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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 00:00

Causes of Burning Feet

If you have a burning sensation in your feet, you may have any number of conditions. The feeling of burning in the feet can be either minor or severe, generally affect people over 50, and occur most frequently during the night. Nerve damage from diabetes, vitamin deficiency or alcoholism, obesity, strain on the feet, overheated feet, eczema or dermatitis, blood disorders, or any impairment of the feet’s nerves can all lead to the burning sensation. Seeing your podiatrist is vital to understanding any underlying causes. As always, make sure you are wearing properly fitting shoes as well.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet. 

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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You should always make sure you are wearing proper footwear for whichever activity you are about to engage in. Hiker Marci Hansen recalls her experience going hiking with a friend: “I would step on a wet root and it was not even a thing, and she would really slip and fall.” She explains that the difference between her friend and herself is that she came prepared with the right shoes required to go hiking. The cause of her friend’s injuries was the fact that she wore shoes that were not made to endure the wet and uneven surfaces. If you are planning on going hiking, tread is one of the most important things you should look for when shoe shopping. Shoes that are sturdy enough to go hiking will help protect you from injuries that can easily be avoided.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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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Wednesday, 03 May 2017 00:00

Preventing Poor Blood Circulation

If your feet feel cold, especially during these winter months, it is because it is your body’s natural response for conserving heat when it is too cold. Your body “tries to maintain its internal temperature by constricting small blood vessels under the surface of the skin. This allows more blood to move deeper in the body, so your core stays warm.” However, this causes your body’s extremities, like the feet, to receive poor blood circulation. When taking care of your cold feet, try to wear warm, breathable socks that help wick away moisture. Opt for wool in place of cotton. Other methods include warming your feet up in warm water, drinking hot liquids, moving around to get your blood circulation going, and investing in shoe inserts to help insulate the insides of your shoes.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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 Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Monday, 12 February 2018 00:00

Causes and Treatment of Cracked Heels

If severe dryness is experienced on the heels of the foot, it may lead to a condition referred to as cracked heels. Calluses will form to protect the skin, and may often split open, possibly leading to a painful infection. Poorly fitting shoes, shoes with exposed backs, obesity, and eczema are among the many reasons for cracked heels to develop. If daily activities include standing for long periods of time, further damage may occur because of the constant pressure the heels must endure. Applying a moisturizer daily will not only feel good, but will help to eliminate the dryness associated with cracked heels. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised to discuss the removal of calluses from severely cracked heels.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, 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.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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, 06 February 2018 00:00

How Do I Know If I Have an Ingrown Toenail?

When a toenail cuts into the side of the toe, it is often referred to as an ingrown toenail. Common causes for this condition may be shoes that are not fitting properly and toenails being trimmed incorrectly. Wearing shoes with pointed toes or high heels may cause the toes to have limited room to move freely, resulting in the nails burrowing into the side of the toe. General symptoms may include pain around the toe, and the skin becomes red and swollen. Drainage from the area may indicate an infection, which may require taking an antibiotic for treatment. It may be beneficial to avoid wearing shoes that fit tightly, and sandals with an open toe are recommended until the nail is healed. Prevention of this condition may include properly cutting the toenails, which ideally is performed straight across, and keeping the feet dry and clean.

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

Ingrown Toenails

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

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 00:00

Signs of a Broken Ankle

Severe pain, swelling and bruising on the foot may be indicative of a broken ankle. This typically occurs as a result from falling or from something heavy that has been dropped on the foot. Other evidence may include hearing a snapping noise coming from the foot at the time of injury or a dislocation occurring in the ankle, producing an odd shape. Applying an ice pack may numb the pain temporarily, and keeping it elevated will help the swelling dissipate. An x-ray is commonly taken to confirm the severity and presence of a broken ankle. Treatment may include having the foot in a cast or wearing a boot for more mobility. A podiatrist will make the determination depending on the extent of fracture. Utilizing crutches may be an option if it’s determined that any weight placed on the ankle is prohibited.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, 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. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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, 29 May 2018 00:00

How Do Heel Spurs Develop?

A heel spur is a regeneration of a bone that forms on the sole of the foot. Additionally, the development of this ailment can appear in the area where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel and may produce severe pain. In most cases, a heel spur will gradually develop, and is often caused by strain experienced by the muscles and ligaments. Causes of this type of discomfort may originate from shoes that fit incorrectly, additional body weight the feet must endure, or an injury that caused the heel to bruise. Paying close attention to the general health of the feet may be a successful prevention technique for heel spurs. This may include noticing any type of aches and pain that may appear, especially on the sole of the foot. Moderate relief may be obtained from resting the foot in addition to performing gentle stretching exercises. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist for treatment options for heel spurs, which may include surgery.

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 condition's 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, 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 condition's 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, 04 February 2019 00:00

Different Types of Ankle Pain

Ankle pain may originate from several sources, which may include sprains, fractures, or arthritis. The pain may be acute or develop gradually, and this may depend on what the cause is. Burning, aching or throbbing may accompany different types of ankle pain, and a proper diagnosis needs to be performed, which may aid in determining the reason for the pain and discomfort. This may include having an X-ray and a physical examination completed, and additional imaging procedures may be necessary if the ankle pain is severe. Ankle sprains are common injuries and may occur from unexpectedly stepping off a curb or engaging in an activity in which the ankle rolls inward. The tendons in the ankle attach to the bone, and if these should become inflamed, a condition known as ankle tendonitis may occur. If you have any form of ankle pain, it is suggested to counsel with a podiatrist who can guide you to begin the correct treatment.

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and 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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