Identification and Diagnosis of Flat Feet

Flat feet, or fallen arches, are a common condition where the arches on the inside of the feet are flattened, allowing the entire sole to touch the floor while standing. This can be identified through a simple test. Wet your feet and stand on a flat surface where your footprint will show. A complete imprint of the sole indicates flat feet. Causes range from inherited genetic traits to weakened muscles in the feet and ankles due to aging or injury. While flat feet themselves are not always problematic, they can lead to complications such as foot pain, alignment issues with the ankles and knees, and increased risk of injuries. Management options include wearing supportive shoes, custom orthotic devices, engaging in exercises that strengthen foot muscles, and reducing activities that put excessive strain on the feet. If you have flat feet and have foot pain or mobility issues that persist, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for a thorough evaluation and tailored treatment plan.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

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

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Effective Foot Stretches and Their Benefits

Foot stretches offer a simple yet powerful way to improve flexibility, relieve tension, and prevent injuries. One effective stretch is the toe stretch, where you sit back on your heels, gently pressing your toes into the ground to stretch the top of the foot. Another beneficial stretch is the calf stretch, achieved by placing hands on a wall, stepping one foot back, and pressing the heel into the ground while keeping the back leg straight. Additionally, the plantar fascia stretch targets the sole of the foot, as you sit with one leg crossed over the other, gently pulling your toes back towards the shin. These stretches can alleviate discomfort caused by conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis, while also enhancing overall foot mobility and function. Incorporating these stretches into your daily routine, especially before and after physical activity. If you are interested in learning more about specific foot stretches and how they can help relieve foot pain, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the 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.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • 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 Canonsburg and McMurray, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Osteoporosis and Fractures of the Feet

Osteoporosis isn't just about fragile bones. It can impact balance, leading to falls and injuries beyond just the ankle and foot. Even without a specific foot or ankle injury, you might notice pain and swelling in these areas, signaling potential bone issues. Several factors contribute to the likelihood of developing osteoporosis, some within your control and others not. Age is a significant factor, with the risk rising notably for women over 50 and men over 70. Women are more predisposed to osteoporosis and genetics can further increase the risk. While you can't change your age, gender, or genetics, certain lifestyle factors help to reduce your risk. A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients helps maintain bone strength. Hormonal changes, such as low estrogen levels in women and testosterone in men, can affect bone mass and should be monitored. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can weaken bones and overall health. Regular exercise, especially weight-bearing activities, can strengthen bones and improve bone density. Even moderate daily exercise, like taking a walk, can make a significant difference in bone health. By understanding these factors and making informed choices, you can take proactive steps to protect your bone health and minimize the risk of osteoporosis-related complications in your feet. If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain that may be connected to osteoporosis, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment options. 

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

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

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Why Live with Pain and Numbness in Your Feet?

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

Why Did I Develop a Heel Spur?

Heel spurs, bony protrusions that develop on the underside of the heel bone, can cause considerable pain and discomfort, making everyday activities such as walking or standing challenging. These spurs form in response to repeated strain or stress on the foot's ligaments and muscles, typically as a result of biomechanical issues or excessive pressure on the heel. Common contributing factors include wearing ill-fitting shoes, overuse during physical activities such as running or jumping, obesity, or having a flat or high arch. Additionally, age-related changes in foot structure and chronic conditions like plantar fasciitis or arthritis can increase the likelihood of heel spur development. While heel spurs may not always cause symptoms, they can exacerbate pain and inflammation in surrounding tissues, leading to discomfort and reduced mobility. A heel spur is treated by a podiatrist. If you have developed this condition, it is suggested that you consult this type of doctor who can accurately diagnose and treat heel spurs.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main condition's spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Canonsburg and McMurray, PA . We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

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Recognizing Symptoms of Plantar Fibroma

Plantar fibroma, a benign tissue growth that develops on the bottom of the foot, can cause discomfort and affect mobility. Recognizing the symptoms of plantar fibroma is essential for early diagnosis and effective management. One common symptom is the presence of a firm, palpable nodule or lump in the arch or midfoot region. This nodule may vary in size and can be tender to the touch, causing pain or discomfort, especially when standing or walking. Some individuals may also experience a sensation of pressure or tightness in the affected area, particularly when wearing tight or constrictive footwear. As the plantar fibroma progresses, it may lead to changes in foot structure and function, such as difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot or altered gait patterns. If left untreated, plantar fibromas can worsen over time, potentially causing chronic pain and interfering with daily activities. If you have noticed a lump on the sole of your foot, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

A plantar fibroma may disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Plantar Fibroma

A plantar fibroma is a fibrous knot in the arch of the foot. It is embedded in the plantar fascia which is a band of tissue that extends from the heel to the toes along the bottom of the foot. There can be multiple plantar fibromas in the feet at the same time. There are no known causes for this condition. If you have a plantar fibroma, there will be a bump in the arch of your foot that cannot be missed. Any associated pain is most often due to a shoe rubbing against the nodule. Non-surgical options, such as steroid injections, physical therapy, and orthotics should be tried first. Surgery is a last resort and is the only thing that will remove a plantar fibroma entirely. Consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and to determine the treatment regimen that is right for you.

What Causes a Plantar Fibroma?

While there are no specific causes identified, a plantar fibroma can possibly come from genetic predisposition or the formation of scar tissue that forms from healing the tears in the plantar fascia.

What Are the Symptoms of a Plantar Fibroma?

There will be a noticeable lump in the arch of the foot that may or may not cause pain. If pain is felt, it is typically because a shoe is rubbing up against the lump or when walking or standing barefoot.

Treatment and Prevention

A plantar fibroma will not disappear without treatment, but it can get smaller and be a non-issue. If pain persists, a podiatrist examines the foot and when the arch of the foot is pressed, pain can be felt down to the toes. An MRI or biopsy might be performed to help diagnose or evaluate the plantar fibroma. The following non-surgical options are generally enough to reduce the size and pain of these nodules:

  • Steroid injections
  • Orthotics
  • Physical therapy to help apply anti-inflammatory creams on the bump 

Surgery is considered if the mass increases in size and the patient continues to feel pain after non-surgical methods are tried.

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

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Tips for Elderly Fall Prevention

Preventing falls in elderly individuals is vital for maintaining health, independence, and quality of life. Falling can seriously impact the feet, which can cause difficulty in completing daily tasks. An important step is ensuring the home environment is safe and free from hazards such as loose rugs, cluttered pathways, and slippery floors. Installing handrails and grab bars in key areas like bathrooms and staircases can provide added support and stability. Encouraging regular physical activity, including balance and strength exercises, helps improve muscle tone and coordination, reducing the risk of falls. Ensuring proper footwear with nonskid soles and adequate support further enhances stability and reduces the likelihood of slips or trips. Regular vision and hearing check-ups are essential for maintaining sensory function and awareness of surroundings. Additionally, reviewing medications with healthcare providers to identify any potential side effects or interactions that may contribute to dizziness or instability can help mitigate fall risks. If you would like more information about how to keep your home safe to prevent falling in addition to protecting your feet, it is suggested that you confer 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 one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors 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 Canonsburg and McMurray, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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The Impact of Shoe Choices on Women's Foot Health

Women's footwear choices, whether flat, mid-heel, or high-heeled, can significantly influence foot health and overall well-being. Flat shoes, while often considered comfortable and practical, may lack proper arch support, leading to issues such as fallen arches or plantar fasciitis. Mid-heel shoes provide a compromise between style and comfort, offering a modest lift without placing excessive strain on the feet and calves. However, prolonged wear of mid-heel shoes can still contribute to foot pain and discomfort, particularly if the shoes lack adequate cushioning or support. On the other hand, high-heeled shoes, while stylish and elongating, can cause a myriad of foot problems, including bunions, hammertoes, and metatarsalgia, due to the increased pressure and instability they place on the feet and ankles. If any of the above foot conditions have developed from wearing high heels, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can guide you toward effective treatment strategies.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors 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 Canonsburg and McMurray, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis, abbreviated RA, is a chronic autoimmune disorder that primarily targets the joints, often causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness. When it comes to the feet, RA can manifest in various ways, affecting both the joints and surrounding tissues. A common symptom is morning stiffness, where the feet feel tender and stiff upon waking or after periods of inactivity. Swelling, redness, and warmth around the joints, particularly in the toes and ankles, are common indicators of inflammation associated with RA. As the disease progresses, deformities such as bunions or hammertoes may develop, altering the alignment and structure of the feet. Additionally, RA can lead to persistent pain and discomfort during movement, impacting mobility and overall function. If you are experiencing symptoms of RA in your feet, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you manage this condition.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

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. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

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

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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

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