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Blog - Foot Doctor, Chambersburg and McConnellsburg, PA

Tuesday, 06 February 2024 00:00

The Origins of Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are pockets of fluid that can disrupt our stride, and arise from a multitude of sources, often interconnected. Friction, a primary culprit, occurs when shoes rub against the skin, creating heat and pressure that lead to the formation of blisters. Ill-fitting footwear, especially those that are too tight or too loose, exacerbates this friction. Moisture is another contributing factor, as damp conditions soften the skin, making it more susceptible to friction-related injuries. Prolonged periods of standing or walking intensify these forces, increasing the likelihood of blister formation. Foot deformities or irregularities, such as bunions or hammertoes, can also contribute by causing uneven pressure distribution. It is helpful to know the reason a blister has formed on your foot. If you have one or multiple foot blisters, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can guide you toward effective prevention methods.

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

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

Read more about Blisters on the Feet

Creating a safe environment within each room of your house is vital to preventing falls and promoting overall well-being. In the bathroom, install non-slip mats and grab bars near the shower and toilet to enhance stability. Keep pathways clear in the living room, securing loose rugs and removing clutter that might pose a tripping hazard. Adequate lighting in the bedroom is essential for visibility, reducing the risk of stumbling in the dark. In the kitchen, ensure spills are promptly cleaned, and arrange commonly used items within easy reach to avoid unnecessary stretching or bending. Staircases demand sturdy handrails and proper lighting to facilitate safe navigation. Regularly inspect and maintain flooring in all rooms, addressing any uneven surfaces promptly. By incorporating these preventive measures throughout your home, you create a secure living space that minimizes the likelihood of falls, allowing you to move confidently and enjoy every room without the worry of potential accidents. If you require additional information about implementing fall prevention techniques which may help to protect the feet, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist.

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 Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. 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 offices located in Chambersburg, and Mcconnellsburg, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention

An ankle fracture can be a challenging ordeal, demanding careful consideration and, in some cases, surgical intervention. When a fracture is severe or involves multiple bone fragments, surgery becomes a viable option to restore stability and facilitate proper healing. The surgical procedure typically involves realigning the fractured bones and securing them with metal plates, screws, or rods. The goal is to reconstruct the anatomy of the ankle, allowing for optimal recovery and minimizing the risk of long-term complications. Post-surgery, patients enter a rehabilitation phase that involves a gradual return to weight-bearing activities and physical therapy to restore strength and flexibility. If you are considering ankle surgery, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can determine if this is the correct choice for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

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

Read more about Foot and Ankle Surgery
Tuesday, 16 January 2024 00:00

Facts About and Symptoms of a Broken Toe

A broken toe, though seemingly minor, unfolds as a painful reality, demanding attention to its distinctive features. The anatomy of toes, comprising small bones known as phalanges, renders them susceptible to fractures. A break in the toe may occur from trauma, such as dropping a heavy object on it or stubbing it against a hard surface. The symptoms of a broken toe are noticeable through localized pain, swelling, and bruising, often accompanied by difficulty in bearing weight on the affected toe. A limited range of motion and deformity, where the toe appears crooked or misaligned, are indicative signs. The pain intensifies with movement or pressure, and in some cases, there may be a noticeable cracking sound at the time of injury. If you have broken your toe, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist as quickly as possible who can perform a correct diagnosis and treat it accordingly.

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 Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 offices located in Chambersburg, and Mcconnellsburg, 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
Wednesday, 10 January 2024 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Tuesday, 09 January 2024 00:00

Distinguishing Turf Toe From Gout

Turf toe and gout, although both affecting the feet, originate from distinct causes and exhibit different symptoms. Turf toe, often associated with athletes and individuals engaging in activities that involve repetitive pushing off the toe, is essentially a sprain of the ligaments surrounding the big toe joint. It manifests as pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. Conversely, gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis resulting from the crystallization of uric acid in the joints, frequently the big toe. Gout attacks bring intense pain, swelling, and redness. While turf toe stems from mechanical stress, gout is closely linked to diet and metabolic factors. Understanding these disparities is pivotal for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment. If you have toe pain, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat turf toe and gout.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking

Diagnosis

In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

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

Read more about Toe Pain

Fitting shoes properly is an important aspect of foot health and overall comfort. The Brannock device, a ubiquitous foot-measuring tool found in shoe stores, is a valuable tool for ensuring the right fit. Using the Brannock device is a straightforward process. Start by removing your current footwear and placing one foot onto the device's base, ensuring your heel is snug against the heel cup. Then, adjust the slider to reach the tip of your longest toe, typically the big toe. The device provides three key measurements, which are the heel-to-toe length, arch length, and width. Pay attention to all three as they contribute to a well-fitted shoe. The Brannock device takes the guesswork out of shoe sizing, enabling you to find the ideal fit. Remember that feet can vary in size, and it is essential to measure both feet. When trying on shoes, use the larger foot's measurements as a guide for the best overall fit. Properly fitted shoes can prevent discomfort, reduce the risk of foot problems, and provide a foundation for healthy, happy feet. A podiatrist can assist you in how to use the Brannock device to obtain your proper shoe size, and it is suggested that you confer with this type of doctor for any questions you may have.

It is important to find shoes that fit you properly in order to avoid a variety of different foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

Shoes have many different functions. They cushion our body weight, protect our feet, and allow us to safely play sports. You should always make sure that the shoes you wear fit you properly in order to avoid injuries and deformities such as: bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more. It is important to note that although a certain pair of shoes might be a great fit for someone else, that doesn’t mean they will be a great fit for you. This is why you should always try on shoes before buying them to make sure they are worth the investment. Typically, shoes need to be replaced ever six months to one year of regular use.

Tips for Proper Shoe Fitting

  • Select a shoe that is shaped like your foot
  • Don’t buy shoes that fit too tight, expecting them to stretch to fit
  • Make sure there is enough space (3/8” to ½”) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right
  • Don’t select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe, but by how the shoe fits your foot

The shoes you buy should always feel as good as they look. Shoes that fit properly will last longer, feel better, and improve your way of life each day.

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

Read more about How to Get a Proper Shoe Fit

An Achilles tendon rupture is a severe and painful injury that affects the Achilles tendon, which is the largest and strongest tendon in the human body. Located at the back of the ankle, this vital band of connective tissue plays a pivotal role in facilitating walking, running, and jumping. When it tears, it can lead to excruciating pain, a loud popping sensation, and the inability to bear weight on the affected leg. The injury often occurs during sports or physical activities that involve sudden, forceful movements. An Achilles tendon rupture is more common among individuals aged 30 to 40, particularly men. It is beneficial to seek immediate medical attention from a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this painful condition. 

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz of Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 offices located in Chambersburg, and Mcconnellsburg, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
Tuesday, 19 December 2023 00:00

Ways Psoriasis Affects the Feet

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition known for its distinctive red, scaly patches that commonly appear on various parts of the body. Unfortunately, psoriasis can also affect the feet, causing discomfort and complications. When psoriasis targets the feet, it can lead to symptoms such as redness, scaling, itching, and pain. The skin on the soles, toenails, and even between the toes can be affected. Psoriatic lesions on the feet can make walking and wearing shoes painful, significantly impacting one's quality of life. Moreover, psoriasis-related nail changes can lead to pitting, thickening, or even detachment of the toenails. Proper foot care and management strategies, such as topical treatments and lifestyle adjustments, can help alleviate the symptoms and improve the overall health of your feet. If you suspect psoriasis is affecting your feet, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, it is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly.  If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric needs.

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 please feel free to contact our offices located in Chambersburg, and Mcconnellsburg, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Foot
Tuesday, 12 December 2023 00:00

Arthritis in the Toes

Arthritis, a condition commonly associated with joints like the knees, hips, and hands, can also affect the toes, causing pain, swelling, and difficulty in movement. Toe arthritis primarily targets the big toe, but other toes can be affected as well. This condition arises from the wear and tear of toe joint cartilage and inflammation. Symptoms include persistent toe pain, swelling, and inflammation, often accompanied by redness in cases of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, may lead to bone spur formation, further restricting movement. Other symptoms of toe arthritis include limited range of motion, difficulty and pain in bending the big toe, permanent downward bending of the toe. Increased pain during weight-bearing activities, and deformities like hammer toe, are other factors. If you suffer with toe pain, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podatrist to see if arthritis is the culprit and get treatment that will relieve discomfort.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Steven Schwartz from Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

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

Read more about How to Care for Your Arthritic Foot
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