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Tuesday, 06 February 2018 00:00

How Can Wearing High Heels Affect My Feet?

The choice to wear high heels can not only be damaging to the heel, but generally puts pressure on the front of the foot as well. Another part of the foot typically affected may be the Achilles tendon. When high heels are worn frequently, the tendon becomes shortened, and the back of the ankle may feel tight as it strains to be flexible. Arthritis may be a result of damage incurred to the joints of the feet from wearing high heels. Additionally, disorders such as bunions, corns, and a thickening of the nerves between the toes, referred to as Morton’s neuroma, may also be the result of choosing this type of shoe to wear. If you do decide to wear high heels, you can reduce the impact that’s endured by placing protective pads in the shoes. When proper stretches are performed, the foot and ankle will not only feel better, but become stronger.

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.

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Implementing foot stretches in your daily routine will not only benefit the health of the foot, but also feel good. There are numerous muscles in the foot, and practicing proper stretches can aid in helping the body stay fit. Pointing and flexing your toes is an effective foot stretch, in addition to practicing a tendon stretch. This is accomplished by standing on a step with the heels slightly hanging off the edge. When your weight is shifted towards your heels, a gentle stretch is easily felt and the flexibility of your tendons and muscles is improved. Another effective stretch is done while in a sitting position and involves placing a towel under the arch of the foot. Raise and straighten the leg, and gently pull the foot toward you. This not only stretches the foot, but allows the leg to become stronger as well. While general exercise is vital for everyday health, it’s important to stretch the feet for maximum health benefits.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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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Tuesday, 23 January 2018 00:00

Foot Conditions Caused by Obesity

Fallen arches are a common result of being obese. The feet provide a natural support system for the body, and imbalance may occur due to the excess weight the feet must withstand. The feet may also grow in size due to excess pressure and swelling. The ankles will be surrounded by fat tissues and cells, which may cause immense pain and difficulty walking. Pressure that settles on the ankle often makes it painful to wear shoes. Bending over to put them on may be challenging because of the additional weight the body must endure. Fat and sugar deposits surrounding the ankle may weaken the structure of the foot, commonly causing serious complications and discomfort. This condition may be prevented by implementing dietary and lifestyle changes, thus improving not only the general health of the feet, but the rest of the body as well.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. 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

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom 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 and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018 00:00

Buying the Right Shoes for the Right Sport

Proper support is crucial while running and is typically obtained through purchasing running shoes as opposed to shoes designed for walking. Running is considered a high impact sport, and it’s important to have the correct cushioned shoes to help promote proper balance. A firmer sole is important to a runner for maintaining stability, and a sole that’s more flexible is easier for a walker to wear as it grips the toe and the heel. Thick heels are preferred in running shoes as they provide proper cushioning and support for the jogger. If a walker should wear shoes made for running, they may experience conditions such as shin splints or Achilles tendons injuries. This is often because the mechanics of walking and running are different. Running shoes offer features designed to keep the foot in a neutral position and may provide more stability than walking shoes. An additional difference between the two types of shoes may be that running shoes are made of lighter materials that are meant to enable a jogger to move faster.

For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.

Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes

There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.

You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.

Differences

Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.

Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.

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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Monday, 08 January 2018 00:00

How Can I Treat My Broken Foot?

If severe pain is experienced from a fall involving your foot, it is possible that there may be a fracture involving one or more bones. Symptoms often include increasing foot pain when standing or walking is attempted, in addition to swelling, bruising, and numbness in the toes or feet. There are a few different ways to diagnosis a foot fracture, one of which is having an x-ray taken. Cat scans and MRI’s can be additional tests that may be required, depending on the severity and location of the break. Treatment may include pain medicine and antibiotics, and if there are cuts on the skin, a tetanus shot may be suggested. Surgery may be an additional option depending on numerous factors. Resting and avoiding activities which may cause foot pain is recommended, in addition to elevating the foot and attempting to reduce possible swelling.

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. 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.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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, 02 January 2018 00:00

How to Maintain Your Child’s Healthy Feet

By the time a child is 18 years old, their feet are fully developed. When a child is 6 months old, however, most of the foot consists of cartilage and may be susceptible to deformities from shoes that fit incorrectly. Recent research suggests that being barefoot is best for healthy foot development, though it may not always be practical. The skin needs to be protected from extreme weather conditions, sharp objects, and wear and tear from walking on rough surfaces. Wearing flexible shoes will allow the feet to develop naturally while protecting the skin against harsh environments. Once the proper shoes have been chosen, the feet need to be taken care of. This may include washing the feet daily, especially drying between the toes. Additionally, measuring the feet regularly in the first 3 years of walking is important in making sure children are wearing the right size shoe.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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, 26 December 2017 00:00

Breaking in a New Pair of Shoes

While buying a new pair of shoes can be fun, breaking them in can be painful and can cause foot conditions like blisters or sore feet. Shoes take time to break in and better conform to your foot type. While the shoes should be snug while providing enough room for your toes, they may still cause friction; this can cause blisters. There are ways you can help to break them in faster, however. One method involves wearing a pair of thick socks, heating up your shoes with a hair dryer, and then wearing them while you walk around your home. Another trick is to find an object to place in your shoe that can help expand them during the night while you sleep; this, however, may not always work, since the shoes aren’t conforming to the specific shape of your feet. Breaking in a new pair of shoes can be uncomfortable, but these steps can help make it easier on 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.

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Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

All About Cracked Heels

Cracked heels can be an uncomfortable condition to deal with, though it is a condition that is usually preventable and treatable. The heels tend to crack for a number of reasons, such as constant pressure on the feet, obesity, vitamin deficiency, and poor hydration. To help prevent this, wear shoes that provide good cushioning for your feet. Be sure to stick to a healthy diet, and get your recommended daily value of vitamins. Drink plenty of water during the day to stay hydrated. Finally, wash your feet daily and use foot creams to keep your feet moisturized. While a pedicure can help your feet look nice, they are not meant to treat cracked heels. If you are experiencing pain or your heels do not improve, please see a podiatrist for treatment.

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.

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:00

How to Tell if You Have a Broken Toe

While it might seem obvious when and if you have a broken toe, this is not always the case. While some may experience crippling pain that causes them to stop walking, others may not experience pain at all. Pain, swelling, bruising, and tenderness are common signs of a broken toe. You may experience pain for weeks; if you do, you should see a podiatrist as soon as possible. Another sign can be if you hear a popping sound at the moment you hit your toe against something. The most obvious sign is if bone is protruding out of the skin. In any case, it is important that you get checked out if you believe you have a broken toe, as the toe requires proper care if it is going to heal properly.

A broken toe can be very painful and lead to complications if not properly fixed. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What to Know About a Broken Toe

Although most people try to avoid foot trauma such as banging, stubbing, or dropping heavy objects on their feet, the unfortunate fact is that it is a common occurrence. Given the fact that toes are positioned in front of the feet, they typically sustain the brunt of such trauma. When trauma occurs to a toe, the result can be a painful break (fracture).

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising on the skin and toenail
  • The inability to move the toe
  • Toe appears crooked or disfigured
  • Tingling or numbness in the toe

Generally, it is best to stay off of the injured toe with the affected foot elevated.

Severe toe fractures may be treated with a splint, cast, and in some cases, minor surgery. Due to its position and the pressure it endures with daily activity, future complications can occur if the big toe is not properly treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of 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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Problems with the feet can indicate serious health conditions in different parts of the body. Muscle spasms, also known as “charley horses," in the feet may indicate that you are dehydrated. If a spasm occurs while walking, it may be a sign of a circulatory issue. Gout, a form of arthritis, can cause the joints in the foot to become painful. Gout occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joints and is especially common in the feet. Additionally, it can increase the risk of kidney stones. Cold feet may indicate anemia, poor circulation, or diabetes. Swollen feet may be a sign of serious issues like poor circulation, deep vein thrombosis, or a blood clot. Concave or yellow toenails may be indicative of nutritional deficiencies or an infection. Treatments vary, and may include rest, wearing shoe inserts, or taking proper nutritional supplements for minor issues. Contact your podiatrist if you feel pain in the feet.  

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable.  Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of 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 Systemic Diseases of the Foot
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