broken-foot4Middle-aged men, both pro-athletes and recreational, seem to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries more often than any other age group or gender. While the tendon is designed to stretch and absorb the impact of running, walking and jumping, these injuries may occur more often since men will go on to jump, run, or walk higher and faster than their bodies may permit. While women athletes still do not seem to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries as often as men, studies have shown that women have a more elastic tendon than men, making them less prone to injury.

Achilles tendon injuries and problems need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns contact one of our podiatrists of Lovely Foot Associates PC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 cause severe 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 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 offices located in Johnstown, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles tendon injuries.

corns2Jo Wood, ex-wife of Rolling Stone’s Ronnie Wood, has suffered from hammertoes, a condition that for her was hereditary and deformed her second toe. The pain eventually had gotten so bad that wood decided to get surgery where the surgeon had to remove a portion of the bone to realign the toe. Although there are non-surgical treatments, surgery becomes a last resort of the pain does not go away. Eighteen months after her surgery, Wood was back into her regular routine.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. If you are suffering from hammertoes, contact one of our podiatrists of Lovely Foot Associates, PC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

  • Genetics – people who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible
  • Arthritis – because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur
  • Trauma – direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe
  • Ill-fitting shoes – undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe
  • Orthotics – custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it
  • Medications – oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used
  • Surgery – in more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

Treatment

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

Read More about Hammertoes

runningPopular footwear company, Converse, has finally updated their Chuck Taylor’s by making a more supportive version of the shoe to be known as Chuck Taylor All Star II. The new Chucks include lining, upgraded tongue and patch, and cushioning to support the feet. Since Converse was acquired by Nike in the early 2000s, the Chuck II uses Nike’s plush cushioning technology to provide a springy insert created with layers of foam. All of the upgrades were created to make converses more comfortable and supportive for the high volume of consumers.

Proper foot support is of utmost importance in foot health. To learn more, consult with one of our podiatrists of Lovely Foot Associates, PC. Our doctor will provide you with the foot and ankle information you seek.

The Importance of Proper Foot Support

Walking is an everyday function for both men and women, and in order to keep your body’s balance in order, you are going to need shoes that provide the proper kinds of support.

Poor foot support can cause pain and discomfort in the lower back, hips, knees, neck and shoulder. It also can lead to emotional stress, and physiological changes in the body. In order to avoid these problems, you must have proper foot support.

The arch is the most important part of the foot, which is where most of the support and balance of your feet lies. The arch of your foot varies in height, and as you age, this height can change. Proper foot support will help musculoskeletal issues, which causes inactivity or disability.

When looking for shoes that give proper support to your feet, you should refrain from wearing ill-fitting shoes. If footwear is too tight, this can affect the body’s posture, stress, bone deformities, and other foot and back pain. Therefore, it is important that shoes fit well in order to avoid these complications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Johnstown, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies to meet all your needs.

Read more about Proper Foot Support

fungal-toenail2Academy Award Winning Actress Cloris Leachman participated in the ABC Television series Wife Swap adorning a sprained ankle.  While temporarily switching lives with Butterfly star, Pia Zadora, Leachman was seen rolling around in her wheelchair, taking in the daily routine of the Zadora family. Straight away there were problems when Zadora’s husband and son showed signs of completely lacking in domestic duties. The two families also seemed to clash due to the Leachman family’s vegetarianism.

Ankle sprains are common, but need immediate attention. If you have any concerns about your potential ankle sprain contact one of our podiatrists of Lovely Foot Associates, P.C. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits can aid in prevention

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity. Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

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

Read more about ankle sprains

plantar-fasciitis6According to Shape, post workout foot stretches are one of the most important aspects of maintaining healthy feet and a healthy body. Since the soles of the feet have nearly 18 muscles and tendons, it is important to stretch them out when they get too tight by rolling them from heel to toe over a frozen golf ball. Toe stretches should be done as well, especially when wearing shoes that are too narrow or tight.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet contact one of our podiatrists of Lovely Foot Associates, P.C. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Stretching Your 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.

Good ways to stretch your feet are:

  • 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 office located in Johnstown, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about stretching the feet.

bunions10Australian surgeons are now practicing minimally invasive surgery for bunions to reduce the amount of pain and recovery time for patients. Michelle Thacker of North South Wales experienced both minimally invasive surgery and traditional bunion surgery for the bunions on her left and right feet. The difference between the two are that minimally invasive surgeries include a bunch of smaller 3mm incisions with the bunion drilled and realigned with screws; traditional surgeries include one large incision. After the second bunion surgery using minimally invasive surgery, Thacker stated, “the recovery time was much quicker - a lot less pain post op, I can barely see a scar and I was able to run after three months.”

Bunion surgery usually occurs after non-surgical methods have proved to be ineffective. If you have any concerns contact one of our podiatrists of Lovely Foot Associates, PC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

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 by 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 cause bunions to form

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 concerns please feel free to contact our office located in Johnstown, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about bunions.

stretching2Researchers at the University of Arizona have been working on a device that monitors feet with sensors and fiber optics in order to predict areas likely to develop ulcers. Called “Smart Socks,” this technology was created to reduce the devastatingly high number of amputations that often result from diabetic neuropathy. Fortunately, researchers expect that this technology will be available by 2019.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly. For professional help, see one of our podiatrists of Lovely Foot Associates, PC. Our doctors will ensure that your feet receive the care that they need.

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 feel free to contact our office located in Johnstown, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Feet

hammertoe4Results from a study by the University of Queensland show that the scientist created vaccine treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is safe and effective. Professor Ranjeny Thomas states that the vaccination is meant to treat the underlying causes of the disease, whereas most therapies only work in reducing symptoms and in slowing the development. The vaccination therapy or immunotherapy is meant for those with potential high risk RA gene known as CCP-positive. With the help of this new therapy, patients can reduce the amount of CCP causing inflammation by teaching the immune system how to properly handle the gene.  

Rheumatoid arthritis can be a very painful disease to deal with. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, contact one of our podiatrists of Lovely Foot Associates P.C. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Severe pain and immobility are caused by an inflammation of the lining of your joints, and in worse cases the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone can occur.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, many cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area. Pain will often initially present in the toes before the condition worsens and spreads throughout the entire foot.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of the feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that your podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor may ask you about your medical history and lifestyle to help determine possible causes of your RA.

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no cure for RA, so treatment options are designed to specifically target the symptoms of it, most notably the pain it causes. Two types of anti-inflammatory drugs – non-steroidal or NSAIDs and corticosteroids – may be prescribed by your doctor. In some severe cases where the joints are too badly damaged, surgery may be an option. As always, speak with your podiatrist to help determine the appropriate treatment options available to you.

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

Read more about rheumatoid arthritis

sprained-ankle2Casey Hayward, cornerback for the Green Bay Packers has been dealing with an off-season foot injury that may keep him off the field until training camp. Early in the off-season it was noted that Hayward’s foot began to experience flare ups, causing him to take training light and cautiously. “I’ll probably take it easy into camp right now,” he stated. Although the foot injury is keeping him away until camp, coach Mike McCarthy does not see the injury being a long-term issue.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries need proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists of Lovely Foot Associates, PC. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Sport Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Plantar Fasciosis

  • Achilles Tendinitis

  • Achilles Tendon Rupture

  • Ankle Sprains

Sports-related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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

Read more about sports related injuries.

swimming4According to Russell Pressler of TriHealth, swimming is a great way to relieve foot pain while staying physically active this summer. Although the average person can experience foot pain any time of year, it is more common for podiatrists to have visitors in the summer due the increased activity the warmer weather brings. For those experiencing a foot injury this summer, it is still possible to remain active this summer with swimming. The activity allows those injured to remain physically fit without adding pressure or overusing the foot.   

Swimming is a great way to exercise the feet. If you have any questions regarding the benefits of swimming on the feet, consider contacting one of our podiatrists from Lovely Foot Associates. Our doctors will explain the unique health advantages this activity has and recommend some simple exercises.

Benefits of Swimming and Foot care

Our feet receive the most stress on a daily basis. Walking, running, and long standing contribute to pain and stress on the feet. Swimming helps promote circulation and keep the body feeling great and healthy.

Benefits of swimming:

Improve blood circulation

  • Swimming is a good, safe way to get in extra physical activity and improve circulation, without causing further trauma to the feet

Relieve aches or pains

  • It takes all the pressure off of them, allowing the feet to relax and recover, and improves blood flow to them.

Circulation overall for diabetics

  • Swimming contributes to blood flow, and increase oxygen levels within the body.

Reduce foot inflammation

  • Swimming in warm water can increase blood flow and make it easier to move and stretch the afflicted foot. The feet are also exposed in water, giving them much needed air.

Swimming the helpful alternative:

Many people like the elderly and diabetics suffer from weakened muscles and joints. A water sport like swimming will support the body, thus allowing him or her to move freely. Blood flow circulation is a main trigger to tired inflamed feet.

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

Read more about the Benefits of Swimming and Foot Care

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