Monday, 24 February 2020 00:00

Why Does Gout Develop?

A form of arthritis that generally affects more men than women is referred to as gout. It typically targets the big toe, and common symptoms can include intense pain, swelling, and the toe may appear red or inflamed. This uncomfortable condition may be caused by elevated uric acid levels in the bloodstream. When specific types of foods are eaten, the uric acid levels may increase as a result of excess purines. These foods can include shellfish, red meat, and drinks that have large amounts of sugar. Crystals form in and around the joints of the feet, and this may cause severe pain. There can be existing health conditions that may lead to the development of gout. These can consist of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. If you are experiencing gout, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition, and help you to implement a healthy lifestyle.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. 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 form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment 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 care needs.

Read more about Gout
Monday, 17 February 2020 00:00

How to Treat a Broken Toe

Common symptoms indicating you may have broken your toe can include severe pain and discomfort on and around the affected toe, as well as bruising or swelling. It typically occurs as a result of a heavy object falling on the toe, or if it is stubbed against a piece of furniture. Despite the obvious diagnosis, it is recommended that an X-ray be performed to positively confirm the toe has been broken. An effective treatment method can include a procedure that is referred to as buddy taping. This involves taping the injured toe to the toe next to it. This can help to provide the necessary stability that is needed as the healing process takes place. If you have broken your toe, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine the extent of the injury, in addition to offering you correct treatment options.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe

There are more than thirty joints in each foot. If you feel pain in your feet, it may be indicative of arthritis. There are different types of this condition that may gradually develop. The most common form of arthritis is referred to as osteoarthritis, and typically affects one joint.  Rheumatoid arthritis can be the result of an autoimmune disease, and symptoms can be seen in the ankle and foot. Sudden and severe pain in the big toe may indicate gout, which can come from genetic factors, or from foods that are eaten. Psoriatic arthritis generally affects the toes, and can cause swelling. Additional symptoms can include bumps forming on the toes from rubbing together, and it may be difficult to move the toes. Some patients notice their toenails are affected, and the toes may curl. If you feel you have any type of arthritis in your feet, please schedule an appointment with a podiatrist as quickly as possible.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your doctor will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is 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 care needs.

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
Monday, 03 February 2020 00:00

Possible Causes for Blisters on the Feet

A common cause for blisters to develop on the feet is excessive friction. This may come from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, which may cause pain and discomfort. Consistent rubbing against the skin can cause the top layer of the skin to become damaged, creating a small pocket of fluid to form over it. This is the body’s natural method of healing the affected area. Additional reasons why blisters may form can occur as a result of standing for the majority of the day, or medical conditions that may include eczema and herpes. Some patients may have an allergic reaction to an insect bite which may also result in the development of a blister. It can help to cover the blister with an elastic bandage as daily activities are completed. The blister will gradually drain as new skin forms, and then the bandage can be removed. If you have a blister that is uncomfortable, please consult with a podiatrist who can help you find the remedy that is right for you.

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.

Read more about Blisters
Monday, 27 January 2020 00:00

Podiatrists and Foot Surgery

A podiatrist is a doctor that specializes in treating foot conditions. The initials DPM will generally appear after their name, and are an abbreviation for Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. Foot ailments these physicians typically treat can include plantar fasciitis, bunions, and hammertoes. Mandatory schooling consists of four years of podiatry medical school, followed by three years of specialized training. Some doctors choose to perform surgery to remove tumors, bunions, and heel spurs. If you are interested in pursuing podiatry as a career choice, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can provide you with the information you need that may help you to make a decision.

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.

Read more about What is a Podiatrist?
Monday, 27 January 2020 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020 00:00

Work Shoes for the Job

There are several foot conditions that can occur if your job consists of standing for the majority of the day. Your feet may feel achy, and cracked heels may develop if you stand on hard surfaces. Additionally, your feet may become swollen, and blisters may form from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. There are several factors to look for in a work shoe. These can consist of choosing shoes that are enclosed and fastened, have adequate cushioning, and have a wide heel for ankle support. Additionally, it is important to make sure there is ample room in the top of the shoe, as this may help to avoid friction. It can be beneficial to sit down as often as possible, which may help the heels to feel better. If you would like more information about how to care for your feet while working during the day, please consult with a podiatrist. 

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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

Read more about Working on Your Feet
Monday, 13 January 2020 00:00

What You Need to Know About Your Bunion

When the base of your big toe begins to jut outwards, that is normally a sign that you may have a bunion. This can occur due to a deformity with the toe joint, causing the big toe to begin to bend towards your other toes. Unfortunately, bunions are often accompanied with both pain and discomfort felt in the affected area. When this occurs, it is suggested you seek professional care from a podiatrist. They may develop due to hereditary reasons, as well as due to wearing tightly fitted shoes, socks, or tights, that do not conform to the shape of your foot. Bunion pads can be worn to help alleviate the pressure felt on the bunion, and icing the affected joint can be used as a means to lessen the pain experienced. For a proper diagnosis and an advised treatment plan, we suggest you consult with a podiatrist.

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 worsen existing bunions

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.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 06 January 2020 00:00

Children and Walking Barefoot

When babies are born, their feet are generally soft and flexible. Research has shown the feet may become stronger when walking is done barefoot while indoors. This may help to strengthen the overall foot as the toes grasp the floor for balance. When the first pair of shoes are purchased, it is helpful that the shoes are made of lightweight and breathable materials. Additionally, there needs to be adequate room at the top of the shoes so the toes can move freely. This may help to prevent ingrown toenails from developing. Good foot hygiene begins with teaching your child how to properly wash and dry their feet, in addition to helping them to stretch their feet. If you would like more information about how to care for children’s feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

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.

Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet
Monday, 30 December 2019 00:00

Ankle Injury for the Washington Redskins

Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who plays for the Washington Redskins, had to exit the field as a result of an ankle injury in the December 22, 2019 game against the New York Giants. He was sacked by Lorenzo Carter, who is a linebacker for the Giants. Haskins was unable to play in the second half of the game. The game was lost to the Giants in overtime with a score of 41-35. He would like to play in the last game of the season against the Dallas Cowboys to end his rookie year.

Ankle and foot injuries are common among athletes and in many sports. They can be caused by several problems and may be potentially serious. If you are feeling pain or think you were injured in a sporting event or when exercising, consult with Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Common Injuries

The most common injuries that occur in sporting activities include:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Broken Foot
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Stress Fractures
  • Turf Toe

Symptoms

Symptoms vary depending upon the injury and in some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. However, in most cases, some form of symptom is experienced. Pain, aching, burning, bruising, tenderness, tightness or stiffness, sensation loss, difficulty moving, and swelling are the most common symptoms.

Treatment

Just as symptoms vary depending upon the injury, so do treatment options. A common treatment method is known as the RICE method. This method involves rest, applying ice, compression and elevating the afflicted foot or ankle. If the injury appears to be more serious, surgery might be required, such as arthroscopic or reconstructive surgery. Lastly, rehabilitation or therapy might be needed to gain full functionality in the afflicted area. Any discomfort experienced by an athlete 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 care needs.

Read more about Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries
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