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Blog - Foot Doctor, Chambersburg and McConnellsburg, PA

Tuesday, 08 March 2022 00:00

Obesity and Poor Foot Health

Obesity is a growing problem with effects that can damage the health of your whole body. The feet and lower limbs are often affected by obesity. One survey found that 51% of adults who described their foot health as “fair” or “poor” were obese. Increasing BMI is strongly associated with increased foot pain and disability. Being significantly overweight can put excess pressure on the feet, straining the ligaments, muscles, bones, and joints that allow you to stand, walk, run, and move about during your daily activities. Maintaining a healthy weight, conversely, can improve your foot health, helping you avoid pain, injury, and disability. For more information about the relationship between body weight and foot health, please consult with a podiatrist.

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned 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.

Obesity and Your Feet

People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

  • When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
  • Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
  • Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.

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

Read more about Obesity and the Feet
Tuesday, 01 March 2022 00:00

What Are Orthotics Used For?

Orthotics are designed to be inserted into shoes to help realign the feet or relieve pressure caused by other foot-related problems. They can also help with non-foot issues, such as knee pain or lower back pain. Orthotics can be made to take stress off certain parts of the feet, or to keep the feet aligned. Orthotics are also often used as a method to delay surgery (e.g., when a child needs to wait for their growth plates to close or for their bones to grow more) or to help alleviate pain after surgery. There are multiple ways to make orthotics as well. These methods include laser scanning the foot, using a foam box, or using a plaster cast. If you believe that orthotics are right for you, consulting with a podiatrist is suggested.  

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

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

Read more about Foot Orthotics
Tuesday, 22 February 2022 00:00

Treatment for Infected DFUs

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) unfortunately have a high chance of becoming infected. All DFUs may be treated by cleaning them, then covering them with a protective bandage. Resting the affected foot and not allowing pressure on the wound will also help the DFU heal. Further treatment for an infected DFU depends on the severity of the infection. A mild infection, which involves the upper layer of skin that can cause redness, swelling, and pain, is usually treated with a non-sticky dressing that is applied every one to two days. A moderate infection, which involves deeper layers of the skin, is typically treated with antibiotics as well. A severe infection, which can cause sepsis, often needs to be treated in the hospital. For more information about DFUs and how to treat and prevent them, consult with a podiatrist. 

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other 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.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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

Read more about Diabetic Foot Conditions

Sometimes ankle pain can be caused by an impinged or irritated sural nerve. This condition is known as sural neuritis. The sural nerve runs along the back of the leg, and around the outside of the ankle and foot, providing sensation to these areas as well as to the outer two toes. The sural nerve can become injured or irritated in a variety of ways. It can get stretched and injured during an ankle sprain or some other injury. Also, since its course around the ankle and lateral side of the foot can vary, it may inadvertently get injured during a surgical procedure in the area. Even scar tissue or swelling that occurs after an injury or surgery can affect the nerve. Sural neuritis typically causes a burning sensation, which is sometimes accompanied by tenderness and swelling along the side of the ankle and foot. If you experience this type of pain, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist. If you are diagnosed with sural neuritis, your podiatrist may develop a course of treatment that includes desensitizing the nerve through massage, medications, corticosteroid injections, and specific footwear to offload pressure on the nerve and reduce irritation. Surgery may be necessary if these more conservative treatments do not provide sufficient pain relief.

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

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

 

Read more about Ankle Pain
Monday, 14 February 2022 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!

Blisters are fluid-filled bubbles of raised skin that typically form on the feet due to excessive, repetitive friction over a concentrated area. The fluid inside blisters is most often clear and acts to protect the raw skin underneath the blister from further harm. However, some blisters are filled with blood, instead. This happens when a blood vessel is damaged and blood leaks into the skin. Unlike regular blisters, blood blisters are usually the result of a sudden impact or pinching of the skin, rather than friction. The skin underneath a blood blister may be more prone to infection, so it is very important that you avoid popping or otherwise irritating the blister. If you have particularly painful blisters on the feet, have blisters that appear to be infected, or get blisters very often, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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

Read more about Blisters
Tuesday, 01 February 2022 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

There are three kinds of diabetic neuropathy, caused by prolonged high blood sugar levels that can damage nerves throughout your body. Peripheral neuropathy damages nerves on the extremity – arms and hands, as well as the legs and feet. This can lead to serious foot problems that get worse slowly over months, and possibly years. Autonomic neuropathy affects the central nervous system, while focal neuropathy targets one particular nerve, usually in the wrist, thigh or foot. One of the main symptoms of diabetic neuropathy is the absence of feeling in the toes and feet. This can be a cause for concern, as sores  or other injuries may go unnoticed. It’s a good idea to check your feet daily for areas that may cause problems. Unfortunately, it is often the case that they go unnoticed until the problem worsens. The main way to prevent this condition from developing in the first place is to monitor blood sugar levels every day. It’s also a good idea to maintain a healthy body weight, eat nutritious foods, and avoid alcoholic beverages. If you think you may have diabetic neuropathy, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist who can conduct a screening and determine the best course of treatment for your foot health.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about Neuropathy
Tuesday, 25 January 2022 00:00

Who Needs an ABI Test?

An Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) test is a screening tool that is used to assess circulation in the lower limbs. During an ABI test, the doctor takes your blood pressure at various points along your arms and lower legs and compares the numbers to determine your risk of having full or partial blockages in the blood flow of your lower limbs. Not everyone needs an ABI test. They are typically done for people who are at risk of peripheral artery disease, a condition characterized by poor circulation in the extremities. People who are at risk of having peripheral artery disease include those with a history of smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, as well as older adults and people who have a family history of peripheral artery disease. To learn more, please consult with a podiatrist.

Vascular testing plays an important part in diagnosing disease like peripheral artery disease. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, or diabetes, consult with Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Vascular Testing?

Vascular testing checks for how well blood circulation is in the veins and arteries. This is most often done to determine and treat a patient for peripheral artery disease (PAD), stroke, and aneurysms. Podiatrists utilize vascular testing when a patient has symptoms of PAD or if they believe they might. If a patient has diabetes, a podiatrist may determine a vascular test to be prudent to check for poor blood circulation.

How Is it Conducted?

Most forms of vascular testing are non-invasive. Podiatrists will first conduct a visual inspection for any wounds, discoloration, and any abnormal signs prior to a vascular test.

 The most common tests include:

  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) examination
  • Doppler examination
  • Pedal pulses

These tests are safe, painless, and easy to do. Once finished, the podiatrist can then provide a diagnosis and the best course for treatment.

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

 

Read more about Vascular Testing in Podiatry
Tuesday, 18 January 2022 00:00

What Can Make Your Heel Hurt?

Heel pain is one of the most common reasons that people seek the care of a podiatrist. Because the heel is such a foundational part of the body, there are many potential reasons that your heel may hurt. Sometimes heel pain occurs as a natural consequence of aging. The fatty pad on the bottom of the heel, which provides cushioning and protection to the heels, slowly wears away with age, increasing the risk of heel pain. Various injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, fractures, sprains, and tarsal tunnel syndrome, can also make the heel hurt. Systemic conditions, including arthritis and peripheral neuropathy, may be to blame for your heel pain. Lifestyle factors, such as wearing ill-fitting shoes or standing or exercising excessively can contribute to heel pain as well. If you are suffering from heel pain, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.

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 Mcconnellsburg, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
Saturday, 15 January 2022 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

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