Blog

orthotics5Orthotics are different from shoe inserts in that they are designed specifically for your feet, meant to treat your specific foot condition. At least “58 percent of Americans have said they have had heel pain due to ill-fitting shoes,” according to the American Podiatric Medical Association, and many resort to using over-the-counter shoe inserts to aid in fighting foot pain. However, even though shoe inserts can offer comfort and support, they are not customized to address the individual’s specific foot problems. Orthotics are crafted from an individual’s foot imprints and can be used to treat a multitude of problems including plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, tendon problems, arthritis, flat feet and more.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

What are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain, but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct over arched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you, or if you have a more severe foot issue, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and more severe heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses, and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist on the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain free.

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.

Read more about Orthotics

Monday, 12 December 2016 23:55

Wearing High Heels May Cause Osteoarthritis

high heel16Studies suggest that wearing high heels for prolonged periods of time can lead to the development of osteoarthritis. According to a study conducted by a student and professor from Iowa State University Kinesiology, wearing high heels can lead to joint degeneration and knee osteoarthritis. This occurs as our body posture is shifted, stunting our movements. Strain on the back and our joints results as our legs, knees and ankles are re-aligned to accommodate the height of high-heeled shoes.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because their style and societal appeal. Despite this, they can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

What parts my body will be affected by high heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – may shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – they decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain. Also, the vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What kinds of foot problems can develop from wearing high heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How can I still wear high heels and maintain foot health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems. Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet. Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising. If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work. Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available.

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.

Read more about the effects of high heels.

Monday, 05 December 2016 21:30

Causes of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

plantar fasciitis6Tarsal tunnel syndrome can occur as a result of compression of the tarsal tunnel, “a canal at the inside of your ankle that houses tendons (what connects muscle to bone) and your tibial nerve.” Symptoms of the syndrome can include burning, aching and sudden pain in and around your ankles and feet. Causes of the syndrome range from flat feet, constant strain on your ankles and feet and an anatomic anomaly where there is too little space for the tibial nerve. Treating your tarsal tunnel syndrome involves physical therapy, custom orthotics and massages around the affected area.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
-Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
-Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
-At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
-Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
-The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
-If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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.

Read more about tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Monday, 28 November 2016 22:34

How to Shop for Shoes

shoes2For individuals who are looking for properly-fitting and comfortable shoes such as dress shoes or boots, look for those that offer adequate arch support as well as enough room in the toe box of the shoes for our toes to wiggle, according to Dr. Bob Weil, sports podiatrist. Heels of shoes should also be no higher than an inch and a half. We should also take into consideration the length and width of our feet, especially when getting them measured. Shoes should offer good support, mostly for the arch area.

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 can treat your foot and ankle concerns.

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 in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about proper shoe fitting.

Monday, 21 November 2016 01:55

What Causes Bunions?

bunions7Bunions can be described as the bony deformities of our foot’s joints. There are several factors that can contribute to the forming and progression of bunions, such as genetics, arthritis, previous injuries and long-term use of improperly-fitting shoes such as high heels. Shoes can play a large role in the overall comfort of our feet, especially for those of us who are avid runners, so it’s important to find the proper shoes to prevent the development of problems such as bunions. If left untreated, bunions may require orthotics and possibly even surgery if they become too severe. Wild neutral running shoes are recommended for women who have arched and neural feet that do not roll inwards or outwards. Wild stability running shoes are recommended for those who have lower-arched feet that tend to roll inward. Wide motion-control running shoes are ideal for those who have flat feet

Untreated bunions can make walking uncomfortable. If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer any of your related questions.  

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 by 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 office located in Meadville, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions

Monday, 14 November 2016 12:50

All About Stress Fractures

xrayThe fifth metatarsal is the long bone that connects to the pinky toe on the outside of the foot.  This bone is especially prone to fracture for people involved in any sort of prolonged physical activity, especially team sports.  This is one of the most common injuries in soccer, but many other athletes also suffer this injury.  It is vitally important to never ignore any type of foot pain, on the field or off.  Professionally, there is immense pressure to perform, which can lead to dependency on prescription painkillers.  But the truth is we all need our feet, not just star athletes. The best course of action is always to contact a podiatrist and get to the root of the problem.

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 treat your foot and ankle concerns.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

The Stress Fractures occur on the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. Then the feet and ankles 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. The stress on the feet causes cracks to form in the bones, thus called 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

-play tennis or basketball

-gymnastics

-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 in 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 care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle.

 

runners20If leg or foot misalignment exists, it may interfere with spinal function. Feet are described as “the foundation of the body.” At birth, most people tend to have perfect feet. By age 20, 80 percent of those with “perfect feet” have developed some type of foot problem, and by the age of 40, nearly everyone has some sort of foot condition. The use of external supports such as heel lifts may significantly reduce biomechanical forces on the lumbar spine. The use of these lifts has been found to help ease structural strains on the body.

If you have any concerns about your feet, 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.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics
- Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
- In 1974 biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination to the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

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.

Read more about Biomechanics

Monday, 31 October 2016 00:05

Treating Toenail Fungus

athletes foot7Toenail fungus is difficult to hide and at times, may be difficult to treat. Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of it. Nail fungus starts off as a white or yellow spot underneath your toenail. As the fungal infection progresses, it may cause your nail to change color, thicken, or crumble at the edge. Toenail fungus can usually be treated by medicated nail polish, oral antibiotics, medicated nail cream, or nail removal.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Clifton Barretta from Associated Foot Health Center. Our doctor will attend to your foot and ankle needs.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a problem which affects many people and is hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating toenail fungus.

Antibiotics & Treatments

Lamisil – is the most commonly effective treatment for toenail fungus. It is available as an antibiotic Terbinafine tablet and cream. Terbinafine is a chemical component which kills fungal growth on the body. Applying regular doses will gradually kill the fungal growth. It is important to keep the area clean and air free.

Talcum powder – applying 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

Alternative Treatments

There are always surgical procedures that are available for toenail fungus. Some people would like immediate quick removal of toenail fungus. Surgeons will be able to cut through and remove the growth using laser surgery. It is important not to try and remove it yourself. Once removed, your old shoes will need to be replaced to avoid reinfection.  

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

Read more about Toenail Fungus

foot exercise4Running injuries occur when a part of the body is unable to handle the repetitive stress being placed upon it. 30 percent of beginner runners become injured within their first three months of running. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as: poor technique, poor strength, and fluctuations in training volume. It is important for runners to stretch before they exercise in order to improve flexibility and mobility. Another way to reduce injury risk for runners is to wear proper footwear. Choosing to wear shoes that are comfortable and allow for the athlete to have good movement can greatly reduce the risk of injury.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns about your feet, 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.

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Many common running injuries are caused by overuse and overtraining. When the back of the kneecap starts wearing out and starts causing pain in your knee, this is commonly referred to as runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is a decrease in strength in your quadriceps and can occur if you’re not wearing properly fitted or supporting shoes. To prevent runner’s knee, focusing on hip strengthening is a good idea, as well as strengthening your quads to keep the kneecaps aligned.

What Are Some Causes of Running Injuries?
- One cause of a common running injury is called iliotibial band syndrome.
- Plantar fasciitis is also another common injury.
- Stress fractures can occur from overtraining, lack of calcium, or even your running style.

Best Ways to Prevent Running Injuries
- Wear footwear that fits properly and suits your running needs.
- Running shoes are the only protective gear that runners have to safeguard them from injury.
- Make a training schedule. Adding strengthening exercises as well as regular stretching can help keep you strong and limber and can lessen the possibility of injuries.
- Stretching keeps muscles limber, this will help you gain better flexibility.

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.

Read more about How to Prevent Running Injuries

Monday, 17 October 2016 10:59

Ben Simmons Breaks Ankle

broken foot5Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers “rolled” his right ankle while playing during the last scrimmage of the 2016 Training Camp at Stockton University in late September. Simmons had an X-ray and MRI done to review his foot condition, and it was later determined that he sustained “a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot.” His playing status for the team was unknown at the time and his foot required further examination to consider his long-term status.

Broken ankles need immediate treatment. If you are seeking treatment,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.

Broken Ankles
A broken ankle is experienced when a person fractures their tibia or fibula in the lower leg and ankle area. Both of these bones are attached at the bottom of the leg and combine to form what we know to be our ankle.

When a physician is referring to a break of the ankle, he or she is usually referring to a break in the area where the tibia and fibula are joined to create our ankle joint. Ankles are more prone to fractures because the ankle is an area that suffers a lot of pressure and stress. There are some obvious signs when a person experiences a fractured ankle, and the following symptoms may be present.

Symptoms of a Fractured Ankle

  • Excessive pain when the area is touched or when any pressure is placed on the ankle
  • Swelling around the area
  • Bruising of the area
  • Area appears to be deformed

If you suspect an ankle fracture, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you have your podiatrist diagnose the fracture, the quicker you’ll be on the way towards recovery.

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.

Read more about broken ankles.

Page 3 of 5

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

DIRECTIONS