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Tuesday, 16 May 2017 13:42

Simple Exercises for easing Foot Pain

Foot pain is something that may plague any active adult, often manifesting in the form of plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Achy feet caused by inflammation can be eased, however, with the help of certain exercises. For starters, an easy foot roll with a foot roller from the ball of the foot to the heel can be performed while standing or sitting. This exercise can be repeated between feet and performed multiple times per day. Another exercise is the calf stretch, which can be done by propping the ball of the foot against the wall with the heel grounded. Slowly lean against the wall and hold to feel a slight stretch. Calf raises are another simple exercise. Both of these calf exercises can be performed multiple times per day.

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 PA Foot & Ankle 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 one of our offices located Pennsylvania. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Eleventh grade student Gerald Cook from Wilson Magnet High School was recently given WHEC’s Do the Right Thing award for gifting a pair of shoes to a fellow student who was wearing shoes a size too small. Cook went to his teacher after noticing a classmate was wearing shoes that were too tight. He then asked the classmate himself for his shoe size and brought a pair of shoes to school for the student to wear. Wearing the right shoe size is necessary for overall foot health, especially for growing adolescents. While the need to wear properly fitting shoes may seem like a basic one, this simple practice is often overlooked and is the first step one can make in promoting good foot health.

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.

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

Read more about Getting the Right Shoe Size: To Keep Your Feet Happy
Thursday, 04 May 2017 20:46

Breaking in the Queen’s New Shoes

When Queen Elizabeth II breaks in a new pair of shoes, she doesn’t; she has a member of her staff break in her footwear for her. For many people, breaking in a new pair of shoes often results in uncomfortable pain and the formation of tender blisters on the feet. To avoid this issue altogether, the Queen instead gives her shoes to a junior member of Buckingham Palace staff who wears the same size. These shoes are then reportedly broken in by the staff member, who fulfills this task by walking up and down the palace corridors until the shoes have softened and become more comfortable. Long-time dressmaker for the queen, Stewart Parvin, revealed this information. While you may not be able to have someone break in your shoes for you, blisters can be avoided by gradually breaking in new shoes over a period of time.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of PA Foot & Ankle 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 Pennsylvania. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 24 April 2017 18:47

Achilles Tendon Injuries on the Rise

Many podiatrists are suspecting that Achilles tendon injuries will be on the rise especially amongst those aged 30 to 50. Every year, approximately 230,000 Achilles tendon injuries occur in the United States. While Achilles tendon injuries are typically common among young athletes, professionals suspect that the number of middle-aged and older patients sustaining Achilles tendon injuries is rising because they are staying active longer. The severity of Achilles tendon injuries can vary between mild to moderate. Injuries of this degree typically cause pain and stiffness but can heal on their own. Surgery may be necessary for more severe cases, such as the tearing or rupturing of the Achilles tendon.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

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 create immense 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 injuries 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, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Pennsylvania. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017 16:20

Decreasing Gout Risk

Gout is one of the most painful forms of arthritis, commonly affecting those aged 60 and higher. Associated with high levels of uric acid, gout is typically characterized by pain and redness in the joints. Many health professionals agree that gout risk can be lowered by managing one’s diet, which involves reducing foods and drinks high in purine from one’s food intake. These foods include alcohol, red meat, organ meat such as liver or kidney, certain seafoods, drinks high in fructose, and processed foods. Lowering one’s uric acid levels is key in reducing gout risk.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle 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 one of our offices located in Pennsylvania. 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, 10 April 2017 20:34

Different Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition that many people are familiar with but that not many fully understand. Successful treatment of the condition depends on the correct diagnosis, and arthritis can take on three different types: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Each type of arthritis has its own various symptoms and treatments. If you are suffering from arthritis in your feet, consult with your podiatrist to determine the right diagnosis and the best treatment.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Pennsylvania. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Arthritic Foot Care
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 18:01

Avoiding fungal nails

Toenail fungus is a foot condition that many people can fall prey to. Symptoms of the condition include yellow or brown nails, nails that split or crumble, or nails that lift up from the nail bed. To avoid developing this uncomfortable and often unsightly condition, professionals recommend the following tips. Keep the toenails trimmed short to avoid debris from building up beneath the nails. Wear shoes that properly fit and that are breathable, as fungus thrives in warm and moist environments. Use antifungal sprays or powders when needed, avoid going barefoot in public facilities, and never share shoes or nail clippers.

For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a problem which affects many people and is hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating toenail fungus.

Antibiotics & Treatments 

Lamisil – The most commonly effective treatment for toenail fungus. It is available as an antibiotic: Terbinafine tablet and cream. Terbinafine is a chemical component which kills fungal growth on the body. Applying regular doses will gradually kill the fungal growth. It is important to keep the area clean.

Talcum powder – Applying powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

Alternative Treatments

There are surgical procedures that are available for toenail fungus. Some people would prefer the immediate and quick removal of toenail fungus through laser surgery. Consult with yOur doctors about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Pennsylvania. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017 16:58

Managing bunions

Regardless of the season, bunions and the pain associated with them plague athletes of all fields. Skiers, hockey players, basketball players, and other athletes involved in running sports are all susceptible to developing the condition. A bunion is characterized as a painful swelling of soft tissue and bone enlargement over the inner side of the ball of the big toe joint. With progression, the condition can become arthritic and may be accompanied by pain and the inability to wear shoes and walk comfortably. Treatment for bunions depends on the severity of the condition. In many cases, orthotics and wider fitting shoes can help, whereas more severe cases may call for surgery.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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

Read more about Bunions
Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:41

Treatments for Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be very painful to experience. Most common in teenagers, though fairly common in the greater population, an ingrown toenail is characterized by the toenail digging into and breaking the adjacent soft tissue. This can lead to infection if the breaks in the skin remain for too long. Treatment of ingrown toenails range from clipping the nail more appropriately to surgically removing the nail or even destroying the growth plate in the nail bed. For chronic sufferers these surgical options may be necessary. It is best to consult a podiatrist if you have ingrown toenails.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 14:44

Handling Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are potentially painful abnormalities that result from calcium deposits forming a protrusion on the underside of the heel bone. They are most common among athletes and people who do a lot of running. They are typically caused by stretching of the plantar fascia or tearing of the heel bone membrane. Depending on the severity of the heel spur, surgery may need to be performed in order to remove the calcium deposits. If you have pain in your heel, seeing a podiatrist is highly recommended. In the meantime, there are some remedies that may be able to help with the pain. These include: soaking your feet in an epsom salt bath, an apple cider vinegar bath, or applying an ice pack to the affected area.

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 PA Foot & Ankle 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. 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. One of the main associations 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 Pennsylvania. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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Wednesday, 08 March 2017 15:36

Finding the Right Shoes for Women

It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that “at least two and a half hours per week” of walking should be the minimum amount of aerobic activity to stay healthy. However, at least 57 percent of women fail to meet this standard. In order to get the right amount of exercise, women need the right shoes. When finding properly-fitting shoes, make sure that your shoes have a wide toe box, allowing your toes to move naturally. Look for shoes that have “seamless uppers,” or “little stitching and no rough edges to rub against your feet.” Overall, good shoes should offer protection and support.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors  will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

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

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Tuesday, 07 March 2017 17:08

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

If you are experiencing moderate to severe pain in your heel or foot, you may have Plantar Fasciitis.  Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the heel of the foot, causing in some cases, very extreme pain. There are many causes for this, one being overstretching of the plantar fascia ligament, which runs from the heel to the ball of the foot.  This ligament supports the arch and can be affected by both the feet below it, and the muscles above.  If the calf muscles are too tight, this can pull on the ligament and cause inflammation.  A similar thing happens if you have flat feet.  The foot stretches the ligament from below.  Other activities that can cause Plantar Fasciitis are standing for long periods of time, running while planting your heel instead of your toe, and constant stress on the plantar fascia ligament.  Make sure to stretch your calves, take care that your footwear is not worn out, and seek podiatric treatment if your condition is painful.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Tuesday, 07 March 2017 17:08

How to Avoid Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that occurs frequently in diabetics, typically in the feet.  The symptoms include: numbness, tingling, throbbing, freezing/burning sensation, and pain.  Not all those with diabetes will get peripheral neuropathy, and not all suffering from it will have the exact same symptoms.  This neuropathy occurs when the walls of the capillaries, or tiny blood vessels, are damaged by high sugar levels in the blood.  Due to the damage they are not able to carry enough blood to the nerves, which then leads to the aforementioned symptoms.  In order to avoid peripheral neuropathy there a few things that can be done.  First, and perhaps most importantly, monitor your blood sugar level, and keep it in balance.  Exercise and diet can help keep your weight down, as well as your blood sugar.  If you are suffering from numbness in your feet, and you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, it is essential that you see a doctor immediately.

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 PA Foot & Ankle 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 Pennsylvania. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Children’s soccer has become an increasingly popular sport in the United States, making children more prone to foot and ankle injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that injuries can occur when players collide and even when running, twisting or landing. Boys are more likely to incur ankle injuries especially when turning or stopping. Since children are constantly growing, some may experience irritation on the growth plate of the heel resulting in heel pain. Anti-inflammatories, ice, and stretching can help reduce this pain. However, consulting a healthcare professional is always the best bet when injuries occur. Participating in conditioning exercises, wearing proper cleats, teaching proper techniques, and maintaining field conditions can assist in preventing injury.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact one of our podiatrists of PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care.

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus

Be watchful of any pain or injury

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play

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

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Saturday, 13 February 2016 15:43

Frostbite & Frostnip - the danger is lurking

FrostnipWe’re in a Polar Vortex which is downright cold for all of us but especially dangerous for Diabetics, small children and the elderly. With the incredibly low temperatures, it’s important to be aware of Frostbite and Frostnip and how to treat it if you or a loved one is affected.

Frostbite is tissue damage caused by cold and is rated according to severity; first, second, and third degree. Skin turns white, blue or mottled and feels frozen. Frostnip is the mildest level of frostbite. Skin will look pale and feel cold, numb and stiff.

Frostnip can easily be treated at home. If you think you may have the symptoms of frostnip, get out of the cold as soon as possible. Immerse the affected area in warm water (100º to 105º Fahrenheit) to thaw the frozen tissue. As an alternative, use your own body heat to warm the area. Do not use vigorous (rubbing) or high heat methods (heating pad, stove, water hotter than 105 º, etc.) to avoid burning the skin.

If the skin tingles and burns as it warms, your circulation is returning. The skin may turn red, but should not blister or swell. If the skin does not seem to warm, if it remains numb, or if it blisters or swells, seek immediate medical attention as you may be suffering from Frostbite.

Frostbite requires emergency medical care. If you think you may have frostbite, get out of the cold as soon as possible. If you cannot get medical help immediately and there's no risk that the area might be re-frozen before you get help, warm the affected area as you would for frostnip.

Protect your feet and toes by wearing two pairs of socks and choosing appropriate footwear. The first pair of socks, next to your skin, should be made of moisture-wicking fabric. Wear a pair of wool or wool-blend socks on top of those. Your boots should also provide adequate insulation. They should be waterproof and cover your ankles. Make sure that nothing feels tight, as tight clothing increases the risk of frostbite. And limit your time outdoors as an extra precaution.

Fifth Metatarsal FractureJulian Edelman is the most recent star athlete to be sidelined by a Jones fracture, but he is certainly not the first. Earlier in the NFL season, Dez Bryant underwent a single surgery to repair a similar injury and sat for 6 weeks before returning to the field.  Kevin Durant, the 2013-14 NBA MVP, missed much of the 2014-15 NBA season and underwent three surgeries to repair the injury. The difference in recovery times for Bryant and Durant highlights the complexity of treating this injury as well as the nuances each individual encounters throughout their treatment.

A Jones fracture is a fracture to the long bone on the outside of the foot, the fifth metatarsal, that is caused by a sudden inward and downward twisting of the foot or direct force to the area.  Patients experience pain to “the outside” of their foot with swelling and pain with walking.

These injuries can be diagnosed with a standard x-ray of the foot and are particularly difficult to treat as they occur in an area of the bone with limited blood supply.  Adequate blood supply is essential for healing.

While 6-8 weeks of non-weight bearing is the typical method of treatment for most patients, surgery is usually preferred for high-level athletes.  Surgery for this injury consists of introducing a single screw into the bone to hold the two fragments together so that they can heal.  Even with surgery, it is approximately 6 weeks until return to activity can be expected.  The most common complication that patients experience with this injury, as seen with Durant, is failure of the two bone fragments to heal.  When this happens, regardless of the initial method of treatment, patients require surgery to repair the non-healing bone.

Disclaimer: The author has never evaluated, treated or reviewed the medical records of the individuals mentioned in this article.  All statements and opinions are based on publicly available material released from the individual or their representatives.

We recently ran into a middle-aged friend and sometime patient who was complaining of growing aches and pains in her knees, hips and back. She wasn't an athlete, or particularly active, so the pain probably wasn't from overuse. She also didn't have a weight problem, so stress on the joints from obesity wasn't the answer. She remarked that she thought she might have Lyme Disease and had set up an appointment with her family physician to be tested. Sorry to hear that, we said, That's truly a painful condition.

back pain

And then we looked down at her shoes - the most beat-up, worn-out flats we ever saw.

"You have flat feet, don't you?"

"Yes, I do."

"Do you wear those shoes often?"

"Yes, I love them."

"Throw them away and never wear them again. Those shoes have zero support and flat feet need arch support. I bet if you wear sneakers instead your pain will go away."

"I hadn't thought of that."

Most people assume that the growing pain in their knees, hips, or back is caused by a crippling disease or an unknown injury. But in fact, the source of your pain may actually be rooted in your feet - or more specifically, heels and arches which aren't supported correctly (as in our friend's case), or feet that are out of alignment with your ankle and leg.

The older we get...

As we age we have to take better care of our feet. After forty-plus years of neglect, they gradually become painful, arthritic, misaligned, and prone to bunions and hammertoes. Our feet are designed to distribute and support our body weight evenly across the forefoot and heels, and a critical part of this is the proper alignment of the foot/ankle and the ankle/lower leg.  In the case of those who have flat feet, arch support is required for proper alignment and to avoid fatigue.

When we're out of alignment, or lack arch support, we get tired and sore, which causes us to shift our body weight to get comfortable. Then the sides of our foot, forefoot or heel carry too much weight and our ankles, knees, hips and legs compensate, which causes stress on the joints. And when the stress is continuous, the joints become irritated and painful.

It may be hard to believe that such acute and bothersome pain can be caused by a lack of arch support or the misalignment of your foot/ankle/lower leg. In many cases, a simple change in footwear to a quality pair of athletic shoes, worn as often as possible, is the answer. To correct your alignment and relive fatigue, your podiatrist may also recommend custom orthotics to be worn inside your shoes.

And how is our friend doing now, one month later? She reports that she's been wearing sneakers as often as possible and her back, hip and knee pain is nearly gone. Voila!

 

Put down that soda or milkshake: A recent European study has found that drinking one sugar-sweetened drink per day - just one - can raise your risk of Type 2 diabetes by up to 25%.

milkshakes, diabetes

The new British study, published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, tracked the beverage consumption habits of more than 25,000 adults ages 40-79 over a period of 11 years, to see who was more or less likely to develop diabetes. None had diabetes at the start of the study. The research showed that those who drank unsweetened or lightly sweetened coffee, tea or water daily instead of sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas and milkshakes, were up to 25% less likely to develop diabetes.

The association of tea and coffee with diabetes has not been well-studied in the past. This is also the first study to link sweetened-milk beverages like milkshakes and flavored milks to diabetes. The authors write that the association is “unsurprising” since added sugar contributes more than half of the sugar contained in these drinks.

In a press release, the senior author of the paper, Dr. Nita Forouhi of the University of Cambridge, said, “The good news is that our study provides evidence that replacing a daily serving of a sugary soft drink or sugary milk drink with water or unsweetened tea or coffee can help to cut the risk of diabetes.”

Just one cola per day is too much sugar

Overall the study found that each 5% increase in the daily amount of calories from sweetened beverages was associated with an 18% increase in diabetes. Soft drinks like Coca Cola and Pepsi, sweetened milk beverages like milkshakes, and artificially sweetened beverages like diet sodas were all associated with approximately a 22% increase in diabetes.

Surprising findings from the study:

  • Those who consumed one artificially sweetened diet drink each day showed a 14% greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Drinking fruit juice, which is high in naturally occurring fruit sugars, did not increase the likelihood of developing diabetes.
  • Unsweetened tea or coffee had an inverse association with diabetes (the incidence of type 2 diabetes decreased).

However, the association with artificially sweetened beverages lost statistical significance when the researchers took weight into account, suggesting that “those who are overweight or obese and at higher risk of chronic disease consume a higher amount of [artificially sweetened beverages] than those at lower risk.”

Public health experts recommend that a typical adult diet - about 2,000 calories a day - should include no more than 130 calories from added sugar. If you drink just one 12-ounce can of Coca Cola Classic, with 140 calories, you'll exceed that limit.

"Our study adds further important evidence to the recommendation from the World Health Organization to limit the intake of free sugars in our diet," states Dr. Forouhi. "Replacing soft drinks and sweetened-milk beverages with [artificially sweetened beverages] did not reduce type 2 diabetes incidence, but drinking water or unsweetened tea or coffee as alternatives to soft drinks and sweetened milk beverages lowered the incidence of type 2 diabetes significantly. These novel findings are of clinical and public health relevance,... [as] reducing consumption of sweet beverages... and promoting drinking water and unsweetened tea or coffee as alternatives may help curb the escalating diabetes epidemic."

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