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Monday, 04 February 2019 00:00

Causes of Hammertoes

Hammertoes are a common condition that occur when one of the toe muscles becomes weak, therefore putting pressure on the toe’s tendons and joints. This pressure can cause the toe to change shape and become deformed. Usually, corns or calluses grow on the affected toe, which can cause pain when it rubs against footwear. Some hammertoes are hereditary, the foot type given to you by your parents could easily affect the growth of a hammertoe. Both flat flexible feet and high arched feet are susceptible to hammertoes. Narrow high-heeled shoes also put you at a higher risk for getting a hammertoe, because the toes are under extreme pressure with little support. Other medical complications may also contribute to the growth of a hammertoe. For example, people with diabetes have a higher chance of developing hammertoes, because they have poor blood flow in their feet. If you have a hammertoe that is causing you discomfort, it is recommended you speak with a podiatrist in order to receive the proper treatment.

Hammertoe

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

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

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 What Are Hammertoes?

Most people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, but not many are familiar with tarsal tunnel syndrome. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is the ankle’s equivalent to carpal tunnel syndrome. Both syndromes involve the trapping of a nerve. When tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs, the nerve stemming from the ankle to the foot becomes entrapped in a tunnel of bones and ligaments. This creates a pressure that sends sharp burning pain into the sole of the foot. Coupling over the counter pain medications, cushioning pads for arch support and abstaining from any activity that results in pain, can be used to lessen the pain initially. If the pain lasts for more than six weeks, then it is time to consult a podiatrist, so they can properly treat the condition.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz 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 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 Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Barefoot Running vs Running with Shoes

Barefoot running has become a trend in recent years. Many runners feel that they benefit from going shoeless and that shoes impede on their natural state. So what are the actual differences between running barefoot and running with shoes on? One of the main differences is how your foot hits the ground. Runners’ shoes usually hit the ground with their heels first, which creates a force up to three times the body’s weight. This amount of force can lead to certain injuries; two examples of these injuries are Achilles tendinitis and stress fractures. Barefoot runners strike the ground with the balls of their feet, which results in less force upon impact. Also, barefoot runners naturally shorten their strides, therefore reducing the force on their lower bodies. This reduced force automatically flexes joints, which creates a softer landing on hard surfaces. Shoes offer support that has made the muscles in feet move differently, because they don’t have to work as hard. Without shoes, your calves and feet will have to work harder to accommodate for the change in landing and your stride, but your body will be more attuned to your natural stride. If you are thinking about going barefoot while running, it is recommended that you consult a podiatrist first, especially if you have a history of foot problems.

Barefoot Running

Many people have decided to start barefoot running for a variety of reasons. Some claim that the technique improves foot biomechanics while also reducing injury risk. If you are interested in running barefoot, consult with Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and whether barefoot running is right for you.

Running Barefoot vs. Running in Shoes

While running shoes provide excellent support and protection to our feet, they can negatively impact the way we run. Those who run in shoes have been found to be more likely hit the ground with their heels first. This running style has been found to increase the risk of injury from ankle sprains, stress fractures, and Achilles tendinitis. Those who run barefoot tend to land on the balls of their feet which generates less impact.

Benefits of Running Barefoot

Some reported benefits of running barefoot include:

  • Less impact on the feet
  • Increased sensation and feedback from the feet
  • Increased efficiency from less weight from shoes
  • Potential for less injury from footwear
  • Reported increases in strength to foot and leg muscles
  • Developing a natural gait
  • Improving balance and proprioception

Downsides to Running Barefoot

  • Less protection from debris on the ground
  • Increased risk of contracting bacterial or fungal infection
  • Potential for injuries from overuse
  • Blisters

Those with diabetes should avoid barefoot running at all costs. This is due to the risk of sustaining a wound that could become infected. If you do decide to run barefoot, inspect the area you are running in for lots of debris. Furthermore, it is best to start off slow and to not push yourself too hard the first time out, even if you run in shoes regularly. Another substitute for running shoes are minimalist shoes which reduce the weight of shoes but provide better protection.

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 Why Many Are Making the Switch to Barefoot Running
Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Where Do Stress Fractures Occur?

If running and jumping are frequent activities that you participate in, you may experience stress fractures in your feet. It may typically occur as a result of repeated impact the feet endure and will appear as tiny cracks in the bone. The bones in the feet absorb the weight of the body, and this type of fracture is most likely to appear in the lower extremities. Stress fractures may happen to individuals who suddenly increase the intensity or change the type of sport they are engaging in, in addition to having certain medical conditions that may include osteoporosis, which can weaken the bones. There are several symptoms that are associated with this condition, including severe pain and discomfort, swelling, or possible bruising. Research has shown there may be methods than can be implemented, which may prevent a stress fracture from occurring. These may include ingesting a diet that is rich in calcium, which may aid in strengthening the bones, gradually increasing the power of your workout or chosen sport, in addition to wearing shoes that fit correctly. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which will typically include having an X-ray or MRI performed, recovery may begin. If you feel you may have endured a stress fracture, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist, to discuss correct treatment options.

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

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 Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

There May Be Numerous Causes of Gout

The medical condition referred to as gout often produces severe pain and discomfort. It typically affects the joints of the big toe, although it may appear in other parts of the body. It is a form of arthritis and may occur if foods which have excess purines are frequently ingested. There are generally several noticeable symptoms that are associated with this condition, including stiffness in the affected area, redness, and heat emanating from the toe. Some of the foods that may be linked to developing gout may include several types of seafood, red meat, and drinking excess alcohol. Research has shown there are specific types of vegetables that may be part of a healthy diet and can be ingested often, even though they may have high purine levels. If you feel you may have gout, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can guide you to implementing the correct treatment.

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 Gout
Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

Causes of Corns

A corn on the foot is described as a small area of hardened skin. Friction is generally the cause of the formation of corns, and they may develop as a result of wearing shoes that do not fit properly or not putting socks on while shoes are worn. Corns may typically produce pain, and comfort may be obtained after a protective pad is applied to the corn. Additional relief may be found after soaking the foot in warm water, followed by utilizing a pumice stone, which may be helpful in removing the hardened skin. If the corn is not diminishing in size after these treatments are performed, it is suggested to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can properly remove the corn.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

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

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctor to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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 Understanding Corns and Calluses
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 00:00

Ankle Sprains May Cause Ankle Pain

Many people will experience some type of ankle pain at some point in their lives. If you have fallen and have injured the ligaments, you may have what is referred to as an ankle sprain. These ligaments aid in connecting the leg bones to the foot and may often become injured as a result of a fall that has occurred. There may be noticeable symptoms appearing, which may include bruising, the inability to walk on the ankle, pain and discomfort, or swelling. To determine if the ankle is sprained or broken, a proper diagnosis is performed, which will typically include having an X-ray taken. If the injury appears to be severe, an MRI may be taken, which may be helpful in observing detailed images of the ankle. There are several ways to treat an ankle sprain, and it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can properly guide you toward choosing the correct treatment option.

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially 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
  • Bursitis
  • 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 Waynesboro, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Ankle Pain
Monday, 17 December 2018 00:00

Foot Pain and Running

People who indulge in the sport of running may often notice mild to severe foot pain, which may develop as a result of the impact the feet endure as they land on the ground. Different levels of pain may accompany specific foot conditions, which may include plantar fasciitis. This condition may develop gradually and can affect the ability to run if not treated properly and promptly. Additionally, an ailment that is known as metatarsalgia may be typically characterized by pain felt near the arch of the foot, and walking may be painful after completing a long run. If you enjoy running and are experiencing any type of foot pain, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat any foot pain that may be present.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot 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 care needs.

Read more about Foot Pain
Monday, 10 December 2018 00:00

Two Types of Heel Spurs

A condition that is known as a heel spur may present itself in two different categories. One of them is often referred to as heel spur syndrome and is characterized by bony protrusions that form on the bottom of the heel. They may look like a small hook and will grow toward the plantar fascia. This may develop as a result of repeated tearing of the heel bone lining, in addition to straining the ligaments and muscles of the foot. Patients may develop insertional Achilles tendonitis as a form of a heel spur, and this will typically occur where the heel bone connects to the Achilles tendon. If the Achilles tendon becomes irritated and inflamed, severe pain and discomfort may often accompany this condition. This type of heel spur may form as a result of decreased ankle motion and is known to develop gradually. If you are experiencing a heel spur, it is advised to seek the expert knowledge of a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our offices located in Chambersburg and Waynesboro, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about How to Treat Heel Spurs

People who enjoy the sport of cycling may understand the importance of wearing proper shoes while biking. These specific shoes are designed to attach to the pedals by cleats that are located on the bottom of the shoe, which may allow foot pain to be avoided. This improved method may prevent the shoes from slipping while pedaling, which may possibly result in more efficient use of the foot muscles. Research has shown that the late afternoon may be a beneficial time in choosing the correct shoe, when the feet are generally at their largest. Most shoes that are worn for cycling will stretch minimally over the course of time, and it is advised that they fit properly at the time of purchase. If you would like to have additional information about the benefits of wearing cycling shoes, please speak with a podiatrist.

It is important to find shoes that fit you properly in order to avoid a variety of different foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

Shoes have many different functions. They cushion our body weight, protect our feet, and allow us to safely play sports. You should always make sure that the shoes you wear fit you properly in order to avoid injuries and deformities such as: bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more. It is important to note that although a certain pair of shoes might be a great fit for someone else, that doesn’t mean they will be a great fit for you. This is why you should always try on shoes before buying them to make sure they are worth the investment. Typically, shoes need to be replaced ever six months to one year of regular use.

Tips for Proper Shoe Fitting

  • Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot
  • Don’t buy shoes that fit too tight, expecting them to stretch to fit
  • Make sure there is enough space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right
  • Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe, but by how the shoe fits your foot

The shoes you buy should always feel as good as they look. Shoes that fit properly will last longer, feel better, and improve your way of life each day.

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 How to Get a Proper Shoe Fit
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