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Monday, 15 April 2019

Do You Wanna Be a Podiatrist?

People who are interested in helping folks who have foot and ankle disorders may want to consider podiatry as a career choice. Some of the conditions that are treated may be ingrown toenails, chronic foot pain, or bunions, which may require surgery for permanent relief. Additionally, podiatrists may specialize in diabetic foot care, and can prescribe custom-made orthotics. The schooling that is required in most states is a four year post graduate program followed by three years of residency training. If you would like to pursue a career in podiatric medicine, speak with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

If you are experiencing pain in the feet or ankles, don’t join the stubborn majority refusing treatment. Feel free to contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Podiatrist?

Someone would seek the care of a podiatrist if they have suffered a foot injury or have common foot ailments such as heal spurs, bunions, arch problems, deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, foot and ankle problems, etc.

Podiatric Treatment

A podiatrist will treat the problematic areas of the feet, ankle or lower leg by prescribing the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drugs
  • Orthotic inserts or soles
  • Surgery on lower extremity fractures

A common podiatric procedure a podiatrist will use is a scanner or force plate which will allow the podiatrist to know the designs of orthotics. Patients are then told to follow a series of tasks to complete the treatment. The computer will scan the foot a see which areas show weight distribution and pressure points. The podiatrist will read the analysis and then determine which treatment plans are available.

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

Read more about What is a Podiatrist?

Research has indicated that a common cause of poor circulation may be referred to as peripheral artery disease (PAD). This condition may cause the blood vessels and arteries to become narrow, and the blood may have difficulty in flowing normally. If the arteries become stiff which may be caused by excess plaque, this is known as atherosclerosis, and may also lead to poor circulation. Additionally, diabetic patients may experience this condition, and this may be due to elevated insulin levels in the blood. If you have poor circulation, mild relief may be found if compression socks are worn, and this may help swollen feet. If you feel you have this ailment, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can properly diagnosis and treat this condition.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet

The pain and discomfort that is typically associated with Morton’s neuroma is located on the ball of the foot. Many patients may notice swelling and feel a burning sensation in that area of the foot, and it may affect the way you walk. It generally occurs as a result of a thickened nerve that leads to the toes. This may happen from wearing shoes that are too tight and may cause the affected nerve to become irritated. There may be other causes of Morton’s neuroma, and these may include having flat feet, or medical conditions such as hammer toes or bunions. It is important to have a proper diagnosis performed. This can be accomplished by having an X-ray taken, which may be helpful in eliminating other conditions that may exist. If you feel you have this condition, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can suggest wearing insoles or recommend foot strengthening exercises.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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

Read more about Morton's Neuroma
Monday, 25 March 2019

Is Athlete’s Foot Contagious?

A fungal infection that is referred to as athlete’s foot can be uncomfortable and painful. The most common place for this condition to develop is between the toes, which may cause severe itching. The skin may become dry and flaky, and many patients notice a burning or stinging sensation. This ailment is known to be contagious, and lives in warm and moist environments. These areas many include swimming pools, shower room floors, or locker rooms. Additionally, athlete’s foot may develop as a result of wearing shoes and socks that are too tight. This can contribute to sweaty feet, which may create an environment for the fungus to thrive. There are measures that can be implemented, which may help to prevent athlete’s foot. These may include wearing appropriate shoes in public areas and washing the feet and completely drying between the toes. If you are afflicted with this condition, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

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

 

Read more about Athlete’s Foot
Monday, 18 March 2019

Possible Causes of Flat Feet

Patients who have flat feet may experience pain and discomfort from the absence of an arch. This may be observed as the foot lies completely flat while standing on the floor. The purpose of the arch is to evenly distribute body weight, in addition to maintaining flexibility on different surfaces. Some people may notice their feet roll inward, which may cause the feet to point outward. People who have flat feet may notice pain and swelling inside the ankle, and their feet may feel stiff. Common causes on why flat feet can occur may include hereditary factors, an injury that may have happened to the foot or ankle, or medical conditions such as arthritis or diabetes. If you have flat feet and are experiencing pain, it is suggested to speak to a podiatrist who can advise you on proper treatment techniques.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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

Read more about Flat Feet

Research has indicated that one billion adults are overweight in the world. This may cause stress on the bones in the foot, which may cause unwanted foot conditions. These may include arthritis, heel pain, or tendonitis. Additionally, any excess weight is typically gained before foot pain is noticed. The structure of the foot may change as a result of becoming overweight, which may cause stress fractures, flat feet, and poor circulation. It is important to wear shoes that fit correctly, and it may be difficult to find shoes that will properly accommodate the foot. The feet may feel better if excess weight is lost, and this may be accomplished by implementing healthy dietary changes and incorporating an exercise program into your daily routine. If you would like additional information about how obesity affects the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and Your Feet

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

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

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

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

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet

Many people stand for the majority of the day while working.Foot pain may develop gradually or suddenly, and may often be a result of working on your feet for extended periods of time. There may be moderate relief that can be attained by wearing shoe inserts or standing on stress mats instead of concrete floors. Additionally, it may be beneficial to walk occasionally throughout the day, and this may help the feet to stretch. It’s important that correct shoes are worn, which generally includes making sure the shoes have a good arch and adequate support. Many patients find it is helpful to rest the feet during the day when possible. If you are experiencing any type of foot pain that may be a result of working on your feet, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who can properly assist you.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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

Read more about How to Handle a Long Work Day on Your Feet
Monday, 25 February 2019

Wounds and Diabetes

Many diabetic patients are aware of the importance of inspecting their feet daily for wounds and bruises. Neuropathy may accompany diabetes, and this is the inability to feel cuts that may be present on the feet. Patients who are unable to see the bottom of their feet may find it helpful to use a mirror, or to have someone check them for any cuts that are not healing. If the wound requires a dressing, it is important to change it frequently. This may help to achieve the correct level of moisture that is necessary for proper drainage and healing. Maintaining blood sugar levels within your target range may be beneficial in promoting the healing process. This may be done by eating healthy foods which have adequate amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals. If you have wounds on your feet, it is strongly suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly treat any foot condition.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

Read more about Wound Care
Monday, 18 February 2019

Finding the Right Shoe

Most people know their shoe size and stick with it for life, but a proper shoe fitting could lead to better overall foot health. There are so many types of footwear, but everyone has specific needs when it comes to what is right for their foot. A proper shoe fitting involves both length and width. A shoe should have a wide enough toe box for the natural shape of an individual’s foot, as well as appropriate arch support. Some shoes provide mobility, while others hinder one’s mobility. A shoe that provides the greatest mobility for your feet, ankles, and legs is the best option. The foot is the first place to absorb the weight of our movements, therefore the wrong shoe can negatively affect all weight-bearing bones. If you would like more information on the right shoe for you, then it is recommended you consult with a podiatrist.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

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

Read more about Proper Shoe Fitting
Monday, 11 February 2019

Symptoms and Causes of a Broken Toe

The majority of broken toes may occur from stubbing the toe, or if a heavy object is dropped on it.  Many patients suffer from toe stress fractures, which may be a result of consistent impact the toe endures. There are noticeable symptoms of a broken toe, and these may include immediate pain, or a possible cracking sound as the fracture occurs. Additionally, bruising and swelling may accompany this condition, and in more severe cases, the toe may appear deformed. If the break is mild, typical treatment may begin with resting, elevating,and splinting the toe. This is often accomplished by taping the toe to the one next to it, and this may help to provide the support that it needs. Many broken toes may require the expertise of a podiatrist, and this may become evident if the nail falls off, or if the nail bed has become infected. If you have broken your toe, and you are experiencing severe pain, it is suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly assist you with the correct treatment.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

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

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
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