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June 2023

Tuesday, 27 June 2023 00:00

Common Foot Problems During Pregnancy

More than half of pregnant women experience some type of foot problem. Common ailments can include collapsed arches, swelling, cracked heels, and foot pain. Fallen arches are largely due to a weight gain and the release of a hormone called relaxin. This hormone, which relaxes the ligaments in the feet and ankles as well as other body parts, contributes to the appearance of flat feet. A common complaint during pregnancy is swollen feet, which is the result of a buildup of fluid in the lower extremities. Pregnant women are cautioned not to stand for long periods of time, and to keep their feet elevated as often as possible. Heel pain caused by an inflammation of the plantar fascia can be treated by wearing shoes that have more arch support and ample cushioning. Certain exercises can also help to reduce the symptoms. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause the skin to dry out, and as it becomes more difficult to reach the feet to keep them properly moisturized, cracked heels may develop. These can become painful and lead to infection if ignored. If you are experiencing any foot problems during pregnancy, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with the podiatrists from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Drexel Hill and West Chester, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
Tuesday, 27 June 2023 00:00

Pregnancy and Foot Health

Many pregnant women complain about foot pain while they are expecting. Foot pain can primarily be caused by weight gain and hormonal changes taking place in the body. By understanding how pregnancy impacts the health of a woman's feet, a pregnant woman can take action to keep her feet as healthy and comfortable as possible.

Because a woman's weight changes during pregnancy, more pressure is brought to bear on both the legs and the feet. This weight shift can cause two major foot problems: over-pronation, also known as flat feet, as well as edema, which is swelling of the feet. Over-pronation occurs when the arch of the foot flattens, causing the foot to roll inwards when the individual is walking, and can aggravate the plantar fascia tissues located along the bottom of the feet. If these tissues become inflamed, a pregnant woman can experience pain in the heel of the foot as well as severe foot pain while walking or standing. Swelling of the feet, or edema, often occurs in the later stages of pregnancy. It is caused by slow circulation and water retention, and may turn the feet a light purple color.

To keep feet in good health and prevent over-pronation, pregnant women should avoid walking barefoot and be sure they are wearing shoes that offer good arch support. A device known as an orthotic can be added to regular footwear in order to provide additional support for the feet during pregnancy. Any expectant mother whose feet hurt should first check to see if the shoes she is wearing are old, worn out and not offering the proper support necessary for distributing the weight of her body during pregnancy.

To treat edema of the feet, a good start is to wear quality footwear which offers support and good circulation. Keep feet elevated whenever possible by using a foot stool while seated. Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water to prevent water retention in the feet. Any swelling that occurs in only one foot should be examined as soon as possible by a doctor.

Good foot health during pregnancy can help expectant mothers avoid foot pain that leads to other health problems. Massaging the feet and doing regular gentle exercise like walking aids foot health by contributing to good circulation. Supportive shoes are also a good investment that will support foot health during pregnancy.

It is no secret that high heels are uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. Although beauty is pain, you should not sacrifice the health of your feet for a stylish heel. Wearing high heels can potentially cause many different foot conditions that may be avoided by wearing proper footwear.

The structure of high heels forces weight of your body to get shifted forward toward the ball of the foot. The higher the heel you wear, the more weight and pressure get shifted forward. The pressure that your toes may experience from wearing heels may lead to hammer toes, bunions, and ingrown toenails. Extra weight and pressure resulting from wearing heels may cause stress fractures. Furthermore, heels may cause pinched nerves which may result in Morton’s neuroma.

High heels are even more dangerous for people who are clumsy. Falling or tripping while wearing heels can cause an ankle sprain or twist.

What many people don’t know is that heels can also cause back and knee problems. In order for your body to stay balanced on heels, your spine has to sway unnaturally, which adds stress to your spine muscles. This may cause you to experience a sore lower back.  

If you decide to wear high heels regardless of the risks associated with them, there are ways you can minimize their harmful effects. One way to reduce injury is to massage and stretch your legs at the end of the day. Stretching can prevent the Achilles tendons and calf muscles from becoming too tight. If you are simply looking for more height, wedges and platforms provide a better surface area to distribute the body weight across compared to thinner heels.

If you experience pain from wearing high heels, it is important to see a podiatrist before any of your symptoms become worse.

Tuesday, 20 June 2023 00:00

Do High Heels Cause Bunions?

Wearing high heels can enhance the look of your legs and ankles, but may not be helping the health of your feet. However, though experts agree that while most bunions form because of a genetic disposition to this deformity, wearing high heels can make the problem worse if you are already susceptible. Also, it is thought that having a bunion is more of a matter of your gait, or how you walk, than the type of shoes you wear. But because wearing high heels forces the weight of the body toward the ball of the foot, they may add to the likelihood of a bunion formation. A bunion is a deformity that pushes the bone outward at the base of the big toe joint causing a lump to develop on the side of the foot. The other toes react by moving in the opposite direction. High heels, which often have a small and pointed toe box, essentially encourage this movement. If you often wear high heels and notice a bunion forming, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer treatment options.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Drexel Hill and West Chester, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
Tuesday, 13 June 2023 00:00

Neuropathy

Neuropathy is the weakness, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet due to damage to the peripheral nerves. The peripheral nerves are responsible for sending information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. Causes of Neuropathy include: traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, exposure to toxins, and diabetes.

Diabetes is the most common cause, with more than half of the diabetic population developing some type of neuropathy. There are several types of neuropathy and they vary based on the damage of the nerves. Mononeuropathy is classified as only one nerve being damaged. When multiple nerves are affected, it is referred as polyneuropathy. One of the types of polyneuropathy is distal symmetric polyneuropathy. It is the most common for people with diabetes and starts when the nerves furthest away from the central nervous begin to malfunction. The symptoms begin with pain and numbness in the feet and then they travel up to the legs. A rarer form of polyneuropathy is acute symmetrical peripheral neuropathy, which is a severe type that affects nerves throughout the body and is highly associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the peripheral nervous system and can be fatal. Although there are many types of neuropathy, most of them share the same symptoms such as pain, extreme sensitivity to touch, lack of coordination, muscle weakness, dizziness, and digestive problems. Since neuropathy affects the nerves, those affected should be careful of burns, infection and falling, as depleted sensations disguise such ailments.

The best way to prevent neuropathy is to manage any medical conditions such as diabetes, alcoholism, or rheumatoid arthritis. Creating and managing a healthy lifestyle can also go a long way. Having a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein can keep the nerves healthy. These types of food have the nutrients to prevent neuropathy. Regularly exercising can help as well, but it is best to consult with a doctor about the right amount. In addition to diet and exercise, avoiding risk factors will also prevent neuropathy. This includes repetitive motions, cramped positions, exposure to toxic chemicals, smoking and overindulging on alcohol.

Tuesday, 13 June 2023 00:00

Diabetic Patients and Neuropathy

Neuropathy affects the nerves throughout the body, including the feet, and it can cause the inability to feel pain in the soles of the feet. Many people who have this condition are unable to feel if their feet are hot or cold, and they may have a consistent tingling or numbing sensation. People who are diabetic can develop neuropathy which can lead to serious consequences as wounds can develop on the bottom of the feet that are not noticed. Untreated wounds in these patients may lead to getting foot ulcers, and it is imperative the bottom of the feet are checked daily. Patients who are afflicted with neuropathy may have difficulty walking, balance may be affected, and it may possibly lead to falling. If you have this condition, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can guide you toward proper management techniques.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with the podiatrists  from Dr. Siegerman & Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.

Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:

  • Numbness
  • Sensation loss
  • Prickling and tingling sensations
  • Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
  • Muscle weakness

Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.

Treatment

To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.

Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Drexel Hill and West Chester, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Neuropathy
Tuesday, 06 June 2023 00:00

Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot is an extremely contagious infection caused by a fungus that results in itching, burning, dry, and flaking feet. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot is known as tinea pedis and thrives in moist, dark areas such as shower floors, gyms, socks and shoes, commons areas, public changing areas, bathrooms, dormitory style houses, locker rooms, and public swimming pools. Athlete’s foot is difficult to treat as well because of the highly contagious and recurrent nature of the fungus.

Tinea is the same fungus that causes ringworm, and is spread by direct contact with an infected body part, contaminated clothing, or by touching other objects and body parts that have been exposed to the fungus. Because the feet are an ideal place for tinea to grow and spread, this is the most commonly affected area.  It is, however, known to grow in other places. The term athlete’s foot describes tinea that grows strictly on the feet.

The most commonly infected body parts are the hands, groin, and scalp, as well as the feet. Around 70% of the population suffer from tinea infections at some point in their lives, however not all of these cases are athlete’s foot. Just like any other ailment, some people are more likely to get it than others, such as people with a history of tinea infections or other skin infections, both recurring and non-recurring ones. The extent to which a person experiences regrowth and recurrent tinea infections varies from person to person.

Sometimes people will not even know that they are infected with tinea or that they have athlete’s foot because of a lack of symptoms. However, most experience mild to moderate flaking, itching, redness, and burning. However, some of the more severe symptoms include cracking and bleeding skin, intense itching and burning, pain while walking or standing, and even blistering.

Because of the recurring nature of the tinea fungus and the athlete’s foot it causes, the best way to treat this condition is with prevention. You can take some preventative measures such as wearing flip flops or sandals in locker rooms and public showers to reduce contact with the floor. It also helps to keep clean, dry feet while allowing them to breathe. Using powders to keep your feet dry is a good idea, as well as keeping your feet exposed to light and cool air, to prevent the growth of tinea. If you do happen to get athlete’s foot, opt for using topical medicated creams, ointments or sprays. These treatments help eliminate and prevent it from coming back.

Tuesday, 06 June 2023 00:00

Different Types of Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection that results in inflammation, redness, itchiness, and scaling between the toes. It can also cause blistering on the bottom of the feet. This is a highly contagious infection and can be brought on by wearing wet or sweaty shoes or by walking barefoot on contaminated wet floors. Common areas to pick up athlete’s foot are pools, locker rooms, and public showers. Athlete’s foot can be difficult to cure and may come back again or turn into a bacterial infection if left untreated. There is more than one type of athlete’s foot. The three types of this fungal infection are interdigital, moccasin, and vestibular infections. An interdigital infection affects the skin between the toes. A moccasin infection covers the sole of the foot and can spread to the heel and edges of the feet. A vestibular infection can appear between the toes or the soles of the feet and can cause blisters or vesicles filled with pus that can burst open and cause open sores. Because athlete’s foot can sometimes be misdiagnosed, it is suggested that if you have these types of symptoms, an appointment is made with a podiatrist who can accurately diagnose and offer treatment options for 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 the podiatrists from Dr. Siegerman & Associates.  Our doctors 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
  • Exfoliate
  • 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 one of our offices located in Drexel Hill and West Chester, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Athlete's Foot
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