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Tuesday, 29 May 2018 00:00

What is Soft Running?

Running is a great way to stay in shape, and you can try to limit the amount of injuries you endure by running “softer”. A recent study looked at “320 novice runners and measured their landing force at two paces – a slower 12-minute-per-mile pace and a quicker 8-minute-per-mile pace”. Those leading the study had half of the participants learn to run “softer” while others made no changes in their styles of running. According to the study, “After 12 months, researchers found that the runners who learned to run ‘softer’ had 62 percent less injuries than the runners who made no changes.” If you are a runner and you want to fix your stride to reduce your chance of injury, you should try counting your foot strikes per minute. Another tip is to inspect your shoes to find the areas that are worn out. The worn out areas will tell you where your feet are landing when you run. If you have shin pain or heel pain, this may suggest that you are either over striding or using the wrong muscles.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Jim Maxka of South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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

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Monday, 21 May 2018 00:00

What is a Plantar Wart?

If you experience a growth of bottom of your foot, you may have what is referred to as a plantar wart. Generally, warts will grow upwards from the skin, but a plantar wart will grow into the sole of the foot because of pressure on the foot from walking and standing. One of the first symptoms that may be noticed can be severe pain and discomfort, and will worsen over time if not treated properly. It is typically caused by the human papillomavirus and can enter the skin through small cuts that may be present on the sole of the foot. This is considered to be a contagious condition and appropriate shoes are suggested to be worn in public showers, pools and surrounding areas. Seeking the advice of a podiatrist is advised for proper treatment or removal techniques if you are affected by this uncomfortable and often very painful condition.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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

Read more about All About Plantar Warts

Poor circulation will often be obvious in the feet. Many patients will generally notice numbness and swelling in the toes and feet in addition to discomfort and pain while walking or standing. Diabetics may notice a slower healing process for any sores that appear on the feet and the skin may begin to change color. There are several factors that may cause this ailment including high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, which is a buildup of excess plaque in the blood. Research has shown that massaging the feet will gently circulate the blood and may bring moderate relief. Additionally, incorporating a mild exercise program into your daily routine may be difficult, but it may prove to be beneficial in attaining improved circulation and the overall health of the body. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested for information on how to manage poor circulation in the feet.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Dr. Jim Maxka of South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness  or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

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

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet
Monday, 07 May 2018 00:00

How to Treat a Bunion

Bunions are typically the result of a bone deformity that affects the toes. The big toe typically leans toward the second toe, and this may cause a bump to form on the bottom of the big toe. Fluid may develop in the surrounding joint, in addition to the skin becoming thickened. This is often a painful condition, and as a result other ailments such as arthritis may develop. Research has shown that it’s beneficial to wear proper shoes that can accommodate the bunion and possibly diminish the pain and discomfort. Relief options may include using adequate padding over the bunion for protection, and wearing shoes that can adjust to the width of your foot. For bunions that have become extremely painful and unmanageable, surgery may be an option to consider. It’s suggested to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist to learn about the best treatment options for you.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Jim Maxka of South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor 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 Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
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