Each foot consists of several bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, and is considered to be one of the most complex parts of the body. When foot pain occurs, it may be a result of improper foot function that can be caused for a variety of reasons. These can consist of wearing shoes that do not fit properly, which can affect the mechanics of the feet. Additionally, genetic factors may play a significant role in existing foot pain. Heel pain can be indicative of a condition that is known as heel spurs. It is defined as a bony growth that develops underneath the heel and can cause pain and discomfort. A bunion will typically form on the bottom of the big toe and appears as a large growth. Another form of foot pain can be the result of an ankle sprain, which may occur from falling, or from stepping off of a curb unexpectedly. If you are experiencing any type of foot pain, it is suggested that you speak to a podiatrist who can properly treat any foot conditions.
Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Bone Spurs
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Ingrown Toenails
- Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
- Flat Feet
- Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
- And more
To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.
Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Foot Pain
Blisters, small fluid-filled pockets, are a common annoyance most people experience throughout their lives. However, blisters can be particularly painful when formed on the foot due to its many nerves and blood vessels. Continuous friction and pressure may cause blisters, so it is advisable to refrain from wearing shoes or socks that have a tighter fit, and to avoid humid or damp environments. Extreme heat or burns may cause blisters as well as the opposite, such as frostbite. Another factor affecting the occurrence of blisters is contact dermatitis, or skin inflammation formed by irritants and allergies. Certain medical conditions may also influence the risk of blisters on the feet like chicken pox or eczema. Treatments for blisters may include: applying an ice pack wrapped in a thick towel, using blister bandages, raising the foot to reduce inflammation, keeping the area dry, and applying topical ointments to the blister and the surrounding skin. If a blister becomes discolored, extremely inflamed, or does not heal after a few days, it is advised you speak with a podiatrist to discuss the proper treatment.
Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.
What Are Foot Blisters?
A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.
(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)
- Bubble of skin filled with fluid
- Moderate to severe pain
Prevention & Treatment
In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Blisters on the Feet
A broken foot can be a common ailment that may occur in children. This can be a result of the bones in the feet that have not fully developed and are more fragile than the bones in the adult foot. If a broken foot occurs, noticeable symptoms often include severe pain, redness, swelling, and it may be difficult to walk on. Your child may find moderate relief when the affected foot is elevated, and a splint may temporarily be applied that can provide the necessary support. After a proper diagnosis is performed, which generally consists of having and X-ray taken, a cast or a protective boot is worn that can limit excess movement as the healing process takes place. If your child has fallen, and complains of foot pain, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat a broken foot.
A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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:
- Blue in color
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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot
Elderly people may find their feet have become wider and flatter as the aging process occurs. This may create limited mobility, and it may become more difficult to maintain balance, potentially leading to falls. Research has indicated the importance of keeping the feet as clean as possible, as this can be helpful in preventing fungal infections. Moisturizing the feet frequently will not only feel good, it may also be beneficial in preventing unwanted skin conditions such as cracked heels. When shoes are worn that fit correctly, blisters, bunions, and hammertoes may be avoided. If your elderly friend or family member has any type of foot pain, it is strongly suggested they be under the care of a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment techniques.
Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
The Elderly and Their Feet
As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.
- Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
- Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
- Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
- Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
- Shoes that don’t fit properly
- Pressure sores
- Loss of circulation in legs & feet
- Edema & swelling of feet and ankles
Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Elderly Foot Care
Patients who suffer from bunions may want to consider a type of surgery that is known as a bunionectomy. This is done to remove a portion of bone that is typically caused by a deformity. The reasons these can develop can include genetic factors, or wearing shoes that do not have ample room for the toes to move freely in. The procedure is performed by having incisions made near the affected joints in the big toe and extracting pieces of the protruding bone. There are benefits from having this type of foot surgery done. These can consist of experiencing reduced stiffness, pain levels may be significantly reduced, and walking may become easier. Many patients find it may take several weeks for the swelling to disappear. If you have a bunion, and are considering a bunionectomy, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist.
When Is Surgery Necessary?
Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:
- Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
- Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
- Cosmetic reconstruction
What Types of Surgery Are There?
The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:
- Bunionectomy for painful bunions
- Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
- Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage
Benefits of Surgery
Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.
Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Foot and Ankle Surgery
The medical term that is known as plantar hyperhidrosis is more commonly known as feet that sweat excessively. Patients who have this condition sweat without any exertion, and it may soak through their socks and shoes. Research has indicated it may be caused by overactive sweat glands, and can worsen under stressful situations. Relief may be found if specific medications are taken, and anxiety may be controlled by psychotherapy techniques. If you suffer from this ailment, it is important that you wear shoes and socks that are made of breathable materials, in addition to airing the feet out as frequently as possible. Please consult with a podiatrist if you are afflicted with plantar hyperhidrosis, so you can learn about possible treatment options.
Hyperhidrosis of the Feet
Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.
Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.
Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.
In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.
A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.
Patients who are afflicted with gout are aware of the intense pain that accompanies this condition. The part of the foot that is most often affected is the side of the big toe. When a gout attack occurs, the joints in the big toe become inflamed and produce severe pain and discomfort. A common reason why gout attacks occur can be a result of foods that are eaten that have elevated purine levels. These types of foods can include red meat, shellfish, and drinks that have high sugar levels. This may play a significant role in causing crystals to form in the joints of the big toe, and it may become red and swollen. Genetic factors may contribute to the onset of gout, in addition to existing medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Preventive measures can be implemented that may help reduce gout attacks from occurring. These can consist of eating healthy foods that have low purine levels, and incorporating a gentle exercise program into your daily routine. If you are prone to experiencing gout attacks, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.
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.
- 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
- 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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
The medical term that is known as tinea pedis is commonly referred to as athlete's foot. It is a fungal infection of the feet, and is generally contagious. It typically affects the skin in between the toes, on the soles of the feet, and it may spread to the toenails. The fungus that causes this condition, lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These can include public swimming pools, locker room floors, and similar surrounding areas. It is beneficial to wear appropriate shoes while frequenting these places, and this may reduce the risk of contracting this ailment. Common symptoms can include itchy, cracked, and peeling skin on different areas of your foot, and many patients may notice a burning sensation. For specific medication to be prescribed for relief, it is strongly suggested that you speak to a podiatrist if you have athlete’s foot.
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. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 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
- 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.
Patients who have cracked heels are often familiar with the pain and discomfort this condition may cause. Fissures are deep cracks in the skin that develop on the outer edge of the heels and may occur due to a variety of reasons. Common causes can include wearing shoes that have an open back and standing for extended periods of time throughout the day. Additionally, obesity may play a significant role in the development of cracked heels. Fortunately, there are measures that may help prevent this condition. These can include limiting the time standing, avoiding vitamin deficiencies, and wearing shoes that have ample cushioning in the heel area. If you are experiencing this ailment, speak to a podiatrist who can provide you with proper treatment techniques.
If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.
Ways to Help Heal Them
- Invest in a good foot cream
- Try Using Petroleum Jelly
- Ease up on Soaps
- Drink Plenty of Water
Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels
- Moisturize After Showering
- Skip a Shower
- Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
- Don’t Scrub Your Feet
If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need.
Patients who have a medical condition that is known as plantar fasciitis are often familiar with the severe pain and discomfort this ailment can cause. The pain is felt in the heel, and may be accompanied by tenderness and stiffness. It occurs when the plantar fascia, which is the band of tissue that is located on the sole of the foot, becomes inflamed. This is often caused by running or walking excessively, or from standing on concrete floors for the majority of the day. Additionally, a common cause of incurring this type of injury may happen as a result of wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Some patients find that wearing custom-made orthotics may be helpful in relieving a portion of the pain. If you feel you may have plantar fasciitis, please consult with a podiatrist who can perform a proper diagnosis, and offer correct treatment options.
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 Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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.
- 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.
Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Patients who have experienced an Achilles tendon injury are familiar with the pain and discomfort that is often associated with it. This tendon connects the heel to the calf muscles, and is considered to be the largest tendon in the body. If it should become inflamed as a result of an injury, Achilles tendonitis may develop. Additionally, it may gradually develop from overuse, and symptoms can consist of pain in the heel area or down the back of the leg. It may feel worse in the morning upon arising, and it will most likely be difficult to flex the foot. Common reasons for this type of injury to occur can include suddenly increasing the intensity of a sporting activity, improper stretching before exercising, or it may come from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. After a proper diagnosis is performed, the correct treatment can begin which can include a variety of options. If you are afflicted with this condition, it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the proper treatment.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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
- Dull to severe pain
- Increased blood flow to the tendon
- Thickening of the tendon
- 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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
A hammertoe is considered to be a deformity of the foot. It is also referred to as a “contracted toe” and is most likely noticed on the second and third toes. In severe cases, it can resemble a hammer, because the middle joint in the second toe bends in a downward direction. This deformity can happen for a variety of reasons. These can include having high arches, wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, and prior toe injuries. Additionally, medical conditions such as arthritis and bunions may play a significant role in developing hammertoe. Mild relief can be found when the toes are gently stretched and wiggled, and it can help to wear shoes that have ample room in the toe area. Patients with a severe case of hammertoe may choose surgery, which can permanently straighten the toe. If you are afflicted with this condition, it is advised that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper treatment options.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.
- Pain in the affected toes
- Development of corns or calluses due to friction
- Contracture of the toes
Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible
Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur
Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe
Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe
Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it
Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used
Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option
If you have any questions please contact our office located in Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about What Are Hammertoes?