high heels 2A study published by the Journal of Applied Physiology has determined that long-term high heel use can have detrimental effects on the legs’ muscles, such as muscle strain and muscle fatigue. According to the study’s abstract, long-term high heel use has been found to “shorten medial gastrocnemius muscle fascicles and increase Achilles tendon stiffness.” The study’s results are consistent with the reports that high heel wearers often experience discomfort, pain, and tiredness. It also suggests that “long-term high heel use may compromise muscle efficiency in walking”.

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 doctorcan 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.

foot stretch massage 2There are different ways that you can take care of your feet each day in preparation for summer and flip-flop season. Foot filing is a good way to remove dry, cracked skin, and give you feet that are soft and supple. Wearing insoles is also an efficient way to maintain healthy feet. Insoles not only provide comfort, but they provide support for your feet as well. Corns are the result of friction and pressure caused by footwear, however insoles can help prevent corn formation. An easy way to prevent fungal infections is to make sure your feet are completely dry. Fungal infections occur when your feet are wet or moist from either water or sweat.

Every day foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Every Day 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. After all, 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 example.

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.

Also, 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 our office in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everyday Foot Care

foot and ankle injury 4A thirteen-year-old boy suffered a broken ankle after jumping out of a burning house in Virginia. The boy jumped from a second story window and is still having trouble breathing on his own. People who witnessed the fire said that it spread quickly, leaving little time for those trapped inside to escape. The family who lived in the home is currently staying a nearby hotel in Lynchburg, Virginia. The cause of the fire remains unknown, but more information is expected to be released in the future.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking 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.

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  • Swelling around the area
  • Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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

Read more about broken ankles.

Monday, 01 August 2016 00:00

Jared Cook Undergoes Foot Surgery

ankle surgeryJared Cook of the Green Bay Packers recently underwent foot surgery. He claims that he is fully healthy, but he may be overly optimistic. Green Bay’s medical staff has yet to check the status of his foot, but they are expected to do so soon. The Packers training camp began in late July.

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

Read more about foot surgery.

Monday, 25 July 2016 00:00

Struggling With Cracked Heels

cracked heelsCracked heels are an issue that many people tend to struggle with, especially during the summer months. A lot of things can cause them, including not wearing socks. Common household items can be used to treat cracked heels. Aspirin, cotton wool, and lemon can all be used to make your heels softer.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your injury and provide you with quality treatment.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are unappealing, and make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Not only may they look bad, but they can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief, or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – wearing socks with medicated creams, helps lock in moisture so it can stay on longer.

Moisturizers – applying it both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – these remove dead skin, and then you can massage cream onto your foot. This way the cream will be absorbed. The skin needs to be exfoliated; therefore the outer layer dead skin needs removal.

Change in Diet

Eating healthy, with a well-balanced diet, will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to what kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements will also help with skin tissue.

Most importantly seek a health professional for foot care if something is wrong or doesn’t seem to be working. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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

Read more about cracked heels. 

Tuesday, 19 July 2016 00:00

3-D Foot Scanner Technology

obesity feetA new 3-D foot scanner by Cyros uses eight pictures to quickly scan a patient’s foot with ease. The creators of the device firmly believe that their device is better than other 3-D scanners made by competitors. The scanner could aid in determining risks for diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. Foot scanners have grown in popularity during recent years, and they are very expensive. They can range anywhere from $10,000-$25,000 per unit. Although a price has yet to be determined for the Cyrus scanner, it is not expected to be near $25,000 like other high end scanners.

Any additional problems in the feet of those with obesity can be detrimental to foot health. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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.

Solutions 

Footwear – Specially made footwear that supports your joints, arches, and ankles, and allows room for good circulation is a great option to mitigate pressure and pain. A podiatrist will help you decide what works best for your specific needs.

Exercise – Exercise will help alleviate the pain and give your feet the strength it needs to support your body. Exercise also increases blood flow to your feet, allowing them to remain healthy and strong. 

Most importantly, seek the help of a podiatrist for foot care if something is wrong or doesn’t seem to be working. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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

Read more about obesity and the feet.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 00:00

Plantar Warts 101

childrens feet 2A plantar wart is a type of infection that is spread in areas where it is common to walk around with bare feet. Treatment varies depending on the type of wart that you have. Warts that have a mosaic pattern tend to be more difficult to cure compared to single warts. If drug store treatments don’t work, it is advised that you see a podiatrist.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Legions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, will help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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

Read more about plantar warts.

Arthritis5Professional golfer Ian Poulter has had an arthritic joint in his foot for over two years, and it has kept him from maximizing his golf performance. This arthritic joint has caused him to fall down in rankings and has kept him away from golf for four months. Unfortunately for Poulter, his arthritis has worsened and has made him unable to continue taking cortisone shots to alleviate the pain. Continuous usage of cortisone shots can cause bone thinning and stress fractures.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking 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.

Arthritic Foot Care                            

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of different joints in your body, such as in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. On top of this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help to temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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

Read more about arthritic foot care.

Monday, 27 June 2016 00:00

Heel Pain can have Different Causes

heel pain01There are many different causes behind heel pain, including plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Plantar fasciitis is a condition of the feet which results when the band of tissue that lines the sole of your foot becomes inflamed. Heel spurs occur when calcium deposits, or bone growths, form in your heel bone. Both conditions can be treated with physical therapy, an overnight splint, and orthotic inserts.

Anyone can wind up suffering from heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your 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 thing of the past.

With the advancements in technology and greater knowledge of how muscles and joints work, physical therapists can turn things around dramatically.  

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

Read more about Heel Pain

Arthritis5Arthritis is “a leading cause of disability among U.S. adults,” and “by 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans ages 18 or older will be diagnosed with the disease.” Rheumatoid arthritis is known as a common form of arthritis, affecting “approximately 1.5 million people in the United States.” As rheumatoid arthritis is chronic and attacks our bodies’ joint tissue, it’s important to know the symptoms. These usually range from dryness, irritation, and impairment of the eyes to shortness in breath.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, see Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your heel pain symptoms in addition to other podiatric-related needs.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

- Swelling & pain in the feet
- Stiffness in the feet
- Pain on the ball or sole of feet
- Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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

Read more on Rheumatoid Arthritis

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