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Martin Foot & Ankle

Get Answers to Your Questions About Foot and Ankle Care in Pennsylvania

When you have foot and ankle pain, you want answers to your concerns fast. Browse through our collection of answers to frequently asked questions. Our hope is that you will find the information you need to get relief for your foot and ankle pain in Pennsylvania.

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  • Are there exercises to improve my balance?

    Strength and endurance both play important roles in maintaining one’s balance, so there are most definitely exercises that can focus on building a stable foundation and preventing falls.

    We invite anyone who wishes to improve their balance to take advantage of the Wellness Program we have at Martin Foot and Ankle. We provide effective programs personally tailored by our physical therapists to address your fitness level and needs. Once your program has been established, you can pursue it at your own pace. Our York location is semi-supervised and you never need an appointment to attend. Just show up whenever we’re open! We also use simple equipment to make the program easy to pick up from the comfort of your own home, if you wish.

    Our Wellness Program is $45 per month with no fees, contracts, or limits to monthly visits. For more information, please give us a call at (717) 757-3537.

  • How are bunions treated?

    Bunion examAlthough the possibility of surgery is often on the forefront of most people’s minds, a majority of bunions can be treated without the need to go under the knife. Conservative treatment does not involve eliminating the bony protrusion, but instead relieving its pain and the pressure that can be forced upon it. Effective methods may involve the use of special shoes or custom orthotics to redistribute weight, the prescription of medications to relieve pain, or the application of padding, taping, or splints to protect the bunion against pressure or irritation.

    If these measures do not help, then surgery becomes a consideration. Bunion surgery comes in many different forms, involving tendon repair, removal of damaged joint surfaces, or full joint realignment. The specific type of surgery recommended for you will depend on your specific case and functional needs.

    The doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle can provide their expert advice on how to approach your joint treatment. Dial (717) 757-3537 to schedule an appointment with one of our offices in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA. 

  • What causes bunions?

    BunionThe base cause of a bunion is an imbalance in weight and pressure upon the joints and tendons of the foot. The joint of the big toe becomes unstable due to these forces, and eventually shifts the bone to form the hard bump that sticks out from the side.

    The imbalance responsible for bunions can be inherited through one’s family history, or come as the result of a deformity present from birth or an injury that affects the strength of the tendons. It is not fully clear whether wearing high heels or narrow shoes can cause a bunion, but they definitely help contribute toward making an existing bunion worse.

    Whether you have had a bunion for ages or feel like one may be developing, it’s never too late or too soon to seek expert care. The doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle can help relieve the pain of an old bunion or keep a more recent one from growing worse. Call (717) 757-3537 to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA. 

  • What foods cause gout attacks?

    Preventing Gout AttacksFoods that are high in purines, which are a type of protein, can contribute to gout flare-ups. Part of gout prevention is limiting or entirely avoiding these high-risk foods. Meat tends to be very high in purines. Red and organ meats are some of the worst for gout. Certain types of seafood, like anchovies, herring, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, haddock, mackerel, and tuna, have high purine levels and should be avoided as well. Even some poultry, especially goose, should be keep to an absolute minimum. Beer and other types of alcohol may trigger a gout attack, so they are best avoided. A few types of vegetables have a degree of risk as well—cauliflower, lentils, green peas, mushrooms, and spinach in particular. However, in moderate quantities, these vegetables are usually fine.

    Instead, eat more complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Vitamin C and cherries appear to have positive effects that reduce your risk of gout, so consider adding them to your regular diet. Let Jeffrey A. Dunkerley, DPM at Martin Foot and Ankle help you manage your gout and avoid a flare-up. Call (717) 757-3537 to make an appointment at our Pennsylvania offices in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA.

  • Can physical therapy relieve arthritis pain?

    Physical Therapy for Arthritis of the FootPhysical therapy can be a huge benefit for people struggling with arthritis pain. Arthritis makes moving and using your joints painful and difficult, which can limit your mobility and stiffen your limbs. Physical therapy can help you regain some flexibility and range of motion, as well as preserve your strength so your joints last longer. All of this can help alleviate and slow arthritis pain. In the long run, this can prevent deformities and permanent loss of motion in your joints.

    The sooner you start physical therapy, the more likely it will benefit you. Early on it can be helpful for reducing inflammation symptoms and swelling. Don’t wait until the pain is already a serious problem to seek help. Let the Martin Foot and Ankle team help you get the right therapy for your unique discomfort. Make an appointment at our York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA, offices today to deal with your foot pain. Call (717) 757-3537 or use our website to reach us.

  • What is a diabetic foot ulcer?

    Pressing on Foot A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore on your foot that can develop in people with diabetic neuropathy. Usually the wound starts as something small, like a cut or a blister. Over time, it breaks down into a festering sore that can easily become infected. Ulcers typically develop on the sole of the foot or under a toe. However, they can still appear on the sides of the feet, the tops of the toes, and around the heel.

    It doesn’t take long for a foot ulcer to form. Diabetes is a systemic disease that weakens your immune system, making you far more susceptible to small injuries that can rapidly deteriorate into something worse. Neuropathy is a problem with nerves that have lost their sensitivity—often as a side effect of diabetes—making it more likely that you won’t feel small injuries when they happen. This unfortunate combination allows ulcers to form.

    This foot condition needs prompt care by foot specialists like our team at Martin Foot and Ankle in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA. Complications from wounds can actually lead to a limb amputation. Let our experts keep that from happening. Call (717) 757-3537 to make an appointment.

  • How do I keep my skin and toenails healthy?

    Healthy nails with flowersThere are lots of proactive things you can do to grow healthy toenails and maintain healthy feet. Wash your feet with soap and water every day, then check them for unusual changes. This is especially important if you have a condition like diabetes. Even if you do not, being familiar with your feet and catching changes early can help you address and eliminate problems before they become serious.

    Skin can take a beating, so it needs pampering to stay healthy. Use a pumice stone periodically to grind down callus build-up. Moisturize your skin every day, paying particular attention to dry spots like the heels. Consider pretreating your feet with anti-fungal powders or sprays to avoid infections, too.

    Your toenails need almost as much care to stay healthy. Trim them straight across every few weeks so they are even with the ends of your toes. Keep them moisturized and avoid cutting your cuticles. If you’re concerned about your feet or toenails, or you’ve noticed abnormal changes in them, let Martin Foot and Ankle help. Call (717) 757-3537 to make an appointment at either our York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA, offices.

  • What are common causes of children’s heel pain?

    Heel pain.

    Children’s heel pain can have several different causes. Typically the culprit is some kind of overuse injury. Sever’s disease, or inflammation in the heel bone’s growth plate, is the most common source of pediatric heel pain. It creates an aching discomfort that feels worse when your child is active. A stress fracture is the result of repetitive pounding and strain on the bone. The hard tissue cracks under the pressure and grows progressively more uncomfortable. Active children may be prone to Achilles tendon issues, too, including Achilles tendinitis and bursitis between the tendon and the heel bone.

    Since these are overuse issues, you can help your child recover with a little time and care. The sooner you have your son or daughter’s heel pain diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated and begin feeling better. Let the Martin Foot and Ankle team help. Call (717) 757-3537 to make an appointment at our York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA locations.

  • Why does my heel hurt in the morning?

    Heel Pain

    Intense morning heel pain is usually caused by plantar fasciitis. This overuse injury involves a swelling, thickening, and stiffening of the plantar fascia band attached in your sole. When you stand or walk around, your body weight and downward pressure force the tissue to stretch out. Staying off your feet for too long, though, allows the plantar fascia to swell and stiffen again. This typically happens while you sleep at night.

    Then when you get up first thing in the morning, the pressure on the tissue suddenly and forcibly stretches it, possibly causing painful micro-tears in the connector. This causes the sharp and intense morning heel pain. Taking care of plantar fasciitis early after it develops can help go a long way in eliminating the discomfort. Dr. Keith Tyson or one of our other podiatrists at Martin Foot and Ankle in York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA can help you manage your condition. Call (717) 757-3537 or use the website to make an appointment with us.

  • How do I treat Achilles tendonitis?

    Achilles Tendonitis pain.

    Ouch! My aching heel! When your Achilles is killing you, fight back. But kill it with kindness, so to speak. Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury commonly seen in athletes and middle-aged individuals who run or play sports such as tennis, basketball, and soccer. The pain is localized around the Achilles tendon, spanning from the mid and lower calf to the top of the heel. If you're familiar with this ache, you'll know that it creates pain and stiffness, especially in the hours just after waking.

    To treat Achilles tendonitis, use RICE. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Rest the leg, apply ice for about 15 minutes after exercise, reduce movement of the tendon by wrapping it with an ace bandage, and raise the foot above the level of your heart to reduce swelling. Remain patient. This condition responds well to self-care, but if pain persists, contact the specialists at Martin Foot and Ankle today. A weak Achilles tendon is at risk for rupturing or tearing. Call (717) 757-3537 or use our website contact form to reach our York, Hanover, Lancaster and Lititz, PA offices. We'll have you back on your feet in no time.