Tuesday, 19 September 2017 00:00

When to Wear Flip-Flops

Flip-flops are extremely popular during the summer thanks to their ability to allow the feet to breathe and their ease-of-wear. Yet there are some problems with them. Flip-flops do not provide proper foot support, decrease foot protection, and increase the risk of fungal and bacterial infections. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear flip-flops; knowing when to wear them and what to look for when buying a pair is most important. When shopping for flip-flops, look for a pair that won’t bend easily and that are made of soft leather. These two features will ensure that they will provide comfort while ensuring foot protection from debris on the ground. Wearing flip-flops to the beach or pool is acceptable, but avoid wearing flip-flops for long periods of time or in unsuitable environments.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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 Flip Flops and Feet
Monday, 11 September 2017 00:00

How to Lessen the Effects of Gout

Gout, a type of arthritis, can be very painful for those who suffer from it. It’s caused when uric acid crystals build up in the joint, creating inflammation and pain. Gout, often occurring in the feet, generally comes and goes; there are ways, however, to mitigate its effects. Certain foods, such as processed meats, canned fish, foods with high fructose corn syrup, and foods containing high levels of purine should be avoided. Alcohol can increase the likelihood of gout, with as little as two beers a day increasing the risk significantly. Obesity is linked as well; losing weight, exercising, hydrating with plenty of water, and eating healthy foods can decrease the likelihood of a gout attack. If you are experiencing pain and inflammation in the foot, see a podiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment. Gout can be painful, but it can be avoided.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

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 Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 00:00

Keeping Your Children’s Feet Healthy

Children have delicate feet that are still developing as they get older. Therefore, it is up to parents to make sure that their children’s feet are healthy. There are some things a parent can do or be on the lookout for. When it comes to footwear, parents should check their children’s shoes frequently to see if they properly fit. When it comes time that your children want to get pedicures, make sure that the salon they visit is clean; this can help prevent infections of the foot from fungus. Flat feet, ingrown toenails, and warts are not uncommon among children but can be taken care of. If you see anything abnormal with your child’s feet, see a podiatrist who can diagnose them.

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

Wide receiver Odell Beckham of the New York Giants recently suffered an ankle sprain during a game against the Cleveland Browns. Beckham jumped up for a catch but when he came down, Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun hit him in the leg. He was able to walk off the field on his own but was later seen on the sidelines in pain. An X-ray revealed that it was either a rolled ankle or a sprain. Beckham will be tested further back in New York. He is confident he won’t be off the field for long and will be back in time when the season starts.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact Dr. Steven Hartung of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

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 Sports Related Foot And Ankle Injuries
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 00:00

How BMI May Be Associated With Foot Health

Many researchers have done studies on the link between obesity and poor health. According to the Arthritic Care Research journal, “Increasing body mass index (BMI)—specifically, abdominal fat mass—is ‘strongly associated with foot pain and disability'.” Obesity doesn’t only affect the feet, but it can also harm the hips, knees, and ankles. Furthermore, an increase in BMI has also been linked to chronic plantar heel pain in a non-athletic population. Other studies have shown that obese people have a higher chance of having gout, tendinitis, and osteoarthritis.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned 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.

Obesity and Your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

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 Obesity Affects Your Feet
Monday, 14 August 2017 00:00

What is Causing Your Swollen Feet?

Swollen feet can be painful, and it is important to understand what is causing them so you know how to treat them. Some of the most common causes of swollen feet are standing too often, weight gain, improper footwear, poor circulation, and infection. If you have a job that requires you to do a lot of standing, you should try to incorporate a break into your shift so that you can rest. Elevating your feet can help the blood start to flow properly and therefore cause the swelling to go away. If the swelling in your feet doesn’t go away, you may need to make an appointment with your doctor in order to receive treatment.

Everyday foot care is very important to prevent infection and other foot ailments. 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.

Everyday Foot Care

Often, people take care of their bodies, face and hair more so than they do for their feet. But the feet are a very important aspect of our bodies, and one that we should pay more attention to. Without our feet, we would not be able to perform most daily tasks.

It is best to check your feet regularly to make sure there are no new bruises or cuts that you may not have noticed before. For dry feet, moisturizer can easily be a remedy and can be applied as often as necessary to the affected areas. Wearing shoes that fit well can also help you maintain good foot health, as well as making it easier to walk and do daily activities without the stress or pain of ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even flip flops. Wearing clean socks with closed shoes is important to ensure that sweat and bacteria do not accumulate within the shoe. Clean socks help to prevent Athlete’s foot, fungi problems, bad odors, and can absorb sweat.

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 Every Day Foot Care
Tuesday, 08 August 2017 00:00

The Link Between HVA and Bunion Recurrence

To the naked eye, a bunion appears as a bump on the side of the foot that can drastically alter its appearance. Bunions are a foot deformity that is caused when the big toe and first metatarsal bone become misaligned. In severe cases, surgery may be required to repair a bunion if it becomes extremely painful or interferes with your walking ability. While bunion-removal surgery is successful in a lot of cases, there is a chance that your bunion can return after having the procedure. Researchers have found a link between HVA (hallux valgus angles) and the likelihood of experiencing a bunion recurrence. Hallux valgus angles are the angles formed by the toe bone and first metatarsal bone, and larger HVAs tend to result in a higher risk of bunion recurrence.

If you are suffering from bunions, 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?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • 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 care needs.

Read more about Bunions

You may encounter a lot of different foot problems if your place of work requires you to frequently be on your feet. The two most common causes of foot injuries in the workplace are improper footwear and the flooring you may be standing on. Concrete floors are notorious for causing discomfort in those who have to stand on them for long periods of time. If your job allows you to, it is recommended that you use a cushioned mat to help prevent your feet from becoming fatigued. If you believe your footwear is the source of your foot pain on the job, you should opt for a shoe that fits you properly. You should also make sure that the socks you are wearing are not too tight on your feet, since this can lead to toe cramping.  

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor 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 Williamsport, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Working on Your Feet

Flip-flops are one of the most convenient footwear options because of how easy they are to slip on and off your feet. While you may be tempted to wear them during the summer, you should avoid, or at least severely limit, doing so because they can cause a variety of problems. Wearing flip-flops can injure your Achilles tendon, lower back, and it may trigger plantar fasciitis. While flip-flops can be dangerous to wear on an everyday basis, they may not be as harmful if only used for short periods of time. If you want to wear flip-flops, you should look for a pair that has cushioning and offers arch support for your feet.

Flip-flops are not always the best choice of footwear. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Steven Hartung from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

Flip-Flops and Feet

When the weather starts warming up, people enjoy wearing flip-flops.  Flip-flops are comfortable, stylish, and easy to slip on and off; they're perfect for any summer beach goer.  However, these shoes can cause harm to the feet.

How Can Flip-Flops Affect Me Long-Term?

  • Ankle problems
  • Hip problems
  • Lower back problems
  • Pain in the balls of the feet
  • Problems with foot arches
  • Changes in the way you walk

Are There Injuries Associated with Flip-Flops?

Yes.  Since flip-flops are relatively weak and do not provide the same amount of support as sneakers, people who wear flip-flops regularly are more susceptible to injuries. On top of that, the open nature of the shoe makes your feet more prone to other problems, such as cuts and even infections.  Common injuries and ailments include:

  • Sprained ankles
  • Blisters
  • Infections
  • Cuts and Scrapes

I like Wearing Flip-Flops. Are There Safe Alternatives?

When buying flip-flops, try to find ones that have sturdy soles and that are made of high-quality materials that will support for your feet.  These flip-flops will cost more but will also last longer as a result.

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 Flip Flops and Feet

A professor from Aix-Marseille University in France recently conducted a study in which she analyzed the mechanics of barefoot runners and runners who wore shoes. The results showed that barefoot runners were able to produce four times the amount of shock energy in their feet compared to those who ran in shoes. The significance behind this study helped researchers understand the effects of shock absorption in terms of preventing running injury. In regards to the study,  University of Nevada professor John Mercer explains, “If you have too many impacts and the bone does not have a chance to recover, that can lead to a stress fracture or some other issue.”

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.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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 The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry
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