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Blog - Foot Doctor, Chambersburg and McConnellsburg, PA

Thursday, 16 December 2021 00:00

Arthritis Can Cause Pain in the Feet and Ankles

If you are suffering from tenderness, pain, or stiffness in the joints of your feet or ankles, call us to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, 14 December 2021 00:00

What Is Limb Salvage?

Several conditions that affect the ankle and foot may end up leading to the possibility of amputation. In some cases, however, the ankle or foot may be saved through surgical procedures. Anyone with diabetic neuropathy or PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) could be at risk. Nerve damage caused by diabetes often leads to skin ulcers or infections, which can go unnoticed, putting your lower limbs and feet in jeopardy. As PAD advances, it slows blood flow to the feet, resulting in severe pain, impaired wound healing, and sometimes even gangrene. Several procedures have been used to correct these and other conditions, including inserting stents to restore blood flow, removing plaque from blood vessels, and undergoing bypass surgery to reroute the flow of blood. It is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist before deciding to undergo any surgical procedure on your ankles or feet.

Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, consult with Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Limb Salvage?

Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.

However, there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated. 

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.

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Since running is a total body workout, you probably know that stretching muscles in your core, quads, hip flexors, hamstrings, calves, and glutes will help prevent injury. What you may not realize is that there are four layers of muscles in the feet that should also be stretched and strengthened to perfect running form, stabilize the feet and help the big toe to push off properly. Try strengthening the feet and big toes by standing in your bare feet while raising your big toe up and keeping all other toes on the ground. Then, lower the big toe and rest it on the ground while you raise up the other toes. To stretch your calf and heel, sit on a chair with both feet on the ground. Roll a tennis ball under the arch of one foot slowly before switching to the other foot. To get a good stretch on the top of the foot and throughout the ankle, sit with your feet off the ground. Use your foot and big toe to trace the letters of the alphabet while keeping your foot elevated. Switch to the other foot and repeat. For more in-depth foot and ankle stretches, as well as expert advice on proper running footwear and orthotics, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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 Preventing Running Injuries
Thursday, 02 December 2021 00:00

How Aging Adults Can Take Care of Their Feet

Growing old can be particularly problematic on your feet. The good news is that with a little attention and care, you can help lessen the impact many age-related foot conditions have on your health and avoid more serious problems down the road. Many foot conditions brought on by age—arthritis, stretched ligaments and tightened tendons, to name a few—can be helped by staying active, exercising and stretching to stay strong and flexible. Hammertoes can sometimes develop from years of wedging your feet into shoes that are too narrow in the toes. The best way to avoid hammertoes is to choose shoes that fit properly and are wider in the toe box. Fat pads that provide cushioning and shock absorption wear down with age. Orthotics and footwear with reinforced soles can help compensate for this loss of natural cushioning. Staying hydrated and moisturizing your skin can help make up for a loss of collagen due to age, which can lead to dry, cracked skin. For more tips and preventative foot care for aging adults, consult with a podiatrist.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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.

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Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

What Causes Blisters and Why They Form

Blisters form between layers of injured skin as a way of cushioning the injury and protecting it from further damage. When friction or some other irritant damages the upper layer of skin (epidermis), it can tear away from underlying layers of skin. The space that is created between the layers then fills up with fluid (serum). Most blisters occur as a result of friction caused by ill-fitting shoes or socks. Other causes of blisters include burns, frostbite, irritants such as insect bites, chemicals and other toxins. Medical conditions like diabetic neuropathy and eczema, as well as certain autoimmune deficiencies, can weaken the outer layer of skin which increases the risk of blisters forming. Aside from removing pressure from the affected area, it is best to leave a blister alone to allow it to heal naturally, which usually happens within a few days. However, if the blister worsens by becoming discolored or excessively inflamed, it may indicate that an infection is present and a podiatrist should be consulted right away.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. 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 develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often 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.

How Do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

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 on the Feet
Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

Gout Pain Can Be Managed

Gout is a painful, inflammatory form of arthritis. Those affected will typically feel an intense stiffness in the joints of their feet, particularly in the big toe. Schedule a visit to learn about how gout can be managed and treated.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

Why You Should Strengthen Your Foot Core

Strengthening the core of the feet is often neglected in training regimes for athletes, with more attention being given to the legs and thighs. But keeping the foot core muscles in good shape is essential, not only for overall foot health, but also for preventing injury. Foot core muscles are responsible for maintaining arch shape and shock absorption. Neglecting this area of the foot can lead to plantar fasciitis and even stress fractures. Typical exercises concentrating on the core include the short foot exercise, big toe press, and toe splay. It’s always a good idea to check in with a podiatrist for further information.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries and build strength. 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.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important, and we often forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate enough to not have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rises, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, and flexing the toes. It is best to speak with Our doctor to determine an appropriate regimen for your needs. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different, and the activities required to maintain strength in the feet vary from individual to individual. 

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

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 Exercise for Your Feet
Tuesday, 09 November 2021 00:00

What Is an Ingrown Toenail?

When the toenail curls downwards and into the skin surrounding the nail, it is referred to as an ingrown toenail.  Common signs of an ingrown toenail include pain, redness, and swelling. Ingrown toenails can become infected if they are not treated. Ingrown toenails can form from a variety of reasons, such as shoes that are too tight, not properly trimming the toenails, excessively sweaty feet, or trauma to the toe. Patients who are struggling with an ingrown toenail may be able to find relief by soaking their feet in warm water for around 15 minutes a few times a day. However, ingrown toenails that persist should be looked at by a podiatrist in order to prevent an infection.   

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. 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 are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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.

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Tuesday, 02 November 2021 00:00

What Are Hammertoes?

When the toes are forced to curl downwards due to the middle joints of the toes tightening up, they form what is known as a hammertoe. Hammertoes, which can affect any toe but the big toe, are often most uncomfortable at the top of the toes where they rub against shoes. There are two types of hammertoes and they are both affected by the toe’s mobility. Flexible hammertoes can be manually straightened out, but rigid hammertoes can not be straightened out and they are very painful and limited in movement. Patients who are struggling with a hammertoe should make sure their shoes have a high and wide toe box to give the toes enough space. Persistent hammertoes should be checked by a podiatrist for possible treatment options that may include surgery.   

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

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.

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Most heel pain is caused by a local condition occurring in the foot. The most common type of heel pain is due to plantar fasciitis—an inflammation of the long band of tissue running along the bottom of the foot, connecting the toes with the heel. Anyone can have plantar fasciitis. However, athletes and people who are obese or have diabetes, flat feet, or who wear worn out shoes, are more susceptible to developing this painful condition. Heel spurs may often occur along with plantar fasciitis because the strain on the heel bone which causes plantar fasciitis can also lead to calcium deposits forming on the bone (heel spurs). When the bursa sac at the back of the heel becomes irritated and inflamed, this is known as bursitis. A condition called “pump bump” also affects the back of the heel when pressure from wearing pumps causes a painful, bony growth to develop. Podiatrists are very experienced in treating these forms of heel pain and more, so if you experience any heel discomfort, make an appointment today.

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
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