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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Tuesday, 04 April 2017 18:25

Pay attention to your shoes

Whether or not your shoes fit properly could be the difference between having healthy feet and having to walk around in pain. There are around 100 different working parts in your feet with 25% of all the bones of your skeleton residing inside your slippers. That being said, it is no wonder that wearing good quality, well-fitted shoes is extremely important for good foot and overall health. There are a few tips to follow when you are shoe-shopping: make sure to get your feet measured (they change size over time!), walk around the shoe store a bit with your new pair on, and buy activity appropriate footwear. This last point is especially important for running. Just because you’re not jogging in high heels doesn’t mean you’re wearing the right shoes.

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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Wednesday, 29 March 2017 00:00

Treatments for Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be very painful to experience. Most common in teenagers, though fairly common in the greater population, an ingrown toenail is characterized by the toenail digging into and breaking the adjacent soft tissue. This can lead to infection if the breaks in the skin remain for too long. Treatment of ingrown toenails range from clipping the nail more appropriately to surgically removing the nail or even destroying the growth plate in the nail bed. For chronic sufferers these surgical options may be necessary. It is best to consult a podiatrist if you have ingrown toenails.

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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Osteoarthritis, sometimes called the “wear and tear” arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage between the joints breaks down. This can be very painful, especially in the feet. One way of treating a disease like this is the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. To start, blood is procured from the patient and then processed to prepare the custom injections. The injections promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints, and other soft tissues. There is minimal risk to the patient because the plasma given is from the patient’s very own blood. Studies show that PRP injections can significantly reduce pain in osteoarthritic patients and improve quality of life.

If you are suffering from a foot condition, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood taken from a patient and spun in a centrifuge, concentrating the amount of platelets. The plasma is then re-injected into the site of injury or damage, assisting the body in repairing damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissue. PRP helps the body speed up its healing process.

Uses of PRP

Injuries affecting the foot sometimes don’t heal properly because of poor blood circulation. The healing time slows down and recovery time is affected by poor blood supply. PRP injections will speed up recovery and resolve this issue.

Treatment

PRP is the first regenerative treatment for damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments. No surgery needed. It is only applied with an insertion of a needle.

Ultrasound – An ultrasound is needed for proper placement of the platelets.

Injection – When the first injection is received, the patient will return to the doctor in about 2 to 3 weeks and monitor the recovery process.

Recovery time – Some people respond to treatments differently. Therefore, depending on your condition, the doctor will make any remaining decisions on how many more injections are needed, or if any additional ones are even required.

Benefits

One may be able to avoid major surgery, and recovery time will be cut down. PRP injections also avoid creating scar tissue and damage to the area. Risks are also very low using PRP as a treatment. There is no risk of rejection, contracting a disease from using another person’s blood, or infection.

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.

Read more about PRP Injections In Your Feet

Julio Jones, wide receiver of the Atlanta Falcons, has shared that he will wait a month before having the toe/foot injury that caused him problems leading up to the Super Bowl. Various media outlets have different views of the treatment of the injury, with NFL media reporting that Jones will be having minor surgery and ESPN reporting that the surgery will be to “remove a bunion” on Jones’s foot. Despite the possible impending procedure, Jones is still expected to participate in training camp. During the Falcon’s run to the Super Bowl, Jones’s abilities were apparently not hindered, according to the team.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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 a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why do Bunions Form?

Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form

How are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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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Wednesday, 08 March 2017 15:59

Avoid High Heels Taller Than 2-3 Inches

It is a commonly known fact that high heels are bad for you, with prolonged wearing leading to both a multitude of short-term problems such as corns and long-term problems such as bunions and back pain. Although women’s shoes like high heels are a popular fashion staple, they are actually considered improperly-fitting shoes that are bad for your heels, arches, and overall foot health. It is suggested to avoid heels that are higher than 2 to 3 inches, and to look for heels that have enough room in the front so that you are able to move your toes.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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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