Items filtered by date: September 2021

Tuesday, 28 September 2021 00:00

When Walking Normally Is No Easy Feat

Walking may not seem to be a complex activity, however, several body functions, structures, and systems need to work together seamlessly to allow a person to walk normally. A person’s gait (way of walking) can be affected by genetic factors, injuries, physical abnormalities or conditions affecting the feet and legs, illnesses, inner ear problems, and age. These abnormal gait patterns may be temporary or permanent, usually falling into one of five categories. When someone drags their feet, or looks stiff while walking, this can indicate a spastic gait. When legs bend inwardly or hit each other during walking, this is known as a scissors gait. If a person’s toes scrape against or point towards the ground, they may have a steppage gait. Moving from side-to-side with short steps is indicative of a waddling gait. A propulsive gait is walking with a stooping, stiff posture, with the head and neck pushed forward. Using state-of-the-art technology, a podiatrist can perform a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis. Custom orthotics and other methods can be used to help improve feet function and ease any associated pain—including treating any underlying foot condition.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our podiatrists from Advanced Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Northampton and Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes
Thursday, 23 September 2021 00:00

Wounds That Don't Heal Need to Be Checked

Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021 00:00

Why Do My Ankles Hurt After Running?

Runners take hundreds of steps per minute while they run. During each step, a large amount of force is transmitted through the foot, ankle, and leg. The ankle takes most of the force, so it should come as no surprise that runners often experience ankle pain. There are several factors that contribute to ankle pain while running. Muscle imbalances and weakness or tightness in some part of the foot, ankle, or calf, can change the way force is distributed while you run, putting more pressure on the ankles and leading to injuries. Repetitive overuse from intense bursts of running and not giving yourself enough time to fully recover can also cause or worsen ankle pain. Previous injuries, such as an ankle sprain that hasn’t completely healed or hasn’t healed properly, can increase the risk of future ankle injuries as well. It is important to wear properly fitted, supportive shoes while you run. If you are a runner suffering from ankle pain, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists of Advanced Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

There are a lot of mistakes a runner can make prior to a workout that can induce injury. A lot of athletes tend to overstretch before running, instead of saving those workouts for a post-run routine. Deep lunges and hand-to-toe hamstring pulls should be performed after a workout instead of during a warmup. Another common mistake is jumping into an intense routine before your body is physically prepared for it. You should try to ease your way into long-distance running instead of forcing yourself to rush into it.

More Tips for Preventing Injury

  • Incorporate Strength Training into Workouts - This will help improve the body’s overall athleticism
  • Improve and Maintain Your Flexibility – Stretching everyday will help improve overall performance
  • “Warm Up” Before Running and “Cool Down” Afterward – A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps get rid of lactic acid in the muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness
  • Cross-Training is Crucial
  • Wear Proper Running Shoes
  • Have a Formal Gait Analysis – Poor biomechanics can easily cause injury

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

Read more about Preventing Running Injuries
Tuesday, 14 September 2021 00:00

Are Bunions Noticeable?

It is generally easy to notice a bunion when it has developed on your foot. A bunion is a bump that forms on the side of the big toe that can make wearing shoes difficult for the majority of the day. A common reason why bunions can form is from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in.  Additionally, they may form from genetic reasons. If the bunion grows, it can change the shape of the foot, and larger shoes may need to be purchased. Ballet dancers are often at risk of developing bunions because of the constant stress the feet endure while practicing specific poses. Pregnancy can lead to the formation of bunions, which may come from hormonal changes that can affect the feet. Mild relief may be found when a protective pad is worn over the bunion, and this can be helpful in protecting it against friction that can come from wearing shoes. If you notice a bump has formed on your foot, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can perform a proper diagnosis and offer you correct treatment methods.

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

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about What Are Bunions?
Tuesday, 07 September 2021 00:00

Heel Pain in a Growing Child

Growth plates are discs of cartilage that a developing child has at the end of their bones, which allow bone growth until the plate closes. The growth plate located at the heel bone can become overly stressed during growth spurts, or through athletics involving running and jumping—such as soccer, gymnastics, and basketball. These things may cause the Achilles tendon to pull excessively on the heel bone and irritate the growth plate, triggering inflammation and pain. This condition is known as Sever’s disease: named after the doctor who first identified it in 1912. Sever’s disease typically affects girls between the ages of 8-10, and boys between 10-12 years of age. A podiatrist can help ease the pain of Sever’s disease with RICE (resting, icing, compression, and elevation), as well as immobilization, medication, and prescribed supportive devices to reduce stress on the heel. If your child is complaining about heel pain, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact one of our podiatrists of Advanced Podiatry Associates. Our doctors 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 Northampton and Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy

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