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Monday, 15 July 2019 00:00

Possible Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

When the side of the toenail grows into the surrounding skin, an ingrown toenail has developed. The symptoms that are commonly associated with this condition include redness, swelling, and tenderness. If it is not promptly treated, severe pain and discomfort may develop from a potential infection. Ingrown toenails may be common among patients with diabetes or poor circulation. Effective treatment options can include removing the part of the nail that is growing into the skin, in addition to treating the nail bed. This may help to prevent an infection from occurring again. If you have developed this uncomfortable ailment, it is advised to consult a podiatrist as quickly as possible to begin proper treatment. 

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

Ingrown Toenails

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

Causes

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

Prevention

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

Treatment

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

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

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Tuesday, 09 July 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Cracked Heels

The medical condition that is referred to as cracked heels originates from having extremely dry skin on the heel area of the foot. This can come from standing for extended periods of time throughout the day, or from having certain medical conditions that may include psoriasis. Many people who are overweight experience cracked heels, as a result of the added weight the feet must endure. Additionally, if open back shoes are frequently worn, this condition may develop due to inadequate support these types of shoes provide. The symptoms that are often associated with this ailment include a thickening of skin on the outside of the heel. The skin may turn a dark brown or yellowish color, and cracks in the skin can develop as weight is placed on the heel. This affliction can cause severe pain and discomfort. Mild relief may be found when the feet are washed and dried daily, followed by thoroughly moisturizing them. If you have developed cracked heels, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward healing and prevention techniques.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How Do You Get Them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.

Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin. 

Change in Diet

Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed. 

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 care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Monday, 01 July 2019 00:00

What is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Joint replacement surgery removes damaged or diseased parts of a joint and replaces them with new, man-made ones. Replacing joints can reduce pain and help you move and feel better. Joints usually will need to be repaired when they are damaged from arthritis, overuse, and sometimes disease. After a person has completed the surgery, they are typically required to undergo physical therapy as soon as possible to help strengthen the muscles around the joint and to regain motion in the joint. If you believe you have damaged or diseased joints in the feet or ankles, it is important to consult with a podiatrist. 

In certain cases, in which the patient suffers from extreme pain or damage in a joint, joint replacement surgery may be deemed useful. If you have constant pain in a foot joint, consult with Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Over time, joints wear down; this can be exacerbated by diseases and conditions. Joint replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is when a damaged joint is surgically removed and replaced with a prosthesis. Prostheses, which can be made of ceramic, plastic, or metal, act as joints in lieu of an actual joint. One of the most prevalent causes for joint replacement is arthritis.

Arthritis in the Foot

Arthritis can occur in any joint in the body, including in the feet. Common types of arthritis in the foot are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. The big toe is usually where arthritis occurs in the foot; this is known as hallux rigidus.

Joint Replacement Surgery in the Foot

The most common form of joint replacement in the foot is a first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint placement. MTP joint replacement surgery is designed to treat hallux rigidus. Surgery is not intensive, and recovery occurs within one to two months after the procedure has been done. Overall, joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective way to treat pain in the joint of 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 care needs.

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Sunday, 30 June 2019 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet.

Want to wear open toe shoes again? ...Special occasion? Vacation? ...You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails.

Monday, 24 June 2019 00:00

Where Is the Plantar Fascia Located?

The tissue that is located on the bottom of the foot is referred to as the plantar fascia. It connects the toes to the heel bone, and establishes the arch in the foot. If this band of tissue becomes inflamed, the medical condition known as plantar fasciitis may develop. This can be a result of wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or it may happen if the foot is overused, or not stretched properly. Additionally, if patients run frequently on uneven surfaces, or if there is a sudden weight gain, the chances of developing this condition may increase. The symptoms that are associated with plantar fasciitis often include foot pain when taking the first steps after waking up, and discomfort while participating in running and jumping activities. If you feel you have developed this condition, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz  from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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 Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 17 June 2019 00:00

Flip Flops and Foot Health

Many people enjoy the simplicity of wearing flip flops. They are easy to slip into, which makes them a desirable shoe to wear. Despite their popularity, research has indicated they can be harmful to the feet. The arch is typically absent in this type of shoe, which may cause pain in the feet and ankles. Additionally, flip flops lack shock absorption, and there is minimal cushioning in the heel area. Many people also have to curl their toes which helps to provide stability in these shoes, and this may change the way you walk. It is beneficial wear shoes that have a strap on the back, which aids in supporting the foot. If you would like additional information about how flip flops affect the feet, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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.

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Monday, 10 June 2019 00:00

Stages of an Achilles Tendon Injury

If you experience pain and discomfort in the back of your calf, you may have injured your Achilles tendon. This can happen as a result of wearing improper footwear, running on varied surfaces, or performing explosive movements that consist of jumping and pushing off of your feet. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this include increased stiffness, soreness, and difficulty walking. Forms of this type of injury include an Achilles tendon rupture, which is also known as a tear, and Achilles tendonitis, which occurs as a result of inflammation. There are typically different stages in Achilles tendon injuries. The first stage is often represented by discomfort that is felt after sleeping. Severe pain is indicative of the second and third stages, and it often affects any type of running that is performed. The last stage occurs when the pain becomes unmanageable, and accomplishing daily activities is difficult. If you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment.

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 Achilles Tendon Injuries

The treatment and recovery for a broken ankle depends on the doctor’s specific diagnosis. For a stable ankle break, you may need to use crutches in order to keep weight off of the injury. You also may need to wear a boot or a cast. An unstable break, on the other hand, will typically require surgery. Both those with stable and unstable ankle breaks usually need to attend physical therapy. The recovery varies on the injury and the surgery. The time to return to low-impact athletic activity can span from three to four months for a stable ankle break, and nine months to one year for unstable ankle breaks. Be sure to consult with a podiatrist on the particular details of your ankle injury.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. 

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  •  Swelling around the area
  •  Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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 care needs.

Read more about All About Broken Ankle
Friday, 31 May 2019 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning?

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bones of the feet. They occur as a result of participating in activities that cause the bones in the foot to weaken and crack faster than the healing process can begin. This can occur due to several reasons, including training in your chosen sport before adequate healing has been completed, increasing the amount of time training in a short period of time, or running on different surfaces. The symptoms that are associated with stress fractures often include swelling, burning pain, and difficulty walking on the affected foot. Effective treatment begins with staying off the foot for several weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. This can be accomplished by wearing a cast. If you have sustained a stress fracture, speak to a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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 Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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