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On September 1st, Associated Podiatric Physicians, PA will be welcoming our new associate, Dr. Matthew Blutfield!
(609) 586-7111
1300 S. Olden Ave | Hamilton, NJ 08610

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Items filtered by date: July 2019

Monday, 29 July 2019 00:00

Barefoot Running

Barefoot running is becoming a more and more popular running trend throughout the running and jogging communities. However, running without shoes also affects the motions of your stride. When barefoot running, choosing to run without shoes is not the only adjustment you will have to make.

Whenever you run normally with shoes, your heel strikes the ground first as you land while you roll over the ball of your foot and push off with the front part and toes. Barefoot runners land on the front part of their feet and not their heels. This shifts the impact from the back to the front of the foot. In order to do this safely and without much injury, runners need to reduce their stride to create softer landings.

One of barefoot running’s biggest advantages is the reduced risk of injury. Landing on the front of your foot with a reduced stride lessens the stress placed on the back of the foot, heels, and ankles. It also works out many muscles in the feet, ankles, and lower legs that you do not normally get to strengthen because of the different motions.  Your posture and balance are also improved with barefoot running, as is your sensory input from your feet to the rest of your body. Studies have shown that countries that have large populations of people who do not wear shoes every day are at lower risk for foot and ankle injuries and complications.

However, there is still some skepticism behind barefoot running because of some disadvantages it brings. One of these is the complete lack of protection for your feet while running. Bruises, scrapes, cuts, and even blisters can easily form when you have no protection from sharp or rough objects on the ground. Landing on the front of your feet can also cause Achilles tendonitis because of the overuse of the Achilles tendon.

Despite this, barefoot running can be made safe and enjoyable if you make a slow transition from your normal running routine into barefoot running. Rather than jumping straight into barefoot running, gradually work your way from walking to jogging to running, increasing the distance each time. It is also recommended to start off on flat, even surfaces that do not contain sharp or dangerous objects because your feet are unprotected. Minimalist running shoes are a great middle ground to start with because they combine the protection of shoes with the fit and feel of barefoot running.

Published in Featured

When it comes to barefoot running, the consequence is in the amount rather than the activity itself. Barefoot running should consistently be treated like a new activity, which means start with a small dose and then progressively increase the distance each time you run. This allows for the body to get better acquainted with the activity and creates a low risk environment. On the other hand, if you don’t pace yourself, then you will become more prone to injuries. It is considered easier to gain proper running form from being barefoot compared to wearing shoes. This is because when you are barefoot, you aren’t prone to some aspects of poor form that present themselves while wearing shoes. When running barefoot, it is easier to take shorter strides in order to reduce impact forces on the lower legs. The most important part of barefoot running is to run by effort and feel rather than pace. This is due to the purpose of barefoot running being to improve efficiency, get stronger and to reduce your risk for injury. It is important when taking up barefoot running that you start off at a comfortable pace, and then slowly build yourself up. If you find yourself interested in this style of running, you should consult with a podiatrist to see if it is a good option for you.

 

Barefoot running has its own share of benefits and disadvantages. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists from Associated Podiatric Physicians, PA. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Barefoot Running

The Impact of Barefoot Running

  • Running without shoes changes the motion of your running, as most running is done by landing on the heel of the feet.
  • Running barefoot requires a different way of running; the landing is done on the front part of the feet.

The Advantages of Barefoot Running

  • When running and landing on the front feet, the impact on the feet and ankle is reduced; this can reduce stress injuries.
  • It strengthens muscles in the feet, ankles and lower legs.
  • Balance of the body is improved, and there is a greater sensory input from the feet to the rest of the body.

The Drawbacks of Barefoot Running

  • No protection while running, makes it likely that runners will land on sharp objects and scrapes, bruises and cuts on the feet will result.
  • Blisters may form.
  • Possibility of plantar fascia problems.
  • Risk of getting Achilles tendonitis.

So, what can runners do to make barefoot running safe? It’s best to make a slow transition from running shoes to barefoot running. Once the feet begin to adjust, try walking, then jogging and gradually increasing the distance. Minimalist running shoes may also be an option.

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

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Published in Blog
Monday, 22 July 2019 00:00

Foot and Ankle Fractures

When the foot or ankle experiences trauma, a fracture may occur.  Causes of foot and ankle fractures can vary; in some cases, an obvious impact to the foot or a fall can be behind a fracture.  Alternatively, fractures can also occur because of increased stress on the bone over time.  The location of the fracture can often give your podiatrist information on how the fracture occurred.

Pain, especially when bearing weight, is a telltale sign of a fracture.  Limping due to this pain is a further sign of a foot or ankle fracture.  Other symptoms include inflammation, bruising, deformity, and tenderness.  A deformity may occur due to a shift in bone alignment or a joint dislocation near the fracture.  While pain is a significant symptom of breakage, a patient who has nerve damage or who has diabetes may not feel this pain.  In this instance, your podiatrist will look for additional signs to determine whether a fracture has occurred.

If you are experiencing severe pain, cannot walk without limping, have an open wound near the suspected break, or have numbness or tingling in the toes, you should see your podiatrist.

Published in Featured
Monday, 22 July 2019 00:00

Why Are My Feet Swollen?

Your lower extremities could begin to swell for a variety of reasons. Primarily, if you have been standing on your feet for a large portion of the day, your feet may swell. You may also notice puffiness if your salt intake is too high. For women, the feet can become swollen due to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or pregnancy. Another cause is extra weight or obesity, considering the additional stress put on the feet. Some other sources of swelling include injuries, varicose veins, blood clots or a different medical condition. Swollen feet and ankles can be harmless, but occasionally they are signs of a more serious issue. Observe your feet often to see if they look enlarged, and if they do, you should contact a podiatrist who can assist you.

Foot and ankle trauma is common among athletes and the elderly. If you have concerns that you may have experienced trauma to the foot and ankle, consult with the podiatrists from Associated Podiatric Physicians, PA. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Foot and ankle trauma cover a range of injuries all over the foot; common injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Muscle strains
  • Injuries to the tendons and ligaments
  • Stress fractures

Symptoms

Symptoms of foot and ankle injuries vary depending on the injury, but more common ones include:

  • Bruising
  • Inflammation/ Swelling
  • Pain

Diagnosis

To properly diagnose the exact type of injury, podiatrists will conduct a number of different tests. Some of these include sensation and visual tests, X-rays, and MRIs. Medical and family histories will also be taken into account.

Treatment

Once the injury has been diagnosed, the podiatrist can than offer the best treatment options for you. In less severe cases, rest and keeping pressure off the foot may be all that’s necessary. Orthotics, such as a specially made shoes, or immobilization devices, like splints or casts, may be deemed necessary. Finally, if the injury is severe enough, surgery may be necessary.

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

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Published in Blog
Monday, 15 July 2019 00:00

How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus

While not a serious issue, toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition to experience. Toenail fungus is often caused from public areas that harbor fungi and improper cleaning/drying of the foot. Once infected, the fungus grows deeper into the nail and can be very hard to get rid of.

There are different types of fungus that cause toenail fungus. Dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds are the most frequent forms of fungus to infect the toenail. Dermatophytes are the most common among the three. Symptoms associated with fungal nails include the discoloration of the toenail, brittleness, and in some circumstances, a smell. Pain is rarely a symptom caused by toenail fungus.

Diagnosis of fungal nails is generally a rather quick process. However podiatrists will make sure that the cause is not another condition such as lichen planus, psoriasis, onychogryphosis, or nail damage. Podiatrists will make use of fungal cultures and microscopy to verify that it is fungus.

While over-the-counter ointments are readily available, most are ineffective. This is due to the fact that the nail is very protective and that the fungus slips in between the nail plate and bed. Podiatrists can offer oral medication which currently provides the best results.

Ultimately, prevention is the best line of defense against toenail fungus. Avoid unsanitary public showers. If you do use a public shower, use shower shoes to provide your foot with protection. Once you are finished showering, make sure to thoroughly dry your feet. Fungi thrive in warm, dark, and moist places like sweaty, warm feet that are left dark in shoes all day.

Published in Featured
Monday, 15 July 2019 00:00

Signs You May Have Toenail Fungus

The symptoms of toenail fungus are fairly noticeable. An obvious sign that you may have developed this condition often includes a discoloration of the toenail. It will typically start with the big toenail, and will begin by turning a yellowish color. If it is not promptly treated, the nail may become brittle and crumble, and can gradually pull away from the toe. The fungus that causes this condition lives and thrives in warm and moist environments. These include public pools, locker rooms, and shower room floors. When appropriate shoes are worn, the chances of getting toenail fungus may be diminished. If you feel you have developed this condition, it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this condition.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact the podiatrists of Associated Podiatric Physicians, PA. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

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

 

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Published in Blog
Tuesday, 09 July 2019 00:00

Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is a nail that has curved downward and grown into the skin.  This typically occurs at either the nail borders or the sides of the nail.  As a result, pain, redness, swelling, and warmth may occur in the toe.  If a break in the skin forms due to the ingrown nail, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area; this is typically characterized by a foul odor and drainage.

Ingrown toenails have multiple reasons for developing.  In many instances, the condition is a result of genetics and is inherited.  The most common cause, however, is improper trimming; cutting the toenails too short forces the skin beside the nail to fold over.  An ingrown toenail can also develop due to trauma, such as stubbing the toe, having an object fall on the toe, or participating in activities that involve repeated kicking or running.  Wearing shoes that are too tight or too short can also cause ingrown toenails.

Treatment for an ingrown toenail varies between patients and the severity of the condition.  In most cases, it is best to see your podiatrist for thorough and proper treatment.  After examining your toe, your podiatrist may prescribe oral antibiotics to clear the infection if one is present.  Surgical removal of either a portion of the nail or the entire nail may also be considered.  In some cases, complete removal or destruction of the nail root may be required.  Most patients who undergo nail surgery experience minimal pain afterward and can return to normal activity the following day.

Ingrown toenails can be prevented with proper nail trimming and by avoiding improper-fitting shoes.  When cutting the toenails, be sure that you are cutting in a straight line and avoid cutting them too short.  Shoes should not be too short or tight in the toe box.

Published in Featured

If you notice the skin on the outside of your big toe appears to be red and swollen, you may have what is referred to as an ingrown toenail. It happens as a result of the toenail growing into the skin, which is often a painful and uncomfortable condition. There are several reasons why ingrown toenails may develop. These can include wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, improperly trimming the toenails, or from sustaining a foot injury. Diabetic patients may find it beneficial to have their toenails trimmed correctly, as this can help to prevent possible toenail infections from developing. Additionally, it is suggested that the feet are kept dry and clean, to diminish the chances of getting an ingrown toenail. The toe and the surrounding skin may feel better as they are soaked in warm water several times throughout the day. If you are afflicted with an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can diagnosis and treat this condition.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact the podiatrists of Associated Podiatric Physicians, PA. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.

Causes

  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition

Prevention

Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.

Treatment

Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

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

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Published in Blog
Sunday, 07 July 2019 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet.

Want to wear open toe shoes again? ...Special occasion? Vacation? ...You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails.

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 02 July 2019 00:00

Everything You Need to Know About Gout

Gout, typically found in diabetic patients, is an unusually painful form of arthritis caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. The condition typically strikes the big joint on the big toe. It has also been known to strike the knees, elbows, fingers, ankles and wrists—generally anywhere that has a functioning, moving joint.

The high level of uric acid in a person’s bloodstream creates the condition known as hyperuricema—the main cause of gout. Genetic predisposition occurs in nine out of ten sufferers. The children of parents who suffer gout will have a two in ten chance of developing the condition as well. 

This form of arthritis, being particularly painful, is the leftover uric acid crystallizing in the blood stream. The crystallized uric acid then travels to the space between joints where they rub, causing friction when the patient moves. Symptoms include: pain, redness, swelling, and inflammation. Additional side effects may include fatigue and fever, although reports of these effects are very rare. Some patients have reported that pain may intensify when the temperature drops, such as when you sleep.

Most cases of gout are easily diagnosed by a podiatrist’s assessment of the various symptoms. Defined tests can also be performed. A blood test to detect elevated levels of uric acid is often used as well as an x-ray to diagnose visible and chronic gout.

Treatment for gout simply means eliminating symptoms. Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (Colchicine and other corticosteroid drugs, etc.) will quell the redness, the swelling, and the inflammation. However, managing your diet, lifestyle changes, and using preventative drugs are all helpful toward fully combating the most severe cases.

 Those that lead an inactive lifestyle are at a higher risk for gout. Any amount of exercise decreases the probability of repeat encounters with the condition. Reducing your consumption of red meat, sea food, and fructose-sweetened drinks also reduces the likelihood of chronic gout as well.

Ingesting Vitamin C, coffee, and particular dairy products can help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are new drugs out on the market that inhibit the body’s production of uric acid-producing enzymes. However, reducing or eliminating your overall levels of uric acid is the best remedy to ensuring you lead a gout-free life.

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