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Hanover (717) 524-1034


December 2019

A painful foot injury can take the joy out of running. It can happen suddenly, or develop gradually, and may never completely disappear. There are methods that may help to prevent running injuries from occurring. These can consist of performing stretches and exercises that can keep the body strong. Research has indicated it is beneficial to have strong glute muscles, and this a critical factor in maintaining strength and power while running. Additionally, muscle soreness may be diminished when foam rolling is implemented, and this may also help to improve range of motion. When running shoes are purchased, it is important to choose shoes that fit correctly, and support your body as the miles are increased. If you would like to learn about additional stretches that can help to prevent running injuries, please consult with a podiatrist.

All runners should take extra precaution when trying to avoid injury. 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

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 office located in Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Preventing Running Injuries
Friday, 27 December 2019 00:00

Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

Monday, 23 December 2019 00:00

The Importance of Stretching Your Feet

Because the feet are the foundation of the body, and carry your weight on a day to day basis, it is important to make sure you are keeping the muscles strong. To help maintain a healthy, strong foot structure, it is recommended that you perform foot stretches. One simple exercise you can practice consists of sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out and wrapping a towel around the balls of your feet. Once comfortable, begin pulling your toes towards your body while keeping your knees straight, and repeating this motion 3 times for each foot, while holding for 30 seconds. Another exercise you can practice to build strength involves sitting in a chair, and with your heel on the ground, picking up a towel with your toes. Adding these simple exercises to your daily routine can help benefit the overall health of  your feet. If you would like more ideas on how to stretch the feet, we suggest you speak with a podiatrist for professional tips and recommendations.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.

  • Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
  • Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
  • Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
  • Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.

It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.

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.

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Tuesday, 17 December 2019 00:00

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

The medical condition that is known as athlete’s foot can cause pain and discomfort. It is considered to be a fungal infection of the skin, and generally affects the bottom of the foot and the area between the toes. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition can consist of itchy skin, red patches, and in severe cases, small blisters may form on the foot. If the infection is relatively mild, using a foot powder may relieve a portion of the symptoms. There are methods that can be taken which may help to prevent athlete’s foot. These can include washing and drying the feet regularly, and wearing appropriate shoes while in public swimming pools and surrounding areas. Additionally, it is beneficial to wear shoes and socks that are made of breathable materials. For severe infections, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can prescribe medication that is needed for relief.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates.  Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

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 How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
Monday, 16 December 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Bunions

A protruding bone at the base of the big toe is considered to be a deformity, and is referred to as a bunion. A common symptom of this condition consists of the big toe leaning in the direction of the other toes. This can force the bone to extend in the other direction. Genetics may play a significant role in developing a bunion, in addition to wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Existing medical conditions may contribute to the onset of a bunion, including gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Patients have found mild relief when a pad is worn over the bunion, which may help to prevent calluses from forming on top of it. For severe bunions, surgery may be necessary for permanent removal. If you are developing a bunion, it is advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can begin to promptly treat this condition.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, 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?

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 office located in Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Tuesday, 10 December 2019 00:00

How Does Gout Form?

Gout is a foot condition that can be brought upon by the buildup of uric acid due to high levels of purines. Uric acid can increase due to hereditary conditions as well as complications with the kidneys. Certain foods to avoid that are high in purine levels include red meats, red wine, oily fish, and certain vegetables. Obesity and high blood pressure are also linked to the formation of gout. Those with gout often experience severe joint pain, swelling, redness, and sensitivity in the joints of the foot. For more information about gout and a proper diagnosis, we recommend you meet with a podiatrist to discuss your treatment options.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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 Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 09 December 2019 00:00

Foot Ulcers and Proper Treatment

Many diabetic patients are aware of the importance of properly taking care of wounds on their feet. Foot ulcers can be common in these types of patients, and can become worse as a result of damaged nerve endings that may accompany diabetes. This may cause the patient to lose feeling in the feet, making it possible that wounds on the feet are left undetected. If an existing wound becomes infected, it may develop into a foot ulcer. One of the first steps in treating a foot ulcer is to remove the affected wound tissue. This can be beneficial in helping the wound to drain, in addition to effectively examining the tissue that lies beneath it. Patients who have foot ulcers may be guided to wear a specific type of boot, or offloading device. This is a necessary step for successful healing. There are measures that can be taken which may help to prevent wounds on the feet. These can include examining the feet daily, washing and drying the feet thoroughly, and making sure blood glucose levels are within a normal range. If you have wounds on your feet, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to properly manage this condition

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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 Wound Care

Plantar warts are caused by HPV and normally take the form of small growths that appear as lesions on the weight-bearing regions of one’s foot. While they are not seen as a serious health concern, it is important to treat these warts to maintain the health of your feet. Plantar warts most commonly affect children and teenagers, those with weak immune systems, and those who tend to walk barefoot on wart-causing surfaces like locker rooms. If you notice your lesion is bleeding, painful, or has changed color, it is recommended that you consult with a podiatrist. If the warts do not go away on their own or keep returning, and you are experiencing discomfort with normal activities, it is also advised you seek further help. Keeping your feet clean and dry, avoiding picking at your warts, and changing your shoes and socks daily are a few ways to help prevent plantar warts from appearing. If you would like to seek further information about plantar warts or would like the assistance of a professional to treat your plantar warts, we recommend you consult with a podiatrist.

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 What Are Plantar Warts?

Elderly people may experience a certain amount of instability, which may lead to falling. This unnatural movement has the potential of causing serious health ailments. Many patients who have fallen have developed a fear of falling, and this may prevent them from being as active as they once were. This may possibly cause the body to lose strength and flexibility. There are methods that can be implemented which may help to reduce the risk of falling. These can consist of increasing the lighting in the household, installing grab bars in the toilet and shower areas, and removing any existing loose carpeting. Research has indicated it may be beneficial to have a routine physical examination, and this may be helpful in determining the effectiveness of current medications. If you would like additional information about how falling can affect the feet, it is suggested that you consult 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. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. 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 Hanover, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention
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