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The most common cause of heel pain may be a condition that is referred to as plantar fasciitis. It occurs when the thick ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot becomes inflamed. It’s purpose is to aid in walking, in addition to supporting the arch. Some of the symptoms that many patients experience is heel pain and moderate to severe stiffness, which may make walking up and down the steps difficult. This condition may affect people from all walks of life, and more specifically runners, women in late pregnancy, and those who are overweight. Additionally, this ailment may be caused by inherited traits, which may play a role in altering the structure of the foot. If you feel you may be afflicted with plantar fasciitis, it’s important that you contact a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can advise what the best possible treatment options are for you.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Peter C. Smith from Lancaster Podiatry Association. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affects people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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

 

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Monday, 23 July 2018 00:00

Are Ingrown Toenails Painful?

Increased pressure of a toenail that grows into the surrounding skin is often referred to as an ingrown toenail. This condition can often produce severe discomfort and pain as a result of inflammation that may occur. If this ailment is left untreated, infections can occur, which may lead to additional unwanted foot conditions. Typical reasons why ingrown toenails can develop, may include having a pedicure performed incorrectly, traits from inherited genes, or shoes that do not fit correctly. Medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, bunions, or hammertoes may play a significant role in developing this painful condition. If you are afflicted with an ingrown toenail, it’s advised to seek a consultation with a podiatrist as quickly as possible to learn about correct treatment options.

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 Peter C. Smith of Lancaster Podiatry Association. 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 office located in Lancaster, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00

Are Flip Flops Good for my Feet?

The idea of wearing flip flops can be enticing in the hot summer months. They can easily be worn for most daily activities and many are available in attractive colors. Despite their popularity, if you choose to wear flip flops you may be inviting the formation of painful foot conditions. The plantar fascia provides the necessary support the foot needs while connecting the toes to the heel bone. Wearing flip flops can cause this tissue to become inflamed, which may often result in discomfort and pain. Additionally, the Achilles tendon may be at risk for injury as a result of the lack of arch support that comes from wearing flip flops. If you are afflicted with diabetes, you may have nerve damage which can hinder the ability to feel any cuts that the material between the toes may incur. If you choose to wear this type of shoe, it’s best to do so in moderation, and this may possibly avoid potential foot problems that may be associated with wearing flip flops.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Peter C. Smith from Lancaster Podiatry Association. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are there injuries associated with flip-flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like wearing flip-flops, are there safe alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more, but will also last longer as a result.

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

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It’s important to properly care for the feet, especially for diabetic patients. Minor cuts and scrapes may be slow to heal, which is often due to the elevated insulin levels. These high levels may cause the nerves to become damaged, which may in turn cause a lack of feeling in the feet. Research has shown there are ways to possibly prevent specific foot conditions from occurring. This may be accomplished by having regular foot exams, wearing shoes that are designed for various foot ailments that may be present, or by performing low-impact exercise. The nerve damage that may occur is referred to as neuropathy, and can be very painful. If you are diabetic, it is strongly suggested that you visit a podiatrist frequently while also being sure to do daily foot inspections at home.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact Peter C. Smith from Lancaster Podiatry Association. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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

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Published in Blog
Monday, 02 July 2018 00:00

How Falls May be Prevented

Recent research has shown that when the body becomes stronger through stretching and exercise, the risk of falling may decrease. Performing proper stretching techniques may improve balance and this may greatly diminish the fear of falling. Walking has been known to be beneficial in maintaining proper balance in addition to practicing the Chinese martial arts that is known as tai chi. It’s important to properly take care of your feet by trimming the toenails correctly, and regularly visiting a podiatrist who can properly assess the general health of the feet. Conditions in the home may be improved by using non-slip rugs, installing brighter bulbs, and using a bar in the tub or shower area for increased stability. Medications may need to be reviewed on a routine basis in addition to having a vision test performed that will ensure you are seeing correctly. When these simple strategies are implemented, the fear of falling may disappear.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Peter C. Smith from Lancaster Podiatry Association. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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