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Items filtered by date: December 2019

Many women enjoy wearing high heels despite the potential foot problems they may cause. There are methods that can be implemented which can possibly reduce the risk of hurting your feet. These can include making sure the shoes fit perfectly at the time of purchase. This may help to prevent falling, which in turn, may also prevent possible painful foot conditions from forming. Blisters on the feet come from excess friction, and can be a common occurrence while wearing high heels. These may be avoided by putting baby powder inside the shoe. It may also be beneficial to alternate the type of heels that are worn, which can help to alleviate the pressure that is put on the foot. If you would like additional information about how to protect your feet while wearing high heels, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, 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.

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 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 Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
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Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Published in Blog
Monday, 23 December 2019

What Causes Cracked Heels?

The uncomfortable condition that is known as cracked heels comes from excessively dry skin. It typically affects the outer edges of the heel, and can cause deep cracks to form. These cracks in the skin are known as fissures, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. There are common reasons why this condition may occur. These can include standing for an extended period of time throughout the day, as well as wearing shoes that have an open back. Additionally, existing medical conditions such as eczema or psoriasis may lead to the development of cracked heels. Treatment can begin with washing and drying the feet thoroughly, followed by using a good moisturizer several times per day. It may help to wear shoes that have significant cushioning in the heel area. If you are afflicted with cracked heels, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can help you to find relief.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, 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.

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 office located in Canonsburg and McMurray, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Solutions for Cracked Heels
Published in Blog
Monday, 16 December 2019

How to Check If You Have a Bunion

Bunions are a particularly painful type of foot condition that form on the side of the feet. If you are experiencing foot pain, there are a few steps you can take in order to determine if a bunion is the cause of the discomfort. You may begin by examining your feet to look for a bony lump, or protrusion on the side of your big toe. Next, you’ll want to determine if your big toe is pointing, or leaning towards the rest of your toes. Lastly, you’ll want to check if the skin on the lump is hard, red or swollen. If you notice that all of the above are true to your case, it is very likely that you have a bunion. To relieve the pain of a bunion, it is recommended that you wear shoes wider than normal, ice the affected area on and off, look into wearing bunion pads to prevent further friction with your footwear, and try to keep the weight off of the affected area. Bunions are likely to worsen overtime, which is why we recommend you speak with a podiatrist for professional guidance and a suggested treatment plan.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

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.

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The Achilles tendon is considered to be the strongest tendon in the body. It is located in the back of the leg, and its function is to connect the calf muscles to the heel. If this tendon becomes damaged as a result of overuse, a torn Achilles tendon or tendonitis may develop. This type of injury can cause severe pain and discomfort, and it may be difficult to walk. Research has indicated it is important to perform a proper warm up before starting any running or jumping activity, as this may be helpful in preventing Achilles tendon injuries. If you have endured this type of injury, it may be beneficial to elevate the affected leg, to help reduce swelling. Additionally, it is imperative that the activity is temporarily stopped that caused the injury, and then possibly resumed at a gentler pace when the healing process is completed. If you feel you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is advised that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can properly treat this type of injury.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

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

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
Published in Blog
Monday, 02 December 2019

Is Toenail Fungus Common?

A common infection of the toenail is referred to as toenail fungus. It typically develops in the nail bed, and it generally grows slowly. One of the first symptoms of having this ailment is noticing a yellow or white dot that appears under the tip of the nail. In severe infections, the nail may turn a dark color, and may often become brittle and can crumble. This type of fungus lives and thrives in warm and moist environments which can include swimming pools, locker rooms, and shower room floors. There are measures that can be taken which may help to prevent toenail fungus. These can consist of wearing appropriate shoes while in these types of areas, trimming the nails frequently, and keeping the feet clean and dry. There are several treatment options available, and it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer the best solution for you.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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 to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
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