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Tuesday, 13 June 2017 00:00

Dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Contrary to popular belief, rheumatoid arthritis does not only occur in elderly people. The chronic inflammatory disorder can also strike people who are in their 20s and 30s. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the lining of the joints which results in stiffness and swelling. In the beginning stages, you may only experience stiffness and tenderness in your feet, however these symptoms alone don’t necessarily mean you have the condition. It may take your doctor several months to be able to properly diagnose your rheumatoid arthritis. If you have pain or stiffness in your feet or ankles, you should consult with a podiatrist.

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 Dr. Clifton Barretta of Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor 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 office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 05 June 2017 00:00

Living with Flat Feet

“About 20-30% of the population suffers from fallen arches in one or both feet.” Flat feet can be very problematic for runners. Those with flat feet have to be careful while training, stretching, and selecting running shoes. They have to know and pay attention to the warning signs of potential foot problems. Those with flat feet may also have a condition called plantar fasciitis, however stretching is the best way to prevent onset of this. Having shoes that fit properly is important for everyone, but it is especially important for those who have flat feet.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor 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 office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Gout, a common form of inflammatory arthritis, is a joint disease that can be particularly painful when it flares up. A certain diet has been found to lower levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which is high in fruits and vegetables and low in salt, sugar, and red meat, can be very beneficial for people with gout. This diet is also low in purines, a compound that breaks down to form uric acid. After a study period of 26 years, doctors found that those who followed the DASH diet were less likely to develop gout compared to those who ate a typical Western diet.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor 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 office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017 00:00

Finding the Perfect Shoe for You

It is crucial for people of all ages to have properly fitting shoes. You should always try on shoes while in the shoestore in order to make sure you are getting the right fit. A new pair of shoes should never pinch your feet, and there should be at least one finger length of space at the top of the shoe. Additionally, your heel should have a firm positioning inside of the shoe. It is advised that the shoe buyer takes a walk around in the store for several minutes before making a purchase, in order to know if the shoes fit properly.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor  will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

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

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Tuesday, 16 May 2017 00:00

Stretching Key in Avoiding Injuries

During the winter season at the beginning of the year, many people strive to get into shape for the upcoming summer season. Before jumping straight into working out however, many podiatrists agree that it is important to warm up and stretch properly. Injuries such as stress fractures, tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis are all more likely to occur if the feet are not stretched properly. In addition to stretching and warming up, wearing supportive sneakers and slowly increasing high impact activities can also minimize your risk of suffering these injuries.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. Clifton Barretta  from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

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

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Hyperhidrosis is identified as a medical condition which leads to overactive sweat glands, also associated with higher rates of anxiety and even depression in those who are affected. According to a study by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), “21 percent of people with hyperhidrosis had anxiety, and 27 percent of people with this ailment had depression.” Hyperhidrosis can occur regardless of factors such as temperature, and can occur in any region of our body. However, in most cases it typically affects the feet, hands, and underarms. Nearly 3 percent of the population is afflicted by this condition.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Dr. Clifton Barretta of Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.

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

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Wednesday, 03 May 2017 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis Common Among Adults

Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition that most commonly affects those between the ages of 30 to 55, especially those who are athletes. The plantar fascia, a ligament that runs beneath the sole of the foot, supports the arch of the foot and acts as a shock absorber. Repeated stress and impact to the heel, however, can cause the fascia to tear and become inflamed. This results in the foot condition, plantar fasciitis. While there are various specific causes of this condition, excessive pressure is often the culprit. To determine the cause of your plantar fasciitis and the most appropriate treatment, consult with your podiatrist.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta  from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor 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 office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 24 April 2017 18:51

Bulls’ Payne again suffers foot injury

Chicago Bulls' guard Cameron Payne, since being traded from the Oklahoma Thunder last year, is still having right foot problems. Last summer Payne was having pain in his foot, which eventually led to stress fracture surgery. Since the surgery Payne’s foot has been on the fritz. In training camp, he aggravated the surgical screw in his foot. Though he didn’t have a second surgery after this incident, the pain had lingered. Being that Payne has only been with the Bulls since February 23, he has been working overtime learning the offense. The pain has returned and now he’s back on the bench. In his own words, “I just need to take a little time off it.”

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

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

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A recent study conducted on the elderly found that those who do not wear proper footwear tend to seek medical treatment for their feet more often and suffer a lower quality of life. According to Daniel Lopez, one of the lead scientists of the study, improper shoes are often worn due to people’s lifestyles at this later stage in life. Combined with various chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, improper footwear causes an increase in foot problems in the elderly. Data from the study concluded that pain and foot function were detrimentally affected.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet, and can hide many life threating medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

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

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Corey Kispert, a senior at King’s High and a soon to be freshman at Gonzaga, suffered a broken metatarsal. He had been feeling pain in his right foot since a basketball tournament around Christmas and after doctors had told him it was just a stress fracture, continued to play. However, during the next game, in the middle of a layup, Kispert “felt a pop” in both of his feet. X-rays showed an old fracture in his left foot and a broken metatarsal in his right. Surgery was performed on the broken metatarsal and Kispert is expected to be able to start his college basketball career on time.

Foot surgery is sometimes necessary to treat a foot ailment. To learn more, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta of Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor 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 office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Hours / Location

Monday: 9am - 5pm
Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 1pm

Associated Foot Health Center
105 Mead Ave
Meadville, PA, 16335

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