Getting Started Running Without Injury

Starting your journey as a runner can be a fulfilling endeavor for both physical fitness and mental well-being, but it's important to approach it with caution to avoid injury. Begin by setting realistic goals and pace yourself according to your fitness level. Invest in quality running shoes that provide proper support, cushioning, and fit. To build endurance gradually, try the run-walk-run method, alternating between running and walking intervals. Always warm up before and cool down after each run, with dynamic and static stretches respectively, to prepare your muscles and aid recovery. Increase your mileage gradually to avoid overexertion, aiming for consistency in your running routine with three to four runs per week. Incorporate various types of runs, such as interval training and hill repeats. Listen to your body and take rest days as needed, paying attention to any signs of discomfort or persistent pain. If you sustain an injury from running, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment.

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 one of our podiatrists of Associates in Podiatry. Our doctors 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 offices located in Pittsburgh-South Hills, and Pittsburgh-Bellevue, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Exploring Ankle Replacement Surgery

Ankle replacement surgery, a procedure designed to alleviate severe ankle pain and restore function, involves replacing damaged parts of the ankle joint with artificial components. This surgical intervention is typically recommended for individuals with advanced arthritis, significant joint damage, or debilitating pain that has not responded to conservative treatments. During the procedure, the podiatric surgeon removes damaged bone and cartilage from the ankle joint and replaces them with prosthetic components made of metal and plastic, mimicking the natural structure and function of the joint. Ankle replacement surgery aims to reduce pain, improve mobility, and enhance overall quality of life for individuals struggling with chronic ankle issues. Following surgery, patients undergo a period of rehabilitation to regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the ankle. If you are experiencing chronic ankle pain, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can determine if ankle replacement is right for you.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact one of our podiatrists of Associates in Podiatry. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

When Is Surgery Necessary?

Foot and ankle surgery is generally reserved for cases in which less invasive, conservative procedures have failed to alleviate the problem. Some of the cases in which surgery may be necessary include:

  • Removing foot deformities like bunions and bone spurs
  • Severe arthritis that has caused bone issues
  • Cosmetic reconstruction

What Types of Surgery Are There?

The type of surgery you receive will depend on the nature of the problem you have. Some of the possible surgeries include:

  • Bunionectomy for painful bunions
  • Surgical fusion for realignment of bones
  • Neuropathy decompression surgery to treat nerve damage

Benefits of Surgery

Although surgery is usually a last resort, it can provide more complete pain relief compared to non-surgical methods and may allow you to finally resume full activity.

Surgical techniques have also become increasingly sophisticated. Techniques like endoscopic surgery allow for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Pittsburgh-South Hills, and Pittsburgh-Bellevue, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Hygiene and Athlete’s Foot

Athlete's foot, or tinea pedis, is a common fungal skin infection primarily affecting the feet. It presents with symptoms such as itching, peeling, and cracking, often occurring on the soles of the feet and between the toes. This contagious infection spreads through contact with contaminated surfaces, making environments like swimming pools and locker rooms potential hotspots. Wearing tight-fitting shoes exacerbates the issue by creating a moist environment conducive to fungal growth. Athlete's foot can manifest differently, such as toe web infections, moccasin-type infections, or vesicular infections. Diagnosis generally relies on visual examination, but sometimes skin or nail samples are tested for fungi. Adequate foot hygiene, including keeping feet clean and dry, changing socks daily, and wearing breathable shoes, plays a vital role in prevention and management. Medication is often prescribed for a successful recovery, and it is beneficial to complete the full course, even after symptoms subside. It is suggested for Individuals with diabetes or persistent infections to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for more advanced care.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with one of our podiatrists from Associates in Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.

Prevention

The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot

Symptoms

Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Pittsburgh-South Hills, and Pittsburgh-Bellevue, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Are You Suffering From Nerve Damage?

Neuropathy is a condition that can lead to numbness or loss of sensation in the feet, but it can also cause pain. This condition is more likely to develop for those who are diabetic, obese, or with high blood pressure.

Essential Insights Into Morton's Neuroma

Morton's neuroma, a nerve disorder affecting the feet, is a condition that demands attention and understanding. This ailment is characterized by the thickening of tissues around the nerves that lead to the toes, and it often occurs between the third and fourth toes. Contrary to common belief, it is not a true neuroma, but rather a perineural fibrosis. The primary cause is the compression and irritation of the nerve, resulting in pain, tingling, and a sensation of a lump or pebble in the shoe. High-heeled shoes and tight footwear are frequently implicated in triggering or exacerbating Morton's neuroma. Understanding the symptoms, such as sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot, is vital for early identification. Proper footwear, foot pads, and orthotics can offer relief, while severe cases may require medical intervention. By grasping the essential facts surrounding Morton's neuroma, individuals can take informed steps towards managing this foot condition. If you have pain between your toes or on the ball of your foot, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist for a diagnosis and correct treatment methods.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists of Associates in Podiatry. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Pittsburgh-South Hills, and Pittsburgh-Bellevue, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Common Reasons Why Feet Can Swell

Swollen feet, a frequent and uncomfortable condition, can be triggered by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes is prolonged standing or sitting, which can cause fluid to accumulate in the lower extremities. Similarly, high salt intake can lead to water retention, resulting in swollen feet. Pregnancy is another well-known cause of foot swelling, due to increased blood volume and pressure on leg veins. Certain medications, like those for hypertension or hormone therapy, may contribute to edema. Injuries, such as sprained ankles or fractures, can also result in localized foot swelling. Additionally, underlying medical conditions like heart disease, kidney problems, or venous insufficiency can lead to edema in the feet. Lymphedema, a condition involving impaired lymphatic system function, is another possible cause. Recognizing the common causes of swollen feet is vital, as it can help you determine whether it is a benign issue or a sign of an underlying health problem. If you are concerned about persistent foot swelling, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and guidance on managing the condition.

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Associates in Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:

  • Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
  • Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
  • Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
  • Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.

Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet. 

Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Pittsburgh-South Hills, and Pittsburgh-Bellevue, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.


 

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Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease, also known as PAD, can manifest with a range of symptoms. Roughly half of individuals with PAD experience typical symptoms. Others may have atypical or no symptoms at all. Regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms, individuals with PAD face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Left untreated, PAD can lead to serious complications, such as ulcers and infections. Common signs of PAD are intermittent pain, aching, heaviness, or cramping in the legs during activities such as walking or climbing stairs. This discomfort typically subsides with rest and is often felt in the calf but can also occur in the buttocks, thigh, or foot. Additionally, PAD may lead to changes in toenails and leg hair growth, with one foot possibly feeling colder than the other. The affected leg or foot may appear pale, discolored, or even blue. Some individuals may experience leg weakness or numbness, making walking more challenging, and report sensations like pins and needles. In severe cases, blockage of blood flow can result in pain even at rest. Advanced PAD can cause sores or wounds on the toes, feet, or legs, which may heal slowly or not at all and are prone to infections. These symptoms emphasize the importance of scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist for early detection and prompt treatment to manage PAD effectively and reduce the risk of complications.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with one of our podiatrists from Associates in Podiatry. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.

Symptoms

Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.

Treatment

Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Pittsburgh-South Hills, and Pittsburgh-Bellevue, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Symptoms and Causes of Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments that support the ankle are stretched or torn. This type of sprain is a common injury, constituting 25 percent of all sports-related injuries. Ankle sprains can affect anyone, not just those engaged in sports. While they are often caused by activities such as running and walking, they also can be the result of missteps on uneven surfaces, such as stepping into a hole or missing a curb. Symptoms vary in severity, and include pain, soreness, swelling, difficulty bearing weight or walking, and bruising. Diagnosis involves a comprehensive examination by a podiatrist, who can evaluate bones, soft tissues, range of motion, and strength. In some cases, imaging studies like X-rays may be ordered to rule out additional injuries, such as a fracture. Timely and proper treatment typically takes between four and six weeks, depending on severity. Acknowledging the causes and symptoms of ankle sprains is important for prompt intervention, ensuring optimal recovery and minimizing the risk of future complications arising from these common injuries. If you have endured an ankle sprain, it is suggested that you schedule an immediate appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact one of our podiatrists from Associates in Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Pittsburgh-South Hills, and Pittsburgh-Bellevue, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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We Can Treat Your Foot or Ankle Pain

Foot or ankle pain can negatively affect your day-to-day life and can occur due to several different conditions. Pain can also be an indicator of a more serious underlying condition, which is why you should seek professional help as soon as you notice any abnormalities in your feet.

Surgery Considerations for Plantar Fibroma

Plantar fibroma, a benign yet often painful growth on the sole of the foot, presents challenges that prompt a range of treatment options. Non-surgical approaches typically involve conservative methods, such as orthotics and corticosteroid injections, to alleviate symptoms and reduce inflammation. However, in cases where the fibroma causes persistent discomfort or interferes with daily activities, surgical intervention may be considered. Surgery for plantar fibroma aims at excising the fibrous tissue and restoring optimal foot function. The procedure involves careful consideration of the fibroma's size, location, and impact on surrounding structures. Recovery from surgery may involve a period of immobilization to regain strength and flexibility. While surgical intervention poses inherent risks, it can offer significant relief and improved mobility for individuals grappling with the challenges posed by a plantar fibroma. If you have developed a plantar fibroma, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine if surgery is a correct treatment option for you.

A plantar fibroma may disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Associates in Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Plantar Fibroma

A plantar fibroma is a fibrous knot in the arch of the foot. It is embedded in the plantar fascia which is a band of tissue that extends from the heel to the toes along the bottom of the foot. There can be multiple plantar fibromas in the feet at the same time. There are no known causes for this condition. If you have a plantar fibroma, there will be a bump in the arch of your foot that cannot be missed. Any associated pain is most often due to a shoe rubbing against the nodule. Non-surgical options, such as steroid injections, physical therapy, and orthotics should be tried first. Surgery is a last resort and is the only thing that will remove a plantar fibroma entirely. Consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and to determine the treatment regimen that is right for you.

What Causes a Plantar Fibroma?

While there are no specific causes identified, a plantar fibroma can possibly come from genetic predisposition or the formation of scar tissue that forms from healing the tears in the plantar fascia.

What Are the Symptoms of a Plantar Fibroma?

There will be a noticeable lump in the arch of the foot that may or may not cause pain. If pain is felt, it is typically because a shoe is rubbing up against the lump or when walking or standing barefoot.

Treatment and Prevention

A plantar fibroma will not disappear without treatment, but it can get smaller and be a non-issue. If pain persists, a podiatrist examines the foot and when the arch of the foot is pressed, pain can be felt down to the toes. An MRI or biopsy might be performed to help diagnose or evaluate the plantar fibroma. The following non-surgical options are generally enough to reduce the size and pain of these nodules:

  • Steroid injections
  • Orthotics
  • Physical therapy to help apply anti-inflammatory creams on the bump 

Surgery is considered if the mass increases in size and the patient continues to feel pain after non-surgical methods are tried.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Pittsburgh-South Hills, and Pittsburgh-Bellevue, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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