Monday, 08 February 2016 00:00

Causes of Gout

gout3Gout can be problematic on any area of the body, but is mostly known to cause extreme pain or swelling closer to the big toe. Nearly ten million Americans suffer from the condition, but it is important to understand the condition is treatable. While genetics are a prominent concern for gout, recent findings show that obesity is becoming a factor in gout. Medications, certain foods, alcoholic beverages, or anything with high levels of uric acid are all capable of causing gout.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you have any concerns with your feet 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 Bethelehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Gout

Monday, 01 February 2016 00:00

Facts About Arthritis

Arthritis5Dr. Denise Karpowicz, of Karpowicz Chiropractic, explains arthritis as inflammation that can occur anywhere your bones meet, and this includes your feet. According to Karpowicz, arthritis is caused when “the cartilage surrounding the joints permitting smooth movement wears out and becomes less effective.” Arthritis can occur in people of all ages, and the disease affects about over 70 million people across the country. Many different factors can lead to arthritis, including your diet, participating in extensive physical sports at a young age, smoking, and alcohol. It is important to manage and treat your arthritis early on to decrease the progression of symptoms.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you have any concerns with your feet contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about arthritic foot care.

foot exercise4A Danish study suggests that running faster may actually help reduce injuries rather than increase the risk. The Danish study proposes that running faster will decrease the odds of runner’s knee. Runner’s knee occurs when strain is exerted on the knee as runners land on their heels. Research done by the team suggests that the number of strides taken by runners affects the chance of putting more strain on their knees. The more strides you take as you run slower accumulates more load on the knees. However, running faster still does increase the strain on the Achilles tendon and your hamstrings, so try running shorter distances at a faster pace.

Runners can still be prone to running injuries even with proper precautions. If you have any concerns with your feet contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber, this will help you gain better flexibility.

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 How to Prevent Running Injuries

Monday, 18 January 2016 00:00

Avoid Heels During the Winter

high heel14Even during the colder months, many women try to remain fashionable by sporting heeled winter boots. Unfortunately, high heels are exceptionally dangerous and unstable on snow- and ice-covered surfaces. Falls from slipping on ice or snow are one of the main reasons behind ER visits during the winter. To further avoid any slips and falls, keep in mind these tips: Keep areas around outside doorways well-lit to keep icy areas visible, wear shoes or boots that have soles with traction, and check for icy spots before getting out of cars or walking on stairs.

High heels have a history for causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns with your feet contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 office located in Bethelehem, 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, 11 January 2016 00:00

Everyday Foot Care

foot care7Taking care of your feet is often a practice that many people overlook. However, your feet are the parts of your body that absorb the impact of your body with all physical activity. Some simple things to consider in an everyday routine of taking care of your feet are: wearing the right shoes, walking barefoot, washing and moisturizing your feet, and wearing socks to mitigate sweating and friction when wearing shoes. Find the right shoes that are comfortable and accommodate the size of your feet. Wash your feet often to prevent the spread of bacteria and moisturize dry skin.

Every day foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you have any concerns with your feet contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 located in Bethelehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Everyday Foot Care

brokenfootFreshman Landry Shamet of the Wichita State Shockers football team will be having surgery following a stress fracture he sustained in his left foot. Shamet began complaining of pain “on the outside of his foot” and was given a break from playing after the discovery of a fracture. Currently on crutches, Shamet is unsure of his return to the court. Coach Gregg Marshall expects Shamet to be in recovery for 10 to 12 weeks.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to fix a foot ailment. If you have any concerns with your feet contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 our office located in Bethelehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about foot surgery.

fungal toenail2Calvin Pryor and his replacement, Dion Bailey, of the New York Jets, both suffered high ankle sprains in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. High ankle sprains result when the bone above the ankle joint is injured, and when the ankle is rotated too heavily while the shin is not moving. These sprains can take as long as 6 to 8 weeks of full recovery before athletes can resume playing, but some adjust within 1 to 2 weeks. Surgery is an option for quicker recovery but athletes should avoid straining their ankle during the first week of recovery. Post-treatments involve physical therapy to improve strength and balance. Reports suggest that Pryor may need only 4 weeks of recovery from his injury.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you have any concerns about your potential ankle sprain, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 our office located in Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about ankle sprains.

Monday, 21 December 2015 00:00

Comfort Matters In Picking Your Shoes

hammertoe4Dr. Nigg of the University of Calgary in Canada has found in a study that there are allegedly two new paradigms that may indicate an association between picking the right shoes and injury. According to the studies, when buying running shoes, pick the shoes that feel the most comfortable. Shoes that are comfortable allow runners to stay in “the preferred movement path,” which can help reduce injury.

The right running shoe is essentially different for every person. If you have any concerns with your feet contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Choosing the Right Running Shoes for Your Foot Type

Running is a physical activity although fun, can put a lot of stress on the joints, bones and ligaments of the body. Injury and stress on the foot can be an important factor on which kind of shoe you’re wearing. Running shoes should be worn based on your foot type. It is important to find out what fits you based on cushioning, stability and motion.

Determining your type

Speak with a shoe specialist or retail professional to see what your foot type is. They will be able to identify and measure your arch type, stride and gait.

Running Mechanics

When you are running or walking in your shoes, every step determines how your foot is landing. Pronation is the natural rolling of your ankle from outside to inside during foot strike.

Pronation is a correct form of walking or running. It helps absorb shock and store energy from your lower extremities. Neutral runners who pronate correctly do not need specific shoes, since they have stability and control.

Over-pronators

Those who run with excessive ankle rolling. Over-pronators tend to have ankles that angle inward, flat feet, and or bowed legs. This can cause a series of injuries: of the knees, ankles and Achilles tendons.

Under-pronation

Under-pronation is less common than over-pronation. This usually happens to those who have inflexible feet and high arches. Even though there is less rotational stress on the ankles and knees, it prevents any kind of shock absorptions. Under-pronation needs shoes with increase in cushion and flexibility.

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 choosing the right running shoe

Monday, 14 December 2015 00:00

Barefoot Running Is Healthy for Your Feet

fungal toenail2Barefoot running may be better for than you realize. A 2004 study done by researchers Bramble and Liberman suggests that running was an instinctual feat of human history. Running barefoot leads to less injury, whereas running in shoes leads to repetitive injury because of the constant impact on landing on raised heels. Those who run barefoot use less energy, spend less money buying shoes, develop endurance and speed, and are more aware of their environment.

Barefoot running has its own share of benefits and disadvantages. If you have any concerns with your feet contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Barefoot Running

The Impact of Barefoot Running
-Running without shoes changes the motion of your running, as most running is done by landing on the heel of the feet.
-Running barefoot requires a different way of running; the landing is done on the front part of the feet.

The Advantages of Barefoot Running
-When running and landing on the front feet, the impact on the feet and ankle is reduced, this can reduce stress injuries.
-It strengthens muscles in the feet and ankles and the lower legs.
-Balance of the body is improved and there is a greater sensory input from the feet to the rest of the body.

The Drawbacks of Barefoot Running
-No protection while running, makes it likely that runners will land on sharp objects and scrapes, bruises and cuts on the feet will result.
-Blisters may form.
-Possibility of plantar fascia problems.
-Risk of getting Achilles tendonitis.

So what can runners do to make barefoot running safe? It’s best to make a slow transition from running shoes to barefoot running. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking, then jogging and gradually increasing the distance. Minimalist running shoes may also be an option.

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 Barefoot Running

plantar fasciitis6Everyone has experiences foot cramps every so often without warning. While this can be caused through a series of things such as lack of hydration or nutrition, side effects of medication or poor blood circulation; stretching can be key in keeping foot cramps away. The basic calf stretch, where you lean forward with one leg and push against the other helps reduce the tenseness from the calves to the feet. Wrapping a towel around your toes and pulling it back towards you with both hands is also commonly used to reduce foot cramps.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Stretching Your 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.

Good ways to stretch your feet are:

  • 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 our office located in Bethelehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about stretching the feet.

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