Thursday, 02 May 2019 00:00

Reminder: When was the last time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Monday, 29 April 2019 00:00

Methods That May Prevent Falling

Many elderly people who fall may find difficulty in getting up without assistance. Research has shown that twenty percent of people in their mid-sixties will endure a fall, and many of these falls may lead to serious injuries. This is one reason why it is important to implement methods to help prevent falling. These may include learning about side effects that may occur while existing medications are taken, wearing glasses, using hearing aids consistently, and removing any clutter in the home that may be present. It may also be helpful to wear shoes that fit correctly, and using grab bars in the bathroom and shower area can play a significant role in preventing falls. If you would like additional information about the importance of falls prevention, please consult with a podiatrist.

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.

Read more about Falls Prevention
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Ingrown Toenails

A condition that is known as ingrown toenails may be a result of the toenail growing into the surrounding skin. The big toe is typically affected, and can cause pain and discomfort. There are several symptoms that may be associated with this condition, including possible discharge, redness and irritation around the toe, and pain when the toe is touched. There are many reasons why this ailment might develop. These may include toenails that have been trimmed incorrectly, wearing shoes that may be too tight, or an injury that may have happened to the toe. If you have an ingrown toenail, it may be helpful to gently push the affected skin away from the nail. If it should become infected, it is advised that you consult a podiatrist who can discuss the best treatment options for you.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right 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.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
Monday, 15 April 2019 00:00

Are Bunions Genetic?

A large bony protrusion on the side of the big toe is indicative of a condition that is referred to as a bunion. Foot pain may be a common symptom if a bunion exists, and it may be difficult to wear shoes. There are several reasons why bunions may develop. These may include a genetic disposition or a possible injury that has occurred to the foot. Research has shown that bunions are less common in non-western countries, and this may possibly be due to the type of footwear that is worn. Mild relief may be found while using a bunion pad, in addition to wearing shoes that do not cramp the toes. If you have developed a bunion, speak to a podiatrist who can offer advice on effective treatment options.

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 What Are Bunions?
Monday, 08 April 2019 00:00

Two Types of Gout

The medical condition that is referred to as gout is considered to be a form of arthritis. Many patients experience severe pain and discomfort during a gout attack, and it typically occurs in the big toe. The general symptoms of gout may include redness, tenderness, or swelling in the joints of the big toe and surrounding areas. Research has shown there are two types of gout. These are known as chronic and acute gout. During an acute attack, most symptoms will disappear once the attack is over, and a limited amount of joints are affected. Chronic gout is having multiple gout attacks throughout the year, and symptoms may be felt for the majority of the time. Additionally, permanent damage may occur which may include stiff joints or damage to the toe. If you are going through a gout attack, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward beginning proper treatment.

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, 01 April 2019 00:00

Heel Balm for Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are a common condition caused by dryness on the heel of the foot. Cracked heels can range from minor dryness that causes mild discomfort when barefoot, to deep cracks that cause pain. There are a couple ways to help alleviate symptoms of cracked heels from home. One of the simplest ways is to apply heel balm or a thick moisturizer. Balms help to moisturize, soften, and exfoliate dead skin. The ingredients that help to do this are urea, salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, and saccharide isomerate. Heel balms are easy to find, they can be bought at a drugstore or ordered online. Sometimes, heel balms might result in minor irritation. Minor irritation is normal, but if you experience continual irritation or more extreme reactions, then it is best to stop using the balm. If you have cracked heels and would like to learn about more ways to treat them, then it is strongly suggested you speak with a podiatrist.

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. 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

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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 Solutions for Cracked Heels

Stress fractures may be prevalent among athletes, if their chosen sport involves frequent running and jumping activities. These types of fractures may gradually develop from performing repetitive motions. Some of the symptoms that may be associated with stress fractures may include extreme tenderness, bruising, or noticeable swelling. There may be medical conditions that may cause this condition, including osteoporosis, or it may come from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which may include having an MRI or bone scan taken, correct treatment may begin. This may consist of resting and elevating the foot, and a compression bandage may be recommended to reduce swelling. If you are having symptoms of a stress fracture, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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 Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 18 March 2019 00:00

Does My Child Have Toenail Fungus?

If you notice your child’s toenails are becoming yellow or white, he or she may have a toenail fungus. It is caused by a virus that lives in moist and warm environments and is considered to be contagious. This may occur if your child walks barefoot in public pools and surrounding areas. Additionally, it may develop from wearing shoes and socks for an extended period of time, which may cause the feet to become sweaty and warm. If your child is afflicted with toenail fungus, it may be beneficial to make sure the feet get washed often, in addition to properly trimming the toenails. If you notice your child has these symptoms, it is advised that you speak to a podiatrist who can prescribe effective medication.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

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 Toenail Fungus
Monday, 11 March 2019 00:00

Taking Care of Your Feet

Feet go through a lot of wear and tear over the course of one’s life, so it's important to take small steps to ensure their overall health. Wearing comfortable shoes is key when trying to keep your feet healthy. Shoes that are tight or lack support can lead to various types of uncomfortable foot conditions. Some of these conditions include bunions, Morton’s neuroma, ingrown toenails, and blisters. Daily walking routines help keep the muscles in your feet active, flexible, and strong, which could prevent fallen arches or other complications later on in life. Most of the time, feet spend majority of the day confined to a shoe, which can trap moisture and bacteria. Cleaning your feet daily and wearing socks helps to prevent bacterial and fungal infections. Moisturizing your feet also contributes to their health by preventing dry, cracked, or scaly skin. If you would like any additional information on how to care for your feet, then it is suggested you speak with a podiatrist.

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.

Read more about Every Day Foot Care

Research has shown that feet may be an important way to determine the cause for many aches and pains that may be present in the body.  When correct stretching techniques are incorporated into a daily routine, the general health of the body may be positively affected. An effective stretch for the arch of the foot is called a toe stretch. This may feel good if the toes become cramped in poorly fitting shoes. This is performed by interlacing the fingers between the toes, rotating the ankle, and repeating on the other side. If the arches in your foot feel tired, it may be beneficial to roll the bottom of your foot on a tennis ball, which may help to relax any tight muscles in the feet. Foot spasms may be avoided when the toes are frequently pointed and flexed. If you would like additional information about the benefits of stretching the feet, please consult with a podiatrist who can properly guide you.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the 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.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

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

Read more about Stretching Your Feet
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