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Kevin F Gallagher, DPM
Board Certified in Foot and Ankle Surgery
(724) 941-4330


March 2021

Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

Obese Children May Have Flatter Feet

Flat feet is a condition in which there is no visible arch in the feet when the feet bear weight. While all babies are born with flat feet, in most children, the arch will develop slowly over time. However, obese children have been found to be more likely to retain their flat feet. This can be due to lowered arches caused by the excess strain that being overweight places on the feet, in addition to the extra fat padding found on the soles of obese children’s feet. Flat feet sometimes cause foot and ankle pain and can also contribute to back pain as children age. If your child has flat feet and complains of foot pain, please consult with a podiatrist. 

 

The more you weigh, the harder your feet must work to support your body. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher from Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and Your Feet

People who are overweight are putting more pressure on their ankles, knees, and hips as well as their feet. This unfortunately can lead to variety of different issues.

Problems & Complications Stemming from Obesity

  • When the body is overweight, it tries to compensate by changing the way that it moves. An obese person may lean forward and put extra weight on the wrong part of the foot. This puts unnecessary stress on the feet.
  • Obese people are also more likely to develop type II diabetes which is a condition that causes a lot of foot problems. People with diabetes often don’t feel the cuts and sores that they may have on their feet, which can lead to more complicated and severe issues.
  • Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that can be caused by obesity. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot, which causes pain and stiffness while walking and climbing stairs.

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

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet
Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

How Obesity Affects Your Feet

Gaining weight can happen suddenly and at any time. Usually you won’t notice the extra weight until your feet start hurting at the end of the day. This happens as your feet begin adjusting to carrying more weight. Foot swelling and pain are two of the biggest side effects of having gained weight.

Many foot-related problems can occur even after just putting on a few pounds. This includes the body ‘compensating’ by changing the way it moves. You may find yourself putting extra weight on the wrong parts of your feet and even leaning forward a bit. Your feet were designed to carry a healthy, normal body weight. Extra weight places undue stress on them.

Being overweight often causes the development of Type-2 diabetes, causing leg and foot pain. Older people who do not attempt to control their condition can even lose sensation and feeling in their legs and feet. This can lead to the development of small sores that can lead to serious infection.

Extra stress placed on the joints, tendons and muscles in the feet as a result of extra body weight may also cause heel spurs, or plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the foot tissue, causing stiffness and pain when walking and climbing stairs. This can usually be relieved by foot stretches and custom made orthotic shoe-inserts.

Problems in the feet triggered by obesity can be treated by paying special attention to footwear. Proper support shoes that allow for good circulation, especially in the arch and ankle, are vital. A podiatrist can help you find what sort of shoe is most suitable for your feet. They can also measure you for special orthotics if necessary.

It could also be high time to start losing weight in order to treat and prevent diabetes as well as other life threatening diseases. Some methods include yoga and water aerobics, which benefit your entire body without placing stress on your feet. Don’t risk losing your feet by losing interest in them. Take care of your feet and your body, as they deserve the very best.

Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00

How Do Orthotics Work?

Orthotics are specially designed shoe inserts that help correct imbalances and provide additional support to the feet. They can be purchased over the counter or be custom made by a podiatrist. Orthotics can help provide relief from a variety of conditions such as corns, calluses, ulcerations, tendonitis, heel pain, recurring stress fractures, and even hip and lower back pain. Since orthotics are designed to address specific problems, they can work in various ways that include relieving pressure by redistributing body weight or by providing extra shock absorption. Patients who believe that orthotics may help relieve their foot and ankle issues should consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist looks at a variety of factors, such as the foot’s structure and function, biomechanics and lifestyle factors, to determine the right fit for each individual patient.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher from Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

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 overarched 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 concern, 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 severe forms of 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 about 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 contact one of our offices located in McMurray and Hickory, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Orthotics
Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00

Foot Orthotics

Orthotics are shoe inserts that are meant to correct an irregular walking gait or provide cushioning to the feet.  Orthotics come in a variety of different models and sizes, including over-the-counter and customizable variants. Customizable orthotics can be shaped and contoured to fit inside a specific shoe and are typically prescribed through a podiatrist who specializes in customized footwear and orthotics design and management.

Orthotics are beneficial because they can help prevent injuries from occurring and provide cushioning to keep pain levels down to a minimum. They also allow for the correct positioning of the feet. Orthotics can act as shock absorbers to help remove pressure from the foot and ankle. Therefore, orthotics can make bodily movements, such as walking and running, become more comfortable as well as help prevent the development of certain foot conditions.

Orthotics alleviate pain and make the foot more comfortable by slightly altering the angle at which the foot strikes the ground surface, therefore controlling the movement of the foot and ankle. Orthotics come in different variants and can be made of various materials. To determine what type of orthotic is most suited to your feet and your needs, it is best to consult your podiatrist. He or she will be able to recommend a type of orthotic that can help improve your foot function or prescribe a custom orthotic to best fit your feet.  

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

Monday, 15 March 2021 00:00

Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is a frustrating problem that affects many people. It can be persistent and hard to get rid of. As many different types of fungi are present throughout the environment, it is very easy to contract toenail fungus.  

The feet are especially susceptible to toenail fungus because shoes and socks create the ideal dark and moist environment that fungal infections thrive in. While fungal infections of the nail plate are quite common, if left untreated they can spread beyond the toenail and into the skin and other parts of the body.

Signs of toenail fungus include a thickened nail that has become yellow or brown in color, a foul smell, and debris beneath the nail. The toe may become painful due to the pressure of a thicker nail or the buildup of debris.

Treatment for toenail fungus is most effective during the early stages of an infection. If there is an accumulation of debris beneath the nail plate, an ingrown nail or a more serious infection can occur. While each treatment varies between patients, your podiatrist may prescribe you oral medications, topical liquids and creams, or laser therapy. To determine the best treatment process for you, be sure to visit your podiatrist at the first signs of toenail fungus.

Fungal nail infections often form when fungi gets into small cracks on the toenails.  These infections cause the nail to turn brown or yellow and become thick and crumbly.  The fungi that leads to nail infections often thrive in warm and moist environments such as locker rooms, showers, and pool areas.  Because of this, it is important to always wear some form of footwear in these environments. Other common ways to prevent toenail infections include frequently washing the feet, not sharing clippers or nail files, wearing a fresh pair of socks daily, wearing breathable footwear, and not sharing footwear with others. When fungal nail infections are left untreated, they can become painful and foul smelling. Therefore, if you do believe that you may have a fungal nail infection, it is important to consult with a podiatrist for treatment options.

For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher of Gallagher Podiatry. Our doctor 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 McMurray and Hickory, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toenail Fungus
Monday, 08 March 2021 00:00

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. When this band of connective tissue becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis occurs. Fortunately, this condition is treatable.

There are several factors that may put you at a greater risk for developing plantar fasciitis. One of the biggest factors is age; plantar fasciitis is common in those between the ages of 40 to 60. People who have jobs that require them to be on their feet are also likely to develop plantar fasciitis. This includes factory workers, teachers, and others who spend a large portion of their day walking around on hard surfaces. Another risk factor is obesity because excess weight can result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

People with plantar fasciitis often experience a stabbing pain in the heel area. This pain is usually at its worst in the morning, but can also be triggered by periods of standing or sitting. Plantar fasciitis may make it hard to run and walk. It may also make the foot feel stiff and sensitive, which consequently makes walking barefoot difficult.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis depends on the severity of the specific case of the condition. Ice massage applications may be used to reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy is often used to treat plantar fasciitis, and this may include stretching exercises. Another treatment option is anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen.

If you suspect that you have plantar fasciitis, meet with your podiatrist immediately. If left untreated, symptoms may lead to tearing and overstretching of the plantar fascia. The solution is early detection and treatment. Be sure to speak with your podiatrist if you are experiencing heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, the band that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes, becomes inflamed. Plantar fasciitis usually causes pain in the heel, which is often worse in the morning, after prolonged standing, or after an intense workout. Usually, the pain that comes from plantar fasciitis gradually worsens over time. Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that comes from an activity that puts stress on the plantar fascia, like running, but it can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as flat feet or obesity. Because plantar fasciitis can negatively impact your daily activities, patients who are suffering from heel pain should be under the care of a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Kevin F. Gallagher  from Gallagher Podiatry. 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 one of our offices located in McMurray and Hickory, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Monday, 01 March 2021 00:00

Achilles Tendon Injuries

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body; it is a tough band of fibrous tissue that stretches from the bones of the heel to the calf muscles. This tendon is what allows us to stand on our toes while running, walking, or jumping, it is common for this tendon to become injured. In severe cases, the Achilles tendon may become partially torn or completely ruptured. However, this tendon is susceptible to injury because of its limited blood supply and the high tensions it endures.

The people who are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries are athletes who partake in activities that require them to speed up, slow down, or pivot. Consequently, athletes who engage in running, gymnastics, dance, football, baseball, basketball, or tennis are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendon injuries. Additionally, there are other factors that may make you more prone to this injury. People who wear high heels, have flat feet, have tight leg muscles or tendons, or take medicines called glucocorticoids are more likely to have Achilles tendon injuries.

A common symptom of an Achilles tendon injury is pain above the heel that is felt when you stand on your toes. However, if the tendon is ruptured, the pain will be severe, and the area may become swollen and stiff. Other symptoms may be reduced strength in the lower ankle or leg area, and reduced range of motion in the ankle. When the Achilles tendon tears, there is usually a popping sound that occurs along with it. People who have acute tears or ruptures may find walking and standing to be difficult.

If you suspect you have injured your Achilles tendon, you should see your podiatrist to have a physical examination. Your podiatrist will likely conduct a series of tests to diagnose your injury including a “calf-squeeze” test. Calf squeeze tests are performed by first squeezing the calf muscle on the healthy leg. This will pull on the tendon and consequently cause the foot to move. Afterward, the same test will be performed on the injured leg. If the tendon is torn, the foot won’t move because the calf muscle won’t be connected to the foot.

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