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Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

What are the Causes of an Ingrown Toenail?

A medical condition that is known as onychocryptosis, also referred to as an ingrown toenail, can cause uncomfortable pain and soreness. This is a condition that generally develops when the corner of the toenail cuts into the skin surrounding the nail. There are several causes for this ailment to occur, including wearing shoes that are pointed in the toe area, frequently wearing high heels, or choosing to wear shoes that are too tight. Additionally, if the toenails are trimmed improperly, this may also cause a toenail to become ingrown. It’s important to have this condition treated promptly, and this may possibly avoid a fungal infection from developing. If you have developed this condition, you are most likely aware of the noticeable symptoms. These may include a liquid that drains from the affected area, increased pain and swelling, and a possible fever if the infection is severe. If you have an ingrown toenail, it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to discuss treatment options.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. 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 are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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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Many joggers are acutely aware of how incurring an injury can hinder running activities. Achilles tendinitis is a common injury that is felt by runners who increase the miles they run in a short amount of time. The Achilles tendon is considered to be the longest tendon in the body and it connects the heel bone to the calf. Symptoms of this includes severe pain and tenderness at the back of the heel, and the pain may extend to the calf. This may be prevented by strengthening the calf muscle which can be accomplished by standing on a step and then alternating lowering the heels until a gentle stretch is felt. Additionally, shin splints can be a common injury and can produce considerable pain and soreness. This discomfort can often be felt from the shin to the arch of the foot. Wearing the correct shoes may aid in preventing this condition in addition to strengthening the foot by performing toe raises while holding dumbbells. It’s important to speak with a podiatrist for additional information on how to protect the feet from running injuries.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. 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

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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.

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries
Monday, 23 July 2018 00:00

What Happens to Feet During Pregnancy?

For pregnant women, the general health of the feet may be affected. The additional weight gain may cause the feet to become bloated, and has been known to alter some women’s sense of gravity. The alignment and posture in the body may change, and the feet may become affected as a result of the differences in standing and walking that many women endure. Becoming flat-footed is a common ailment that may affect many pregnant women. The arches may temporarily disappear as a result of the pressure the feet must withstand from the additional weight. Additionally, edema, or water retention, is a common condition that many pregnant women experience, and this typically occurs as a result of the blood becoming thicker during the pregnancy. There are several ways to partially alleviate any discomfort that is often associated with edema. These may include elevating your feet as often as possible, eliminating salt from your diet, and stretching the feet, which may enhance the general health of the body. If you have concerns about the effects of pregnancy on the feet, please consult with a podiatrist for additional information.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to 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, 16 July 2018 00:00

How to Online Shop for Shoes

For people who prefer to buy shoes online rather in store, it may be difficult to get your correct shoe size. One of the most important steps in buying a pair of shoes online is to look at the size conversion chart on the website. You should measure your foot at home and follow the size guide for each shoe you purchase. When measuring your feet, you should beware of the fact that one foot may likely be larger than the other. It is also important to note that socks play a major role in how your feet will measure out. When trying on winter boots, you should choose a size that will allow you extra room for when you wear thick socks in cold weather. Lastly, you should stick with brands you are familiar with when buying shoes online. This tip is helpful, because if you stick with a shoe brand you already own, you will know what size will fit you if you decide to order online.

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 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, 21 May 2018 00:00

The Effects Obesity Has On the Feet

It’s important to maintain proper foot care, and added weight can result in the development of numerous foot conditions. Being overweight may limit the type of exercise that is needed for correct body care, and the feet may be negatively affected. Edema, which is often referred to as swollen ankles, is a common side effect the feet may endure as a result of extra weight. The feet will be among the many parts of the body that will be positively affected after losing weight, which can include better blood circulation and more manageable edema. Choosing shoes with maximum support, which may typically consist of a sturdy sole, can aid the foot in achieving optimum comfort. Please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist to acquire additional information of how obesity can affect the feet

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and Your Feet

People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

  • When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
  • Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
  • Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.

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, 29 April 2019 00:00

A Common Form of Arthritis

The painful condition that is known as rheumatoid arthritis is considered to be one of the most common forms of arthritis. Many patients experience the first symptoms of this ailment in the feet, and these may include swelling, soreness, or pain. The noticeable signs of rheumatoid arthritis may be seen and felt in the smaller joints of the toes, or in the ankle joint. Daily activities may become difficult to accomplish as a result of the joint pain and swelling that often accompanies this condition. When this is diagnosed, mild relief may be felt when proper insoles are worn, and this may help to slow the development arthritis in the affected joints. If you notice symptoms that are indicative of rheumatoid arthritis, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment techniques.

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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Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Different Types of Ankle Sprains

Many teenagers may experience the pain and discomfort of an ankle sprain. This may be the result of torn ligaments in the ankle or the surrounding area, and may occur as sporting activities are pursued. Research has indicated there are three types of ankle sprains. A sprain is known to be mild when the ligaments are slightly stretched. If the ligaments are marginally torn, the sprain is considered to be moderate, and putting weight on the foot may be painful. If the ligament should completely tear, the sprain is severe. This is typically accompanied by swelling, and it may be impossible for the foot to bear any amount of weight. There are methods that can be implemented for keeping the ankles strong, which may help in preventing ankle sprains. These include performing gentle stretching exercises to help keep the ankles flexible and wearing shoes that have adequate ankle support. If you have sprained your ankle, it is strongly suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can begin the correct treatment for you.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

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.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

Why Do I Have Blisters On My Feet?

Friction is generally the leading cause of blisters occurring on the feet. The majority of them are filled with a clear fluid; however, if an infection occurs, it may appear to have a yellowish hue. Typically, wearing ill-fitting shoes may cause friction on the skin, usually developing during repetitive motions like running and walking at moderate speeds. Some other causes of blisters may originate from severe burns or tissue damage caused by frostbite, while certain medical conditions including eczema can be linked to blisters on the feet. Treatment may include wearing shoes that fit comfortably without having the toes rub together. You can also apply a gauze pad for protection. If this option is chosen, infection may be avoided by changing the dressing regularly. Relief will be desired if extreme discomfort is experienced, and the blister may need to be drained. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for advice and recommendations for treatments of blisters.

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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Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma

If you notice pain in the bottom of your foot under the toes, you may have a condition that is known as Morton’s neuroma. It is typically caused by a nerve that has become irritated and inflamed. This may happen if the nerve becomes compressed, which may often be caused by wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Symptoms that many patients experience may include a burning sensation in the ball of the foot, a numbing or tingling feeling, or possible swelling. Additionally, pain that may come from that area of the foot may cause difficulty in walking. Mild relief may be found by performing stretching techniques which may help to loosen the affected tendons and ligaments. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat this condition.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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.

Read more about Morton's Neuroma
Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

Do I Have Flat Feet?

The condition known as flat feet occurs when the arch is absent from the foot. This may happen as a result of the aging process, which can cause the arches to drop, in addition to genetic factors. The symptoms that are associated with flat feet may include pain in the heel and other areas of the foot, numbness, or weakness. If your foot lies flat on the ground while standing, this is generally indicative of flat feet. Luckily, there may be measures that can be implemented to obtain relief. These may include performing stretches to help improve flexibility, wearing custom-made orthotics, or wearing shoes that provide adequate support. If you think you have flat feet, be sure to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist, so they can properly treat this condition.

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

What Are Flat Feet?

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

Conditions & Problems:

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

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

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

Symptoms

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

Treatment

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

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

Read more about Flat Feet
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