Tuesday, 29 May 2018 00:00

Can High Heels Benefit My Ankles?

Research has shown it has been widely known that wearing high heels may cause harm and injuries to the feet. Experiencing pain the the feet can be a result of wearing this type of shoe, including the formation of hammertoes and bunions. However, new information may indicate the ankles may strengthen during the first few years of wearing high heels. There have been studies performed that possibly prove the theory of the muscles around the ankle becoming stronger during this time frame. As time progresses, the joints and tendons will gradually weaken if high heels are worn frequently for a long period of time. Performing proper stretches may protect the feet in maintaining the balance necessary for daily tasks. A consultation with a podiatrist is recommended if you would like additional information about how high heels may affect the feet.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or 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.

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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 21 May 2018 00:00

How to Avoid Foot Pain

It is important to ensure that you are taking care of your feet properly in order to avoid foot pain. Common feet issues that are derived from poor foot care include bunions, blisters, and hammertoe. Improper support can potentially cause pain in areas beyond your feet, such as your knees or back. Another popular reason why people may experience foot pain is because they choose shoes based on style rather than comfort. It is suggested to seek assistance from a running or walking shoe specialist when looking to purchase a new pair of sneakers. Furthermore, you may also be wearing the incorrect insoles for your specific foot shape. If you have a flatter foot, it is suggested to purchase a stiffer insole, and if you have an arched foot, purchasing an insole with more cushioning is advised.  Please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist if you have any questions regarding foot pain or if you are experiencing any symptoms.

Foot Pain

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.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • 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

Diagnosis

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

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.

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Research has shown the foot consists of 26 bones. If you have endured a fall resulting in severe pain in your foot, one of these bones may have been fractured, and this is often referred to as a broken foot. General symptoms of a sprain and a fracture typically include swelling and pain, so it’s advised to be able to differentiate between the two. This can be accomplished by comparing both feet and looking for breaks in the skin, which may result from a broken bone. Additional indications of a broken foot may be a feeling of dizziness, extreme discomfort, and pain while attempting to walk, or feeling a bone in the foot snap as the injury occurs. Temporary relief can be found in resting the foot by limiting attempts to walk, in addition to elevating the leg as soon as possible. A proper diagnosis will typically consist of performing an X-ray, which can determine the severity of the fracture. Please consult with a podiatrist for proper treatment options, which may include a walking boot or cast.  

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:

  • 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 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

The feet are the foundation of the body, and the majority of runners are aware of the importance of choosing to wear proper running shoes. It’s helpful to be aware of your foot’s shape, as this will aid in buying shoes that fit properly. Shoes with added stability are often purchased by runners who have flat feet, and runners with exceptionally high arches are prone to choose shoes that have additional padding. Typically, most runners will go up half a size when buying running shoes, which will allow ample room for the toes to move about. When the right shoes are chosen that are a perfect fit for your feet, the sport of running may be enjoyed to its fullest extent.

You should always make sure your running shoes fit properly in order to avoid injury. For more information, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

Improper shoe sizing can cause a myriad of problems for your feet. Shoes that don’t fit you properly can lead to muscular imbalances in your body, which can result in foot, knee, and hip injuries.

Tips for Finding the Right Running Shoe

  • Make sure you have a thumb’s width of wiggle room between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe.
  • There should be little to no slipping at the heel
  • Don’t assume your size in one shoe brand will be your size in another
  • Do not lace up your shoes too tightly
  • Walk around in the store with your new shoes before you buy them

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

Read more about Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

Most running injuries occur from the muscles being overused, poorly fitting shoes that are worn, or a deviation in how the body is structured. Recent research has suggested that slowly increasing how many miles are run will give the body the strength to endure any pain that is experienced. It’s crucial that the correct shoes are worn, which may help to alleviate any issues the feet many endure. The benefits of practicing stretching exercises frequently before and after running may include eliminating any tightness and cramping that may occur, in addition to strengthening the muscles of the legs. Shin splints are a common and painful injury that may develop and can be avoided if proper running techniques are learned. Please consult with a podiatrist if you would like additional information about how to prevent running injuries.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber; this will help you gain better flexibility.

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

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries
Monday, 23 April 2018 00:00

What Does A Bunion Look Like?

If your big toe appears to be bent, causing the side of the toe to extend abnormally, you may have what is referred to as a bunion. It often appears to be swollen, red and sensitive, and may gradually worsen if left untreated. This deformity is often caused by a predisposed genetic trait, although it may be common in people who choose to wear high heels or other poorly fitting shoes. Bunions are often the result of the toes not having adequate room to move, which may possibly alter the structure of the foot. Treatments may include wearing shoes that fit properly with ample room to accommodate the bunion, or splints designed specifically for feet with this condition so relief may be attained. If the bunion is severe, surgery may be a necessary treatment option. It’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and relief options that are best for you.

 

If you are suffering from bunion pain, 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 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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
Monday, 16 April 2018 00:00

What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

The tarsal tunnel is a canal that exists between the ligaments that spans across the foot and a portion of the ankle bone. The nerves and tendons that are inside this tunnel allow mobility and enable the foot to easily point and flex. If a specific nerve called the tibial nerve inside this canal should become compressed, typically resulting from an injury, this condition is referred to as tarsal tunnel syndrome. Having flat feet is a possible reason for this condition, causing the tibial nerve to become strained. Certain health issues, such as arthritis and diabetes, may also cause the nerve to endure swelling and increased pressure. The nerve must be allowed to heal properly, and this may be accomplished by wearing a brace or supportive shoes. The discomfort that is experienced may be indicative of other foot-related conditions, so it’s advised to consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis

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 Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 09 April 2018 00:00

Can Winter Cause Cracked Heels?

Winter can bring on many ailments, including skin on the heels that split, which is often referred to as cracked heels. Typically, this originates from dry skin, and the cold weather may cause the skin to lose moisture. If this is coupled with other conditions, such as diabetes or circulation issues, the results may lead to developing cracked heels. There are several symptoms of this ailment, often including itching, and the skin becoming thick and possibly flaking. If the fissures, or cracks, in the skin become severe, the possibility of an infection may occur. Prevention of this condition can consist of utilizing a moisturizer on your feet while paying extra attention when applying cream to the heels. Recent research has suggested that eating a diet consisting of fruits and vegetables may help to prevent cracked heels from the inside out. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist if you have cracked heels and would like additional information.

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

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.

Promote Healing

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. 

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.

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Monday, 02 April 2018 00:00

The Importance of Having Strong Feet

The feet are often considered the foundation of the body. There are numerous benefits to having strong feet, and this can be encouraged by performing proper foot exercises. Additionally, flexibility can be attained by exercising the feet, and this may positively affect balance and support of the body’s weight. There are simple ways to accomplish this, and several of these stretching exercises involve the use of a towel. When the calves are stretched, the benefits extend to the ankles and feet, which can improve circulation. While seated, fully extend the leg, wrap the towel around the sole of the foot, and gently pull forward. Typically, you’ll feel moderate tension, and it’s beneficial to hold this position for 30 seconds. These stretches not only feel good, but will strengthen the muscles and tendons in the feet. Please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist to learn more about the benefits of exercising the feet.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries and build strength. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important, and we often forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate enough to not have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rises, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, and flexing the toes. It is best to speak with Our doctor to determine an appropriate regimen for your needs. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different, and the activities required to maintain strength in the feet vary from individual to individual. 

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

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.

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Monday, 26 March 2018 00:00

Should My Child Walk Barefoot?

Children typically learn to walk at about 12 months of age. Most babies are born with flat feet, and their feet are extremely flexible because of the excess fat surrounding the numerous bones, muscles, and tendons the foot is comprised of. As walking progresses and the feet get stronger, the condition of flat feet will generally improve. Balance can be learned and improved by encouraging the child to walk barefoot as often as possible. When it’s time to wear shoes, the feet must be measured every few months because of the rapid growth that is experienced. When the length and width of the foot are properly measured and the correct size is determined, the shoes that are worn should fit firmly and comfortably. It is important to be aware of your child’s feet, which will aid in noticing if any foot conditions are present. Some of these may include any pain being experienced while waking, painful toenails which may be indicative of an ingrown toenail, or any stiffness in the feet. Please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist if you have questions about how your child’s feet are developing.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

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 What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
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