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Hanover (717) 524-1034


March 2020

Monday, 30 March 2020 00:00

How Do Ingrown Toenails Develop?

Patients who have experienced an ingrown toenail often notice that their toe may become red and swollen. This condition occurs as a result of the outer edges of the toenail growing into the surrounding skin. Ingrown toenails can produce severe pain and discomfort, and may ooze with a discharge if they become infected. This condition can develop for a variety of reasons including wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, trimming the toenails improperly, or it may develop from a previous toe injury. Many patients have found mild relief when the affected toe is soaked in warm water, as this may help the skin to soften. If you are afflicted with this ailment, it’s suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, 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.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right 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.

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Thursday, 26 March 2020 00:00

Plantar Warts Can Be Treated!

Plantar warts are small growths that develop on parts of the feet that bear weight. They're typically found on the bottom of the foot. Don't live with plantar warts, and call us today!

Monday, 23 March 2020 00:00

Gout Is a Form of Arthritis

Excess levels of uric acid in the bloodstream may lead to a painful arthritic condition that is known as gout. These particular levels can become elevated as a result of eating foods that have large amounts of purines in them, which can include red meat and seafood. Additionally, foods that have a high sugar content may lead to the development of gout. Common symptoms that are often associated with this condition can include extreme pain on the side of the big toe, swelling, and difficulty walking. There may be existing factors that can lead to the development of gout. These factors can consist of genetic reasons, being overweight, or consuming excess alcohol. Mild relief may be found when anti-inflammatory medicine is taken. If you are routinely affected with gout, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. 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 form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment 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 care needs.

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Many women enjoy wearing high heels. This type of shoe adds height to the body, and may help the legs and feet to appear slender. However, research has indicated there may be a price to pay from wearing high heels. If they are frequently worn, the feet may feel tired, which can affect your overall daily performance. Additionally, foot conditions can develop as well, including hammertoes and bunions. These conditions typically form as a result of having inadequate room for the toes to move freely in. Blisters and calluses can also gradually develop due to wearing high heels. It may help to alternate wearing high heels with a pair of flat shoes throughout the week, as this may prevent ingrown toenails from forming. If you would like more information about the effect high heels can have on the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Jim Maxka from South Penn Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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 Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
Monday, 09 March 2020 00:00

What Causes Plantar Warts to Develop?

Patients who experience severe pain on the bottom of the foot may have a plantar wart. Some patients have described the feeling as similar to stepping on a small stone, and can be quite uncomfortable. It is caused by a virus and is considered to be contagious. This type of virus lives and thrives in warm and moist environments, which can include public swimming pools, locker rooms, and surrounding areas. It typically develops on the ball or heel of the foot, and may cause difficulty walking. It appears as a patch of white skin, which may have small black dots in its center. If you have developed a plantar wart, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer you effective treatment options.

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

There are a few different types of running injuries that can occur. These often include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and the ankle can endure a fracture or sprain. The plantar fascia connects the toes to the heel, and may become inflamed if the patient frequently runs. This can be prevented by wearing shoes that fit correctly, and performing stretches that are designed to stretch the Achilles tendon before and after completing a run. If the ankle is twisted while running and becomes sprained, it may help to wrap an elastic bandage around it for additional support. This type of injury may be prevented by incorporating flexibility and strength training exercises into a daily workout routine. If you would like additional information about how to prevent running injuries, please consult with a podiatrist.

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.

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries
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