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06 February 2018

Walking or Running Shoes: How to Choose

Many people are unaware of the differences between walking and running shoes. Both types of shoes have different features that are meant to support the foot. Walking shoes tend to be firmer, and they may not be as flexible as shoes that are made for running. This enables the walker to have additional stability that’s needed for proper posture. The walker benefits from shoes that are lighter because the feet are properly supported. Recent research has suggested that adequate cushioning is necessary for comfort and support, however an excess of this may make the shoe too heavy for walking. When choosing shoes that are made for running, it’s important to take the running technique into account. If the impact is felt on the balls of the feet, a slightly higher heel will be beneficial for proper support. For runners whose midfoot meets with the ground, lower heels will be more favorable for achieving maximum comfort and stability.

For more information about walking shoes versus running shoes, consult with one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can measure your feet to determine what your needs are and help you find an appropriate pair of footwear.

Foot Health: The Differences between Walking & Running Shoes

There are great ways to stay in shape: running and walking are two great exercises to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that running shoes and walking shoes are not interchangeable. There is a key difference on how the feet hit the ground when someone is running or walking. This is why one should be aware that a shoe is designed differently for each activity.

You may be asking yourself what the real differences are between walking and running shoes and the answers may shock you.

Differences

Walking doesn’t involve as much stress or impact on the feet as running does. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be any less prepared. When you’re walking, you land on your heels and have your foot roll forward. This rolling motion requires additional support to the feet.

Flexibility – Walking shoes are designed to have soft, flexible soles. This allows the walker to push off easily with each step.

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

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30 January 2018

How Do I Know If I Have a Bunion?

If you have a bump on the side of your big toe, there is a chance that you may have a bunion. It's common for the structure of the foot to change as a result of the big toe being pushed toward the other toes. This worsens misalignment in the toes, resulting in the bony protrusion developing. This progressive condition is commonly caused by a predisposed, inherited trait affecting the structure of the foot. Poor-fitting shoes do not cause bunions, although they may advance the progression of the disorder. Common symptoms may include experiencing numbness or a burning sensation, in addition to observing swelling and redness in the area. Some patients may notice calluses developing on the big toe, and movement may become restricted. A treatment option can include choosing the right shoes with enough room so the toes can be comfortable and move freely. Activities that irritate the bunion, such as standing for long periods of time, should be avoided. If you are experiencing pain from a bunion, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors 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 cause bunions to form

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 offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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23 January 2018

How Do I Know If I Have an Ingrown Toenail?

When a toenail cuts into the side of the toe, it is often referred to as an ingrown toenail. Common causes for this condition may be shoes that are not fitting properly and toenails being trimmed incorrectly. Wearing shoes with pointed toes or high heels may cause the toes to have limited room to move freely, resulting in the nails burrowing into the side of the toe. General symptoms may include pain around the toe, and the skin becomes red and swollen. Drainage from the area may indicate an infection, which may require taking an antibiotic for treatment. It may be beneficial to avoid wearing shoes that fit tightly, and sandals with an open toe are recommended until the nail is healed. Prevention of this condition may include properly cutting the toenails, which ideally is performed straight across, and keeping the feet dry and clean.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. 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 offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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16 January 2018

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

There are several causes of plantar fasciitis, which is a condition that is characterized by inflamed or torn tissue between the base of the toes and the heel. Symptoms may include severe heel pain, often resonating in the arch of the foot as well. It’s common to have pain and stiff heels as your first steps are taken in the morning; this is before the heel area is warmed up from continued walking. Lack of stretching the calf muscles, over-training, running on hard surfaces, and wearing worn shoes are all common causes of this condition. The type of shoes worn may also be a factor in developing plantar fasciitis, such as wearing high heels and then running in flat shoes. Prevention of this condition can include awareness of the surfaces that you run on and taking notice when they are hard. If you have heel pain, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised for a proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

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

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09 January 2018

How to Find Relief for Arthritis in the Foot

Many people who suffer from arthritis know that it not only occurs in the hands or knees, but is commonly present in the feet. The cushioning between the joints breaks down over time due to wear and tear and may cause severe pain. The joints become swollen and inflamed, causing the many people experiencing this condition to seek pain relief. There are several ways to prevent this ailment, including eliminating any excess weight placed upon the feet, which is accomplished by shedding unwanted pounds. If most of your day consists of standing, wearing shoes that fit correctly will help in finding moderate relief in addition to taking over-the-counter pain medications. If these remedies are not effective and the pain becomes severe, please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves the inflammation of different joints in your body, such as those in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. In addition to this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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02 January 2018

How to Care for Feet Affected by Diabetes

A common ailment that many diabetics have are foot problems; managing blood glucose levels, however, may help to keep the feet healthy.  When nerve damage occurs in diabetics, it may cause pain and tingling, including possible numbness in the foot.  Serious infections may be the result of this and can possibly lead to gangrene.  It’s important to manage your diabetes; this may involve following a foot care plan.  It’s crucial to check your feet daily, which will enable you to notice problems before they get worse.  Some conditions to look for may be cuts, sores, or ingrown toenails. Washing your feet regularly will help you become aware of these issues.  Trimming the toenails straight across the toe with clippers can help prevent the skin from being cut and can keep the toenails healthy. Consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and to learn of the treatment options available for diabetic feet.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

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

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26 December 2017

How Can I Treat My Heel Pain?

Heel pain tends to be worse in the morning or after a long period of standing.  Gradually worsening over time, the pain may become increasingly severe while walking because of the weight placed on the heel.  A common cause of this condition may be a pre-existing injury affecting the plantar fascia, or the tissue that runs under the bottom of the foot.  The plantar fascia is a connective tendon that acts like a shock absorber, and if damage occurs, it may become inflamed and torn.  A common group of people that experience heel pain are joggers and older adults; usually 1 in 10 of the population will endure heel pain during their lives.  Treatments can include stretching regularly and wearing shoes with proper support and cushioning.  There are other methods that may prevent heel pain, including eating a healthy diet, partaking in regular exercise, and wearing shoes without heels.  A consultation with a podiatrist may be advised for proper diagnosis and treatment if your heel pain continues.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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18 December 2017

The Causes of Gout

Painful attacks in the joints of the foot, especially the big toe, may be indicative of a condition referred to as gout. When an excess of uric acid builds up in the body, it can typically form into crystals; this can inflame the joints, possibly causing severe pain and swelling. Long-term arthritis is common if the cartilage is damaged due to a build up of crystals. Most sufferers of gout can find relief in lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and exercise. Lowering the amount of uric acid in the body is an effective way in treating gout and can possibly be achieved by drinking plenty of water and limiting alcohol. Additionally, avoiding red meat and consuming a diet rich in vitamin C may also be helpful in eliminating crystals from the kidneys. If  you experience pain in the big toe and foot, a consultation with a podiatrist is advised.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors 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 offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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12 December 2017

How to Treat and Prevent Cracked Heels at Home

Cracked heels are generally not a serious health concern for non-diabetics. Having said that, they can be a discomforting and even slightly painful issue. Cracked heels are typically caused by dry skin, so making sure to keep your feet hydrated is important. Foot creams can be very helpful in restoring moisture to the feet and helping to keep them moisturized. It is recommended that you drink plenty of water to help keep your body hydrated, which will also help to keep your skin hydrated as well. Maintain a healthy diet, and eat foods that will help keep your body healthy. Try to use soaps or skin products that are mild and do not contain harsh chemicals that can damage your skin. Washing your feet daily will help keep them clean and help prevent any potential bacteria or fungus from infecting your feet. Finally, when you dry your feet, pat them dry instead of rubbing them dry as this can damage skin.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors 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 offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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05 December 2017

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Affect the Feet

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes swelling in the heel and joints and can be very painful. It commonly affects the small joints of the feet. Corns and hammertoes can develop, and bunions may be exacerbated due to the weakened ligaments in the foot. Common symptoms that may occur include clicking and popping sounds, locked joints due to stiffness, and difficulty walking. Plantar fasciitis can also develop because the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. Stretching exercises, which increases the flexibility of the foot and toes, can help bring some relief. Additionally, wearing comfortable and supportive shoes may also make your feet feel better. Avoid poorly-fitted footwear such as high heels, as they increase pressure on the feet. Please consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis if you have pain in your feet. Podiatrists are trained to handle arthritis in the foot and ankle and will be able to help with the condition.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist  if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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

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