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19 March 2018

Options on How to Measure Your Feet

Comfort is one of the most important things to look for when buying shoes, and comfort starts with measuring your feet correctly so proper shoes can be chosen for maximum support. There are several ailments that can occur from wearing shoes that fit poorly, which include blisters, cuts on the feet, and long-term injuries. Measuring the feet periodically will aid in choosing the correct size, and this can be done on a Brannock device which is typically found in shoe stores. An alternative to this tool is to measure the length and width of the foot on paper by tracing the outline of your foot. This may help you determine if a wider or narrower width is needed for optimum comfort. Please consider a consultation with a podiatrist for more information on how to determine your proper shoe size.

Getting the right shoe size is an important part of proper foot health. Seek the assistance of one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Getting the Right Shoe Size

There are many people who wear shoes that are the incorrect size, negatively affecting their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process, so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to choosing the right pair.

  • When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot.
  • Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes.
  • Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently.
  • Purchase shoes later in the day, as your feet swell as the day progresses.
  • If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes

As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat them right. Picking the right pair of shoes can provide your feet comfort and mobility without pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of 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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12 March 2018

Causes of Flat Feet

If the sole of your foot comes in full contact with the ground, you may have a condition referred to as flat feet, or fallen arches. The majority of babies are born with flat feet and generally will last until the age of 10, when the arches will develop. It’s commonly believed that a predisposed inherited gene may be the cause of this ailment. The muscles of the foot may become weakened due to an injury. Alternatively, if incorrect shoes have been worn with little or no support, flat feet may often be the result. Additional causes may include wearing high heels, how the feet age, and standing for long stretches of time in poorly fitting shoes. In some cases, the tendon that connects the heel to the calf is affected. This is called the Achilles tendon, and if this become injured, extreme discomfort is often experienced. Surgery may be recommended as an option for relieving pain. Having flat feet may also occur as an adult, and contributing factors such as diabetes and obesity may be significant causes. Please consider scheduling a consultation with a podiatrist for more information about flat feet.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of 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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05 March 2018

Causes of Cracked Heels

The skin on our heels is considerably thicker than the rest of the body because of the amount of pressure and stress the feet must endure. If your heels are dry, itchy, and the skin appears flaked, you may have a condition referred to as cracked heels. Many people suffer from cracked heels, often due to a number of factors. The type of lifestyle that is led may be a cause of this ailment, as it may include a lack of exercise and a diet high in complex carbohydrates, which may affect the circulation in the feet. The skin can lose elasticity, and may be prone to forming fissures, or cracks in the skin. Additional factors may include not taking care of your feet properly, standing most of the day, and being in cold weather. Treatment options may include utilizing a moisturizer after soaking the feet in warm, soapy water. If this condition persists or becomes severe, a consultation with a podiatrist is suggested for advice and information on how to treat cracked heels.

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 one of 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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26 February 2018

Treatment Options for Hammertoe

When the joints of the toes begin to bend severely, often resembling a “hammer,” this condition is referred to as hammertoe. It is typically a deformity of the toes, generally caused by imbalances in the tendons, and this may change the structure of the toe. Pain and discomfort are associated with hammertoes, and calluses and corns often form on the bottom of the foot. This condition will worsen over time, and treatment options should be considered. It’s important to trim any calluses that may be present, and this is typically performed by a podiatrist. Splints may be attached to the foot to realign the toes, and orthotics may be recommended to help the foot feel more comfortable. If you have a severe case of hammertoe, surgery may be required to permanently repair the toe.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact one of 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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20 February 2018

Symptoms of a Toenail Fungus

White or yellow toenails is often indicative of a toenail fungus. Severe fungal infections can cause thickening of the nail, and even cause it to crumble and fall off the toe. If the feet are prone to excessive sweating, the chances may be increased for developing a toenail fungus. Additionally, this condition is contagious, and is often spread by walking barefoot in public places such as on shower floors and around community pools. Treatment remedies that may aid in helping the foot to feel better may include using a foot powder designed to eliminate moisture. Choosing to change socks often and keeping the toenails dry and trimmed will help the toes to feel better. A consultation with a podiatrist is recommended for treatment options.

For more information about treatment, 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.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of 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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12 February 2018

How Do I Know if I Have Gout?

When excess uric acid is present in the blood, it may cause a painful condition referred to as gout. Gout is a form of arthritis, and the causes of it may also lead to potential problems involving the kidneys. Pain, swelling, and extreme tenderness are common symptoms associated with this condition, and they generally continue for 7-10 days. There are several possible causes of gout, two of which are a predisposed inherited trait and a diet largely consisting of excess red meat, beer, and sugar. An attack of gout must first be diagnosed, and there are several ways this can be accomplished. X-rays may be taken, in addition to performing a procedure where a small amount of fluid is removed from the joint that appears to be affected. Treatment for this condition will depend on the severity of the disorder, and a consultation with a podiatrist is advised for the best available options.

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 one of 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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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 one of 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 worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

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

How Are Bunions Treated?

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

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of 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 one of 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 one of 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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