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Posts for: March, 2018

Getting help for the most-common, most-ignored type of pain

If our teeth ache, most of us will head quickly to the dentist for treatment. But if your feet hurt, do you just chalk up the pain as a discomfort of modern life? Sadly, most of us do. Most Americans say they have foot pain at least some of the time, and more of us have pain in our feet than in any other part of our bodies we consider vital to health, such as skin, teeth, or even the heart, according to a 2012 survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Yet feet rank lowest on the list of body parts and functions that Americans consider important to their health, the APMA study shows.

Additionally, many Americans don’t seek foot care from a podiatrist—a doctor specially trained to care for feet. Foot health directly affects the quality of our lives. When our feet are healthy, feeling good, and working well, they can enable us to go about our normal routines. But injured, ill, or just plain sore feet can undermine the foundation of our good health.

Feet are often indicators of our overall health; signs of arthritis, diabetes, and nerve and circulatory problems can all be detected in the feet. People suffering from foot pain are also more likely to suffer from a variety of other health issues, including back, knee, and joint pain, and weight and heart problems.

So how do you know if your foot pain is just annoying, or serious enough to merit a visit to a podiatrist? Persistent pain or sudden, severe pain should definitely raise warning bells. Beyond that, keep in mind that there are many sources of foot pain, and many foot ailments that can be treated best by a podiatrist. These conditions can include:

·       arthritis;

·       athlete’s foot;

·       bunions—an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe;

·       foot and ankle injuries;

·       heel pain, especially if it is chronic;

·       nail problems, including nail fungus;

·       peripheral arterial disease—a blockage or narrowing of the arteries in the legs;

·       pinched nerves;

·       skin cancer;

·       warts; and

·       wounds or nerve damage due to diabetes

Today’s podiatrist is a true expert, trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. The country’s 15,000 practicing podiatrists work in a variety of disciplines, from sports medicine and pediatrics, to dermatology and diabetes. Podiatrists can:

·       perform surgery;

·       provide complete medical histories and physical exams;

·       prescribe medicine;

·       set breaks and treat sports-related injuries;

·       prescribe and fit appliances, insoles, and custom-made shoes;

·       order and provide physical therapy;

·       order and interpret X-rays and other imaging scans; and

·       work as a member of your health-care team

How can we help you?
The professional staff at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care find caring for your podiatric health exceptionally rewarding. If you are experiencing pain, please don't wait. Contact the office right away for an appointment at one of our two offices. In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000. 


Ten timely tips to get feet ready for spring

From slogging through snow, ice, and slush to being confined in heavy boots to fight the cold—if your feet could talk, what a tale of winter woe they might tell. You may be tempted to pull your sandals out of the closet and stuff your heaviest hosiery to the back of the sock drawer, but before you set your soles free to savor spring, some preparation is in order. Being cooped up in cramped footwear during winter months can cause feet to suffer from a variety of ailments, from dry, flaky skin and discolored toenails to pesky corns and unsightly calluses. Pampering your feet in preparation for warm weather can help feet look and feel their best when warmer weather calls for donning flip-flops and peep-toe shoes.

Caring for your feet not only promotes good hygiene, but it can also alert you to any problem areas that may need attention before slipping into sandals this spring. Plus, it’s a good way to relax and de-stress after a tiring winter. When your feet feel good, you’re more likely to feel good all over.

APMA offers these 10 tips for getting your feet spring-ready:

1. Start with a soak. Immerse your feet in warm water with Epsom salts, herbal soaks, or oils for at least 10 minutes.

2. Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently remove thickened, dead skin build-up (calluses) around the pre-soaked heels and the balls and sides of the feet. Never use a razor, as it removes too much skin and can easily cause infection or permanent damage if used incorrectly.

3. Eliminate dry, flaky winter skin on the soles, sides, and tops of the feet by using an exfoliating scrub.

4. Massage a generous amount of emollient-enriched skin lotion all over your feet. The lotion hydrates the skin, and the massaging helps to promote circulation. Be sure to remove any excess moisturizer from under your toenails or between toes as build-up in those areas can provide a breeding ground for bacteria.

5. Use a straight-edged toenail clipper to trim nails to just the end of each toe to ensure nails don’t become curved or rounded in the corners.

6. Help lock in moisture by wearing a pair of poly-cotton blend socks at bedtime.

7. Forgo nail polish if your nails are not healthy. If you have healthy nails, remove polish regularly to keep them in top condition.

8. Wash your feet daily with soap and water. Dry carefully, paying extra attention to the areas between your toes.

9. Inspect last spring and summer’s footwear. Throw away any shoes or sandals that appear worn.

10. If any skin or nail problems exist, see a podiatrist for a medical diagnosis. Today’s podiatrists are physicians, surgeons, and specialists trained to diagnose and treat conditions that affect the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg.

How can we help you?
The professional staff at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care find caring for your podiatric health exceptionally rewarding. If you are experiencing pain, please don't wait. Contact the office right away for an appointment at one of our two offices. In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000.  


Five foot problems you should never ignore

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet, don’t ignore it! Most foot conditions are treatable, and easier to treat, when diagnosed early.

  • Heel pain is often caused by tissue inflammation, but can also result from a broken bone, a tight Achilles tendon, a pinched nerve, or other problem. A qualified physician will know how to diagnose and treat the true cause of heel pain.
  • Ankle sprains always, always, always require a prompt visit to the doctor. Men who skip out on medical care are more likely to suffer repeated ankle sprains and then develop chronic ankle instability.
  • Big toe stiffness and pain develops slowly over time, as cartilage in the big toe joint wears down. This eventually leads to arthritis. The sooner a man has this diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.
  • Achilles tendonitis usually develops from a sudden increase in physical activity, such as when men play weekend sports. Chances of an Achilles tendon rupture can be reduced by treatment of the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis: pain and tenderness on the back of the foot or heel.
  • Ingrown toenails can pierce the skin, open the door for bacteria to enter the body, and convince some men to perform dangerous "bathroom surgery." Few men know that a doctor can perform a quick procedure that will end the pain and permanently cure an ingrown toenail.

How can we help you?
The professional staff at Westmoreland Foot & Ankle Care find caring for your podiatric health exceptionally rewarding. If you are experiencing pain, please don't wait. Contact the office right away for an appointment at one of our two offices. In Irwin, call (724) 863-0996. For the Greensburg location, call (724) 832-1000.