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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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Monday, 16 April 2018 00:00

What Causes Hammertoe?

The foot may appear deformed if a condition known as hammertoe occurs. When the toes bend at the joint and the top of the toe bends down, a claw-like or hammer formation is apparent. This is possibly caused by a predisposed inherited gene originating from having little or no arch in the foot, or if the second toe exceeds the length of the first toe. Additional causes of this condition may be attributed to shoes that fit poorly, often crowding the toes into a space that is extremely small. There are symptoms that are easily noticed that are associated with hammertoes, such as observing if your toe is curling, in addition to experiencing discomfort and pain when the toes are stretched. Possible prevention of this aliment may include choosing to wear the correct shoes that provide adequate room for the toes, and avoiding shoes that are too short or tight. Treatment is necessary to lessen the discomfort, which may typically consist of exercises being performed that can aid in strengthening the tendons in the toes, or stabilizing the toe by applying a splint. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised if you would like additional information and treatment options for hammertoe.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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 What Are Hammertoes?
Monday, 09 April 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Flat Feet

A condition referred to as flat feet is a result of arches that have dropped. It can cause a feeling of tiredness in the feet and ankles, in addition to moderate aches and pains. If the entire foot touches the ground while standing, chances are favorable that you may have this ailment. The purpose of the arch is to raise the middle of the foot, which is comprised of tendons, bones, ligaments, and muscles. When the arch develops correctly, the foot is able to balance, walk, and run, in addition to the ability to absorb any physical shock the feet may endure. Most babies are born with flat feet that generally disappear as the child progresses in age. There are several reasons why this condition may occur in adults, including injuries that affect the joints and tissues, damage the foot or ankle may have incurred, or a predisposed inherited gene. If pain is experienced or you have noticed the arches have collapsed, contact your podiatrist. 

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms:

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment:

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of 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.

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Monday, 02 April 2018 00:00

Stretches for Heel Spurs

A heel spur is a small bony growth that is typically found on the bottom of the heel bone. It may cause severe pain and discomfort, which may result in the limitation of daily activities. There are several reasons why heel spurs can develop, and typically, age is the most common cause. It can also develop in people who stand for the majority of the day or in people who are overweight. A predisposed inherited gene may also play a role in the structure of the foot, which could cause heel spurs to easily develop. The pain that is experienced is often worse in the morning, as pressure is exerted on the heels from walking. There are specific exercises which may help alleviate the pain associated with this condition. A few examples of stretches that will help with pain relief are the towel stretch, the plantar fascia stretch, and the standing calf stretch. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested for more information on how to perform these stretches that may relieve pain associated with heel spurs.

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.

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Monday, 26 March 2018 00:00

How High Heels Affect Runners’ Feet

If you choose to wear high heels frequently, you may experience pain that’s common among those selecting to wear this type of shoe. Typically, when high heels are worn, the ankles bend forward, often affecting the circulation in the feet. Most runners are aware of how the arches are affected from wearing high heels and may experience aches and pains in the calves. There are several options available that may help the feet feel their best while running, one of which is limiting the time high heels are worn. It’s important to rest your feet between runs, and this is often accomplished by wearing supportive shoes. Performing proper exercises that stretch and strengthen the feet is beneficial in keeping the feet healthy and may allow the sport of running to be enjoyed to its full potential.

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.

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Monday, 19 March 2018 00:00

What Are PRP Injections?

If you experience an injury to the muscles and tendons in the feet, you may want to consider an approach for relief known as PRP therapy. PRP therapy, or Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Therapy, has had moderate success in treating several foot conditions, including plantar fasciitis and injuries to the Achilles tendon. This procedure is performed by taking a small portion of the patient’s blood, and once the plasma has been extracted, it is then injected into the affected area. Many foot and ankle injuries have improved from this procedure due to its stimulation of the healing process. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist to learn more about the benefits of PRP injections and how they can help certain foot conditions.

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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Monday, 12 March 2018 00:00

What is a Soft Corn?

If the skin becomes reddened and painful, you may be experiencing a corn. Whitened skin and inflammation generally accompany a corn, typically causing severe discomfort. Soft corns develop from shoes that fit poorly, causing friction. Moisture between the toes may grow and accumulate, possibly causing an infection. This can be avoided by incorporating washing and drying between the toes into your daily routine. An effective way to prevent corns is to choose shoes that give the toes ample room to move around, in addition to selecting shoes that have enough cushioning and support. If the pain is affecting your daily routine, a consultation with a podiatrist may be suggested for the best options for relief.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctors to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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, 05 March 2018 00:00

Causes of Gout

If inflammation is experienced, often resulting in severe pain located in the foot, you may have a condition referred to as gout. This condition is caused by a large amount of uric acid in the blood, which is a waste product secreted by the kidneys. Crystals are formed by excessive uric acid which adheres to the joints, causing severe inflammation. There are many causes of gout, including predisposed inherited genes, kidney disease, obesity, diet, and high blood pressure. If a healthy lifestyle is practiced, which includes limiting alcohol and avoiding foods that cause elevated uric acid levels, the attacks may be controlled. Please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist for more information about gout.

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.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 26 February 2018 00:00

How to Care for Elderly Feet

People who are elderly may experience conditions concerning the feet, such as burning sensations, dry skin, and discoloration. It may be helpful to apply a moisturizer after washing the feet in warm water. Years of use may be the culprit of increasing foot issues in the elderly, and many of these conditions may be easily treated. Shoe sizes may vary as we age, so it may be beneficial to measure the feet frequently. Wearing shoes that fit correctly will not only benefit the body’s overall health, but will help the feet to feel comfortable. Additionally, if poor eyesight or difficulty in bending down keeps the toenails from being trimmed correctly, a consultation with a podiatrist is recommended for assistance in proper foot care.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and 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.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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, 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 yOur 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.

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