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Tuesday, 14 August 2018 00:00

Effective Ways to Prevent Falling

Recent research has shown that approximately 30 to 40 percent of seniors fall at least once per year. Many injuries may occur from the unnatural act of falling, including breaking a foot or spraining an ankle, in addition to possibly affecting the overall health of the body. There are simple steps that may be implemented to avoid falling, and as a result, the chances of a serious fall from occurring may be diminished. It’s important to choose shoes that fit correctly and it is beneficial if they have a non-slip sole. For those seniors who exercise regularly, their strong muscles and tendons may aid in providing the necessary strength to prevent a fall from occurring. Additionally, living in a clean and uncluttered environment may help older people to walk without tripping. It may be helpful to obtain regular medical checkups, which may include an eye exam and a reevaluation of any medications that are taken.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious 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 Falls Prevention

We all know the importance of buying shoes that fit properly. When shoes fit correctly, the feet will not only feel better, but may improve the overall well being of the body. Research has shown that it’s beneficial to purchase shoes during the day when the feet are typically at their largest. After having a salesperson properly measure your feet, the shoes should be tried on and walked in to ensure an optimum and comfortable fit. Being aware of how your feet feel in the shoes and trusting your comfort level, will aid in determining the shoe size that is correct for you. When standing in the shoes, a half-inch of space is generally ideal between the end of the shoes and the longest toe. If you find that any particular pair of shoes needs to be “broken in,” that may typically be a sign of an improper fit. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about how to properly fit for shoes.

It is important to find shoes that fit you properly in order to avoid a variety of different 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

Shoes have many different functions. They cushion our body weight, protect our feet, and allow us to safely play sports. You should always make sure that the shoes you wear fit you properly in order to avoid injuries and deformities such as: bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more. It is important to note that although a certain pair of shoes might be a great fit for someone else, that doesn’t mean they will be a great fit for you. This is why you should always try on shoes before buying them to make sure they are worth the investment. Typically, shoes need to be replaced ever six months to one year of regular use.

Tips for Proper Shoe Fitting

  • Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot
  • Don’t buy shoes that fit too tight, expecting them to stretch to fit
  • Make sure there is enough space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right
  • Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe, but by how the shoe fits your foot

The shoes you buy should always feel as good as they look. Shoes that fit properly will last longer, feel better, and improve your way of life each day.

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 Get a Proper Shoe Fit
Monday, 30 July 2018 00:00

How Did I Get My Flat Feet?

People who have the condition known as fallen arches, or flat feet, generally have feet that roll inward due to lack of arches. Both feet lie flat on the ground while standing, and this may cause shoes to wear out faster than usual, or wear out unevenly. Possible symptoms of this ailment may include swelling around the ankle and surrounding areas, and many patients experience pain in the feet because the ligaments and muscles may be strained. Research has shown the purpose of the arch is to evenly distribute weight across the feet, which supports the body. If the arch is absent, the feet may undergo stress in addition to damage being done to the tendons and ligaments. Having flat feet is a common foot condition, resulting from numerous causes. These may include inherited traits, injuries to the foot and ankle, or muscle diseases such as cerebral palsy. If you have the condition referred to as flat feet, please speak with a podiatrist who can properly guide you to correct treatment options.

Flatfoot

Flatfoot is a condition that occurs when the arches on the foot are flattened, which allows the soles of the feet to touch the floor. Flatfoot is a common condition and it is usually painless.

Throughout childhood, most people begin to develop arches in their feet, however, some do not. Those who do not develop arches are left with flatfoot. The pain associated with flat feet is usually at its worse when engaging in activity. Another symptom that may occur with those who have this condition is swelling along the inside of the ankle.

It is also possible to have flexible flatfoot. Flexible flatfoot occurs when the arch is visible while sitting or standing on the tiptoes, but it disappears when standing. People who have flexible flatfoot are often children and most outgrow it without any problems.

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop flatfoot. Those who have diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of flatfoot development. Other factors include aging and obesity.

Diagnosis for flat feet is usually done by a series of tests by your podiatrist. Your podiatrist will typically try an x-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI on the feet. Treatment is usually not necessary for flat foot unless it causes pain. However, therapy is often used for those who experience pain in their flat feet. Some other suggested treatment options are arch supports, stretching exercises, and supportive shoes. 

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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.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
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.

Read more about Getting the Right Shoe Size: To Keep Your Feet Happy
Monday, 09 July 2018 00:00

Why Does Heel Pain Occur?

There are several types of heel pain that many people experience. This type of discomfort may range from Sever’s disease, which affects children, to plantar fasciitis that is a result of inflamed tissues that connects the heel to the sole of the foot. Some patients endure pain that can be felt behind the heel because of an Achilles tendon injury, which is referred to as Achilles tendinitis. Research has shown that many patients notice pain in the heels as a result of consistent pounding, which may originate from frequent running or power walking. Other reasons that heel pain may occur can be from a condition known as heel bursitis, which may come from an injury, or when improper footwear is worn. Additionally, patients that exhibit poor posture may be at risk in experiencing varying degrees of heel pain, which may be observed during running or walking. If you have heel or foot pain, please consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for proper information about available treatment options.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. 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.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

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

Read more about Heel Pain
Monday, 02 July 2018 00:00

Can Plantar Fasciitis be Treated?

A condition referred to as plantar fasciitis typically affects people who stand for the majority of the day. People who enjoy jogging and hiking may also be affected as it is often the result of a repetitive strain injury. This ailment may become noticeable when the pain is felt in the arch and heel of the foot, and is often worse in the morning. For mild cases, relief may be found by wearing shoe inserts and stretching the foot frequently. This condition may become worse if not treated properly, and daily activities may become hindered as a result of chronic plantar fasciitis. Recent research has shown the importance of consulting with a podiatrist for proper treatment options which may include custom arch supports, shock wave therapy or possible surgery.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affects people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best 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 care needs.

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

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, 18 June 2018 00:00

Causes of Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor circulation will often be obvious in the feet. Many patients will generally notice numbness and swelling in the toes and feet in addition to discomfort and pain while walking or standing. Diabetics may notice a slower healing process for any sores that appear on the feet and the skin may begin to change color. There are several factors that may cause this ailment including high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, which is a buildup of excess plaque in the blood. Research has shown that massaging the feet will gently circulate the blood and may bring moderate relief. Additionally, incorporating a mild exercise program into your daily routine may be difficult, but it may prove to be beneficial in attaining improved circulation and the overall health of the body. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested for information on how to manage poor circulation in the feet.

While poor circulation itself isn’t a condition; it is a symptom of another underlying health condition you may have. 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

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can potentially lead to poor circulation in the lower extremities. PAD is a condition that causes the blood vessels and arteries to narrow. In a linked condition called atherosclerosis, the arteries stiffen up due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels. These two conditions can cause a decrease in the amount of blood that flows to your extremities, therefore resulting in pain.

Symptoms:

Some of the most common symptoms of poor circulation are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing or stinging pain in limbs
  • Pain
  • Muscle Cramps

Treatment for poor circulation often depends on the underlying condition that causes it. Methods for treatment may include insulin for diabetes, special exercise programs, surgery for varicose veins, or compression socks for swollen legs.

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 care needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Monday, 11 June 2018 00:00

The Benefits of Stretching the Feet

There are numerous joints, tendons and muscles that the feet are comprised of. The result of learning proper stretching exercises will not only feel good, but may aid in the general well-being of the foot. There are several benefits of stretching the feet and these may include restoring the foot’s natural motion and strengthening the muscles that may possibly enable the toes to move with ease. An effective stretch that will help the sole of the foot is practiced by sitting in a chair and placing one foot over the opposite thigh. As the toes are gently pulled back, a stretch will be felt along the bottom of the foot. Additional stretches may include placing the arch of the foot on a tennis ball and slowly rolling it back and forth, while occasionally pressing on the knee to obtain increased intensity. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about the benefits of performing proper foot stretches.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet 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.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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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