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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A study conducted by the Boston University School of Medicine found that the tendons and bones in the lower extremities of Olympic female athletes were more likely to become injured in track and field events than other events. 25 bone stress injuries and 156 tendon abnormalities that developed during the 2016 Summer Olympics were examined in the study. The results found that bone stress injuries were more common in women and in the lower extremities. Researchers hope to use this information to help prevent any future bone stress injuries in athletic activities. For tendons, researchers hope that the information will help identify chronic lesions and any preventative measures.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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 the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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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Miami Dolphins Guard Anthony Steen was sidelined after sustaining an injury during the Dolphins and Jets game. Steen will not be playing against the Baltimore Ravens and it is not certain just how long he will be out for. The injury left him wearing a walking boot but it is otherwise unknown how severe the injury is. Steen is one of the Dolphins starting offensive linemen and was frequently positioned as left guard this season. It is expected that Jesse Davis will take over in his spot, which would be Davis' NFL debut.

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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Monday, 23 October 2017 00:00

Facts About Falls and Fall Prevention

Falls and their effects on the elderly are, unfortunately, not reported on enough. This lack of reporting prevents overall awareness and the spread of knowledge in how to prevent them. Fortunately this has been changing in the past several years, with 2008 marking the first year that Falls Prevention Awareness Day was held by the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Despite this, awareness of the issue has a long way to go. Here are some facts about falls and falls prevention. Those who are age 65 or older and who have been to the emergency department are unlikely to engage in falls-prevention programs once discharged. While it has been reported that regular strength and flexibility programs for the elderly help prevent falls, some practices like Tai Chi have been found to help as well. Finally, elderly persons who have a history of falls, have suffered from a previous fracture, and have a body mass index (BMI) of 20 kg/m² are more likely to suffer another fracture.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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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Monday, 16 October 2017 00:00

What Do Podiatrists Do?

Podiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in the foot and ankle. Officially known as a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), podiatrists have the knowledge and ability to diagnose and treat any foot ailment. This includes minor ones such as toenail fungus, cracked heels, and heel pain, to more major problems such as an Achilles tendon rupture or a broken foot. They can also provide items such as custom-made orthotics to help give your feet proper support and keep them aligned. For those with diabetes, it is highly recommended to see a podiatrist. Diabetics generally have reduced blood flow and neuropathy in the foot, which in their worst cases can lead to infected ulcers and an increased risk of amputation. If you are experiencing any pain or have any foot abnormalities, it is important to see a podiatrist.

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to 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 a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans 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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Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

Diet and Gout

Gout, a form of arthritis caused by uric acid crystals forming in joints, can be very painful and can occur in any joint in the body. Thankfully, gout can be managed with a good diet. Avoiding high intakes of acid-rich food is advised. Purines, which are converted into uric acid by the body, come from animal and plant foods. Purine-rich diets, especially from meat and seafood, increase the risk of gout attacks. While not completely preventing gout attacks, diets with plenty of vegetables do help. Low-fat dairy products have been found to prevent uric acid buildup as well. Alcohol has also been linked with dramatically increased rates of gout attacks, so cutting back on alcohol is a great way to prevent gout attacks. While improving your diet won’t eliminate gout, it will certainly help to lessen attacks and their effects.

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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Tuesday, 03 October 2017 00:00

What are Bunions?

Hallux valgus, better known as bunions, is an enlargement of the inner portion of the joint at the base of the big toe. This can cause pain, tenderness, and redness near the big toe. Movement can worsen the pain, and overtime, the misalignment can become worse. Several conditions have been linked to bunions, with genetics playing a role as well. These include flat feet, obesity, abnormal bone structures, and overly flexible ligaments. Those of European descent are more likely to suffer from bunions. Shoes that aren’t wide enough and high heels can exacerbate bunions. While not all bunions require surgery, it is important to see a podiatrist first who can observe the severity of the deformation and provide treatment.

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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Monday, 25 September 2017 00:00

Practicing Proper Foot Care

Taking care of your feet is vital to not only the health of your foot, but the health of your entire body. Checking the feet and toes every day for abnormalities or anything that might be cause for concern is important and the first step in practicing good foot health. Always ensure that shoes fit properly, provide enough room, and are comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. Avoid high heels or flip-flops, as they can give way to foot problems. Also, it's a good idea to switch between shoes often to allow them to air out. When it comes to cutting your toenails, avoid cutting them too short and make sure to cut straight across. Cutting too short or at a curve can increase the potential for ingrown toenails. If you experience dry skin on your feet, moisturize them regularly with foot cream. It is important to wash your feet daily to both remove odor and help prevent bacterial and fungal infections. Finally, if you have foot pain, consult with your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment. 

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

Everyday 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. 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 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. 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 Bethlehem, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017 00:00

Getting to the Cause of Cracked Heels

While typically not as serious as some other conditions, cracked heels can be very uncomfortable for those who have them. Knowing the causes of cracked heels and what to look for allows you to prevent and treat them. Dry skin is one of the most common causes for cracked heels and generally occurs right before cracks develop. Moisturizing your feet will help prevent and alleviate this dryness. Too much pressure on your feet is another cause of cracked heels, so giving your feet a rest and wearing comfortable shoes will help prevent cracks. Athlete’s foot, psoriasis, and eczema can all lead to redness, flaky skin, peeling skin, and cracked heels. Athlete’s foot can typically be treated with antifungal spray. While psoriasis and eczema have no known cures, topical corticosteroids can help mitigate the effects that lead to cracked heels. Finally, for beach goers, sunburn can lead to cracked heels. Aloe Vera creams may also help soothe sunburned skin. If cracked heels lead to pain or do not go away, see a podiatrist for treatment and advice.

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

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