Tuesday, 13 June 2017 00:00

Finding the Perfect Shoe for You

It is crucial for people of all ages to have properly fitting shoes. You should always try on shoes while in the shoestore in order to make sure you are getting the right fit. A new pair of shoes should never pinch your feet, and there should be at least one finger length of space at the top of the shoe. Additionally, your heel should have a firm positioning inside of the shoe. It is advised that the shoe buyer takes a walk around in the store for several minutes before making a purchase, in order to know if the shoes fit properly.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor  will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

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

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Ingrown toenails occur when the corner or side of the nail grows into the soft flesh. Symptoms may include redness, pain, swelling, and in rare cases, infection. If your ingrown toenail pain is severe or spreading to other places, you may need to see a podiatrist. Your doctor will help give you treatment in order to alleviate the pain you are suffering. People with diabetes and other medical conditions may be at a greater risk of having complications due to ingrown toenails. In order to prevent ingrown toenails, you should always cut your nails straight across instead of in a rounded shape. Another tip is to wear protective footwear such as steel toed shoes. Checking your feet on a daily basis may be helpful in catching an ingrown toenail in its early stage, before it starts to substantially worsen.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017 00:00

What is Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma, caused by a thickening of tissue around the nerves in your toes, usually happens between the third and fourth toes, causing a feeling like something is stuck in your sock. Your foot, which has more than 100 muscles, 26 bones, and 33 joints, is a very complex structure, which is why foot pain can be so common. Morton’s neuroma is often treated fairly simply, by things like foot and arch supports, anti-inflammatories, orthotics, and physical therapy. It is always important to discuss with your doctor the treatment plan that is right for you. This condition must be treated to ensure that no additional foot complications develop over time.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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This year Michigan Technological University participated in National Biomechanics Day on April 6th, a world-wide event for educators and students to advance the education of human biomechanics. The Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department of the university collaborated with multiple departments across campus and invited local students to participate in hands-on activities focused on biomechanics research. Among these activities, members of the faculty demonstrated various tools used to analyze and describe human motion during exercise. Students were also given the chance to test their strength compared to Michigan Tech football players and to make imprints of their feet, allowing them to analyze how different foot types impact movements across multiple joints.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics
-  Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
-  In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

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Tuesday, 16 May 2017 15:20

Jets sign cornerback John Ojo

The New York Jets recently announced that they have signed cornerback John Ojo, a free agent  who previously played for Edmonton in the Canadian Football League. Ojo had spent the past three seasons playing for Edmonton. Due to a torn Achilles tendon, however, Ojo did not play last year. Ojo is 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, and has attracted interest from at least eight NFL teams. He suffered his Achilles tendon tear in June of last year, and is well on his way to full recovery now.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 09 May 2017 00:00

Decreasing Gout Risk

Gout is one of the most painful forms of arthritis, commonly affecting those aged 60 and higher. Associated with high levels of uric acid, gout is typically characterized by pain and redness in the joints. Many health professionals agree that gout risk can be lowered by managing one’s diet, which involves reducing foods and drinks high in purine from one’s food intake. These foods include alcohol, red meat, organ meat such as liver or kidney, certain seafoods, drinks high in fructose, and processed foods. Lowering one’s uric acid levels is key in reducing gout risk.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bethlehem, 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

About Athlete’s foot

“Up to 70% of Americans contract athlete’s foot at some time in their lives,” cites Contemporary Clinic. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the foot that many people fall victim to at some point in their lives. Athlete’s foot can be contracted either by having direct contact with someone who has the infection or by being exposed to contaminated surfaces or items. Those who use community swimming pools and showers are most at risk. Other causes of the condition include wearing heavy or tight shoes, as this creates an overly warm and moist environment that is ideal for fungal growth.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

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

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In a recent study conducted in the Boston area, correlations between obesity, foot pain, and foot disorders were investigated. The sample size of the study was 2445 men and women with an average age of 68. In men, severe obesity, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 kg/m^2 or more, was found to be associated with foot pain. For women, both moderate (30-34.99) and severe obesity were associated with foot pain. The general conclusion of the study was that regardless of foot posture and dynamic foot function, as one’s BMI increased the likelihood of foot pain increased as well.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017 16:53

Plantar Fasciitis Common Among Adults

Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition that most commonly affects those between the ages of 30 to 55, especially those who are athletes. The plantar fascia, a ligament that runs beneath the sole of the foot, supports the arch of the foot and acts as a shock absorber. Repeated stress and impact to the heel, however, can cause the fascia to tear and become inflamed. This results in the foot condition, plantar fasciitis. While there are various specific causes of this condition, excessive pressure is often the culprit. To determine the cause of your plantar fasciitis and the most appropriate treatment, consult with your podiatrist.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart  from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

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Monday, 10 April 2017 20:37

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

If you are experiencing symptoms such as the thickening and yellowing of your toenails, you may be suffering from toenail fungus. Toenail fungus thrives on dead tissues, dead skin cells, and keratin in our nails. Infections occur when our toenails are subjected to a moist environment, such as sweaty shoes. Toenail fungus often starts in the toenails first, and if left untreated, can spread to your fingernails as well. Treatment can involve antifungal drugs and laser therapy. If you have a case of toenail fungus, be sure to maintain proper foot hygiene and to dry properly after washing.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a problem which affects many people and is hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating toenail fungus.

Antibiotics & Treatments 

Lamisil – The most commonly effective treatment for toenail fungus. It is available as an antibiotic: Terbinafine tablet and cream. Terbinafine is a chemical component which kills fungal growth on the body. Applying regular doses will gradually kill the fungal growth. It is important to keep the area clean.

Talcum powder – Applying powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

Alternative Treatments

There are surgical procedures that are available for toenail fungus. Some people would prefer the immediate and quick removal of toenail fungus through laser surgery. Consult with yOur doctor about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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