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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.

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Published in Blog
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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Published in Blog
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.

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Published in Blog
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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Published in Blog
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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Published in Blog