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This year Michigan Technological University participated in National Biomechanics Day on April 6th, a world-wide event for educators and students to advance the education of human biomechanics. The Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department of the university collaborated with multiple departments across campus and invited local students to participate in hands-on activities focused on biomechanics research. Among these activities, members of the faculty demonstrated various tools used to analyze and describe human motion during exercise. Students were also given the chance to test their strength compared to Michigan Tech football players and to make imprints of their feet, allowing them to analyze how different foot types impact movements across multiple joints.

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics
-  Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
-  In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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

Read more about The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry
Monday, 10 April 2017 00:00

Shoes Can Give Foot Massages Now

It seems today like new technology is constantly shaping and reshaping the world. The medical field is certainly no exception. Father and son team David and Matt Mayer are currently manufacturing “therapeutic shoes” under the brand name Footbeat. The shoes are knit sneakers with a tiny engine built into the insole. This delivers cyclic pressure to the sole of the foot. The goal is to increase blood circulation by giving what amounts to an automated foot massage. This may prove to be very useful to people suffering from poor blood flow. The price of the shoes comes in at $450, so before you shell out the cash be sure to talk to your podiatrist first.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 00:00

High Heels Can Create Anxiety

New findings published by scientists in Brazil have concluded that wearing improper-fitting high heels can potentially cause the wearer to suffer anxiety. By wearing ill-fitting shoes, conditions such as bunions and ingrown toenails become more prevalent. In turn, this can lead to frequent falls and an anxious disposition. Researchers previously found that 83 percent of people don’t wear the correct shoe size. To prevent the development of foot conditions, be sure to wear proper footwear that is comfortable and well-fitting.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which parts of my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 00:00

Taking Care of Your Feet on Vacation

Traveling can be exciting, but nothing can ruin a trip like foot pain. And that’s not all that you need to watch out for when jet setting. Sitting in a small airplane seat, especially on a long flight, can lead to cramping and discomfort. In order to avoid this, try to walk the aisles as much as you can and stretch frequently. Drinking plenty of water and doing your best to avoid alcohol is also a good tip to avoid the aches and pains of a flight. When you land, there’s a good chance that you’ll be doing some walking. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes to avoid blisters and swelling. Remember, you can’t take a vacation from your feet.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz 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 offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Every Day Foot Care

Many people have heard about the risks that come with walking barefoot in public spaces such as the gym, locker room, or public pool. But how likely is it to contract athlete’s foot at these places? While there is always the risk of contracting fungal infections, maintaining proper foot hygiene is the key to avoiding athlete’s foot and reducing that risk. Wear shower shoes while in the gym, locker room, or at the public pool, and be sure to clean and dry your feet immediately after showering. Infections are more likely to occur between the toes, so be sure to clean these areas before wearing socks or shoes.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

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

Read more about Athlete's Foot 101
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 00:00

Boxer Ruptures Achilles, Faces Long Rehab

Former heavyweight boxing champion, David Hayes, may be seeing an abrupt end to his career after suffering a brutal Achilles tendon injury during his recent match against Tony Bellew. The injury, a ruptured Achilles tendon, forced the former champion to undergo surgery the following evening. Hayes continued to box for another six rounds after snapping his Achilles in the fifth round; this may put his future at even greater risk. Recovery from Achilles surgery involves six months of convalescence, a similar amount of time for rehabilitation and training, and an additional three months in camp to return to full fight fitness. While there were talks of an early rematch, Hayes’s opponent Bellew cannot afford to wait until the end of 2018.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

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

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

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

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

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

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

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

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

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries

Gout, a form of arthritis that causes intense pain in the body’s joints, can be a particularly problematic condition for truck drivers due to their lifestyle and eating habits. While sedentariness is not a cause, eating purine-rich foods, such as meats, gravy, and beer, certainly is. Other factors include being overweight, diabetic, over the age of 45, having high cholesterol, hypertension, taking certain medications for said hypertension, and not drinking enough water. Prevention is key in combating gout, and this can be achieved by avoiding risk foods and staying hydrated.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, 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 Gout
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 00:00

Understanding Soccer-Related Injuries

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), sports-related injuries are becoming more and more common among young athletes, especially for those who play soccer. Some common soccer injuries of the legs and feet include ankle and knee injuries such as ligament (ACL) tears, most common among girls, and heel pain, which can occur as a result of irritation of the growth plate of the heel bone. Avoiding leg and foot injuries during soccer involves wearing properly-fitted cleats that have good heel and arch support along with grip, sufficient training to help condition and strengthen endurance, using water-resistant and properly inflated soccer balls, and limiting aggressive contact between players. Being taught proper techniques can help reduce the risk of injury.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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

Read more about Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 00:00

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is a condition that plagues many people, and chronic cases can be especially difficult to endure. For many common cases of chronic heel pain, plantar fasciitis is the underlying culprit; plantar fasciitis affects all types of people, though most commonly active men between the ages of 40 and 70. Plantar fasciitis pain manifests in various ways. For some people, it can be described as dull; in other cases, people feel it as a sharp pain, a burning sensation, or an ache that extends outward from the heel. There are various factors that can contribute to plantar fasciitis. To determine the cause of your heel pain and the best way to treat it, consult with your podiatrist.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 00:00

How Pregnancy Can Affect the Feet

Of the myriad of changes and potential health issues that may crop up during a pregnancy, foot problems are definitely among them.  The first and probably most obvious concern is the added weight on the feet.  Weight gain in pregnancy is practically a universal phenomenon, and this extra weight increases the amount of pressure on the feet.  Additionally, the uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels in the area.  Because this increases the amount of time it takes for blood to get to the heart, swelling may occur.  Swelling in the legs and feet can be painful.  Consider upping your shoe size as your pregnancy progresses.  With swollen feet your prenatal shoes might not fit the way they used to.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What foot problems can arise during pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy, but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How can I keep my feet healthy during pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

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

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
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