Tuesday, 16 January 2018 00:00

Can Exercising Help My Feet?

Exercises for the feet can be extremely effective in relieving foot pain in addition to preventing possible injuries. Conditions that may benefit from exercise may be plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. After applying consistent effort, the pain may ease in a few weeks, possibly resulting in much needed relief. An effective stretch for the plantar fascia is to sit while crossing one foot over the knee, pulling the toes back until you feel the muscle stretch. After holding this position for a few seconds, switch to the opposite side. Using a towel that’s wrapped around the ball of your feet while keeping the knees straight and pulling the toes toward the body can be beneficial in stretching the Achilles tendon. Holding this stretch for a few seconds will also stretch out the bottom of the feet. However, before performing any of these stretches speaking with a podiatrist is highly recommended.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries and build strength. 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.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important, and we often forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate enough to not have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rises, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, and flexing the toes. It is best to speak with yOur doctor to determine an appropriate regimen for your needs. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different, and the activities required to maintain strength in the feet vary from individual to individual. 

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

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

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Monday, 08 January 2018 00:00

Nail Salons and Fungal Infections

According to a recent Rutgers University study in the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety, 52 percent of people who visited a nail salon three times in a year had suffered from a skin infection.  There are a number of reasons why this might be.  Improperly cleaned tools, harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, UV light exposure, or an infected environment all put nail salon patrons at risk for infections.  Common infections include athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, contact dermatitis, and even hepatitis in some cases.  A number of responders to the study also reported suffering from respiratory conditions after going to a salon as well.  If you would still like to go to a nail salon, make sure they properly sterilize their tools, and avoid anything that contains harsh chemicals.

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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Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

How the Foot is Structured

The relationship between the foot and the lower leg in motion is called foot biomechanics. When the foot is structured correctly, routine activities such as walking and running should typically occur without pain. The foot and ankle combine flexibility with support, providing functions that include shock absorption of one's body weight. Additionally, this part of the body acts as a lever during the push-off period before taking a step. There are 26 bones located in the foot and ankle; these bones are maintained by ligaments and tendons, helping the arches “give” when weight is placed on the foot. Functions of the arches include supporting the weight of the body while standing. The structure of the foot is anatomically linked, resulting in even distribution throughout the foot during weight-bearing activities.

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, 26 December 2017 00:00

Signs and Symptoms of Poor Circulation in Feet

Cold feet and hands, in addition to swelling and cramping, may often be symptoms of poor circulation. Many times it can be a sign of other health issues, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Red or blue toes, tingling in the feet, and unexpected hair loss on the legs may all point to circulation issues. Veins can be damaged, which can then restrict or even stop blood flow and possibly lead to blood clots in the leg. Typically, unhealthy behaviors are contributing factors, and learning to manage them is a good starting point in controlling poor circulation. These may include smoking cigarettes, lack of exercise, or having high cholesterol and blood pressure. Occasionally, using leg massagers may help to stimulate circulation which improves blood flow. Additionally, wearing support hosiery and proper footwear may help your feet to feel better by improving circulation.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness  or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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, 18 December 2017 00:00

Causes of Cracked Heels

If left untreated, minor cracked heels can worsen and turn into painful openings or fissures. There are numerous causes for cracked heels; some may be aging, skin conditions, and vitamin deficiency. The older you get, the more the skin loses its ability to stretch, which can lead to the skin cracking. Standing for long periods of time in ill-fitting shoes may be an additional reason for cracked heels. Calluses may develop, causing pain and pressure associated with walking and running, possibly causing small cracks to develop and even bleeding to occur. Typically, the skin will become red and inflamed, and some patients may feel a decrease in sensitivity in the heels.  Remedies may include topical creams and pumice stones, which may help in the removal of dead skin. Additionally, custom-made orthotics may be another treatment option. A consultation with a podiatrist is advised for learning about other ways to treat and prevent cracked heels.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels 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.

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

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

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

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. 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 Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:00

Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic Sprains Ankle

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic sprained his left ankle during the Chicago Bulls and Nuggets game. The 6’10”, 250 lb Serbian was taken out during the second half once he sprained his ankle. Jokic is considered to be one of the Nuggets' best players, and his loss will no doubt affect the team. Both Mason Plumlee and Juan Hernangomez are expected to take his position until Jokic heals and can play again. The Nuggets beat the Bulls 111 to 110 in a very close game.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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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While suffering a foot injury is no fun, recovery does not mean you should leap headfirst back into physical activity. It is recommended to slowly ease back into running or any sport after you have recovered from a previous injury. It is important to continue the rehabilitation regime prescribed to you to ensure that your foot heals properly. Furthermore, do not push yourself hard when you start running again, as you may not have fully recovered. Try to only run a few days a week once your podiatrist says it’s okay. Be sure to stretch before and after a run. Icing may help as well; however, this may not always be the case. Be sure to consult with a podiatrist before engaging in any kind of treatment protocol. Above all, stay positive and be patient, as getting back into any sport after an injury can be a trying task.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about 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 Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Buying the right size shoes for children can be a tough but important task. Unlike adults, children’s feet are still developing and require adequate shoe space so that their feet aren't constricted. A recent survey of 2000 parents found that many children wear shoes that are the wrong size. Shoes that are too small can cause foot conditions like hammertoes and exacerbate bunions. Shoes that are too big can make trips and falls more likely. With this in mind when shopping for shoes, have your children’s feet measured properly by a store clerk or with a foot measuring device. If one foot is slightly larger than the other, go with the larger foot size. Make sure that your children have enough toe space and that the shoe isn’t too tight. Finally, children’s feet are constantly growing, so make sure to measure their feet every time you go shoe shopping.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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, 20 November 2017 00:00

Taping and Preventing Blisters on the Feet

Foot blisters can be a difficult thing to prevent and can cause a lot of discomfort. Traditional methods and tools of prevention include multiple layers of socks, foot powder, and pads. While some have had success with these methods, there is still a risk for developing blisters. Recently, a study conducted by Grant Lipman, M.D. and Stanford University Medical Center found an effective prevention method. A simple application of paper tape can dramatically reduce the likelihood of developing blisters. Each applicant had tape applied to suspected hot spots on one foot while the other foot was left untaped. Out of the 128 runners who were tested in the 155 mile, multi-stage event, 98 of them developed no blisters on the taped foot. On the other hand, 81 developed blisters on untaped areas. For those who want to try taping for their next athletic or recreational activity, paper tape is very cheap with rolls costing only around a dollar on average.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

 

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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A recent study conducted by the University of Leeds shows that more than half of diabetic ulcer patients did not see their ulcer heal over the course of a year. Even worse, one in seven had either a part or their whole foot amputated. Researchers hope that this study will highlight the importance of diabetic foot and ulcer care. This study helps to show the seriousness of a foot ulcer for diabetics, and why it is important to see a podiatrist right away when a diabetic develops a foot ulcer. If you are a diabetic, it is important to maintain proper foot care everyday to help prevent ulcers and other complications.

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 from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially 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, as 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 and ankle needs.

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