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.

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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.

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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.

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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
Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

Children’s Feet and Walking Barefoot

A child is generally born with flat feet, and the arches will fully develop by the age of eighteen. In the early months, there are fat pads on the soles of the feet, which make the feet soft and supple. The arch will begin to form as the child learns to walk, and the foot becomes stronger to accommodate the weight of the body. It is beneficial if the child walks barefoot indoors, and this may help to strengthen the muscles and tendons in the feet. Additionally, the toes become stronger as the grasping action occurs. Research has indicated that a child’s foot grows rapidly in the first five years, and should be properly measured every few months. When shoes are purchased, they should have adequate room for the toes to move freely, and proper support is important for maintaining the stability that is needed for walking. If you would like additional information about children’s foot health, it is advised to speak to a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

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, 18 February 2019 00:00

Risk Factors for Cuboid Syndrome

Cuboid Syndrome occurs when one of the bones in the middle of your foot becomes displaced, which results in pain on the lateral side of your foot. This pain can become sharper when weight is put on that side of the foot, the side where your smallest toe is, and this may affect your ability to walk normally. There are some factors that increase your risk of being afflicted with cuboid syndrome. These risk factors include being overweight, wearing tight shoes, not stretching before a workout, exercising on surfaces that are not flat, fracturing a bone in the foot, and practicing ballet. Practicing ballet is one of the most common causes for this condition because of the foot movement involved. Different types of arthritis and various bone conditions can also increase the likelihood of cuboid syndrome. If you think you may have cuboid syndrome or are concerned that certain aspects of your lifestyle might put you at a higher risk, then is it suggested you speak with a podiatrist.

Cuboid syndrome, also known as cuboid subluxation, occurs when the joints and ligaments near the cuboid bone in the foot become torn. If you have cuboid syndrome, consult with Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Cuboid syndrome is a common cause of lateral foot pain, which is pain on the outside of the foot. The condition may happen suddenly due to an ankle sprain, or it may develop slowly overtime from repetitive tension through the bone and surrounding structures.

Causes

The most common causes of cuboid syndrome include:

  • Injury – The most common cause of this ailment is an ankle sprain.
  • Repetitive Strain – Tension placed through the peroneus longus muscle from repetitive activities such as jumping and running may cause excessive traction on the bone causing it to sublux.
  • Altered Foot Biomechanics – Most people suffering from cuboid subluxation have flat feet.

Symptoms

A common symptom of cuboid syndrome is pain along the outside of the foot which can be felt in the ankle and toes. This pain may create walking difficulties and may cause those with the condition to walk with a limp.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of cuboid syndrome is often difficult, and it is often misdiagnosed. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans often fail to properly show the cuboid subluxation. Although there isn’t a specific test used to diagnose cuboid syndrome, your podiatrist will usually check if pain is felt while pressing firmly on the cuboid bone of your foot.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are ice therapy, rest, exercise, taping, and orthotics.

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, 11 February 2019 00:00

How to Avoid Falling as an Older Adult

Falling is a fear that many older adults face, because the consequences can lead to complicated difficulties in the future. Older adults are at a higher risk for falling because of other ailments they face such as, muscle weakness, balance problems, and issues with blood pressure when standing up. Confusion may also lead to falls, because it causes disorientation. Staying active helps to keep muscles moving and strong, which lessens the chances of losing stability. Creating a simple exercise routine such as, walking or climbing up steps for part of the day, will improve the flexibility of joints, tendons, and ligaments. Also, non-skid and rubber soled shoes are the best type of footwear to avoid slipping. Wearing only socks can be dangerous, especially with hardwood floors, so slippers that have some grip on the bottom are recommended. If you have fallen or fear falling, then it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist about more options for falls prevention.

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, 04 February 2019 00:00

Diabetics and Wound Care

There are many diabetic patients who experience foot ulcers, which are considered to be wounds that do not heal. This may be a result of the inability to feel sensations in the feet, and if left unnoticed, may lead to amputation of a lower extremity. It is beneficial to visually inspect the feet daily, and this may be helpful in noticing if there are any cuts or bruises that may be present. It’s important to maintain proper care of the feet, which may include wearing shoes and socks that fit correctly, and this may prevent uncomfortable blisters from developing. Research has shown that crossing the legs frequently may cause pressure on the blood vessels. This may lead to nerve damage, so it is advised to refrain from doing so. If you have any wounds on your feet, it is strongly suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat any conditions that may be present.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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 Wound Care
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