes that are too tight. Additionally, if the toenails are trimmed improperly, this may also cause a toenail to become ingrown. It’s important to have this condition treated promptly, and this may possibly avoid a fungal infection from developing. If you have developed this condition, you are most likely aware of the noticeable symptoms. These may include a liquid that drains from the affected area, increased pain and swelling, and a possible fever if the infection is severe. If you have an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to discuss treatment options.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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 Ingrown Toenails

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
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