Ways to Avoid Falling at Home

Falling is one of the leading causes of injury among those older than 65. In fact, one out of every 4 seniors will fall each year. Thankfully, there are plenty of simple things that can be done in order to prevent falls in the home. One step that can be done is to keep the floors at home clutter-free in order to avoid tripping. Installing grab bars in the bathrooms and handrails around staircases can help provide stability and prevent falls. One of the most important things that can be done to avoid falling is to consult with a podiatrist about any falls that you may have experienced, or for more professional advice on fall prevention. A podiatrist will be able to help check your feet and give advice on proper footwear that should be worn as well as review any medications that may make you dizzy or lead to instability. 

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 Toll High Heels Take On Your Feet

It is no secret that wearing high heels every day can be damaging to your feet and legs. Wearing them also creates a reduction in range of movement, balance control, step length, and ankle muscle movement. Some studies even suggest that musculoskeletal disorders may occur later in life as a result of wearing high heels regularly. A study conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham points to a doubling of high heel shoe-related injuries over a 10-year period, with most of those injuries affecting the feet and ankles. If you wear high heels on a regular basis and are experiencing any pain or discomfort, make an appointment with a podiatrist. They can examine and test you to diagnose the problem, as well as discuss treatment options which may include custom orthotics and footwear modifications to reduce the harmful effects high heels may be having on your feet and ankles. 

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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What Is a Tailor’s Bunion?

A tailor’s bunion, also known as a bunionette, occurs when the 5th metatarsal bone (the bottom bone on the little toe) begins to shift outwards. Tailor’s bunions are very similar to a normal bunion which occurs on the big toe, but instead, they occur on the pinky toe. A tailor’s bunion will present itself as a swollen bump on the outside of the pinky toe, and it may get larger over time. They can be red and painful, and they tend to get worse as they rub against the shoe. Some of the reasons Tailor’s bunions may form include shoes that don’t fit correctly, an inherited structural foot problem, loose ligaments in the foot, or an inverted foot that leans outwards. Patients who are struggling with a painful Tailor’s bunion should consult with a podiatrist for suggestions on both relieving the pain and treating the bunion. 

If you are suffering from bunion pain, 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.

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

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Are Bunions Affecting Your Everyday Life?

Have you noticed a bony protrusion on the side of your big toe? If so, you may have developed the foot condition known as a bunion. Don't let bunions interfere with your daily activities.

What Are Sesamoids?

The sesamoid bones are located in the ball of the foot, just behind the big toe. These two tiny pea-sized bones support tendons in the feet and allow downward motion of the big toe. When the sesamoids are inflamed it is known as sesamoiditis. This condition usually arises as a result of a sudden injury that bends the big toe upwards. People who participate in sports that put stress on the sesamoid bones, such as football, soccer, and dance, are at an increased risk of sesamoid injuries. Suddenly increasing the intensity of your workouts or wearing ill-fitted shoes or shoes with excessively high heels can also make sesamoiditis more likely. Symptoms of this condition include pain under the ball of the foot, a restricted range of motion in the big toe, and a popping sensation in your big toe when you walk. If you suspect that you may have sesamoiditis, please seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If you think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact one of our podiatrists of Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

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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Understanding Gout

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis where excess amounts of uric acid causes hard crystals to form in the joints—most commonly affected is the big toe joint. The body’s inability to flush uric acid may be caused by kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, certain medications, consuming foods and beverages that are high in purines, and a family history of gout. The pain felt by gout can often be acute, and may be accompanied by a burning sensation, swelling, and severe tenderness in the big toe. A podiatrist can diagnose gout through an examination, blood tests and analysis of joint fluid, and create a treatment plan based on their findings and the severity of the condition in the patient.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors 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 Canonsburg and McMurray, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Pain in the Arch of the Foot

The arch is located near the middle of the sole of the foot. Most people have visible arches that curve upwards and can be seen even when the foot is bearing weight. Some people have flat feet, with either no arches or arches that are only visible when the foot is not bearing weight. Regardless of whether or not you have flat feet, anyone can experience pain on the bottom of the foot in the arch area. The most common cause of arch pain is plantar fasciitis, a condition in which the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed due to injury. Other potential causes of arch pain include foot cramps, plantar fibromas, tarsal tunnel syndrome, posterior tibial tendonitis, stress fractures, and acquired flat feet. For more information about arch pain, please consult with a podiatrist.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

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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What Is Extensor Tendonitis?

Extensor tendonitis is the inflammation or irritation of the tendons located at the top of the foot. These tendons are responsible for pulling the toes up while walking. Extensor tendonitis is a common cause of pain at the top of the foot and is usually the result of excessive friction and pressure on the foot from poorly fitted shoes. Other causes of extensor tendonitis include standing for prolonged periods of time, running on uneven surfaces or up and down hills, having tight calf muscles or abnormal foot arches, or direct injury to the extensor tendons. In addition to pain at the top of the foot, symptoms of extensor tendonitis may include swelling and bruising across the top of the foot. This condition can be treated with conservative methods, such as resting and icing the affected foot, taking anti-inflammatory medications, wearing the right shoes or orthotics, and doing strengthening and stretching exercises. If you are experiencing foot pain, please consult with a podiatrist. 

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Canonsburg Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

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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Are You Suffering From Ingrown Toenails?

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to more serious concerns, such as an infection. Knowing proper nail care can help in the prevention of an ingrown toenail. Give us a call, and get treated!

Where Does Achilles Tendonitis Develop?

Achilles tendonitis is a common injury to the Achilles tendon which is a strong, fibrous band of tissue which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone at the back of the lower leg. There are two places along the Achilles tendon where someone might develop Achilles tendonitis. Insertional Achilles tendonitis occurs at the bottom of the heel, where the tendon attaches to the heel bone. This type of tendonitis can happen to both athletes and those who live a sedentary lifestyle. It is often accompanied by heel spurs, which can make the tendonitis worse. Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis occurs in the middle of the tendon, approximately 2-4 cm above the ankle. This type of tendonitis is more common in athletes and young people. If you are suffering from Achilles tendon pain or stiffness, please seek the care of a podiatrist. This professional can determine the type of Achilles tendonitis you have and find the right treatment for you. 

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. 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.

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 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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