Blog
Monday, 13 November 2017 00:00

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder and form of arthritis in which the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joints. This can cause pain and inflammation and over time can damage the joints and bone. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur in any joint in the body but often occurs in the hands, wrists, and feet. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Other symptoms can include fatigue, numbness, fever, sweating, and weight loss. These symptoms can often come and go and can last for days or weeks. There is currently no cure for rheumatoid arthritis; however seeing a doctor, such as a podiatrist, if you are experiencing pain in your feet can help provide a diagnosis and treatment. Treatment options may include therapy, medication, and, in some cases, surgery.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist  if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, 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 Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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, 06 November 2017 00:00

Preventing Blisters on the Feet When Hiking

Blisters are no fun, especially when you’re hiking and they develop on the feet. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent them in the first place. Make sure your shoes properly fit and provide cushioning, support, and toe space. If you know of areas where you are likely to get blisters, such as on the back of the heel, cover these spots with medical tape or bandages. Doubling up on socks, or wearing liner socks under your regular socks, can help prevent friction, which is the cause of blisters. Furthermore, changing your socks daily is necessary to help prevent moisture buildup and keep them dry; this is especially true if your feet get wet. When you are finished hiking for the day, take your shoes and socks off to let your feet air out.

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.

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017 00:00

What to Look for in Walking Shoes

When it comes to looking for a pair of walking shoes, there are many different options out there, and it could be easy to feel overwhelmed. Here are a couple of shoe features that you should be on the lookout for. A toe box that provides enough wiggle room for your toes is important. The shoes shouldn't be too tight or too loose. A good pair of shoes should conform to the shape of your foot. Knowing what type of arches you have can also help, as they will allow you to pick a pair that accommodates your foot type. Finally, walking shoes should be comfortable to wear. If a pair of shoes you want does not provide enough cushion, see if the insoles can be swapped out for more comfortable ones or custom-made orthotics. If you would like to know more about your foot type and which show would be best suited for you, a podiatrist can analyze your foot and provide you with personalized recommendations. 
 

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 Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical 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 Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 23 October 2017 00:00

Bunions and Surgery

Bunions, if left untreated, can start to throb and become very painful. Does this mean that you should have surgery to treat your bunions before they start hurting? Not necessarily; there are plenty of nonsurgical options available to treat bunions and the associated pain. It is best to see a podiatrist first, however, as they can discuss the options available to you. Common conservative options include trying new pairs of shoes that offer more room and keep pressure off the bunion. Bunions pads are another readily available option that also help ease pressure on the bunion. Anti-inflammatory medication can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation, and cortisone shots can help with that too. If conservative measures such as these do not ease pain, then surgery may be recommended by a podiatrist.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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?

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 Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 16 October 2017 00:00

What to Look for When Getting a Pedicure

Pedicures can be fun and relaxing when proper caution is taken. While it may not seem obvious at first, a nail salon can be covered with fungi and bacteria that could infect your feet and toenails. Consider the following tips to help prevent infections. Before going, check online to see what others have said about the salon. Once at the salon, look to see if it is clean,giving extra attention to the nail tools; these should be cleaned and disinfected after each customer. It's not a bad idea to avoid shaving before you go, as shaving can cause tiny cuts on the skin through which bacteria can enter. If you are having your nails painted or the polish removed, inquire if there are any harsh chemicals, like acetone, in the paint or polish remover. Harsh chemicals can damage nails and make infections more likely. Ultimately, having a pedicure can be very safe; just be aware of  your surroundings and what is going on.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

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, 09 October 2017 00:00

The Elderly and Foot Health

Taking good care of your feet becomes more important as you get older. Age tends to exacerbate foot issues, with many people over the age of 65 reportedly suffering from foot pain. Another common issue among the elderly is diabetes. Diabetes causes neuropathy, or nerve loss, in the lower body, especially in the feet. Diabetics suffer from poor blood circulation in the legs and feet as well. This means that if a diabetic sustains a wound, they may not realize it due to loss of sensation, and the wound may not heal properly. In severe cases, amputation may be necessary if the infection significantly worsens. Because of this, elderly diabetics need to take extra care of their feet, though most elderly people will also benefit from practicing good foot health. Good foot health strategies include daily foot inspections for any abnormalities, washing and drying the feet, keeping one's diabetes in check, and wearing quality socks and footwear that will protect the feet and provide ample foot support. Finally, performing a check-up with a podiatrist yearly is also recommended.

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, 03 October 2017 00:00

Kansas City Safety Injures Achilles Tendon

While the Kansas City Chiefs may have recently won against the New England Patriots, they lost a valuable player in the process. Chiefs’ safety, Eric Berry, injured the Achilles tendon in his left foot during the game. The injury will unfortunately take Berry out for the rest of the season. Berry is the highest paid safety in the league and one of the Chiefs’ best players. Losing him this early in the season is a big blow to the team.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. 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.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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, 25 September 2017 00:00

What to Know About Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon, while the largest and thickest tendon in the body, is prone to being injured just like any body part. Tendinopathy, the breakdown of the tendon, generally occurs from overuse—especially from athletic activities. In some cases, the tendon can even rupture completely. While overuse directly causes the injury, there are other factors that increase the risk. These factors include bending the foot backwards, or dorsiflexion, weak calf muscles, and pronation. Compared to other muscle recoveries, tendons take longer to heal and can even take up to a year to fully recover. While anti-inflammatory medication may bring relief, it will not heal the injury. Ultimately, the best thing to do for an Achilles tendon injury is to see a podiatrist. Podiatrists offer the best treatment options and recovery programs for such injuries, and they can help patients heal properly so they can get back in the game.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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 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 Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Stress fractures, or painful hairline fractures of the bone caused by fatigue, can happen to anyone. While small, they can be serious if not taken care of. Treatment generally involves rest, but prevention is always preferential. To prevent stress fractures, start with upping your calcium and vitamin D intake. Both calcium and vitamin D help promote healthy bones, which can prevent fractures. A good pair of sneakers can help prevent stress fractures in addition to a number of other foot injuries. At least one study shows that improper running stride can increase the likelihood of injury. Those who are very skinny are more likely to suffer from fractures, so maintaining a healthy body weight and diet is essential. Last but not least, when exercising be sure to gradually increase intensity over time; do not do this immediately. Fatigue from overuse is a common cause for stress fractures, so knowing your limit is an important part of preventing injury. If you think you have suffered a stress fracture in the foot, see a podiatrist immediately for a proper diagnosis.

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.

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Monday, 11 September 2017 00:00

Finding the Right Shoes to Deal With Foot Pain

Most adults are on their feet for hours on end throughout the day. It’s no surprise then that many suffer from foot pain. One of the most common forms of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue. Stretching and orthotics, like sole inserts, can help reduce pain. Making sure that your shoes provide proper arch support and cushioning can also relieve pain and other ailments. Women should be on the lookout; one study found that most women wear a shoe size that is half an inch too small. Furthermore, foot sizes still change even as you get older. While all these suggestions may help relieve foot pain temporarily, it still may not go away; in that case, it may be best to see a podiatrist. 

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical 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 Shillington and Hamburg, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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