Monday, 19 October 2020 00:00

What to Do During a Gout Attack

Excess levels of uric acid in the blood may lead to the medical condition that is known as gout. Crystals can form in the joints of the big toe, and this can cause severe pain and discomfort. Additional symptoms that patients experience may consist of swelling, heat and redness, and it may become difficult to walk. Gout is considered to be a form of arthritis and it can develop for a variety of reasons. These can include genetic factors, eating foods that have high purine levels, or from taking certain medications. When a gout attack occurs it can be beneficial to rest and elevate the affected foot, as well as apply ice packs and take anti-inflammatory medication, and the pain may be reduced. Gout can be a debilitating foot condition, which is why you should consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so correct treatment options can be discussed.

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, 12 October 2020 00:00

Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma

Many patients feel pain in the ball of their foot when the medical condition that is known as Morton’s neuroma exists. Additional symptoms can include a tingling or numbing sensation, and it may feel like there is a small stone or pebble in your shoe. It is an ailment that typically develops gradually and may occur from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. There may also be medical conditions that can cause Morton’s neuroma. These can consist of having flat feet, bunions, hammertoes, or high arches. Mild relief may be found when wearing custom-made orthotics, shoes that are worn have adequate room in the toe area, or from getting foot massages that target the affected area. If you have symptoms of Morton’s neuroma, it is recommended that you speak with a podiatrist who can effectively treat this condition.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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, 05 October 2020 00:00

Helpful Techniques for Running Safely

Running is an excellent form of physical activity, however it can also cause injury if improper training is practiced. There are a few useful techniques you can follow to help prevent running injuries. Regularly switching between the different types of surfaces you run on can be beneficial in keeping your leg muscles strong and avoiding straining your muscles. Wearing shoes that are specific to the type of running you enjoy can also help to prevent injury. Another technique that should be followed is tracking your mileage. By tracking your mileage, you’ll be able to get a good idea of when your shoes should be switched out to avoid running in worn out footwear. For more advice on how to avoid running injuries, please speak with a podiatrist.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries
Monday, 28 September 2020 00:00

All About Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition characterized by poor blood flow to the lower extremities. This is caused by a buildup of a fatty substance called plaque in the blood vessels, and a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the lower limbs. The most common symptoms of PAD are cramping, pain, and tiredness in the legs, especially while walking. The symptoms typically subside during rest. The risk of developing PAD increases as you age. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking may also increase your risk. If you are experiencing any symptoms of PAD or would like to know more, it is recommended that you visit a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat this condition.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Dr. Edwin S. Hart from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heel
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

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 Peripheral Artery Disease
Wednesday, 23 September 2020 00:00

Why Live with Pain and Numbness in Your Feet?

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Monday, 21 September 2020 00:00

Wounds on the Feet may Heal Slowly

Foot ulcers can be a common occurrence in diabetic patients. This type of wound generally heals slowly, which may be a result of elevated blood glucose levels, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. Proper wound care and management can consist of eliminating existing pressure from shoes that are worn. Some patients find it helpful to wear special footwear or therapeutic boots. Keeping the wound clean is beneficial in accelerating the healing process, and it may help to moisturize the surrounding area. Improving circulation is also said to promote faster healing as well as diminish pain. If you have wounds on your feet, it is advised that you speak to a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can recommend the appropriate treatment methods and help prevent infection.

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

Ankle sprains are injuries to the ligaments that support the ankle, and are quite common among athletes. When you sprain your ankle, it is generally recommended that you avoid sports and other strenuous activities that put pressure on the affected ankle. Prior to returning to your typical activities, you will want your ankle sprain to be fully healed. Generally, this means that any swelling has gone down, you can bear weight on the affected ankle without limping, you have a full range of motion, your strength returns to normal, and your ankle is no longer causing you pain. You will also, of course, want to get permission from your doctor to return to your usual activities. For more information about ankle sprains and when to return to your normal routines, consult with a podiatrist.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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 Ankle Sprains
Tuesday, 08 September 2020 00:00

How to Avoid Corns

Corns are a common condition that causes thick, hardened, and raised bumps to appear on the skin of the foot. Corns are typically the result of prolonged exposure to friction and pressure, and usually develop on the tops and sides of the feet, in between the toes, or on weight-bearing areas. Corns can be unsightly and may cause foot pain while walking, standing, or when pressure is applied to them. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to avoid corns. First, it is important to wear properly-fitted shoes. Avoid shoes that are too tight or shoes that lack adequate cushioning. Before you put on your shoes, make sure that your feet are completely dry, as any excess moisture can increase friction and cause corns to develop. If your corns are causing you pain or discomfort, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.

Corns can make walking very painful and should be treated immediately. If you have questions regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? And How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns are thickened areas on the skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure and friction on the skin. Corns press into the deeper layers of the skin and are usually round in shape.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as:

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional
  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels
  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

Treating Corns

Although most corns slowly disappear when the friction or pressure stops, this isn’t always the case. Consult with your podiatrist to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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 Everything You Need to Know About Corns
Monday, 31 August 2020 00:00

Treatments for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder that causes pain in the foot and ankle. It may also cause a burning or tingling sensation or numbness when walking, standing, or wearing certain shoes . This is due to the compression of the posterior tibial nerve, a nerve that runs through a canal near the heel into the sole of the foot. Repetitive stress, injuries, having flat feet, being overweight, or having a lesion near the tarsal tunnel area can cause inflammation of the surrounding tissue and nerve compression. There are a variety of treatments for tarsal tunnel syndrome. A doctor may recommend resting and icing the affected foot and taking oral medication to decrease pain and inflammation. In some cases, immobilizing the foot or using an orthotic device can help. Decompression surgery may be necessary in more severe cases. If you suspect you may have tarsal tunnel syndrome, consult with a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Edwin S. Hart of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require 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 and ankle needs.

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 24 August 2020 00:00

Can You Get Arthritis in Your Feet?

There are multiple types of arthritis that can affect the joints of the feet, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout. Osteoarthritis is the most common type, affecting millions of people by breaking down the cushioning cartilage between the bones that form the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is less common, is an autoimmune condition that damages the lining of the joints. Psoriatic arthritis can affect people who have a skin condition called psoriasis, while gout is caused by excessive levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. Regardless of the type of arthritis one might have, there is a set of typical arthritis symptoms that affect the feet. These symptoms include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, as well as a restricted range of motion in the affected joint. If you have arthritis in the joints of your feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist for treatment.

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 joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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 How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
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