Monday, 28 November 2016 00:00

National Diabetes Month

elderly feet 3November is known as National Diabetes Awareness month, as diabetes is “a worldwide health problem characterized by the body’s inability to break down sugar due to an inefficiency of the hormone insulin.” If left untreated, diabetes can lead to more severe problems such as diabetic ulcers, poor blood circulation, dry and cracking skin, and infections. Proper footwear, routine checks, and seeing your podiatrist are vital toward injury prevention. About “12 percent of those with diabetes will develop plantar ulcers and they’re responsible for approximately 85 percent of amputations of the lower extremities in diabetic patients.” Your podiatrist can help with managing foot hygiene as well as monitoring your blood sugar levels.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. Diabetes can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels because blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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.

Read more about Diabetic Foot Care

Monday, 21 November 2016 00:00

Gout: “Disease of the Kings”

gout3If you suddenly find that your feet are in excruciating pain, it may be because you have gout. Gout has historically been known as the “disease of kings,” and symptoms include swelling, warmth, and redness in the big toe, ankle, and knee areas. Gout can be caused by many different factors such as a excessive diet of red meats or beer, which can increase the uric acids levels in your blood. The buildup of uric acid can then lead to gout’s inflammation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “At least 4 percent of American adults” are affected by gout.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of 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 care needs.

Read more about Gout

ankle surgeryKelly Wesolowski, a senior and cross-country athlete at Hereford High School in Parkton, Maryland, recently returned after having foot surgery for complications of Freiberg’s disease.  This disease, characterized by avascular necrosis, caused Wesolowski to undergo surgery on her second metatarsal.  The procedure was performed successfully, but rehab and recovery had kept her off the track for 14 months.  Exceeding all expectations, she has come back to a sport that she loves and been incredibly successful.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to fix a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to help with the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary are:

  • Removing foot deformities like bone spurs and bunions
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please 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 foot surgery.

Monday, 07 November 2016 00:00

The Difference Between Corns and Calluses

toenail fungus7Corns and calluses are thickened areas of skin that may develop from repeated rubbing or pressure. The difference between the two of them is that corns appear on the top of the toes, and calluses appear on the bottom of the foot. Both of them, however, may cause pain for the individual who has them. Corns that are not painful do not require any sort of treatment, but if your corns are causing severe discomfort or pain, you should see a podiatrist.  

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

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. Salicylic acid can help in getting rid of these corns because it dissolves keratin, which is the protein that makes up a good majority of corns. Podiatrists recommend that people with diabetes not use salicylic acid but should consult with their podiatrist regarding the treatment of corns.

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 Corns on the Feet.

Monday, 31 October 2016 11:12

Denzel Valentine Sprains Ankle

foot injuryDenzel Valentine rolled his ankle during the third quarter of early October’s exhibition opener, sidelining him for an estimated two weeks. Valentine is expected to miss all but the last two of the Bulls’ final exhibitions, at the best. Valentine was spotted without a walking boot and a lack of a limp, and has previously experienced a sprained ankle injury. “I’ll lose a little bit of time. But with all the great equipment and staff and trainers that we have, I know they’ll get me back as quickly as I can. If I have to play catch-up, then I’ll just have to play catch-up. It is what it is now, no point in stressing,” he said.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits can aid in prevention

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity. Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

Read more about ankle sprains.

Monday, 24 October 2016 00:00

Check for Flexibility When Shoe Shopping

shoes2Many people look for fashion instead of comfort when picking out new shoes. When shopping for sneakers, you should check to see how flexible they are. If you can bend the shoe in half from the toes to the heel, the shoe is not going to provide much support. You should also make sure the shoes you buy are the right size. There should be half an inch to three-quarters of an inch between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. The width of the shoe should be snug, but not too tight. Your toes should be able to move around freely so that they are able to bend and separate a little inside the shoe.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

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 is 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 tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about proper shoe fitting.

athletes foot7The Mayo Clinic states that fungi are more likely to occur on toenails compared to fingernails. This is because fungi love the dark, warm, and moist environment that shoes provide. Fortunately for those who suffer from toenail fungus, a company named NatureGiven has launched their new essential oil treatment option. This treatment is made from a combination of eucalyptus, tea tree, and lavender oils. Only two applications of this formula are needed per day in order to get rid of toenail fungus.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will attend to your foot and ankle needs.

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 – is 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 and air free.

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 always surgical procedures that are available for toenail fungus. Some people would like immediate quick removal of toenail fungus. Surgeons will be able to cut through and remove the growth using laser surgery. It is important not to try and remove it yourself. Once removed, your old shoes will need to be replaced to avoid reinfection.  

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

Read more about Toenail Fungus

Monday, 10 October 2016 00:00

How Tape May Prevent High-Heel Pain

high heel16Taping your feet with a medical bandage or surgical tape before wearing high heels can help with alleviating pain. The method involves taping together your third and fourth toes, where there is a nerve that leads to pain in the ball of your foot. Wearing high heels increases the pressure exerted on this nerve, leading to pain and disability. The tape purportedly can help keep your muscles aligned, as well as steady the ball of your foot”.

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

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

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

What parts 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. Also, 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 offices located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about the effects of high heels.

Monday, 03 October 2016 00:00

Finding Comfortable Shoes for Your Feet

runnersFinding comfortable shoes is important for ensuring overall foot health and stability. High heels can lead to long-term problems for our feet. Flat shoes can also cause damage to our feet, resulting in our arches to “fall,” potentially leading to plantar fasciitis. Tight-fitting shoes in general can lead to blisters. When searching for comfortable shoes, ask an assistant at the shoe store to assist in measuring your feet.

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can treat your foot and ankle needs.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even go barefoot
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion

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 Choosing the Right Running Shoe

plantar fasciitis6Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows into the skin of your toes rather than over it, leading to periodic pain, redness and even swelling. The condition can be caused by ill-fitting shoes or cutting toenails in the wrong way, such as a curved shape. It’s estimated that “about 7 million people in the United States are dealing with an ingrown toenail at any given time,” and if left untreated, ingrown toenails can become infected. Prevent ingrown toenails by cutting your nails straight across, wearing comfortable shoes, and keeping proper foot hygiene.

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 will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

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 one of our offices located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails

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