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.
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 How to Deal with Athlete's Foot
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.
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 Solutions for Cracked Heels
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.
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 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?
Heel spurs, also known as calcaneal spurs or osteophytes, are bony outgrowths that can occur on the underside of a person’s foot. Heel spurs may be hooked, pointy, or shelf-like. There are many causes, but most often, heel spurs arise in patients with plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the heel to the toes. The heel can also become more vulnerable with age. The pads of the heel wear down and fail to provide shock absorption. The diagnosis of a heel spur is formally made when an X-ray reflects this bony protrusion. The first steps of treatment are rest, inflammation control, icing, stretching, and orthotics. If you are conflicted with this ailment, it is recommended to speak with your local podiatrist.
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 Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.
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.
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.
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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.Read more about How to Treat Heel Spurs
The medical condition known as cracked heels, is an ailment many patients suffer from. The symptoms that are most often associated with cracked heels can include skin that is dry and thick on the outside of the heels and deep cracks or fissures in that area. Diabetic patients may experience cracked heels as a result of a loss of feeling which may accompany this condition. This can possibly lead to bleeding and an infection. Some of the reasons cracked heels may develop can include being overweight, standing for extended periods of time throughout the day, or from wearing shoes that have an open back. Mild relief may be obtained when the feet are soaked in warm water, followed by frequently using a good moisturizer. If you have this condition, and it is causing pain and discomfort, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can recommend proper treatment options.
Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. 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.
Cracked heels appear unappealing and can make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Aside from looking unpleasant, cracked heels can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.
How Do You Get Them?
Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.
Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief or who suffer from chronic dry feet.
Wear Socks – Wearing socks with medicated creams helps lock in moisture.
Moisturizers – Applying both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.
Pumice Stones – These exfoliate and remove dead skin, which allows for smoother moisturizer application and better absorption into the skin.
Change in Diet
Eating healthy with a well-balanced diet will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to the kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements can also revitalize skin tissue.
Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome, also known as TTS, occurs when the posterior tibial nerve becomes compressed and damaged, in turn causing inflammation. This is usually caused by continual overuse of the foot and ankle such as prolonged walking, running, standing, or exercising. If left untreated, TTS can cause permanent nerve damage. Some common treatments are wearing specialized shoes and inserts, over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and rest. Strengthening exercises should be done to help prevent problems. These exercises include heel-toe raises, pencil toe lifts and balance exercises. If not treated right away, TTS can lead to the risk of developing other conditions such as flat feet, fallen arches, rheumatoid arthritis, varicose veins and the susceptibility to becoming overweight. If you notice any symptoms of TTS, it is important that you see a podiatrist right away.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.
Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
- Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.
The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
- The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
- If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.
A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.
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 Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
The first symptom many people experience if they have broken their toe is severe pain and discomfort. Other noticeable signs can include swelling, bruising on or around the affected toe, and difficulty walking. In severe fractures, patients may hear a popping sound as the break occurs. Common reasons for this type of injury to happen can include stepping unexpectedly off of a curb, hitting it against a piece of furniture, or it may gradually develop as a result of a stress fracture. Effective treatment options can include taping the affected toe to the toe next to it, which is referred to as buddy taping. This can be helpful in providing the necessary stability as the healing process occurs. Mild relief may be found when the foot is elevated, and this can be beneficial in reducing existing swelling. If you have broken your toe, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can suggest the proper treatment for you.
Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.
What Is a Broken Toe?
A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.
Symptoms of a Broken Toe
- Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
- Nail Injury
Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.
Plantar warts develop on the bottom of the foot. They are caused by human papilloma virus, better known as HPV. If you believe you have developed a plantar wart, refrain from picking at it as the virus can be spread through touch and scratch. While anyone is prone to developing these types of warts, they most typically affect children, teens, and young adults. When in your body, HPV sets off the multiplication of epidermal cells that leads to the formation of warts on the feet. Plantar warts tend to develop on the heel or weight-bearing parts of soles. They will often grow inward, exposing sensitive tissue and triggering pain and bleeding. If the wart is small and non-intrusive, it can be treated through home remedies such as over-the-counter (OTC) treatments. Most OTC treatments contain salicylic acid and are applied topically to the wart. If the wart is bigger in size, in-office procedures may deliver faster and safer results. The in-office treatments include cryotherapy, immunotherapy and regular surgery. Plantar warts can be prevented best by covering your feet in places where people walk barefoot and changing your shoes and socks regularly to avoid the spread of the virus. Washing and drying the feet thoroughly with the use of talcum powder to help absorb excess moisture and perspiration is also a prevention recommendation. If you are developing plantar warts, it is important to see a podiatrist for the best treatment option.
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.
- 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
- 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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Plantar Warts