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Monday, 20 May 2019 00:00

Causes of Flat Feet

The medical condition that is referred to as flat feet occurs when the arch is missing from the foot. Most babies are born with flat feet, and the arch typically develops in the first few years of life. Some patients have flat feet as an adult, which can occur as a result of illness or injuries. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition include pain while standing for extended periods of time, in addition to an achy feeling in the ankles. Treatment of flat feet may begin with wearing orthotics in your shoes that can provide additional support. Pain and discomfort may be reduced when a healthy lifestyle is implemented. This can include losing excess weight, which may put pressure on the feet, in addition to performing a gentle exercise routine. If you have questions about flat feet, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who 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
Tuesday, 18 April 2017 00:00

What to do About Calluses

Among foot conditions, calluses and corns are often seen as some of the more harmless concerns. Regardless, if a callus does become troublesome, there are methods available for removal. Because calluses are essentially small areas of thick, hardened skin, softening calluses can help aid in their removal. Soaking the feet in warm water and avoiding using harsh soaps while washing can help maintain softness of the skin. Hard areas can also be buffed away using a pumice stone. If you are suffering from calluses and seek ways to remove them, consult with your podiatrist.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctors to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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 Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them

There are many professions that require standing for hours, which unfortunately can put a heavy strain on the feet. Oftentimes, people who work on their feet begin to notice aches and pains associated with the stress their feet are under. Examples of common problems that arise from working on your feet are plantar fasciitis, bunions, Achilles tendonitis, swollen feet, and soreness. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risk of developing any of these issues. Wearing comfortable and supportive shoes is the most important step in keeping your feet healthy. Custom made orthotics could also be beneficial. Orthotics made for those who stand for long periods of time could help improve posture, relieve joint pain, and help alleviate other symptoms. Changing positions is also beneficial, because it helps shift the weight being put on the feet. If possible, walking around, standing in different positions, and stretching are easy ways to change position. If you would like more information on how to care for your feet, speak with your podiatrist.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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 How to Handle a Long Work Day on Your Feet
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 00:00

Understanding Hammertoes

If you have hammertoes, it may be due to a number of factors including improperly-fitting shoes or muscle and nerve diseases that can affect your feet. Hammertoes are described as bent and curled toes, seeming to resemble the claw of a hammer. The condition is permanent and may require treatment if pain progresses. Typical treatment includes wearing the proper footwear and physical therapy. A final option is surgery for severe cases, but consulting with your podiatrist first about your condition is recommended before deciding on the surgical option.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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 What Are Hammertoes?
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 affect 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

When the weather starts to warm up, you may be tempted to show off your feet with open-toed shoes. However, if you want them feeling healthy and fresh you should take extra precautions to make sure your feet are summer-ready. Wearing low-quality flip-flops and sandals without arch support may cause bunions, blisters, corns, and calluses, so it is important that you limit, if not avoid, wearing them during the summertime. In order to prevent conditions such as plantar fasciitis, you should choose a sandal that has cushioning and arch support so your feet are comfortable while you walk. Nevertheless, the amount of time you spend wearing flip-flops should be limited so that you can avoid injury and other foot conditions.

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.

Read more about Every Day Foot Care

As warm weather approaches, many people choose to wear flip-flops. The flip-flop has been a popular summer shoe for decades, however there are many podiatrists that would caution against its usage. Foot injuries may occur as a result of wearing flip-flops, including stress fractures and blisters. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission on Emergency Room Visits, 25,300 out of 198,437 emergency room visits due to footwear were caused by wearing flip-flops. Although some of these injuries were minor cuts on the toes, others were more serious such as sprains and tendinitis.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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 Flip Flops and Feet
Monday, 08 October 2018 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Gout

The medical condition referred to as gout is often the result of excess uric acid in the blood levels. Crystals will typically form and lodge in the joints of the big toe, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. There are several symptoms associated with this condition, and these may include swelling, redness and tenderness at the base of the big toe. The crystals generally cause inflammation and there may be extreme pain that is associated with this. Gout attacks may be the result of an inherited trait, or may occur from the foods that are ingested. Specifically, these foods may include an overindulgence of red meat, alcohol, or shellfish, and these may affect the uric acid in the blood. If you are suffering from this condition, please consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for correct treatment remedies.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Berks Foot and Ankle Surgical Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment 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 Gout
Monday, 27 August 2018 00:00

What Are Stress Fractures Caused By?

If bones in the feet are generally overused, stress fractures may develop as a result of this type of strain. The foot bones typically absorb the weight of the body and tiny fractures may occur with specific types of repetitive motion. These may include any kind of jumping, running, or power walking activities performed over an extended period of time. Some of the symptoms that may be associated with this condition may be severe pain and swelling, and can often be diagnosed by having an X-ray performed. Additional reasons for this condition to develop may be obesity, muscle weakness, or possible side effects that may weaken the bones from certain medications. If you feel you may have developed a stress fracture in any part of your foot, it’s advised to speak to a podiatrist as quickly as possible to determine what the best treatment options are for you.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. 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 you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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 Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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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