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Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease that is caused by degeneration of cartilage, a layer of tissue that lines the ends of bones and helps them move smoothly. When the cartilage is worn away, the bones begin to rub directly against each other as they move, leading to pain, swelling, and joint stiffness. Osteoarthritis often affects the joints in the feet and ankles. In addition to the symptoms of arthritis itself, this condition can also cause other foot problems, such as bunions, hallux rigidus, and corns and calluses. Osteoarthritis is associated with aging and tends to affect people over age 45. People who are overweight or obese, have a family history of osteoarthritis, or have a medical history of rheumatoid arthritis or gout are most at risk. If you are experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis in your feet or ankles, please consult with a podiatrist.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Arthritic Foot Care  

Arthritis is a term that is commonly used to describe joint pain.  The condition itself can occur to anyone of any age, race, or gender, and there are over 100 types of it.  Nevertheless, arthritis is more commonly found in women compared to men, and it is also more prevalent in those who are overweight. The causes of arthritis vary depending on which type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis for example, is often caused by injury, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a misdirected immune system.

Symptoms

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased Range of Motion

Arthritic symptoms range in severity, and they may come and go. Some symptoms stay the same for several years but could potentially get worse with time. Severe cases of arthritis can prevent its sufferers from performing daily activities and make walking difficult.

Risk Factors

  • Occupation – Occupations requiring repetitive knee movements have been linked to osteoarthritis
  • Obesity – Excess weight can contribute to osteoarthritis development
  • Infection – Microbial agents can infect the joints and trigger arthritis
  • Joint Injuries – Damage to joints may lead to osteoarthritis
  • Age – Risk increases with age
  • Gender –Most types are more common in women
  • Genetics – Arthritis can be hereditary

If you suspect your arthritis is affecting your feet, it is crucial that you see a podiatrist immediately. Your podiatrist will be able to address your specific case and help you decide which treatment method is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about arthritic foot care

November 24, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Care   Orthotics  

Orthotics are special shoe inserts that are designed to help correct a variety of foot related issues by relieving pressure or realigning the feet. They can also help reduce pain in the feet, knees, and lower back. There are three common types of orthotics known as soft, rigid, and semi-rigid. Soft orthotics are made to provide extra cushioning while the foot is planted on the ground. Semi-rigid orthotics, which are often used on flat feet, are designed to provide both cushioning and stability. Meanwhile, rigid orthotics are designed to provide stability and to help prevent movements that can cause pain. Patients who believe that orthotics are right for them should visit a podiatrist. A podiatrist will be able to customize an orthotic and tailor it to your needs.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors 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 feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about orthotics

When the toes are forced to curl downwards due to the middle joints of the toes tightening up, they form what is known as a hammertoe. Hammertoes, which can affect any toe but the big toe, are often most uncomfortable at the top of the toes where they rub against shoes. There are two types of hammertoes, and they are both affected by the toe’s mobility. Flexible hammertoes can be manually straightened out, but rigid hammertoes cannot be straightened out and they are very painful and limited in movement. Patients who are struggling with a hammertoe should make sure their shoes have a high and wide toe box to give the toes enough space. Persistent hammertoes should be checked by a podiatrist for possible treatment options that may include surgery.   

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about handling hammertoes

A bunion is a common foot deformity characterized by a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe joint. The bump can become inflamed, red, swollen, and painful. It also pushes the big toe out of alignment, so that it is tilted toward the smaller toes instead of pointing straight ahead. Bunions progressively worsen without treatment, and surgery is often the only option to permanently remove them. That said, there are many things to consider prior to making the decision to operate. Certain underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout, can increase the risk of complications from surgery. It is also important to think about your lifestyle. Do you intend to wear high heels, exercise, or stand for prolonged periods of time? These factors can help your podiatrist determine if bunion surgery is the right treatment option for you. For more information about bunions, please consult with a podiatrist. 

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about bunions

November 05, 2021
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Foot Conditions   corns  

Corns are small, hardened bumps of skin that can grow on the feet due to friction. Even though they are small, corns can be tender and painful enough to interfere with daily activities. In addition to more conservative treatments like resting the affected foot and wearing wider, more comfortable shoes, various other treatment methods can be used to help get rid of a corn. Corns can be chemically removed using salicylic acid to pare down dead, thickened skin before it is trimmed off. More stubborn corns can also be removed with a scalpel by your podiatrist. If you have painful corns, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist near you. 

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What Are They? and How Do You Get Rid of Them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with [ourdoctor] to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about corns on the feet





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