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Posts for category: Foot Conditions

Gout is a form of arthritis and it can create debilitating pain. It affects the joints in the big toe and it is caused by excess uric acid in the blood. This converts to crystals and lodges in the toe joints. There are specific foods that have high levels of purines in them that can lead to gout, consisting of red meat, shellfish, alcohol, and drinks that are made with large levels of sugar. The pain can last for several minutes or hours and is referred to as gout attacks. To obtain a proper diagnosis, a podiatrist may take a sample of the fluid in the joints to determine how to manage long-term gout. There are effective prevention techniques that may eliminate painful gout attacks. These include eating healthy foods daily, reducing alcohol intake, and incorporating a gentle exercise routine. If you would like additional information about how to manage gout and methods that may prevent it, please consult with a podiatrist.

 Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will treat your podiatric needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.

Symptoms

  • Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
  • Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
  • Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
  • Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
  • Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
  • Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
  • Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
  • Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
  • Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout

Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact 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.

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Just about anyone can develop Morton’s Neuroma, a foot ailment that can be particularly painful and troublesome. However, some individuals may be at an increased risk of developing this condition, so it is important to discern your own level of risk. Morton’s neuroma primarily affects plantar digital nerves that run between the metatarsal bones of the foot. In most cases, Morton’s neuroma targets the nerve between the third and fourth metatarsal bones, resulting in pain. Although the exact cause of Morton’s neuroma is somewhat elusive and largely case-dependent, it is most likely caused by either extended straining and compression of the plantar digital nerves or inflamed joints surrounding these nerves. Certain individuals can be more susceptible to Morton’s neuroma than others. For example, approximately 75% of those who suffer from this condition are women. This is most likely due to the fact that women wear shoes such as high heels that compress the toes, putting the plantar digital nerves at risk. Additionally, ballet dancers who wear similarly restrictive footwear are at an increased risk of developing Morton’s neuroma. Individuals between the ages of 40 and 50 are typically at the highest risk of developing this condition. If you believe you may have Morton’s neuroma or are in one of these high risk categories, you might consider contacting a podiatrist.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists from The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact 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 Morton’s Neuroma

Approximately 20% of all adults in the United States will experience heel fissures, or “cracked heels,” at least once during their lifetime. Cracked heels typically occur when the skin surrounding one’s heel becomes noticeably tough, dry, and thick. The dried skin around the heel can eventually crack, creating fissures. The risk of developing cracked heels is markedly higher during the winter season when the colder weather typically makes the skin drier. If you are experiencing cracked heels, you may be able to make use of several at-home remedies. For example, you may soak your feet in water for approximately 20 minutes and use a pumice stone to gently remove the hardened skin cells. Afterwards, you may apply a heavy-duty moisturizer to the back of your heel. Typically, moisturizers containing ingredients such as petroleum jelly or glycerin can effectively nourish the skin. To address cracked heels, you might also use alpha-hydroxy acids or urea to target hardened skin cells and effectively remove them from your heels. If at-home remedies like these fail to mitigate cracked heels, this could be a sign to consult a podiatrist. Ultimately, cracked heels can be an unsightly annoyance, but you and your podiatrist can take steps to address the affliction. 

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from 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.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact 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.

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Plantar fasciitis occurs when the connective plantar fascia tissue on the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed, or even torn, from overuse. Women, runners, people who are obese or who stand while working, are more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Also, having certain structural issues—such as flat feet, high arches, or tight calf muscles—can cause the plantar fascia to pull away from the heel while it is bearing weight, and may lead to this condition. Plantar fasciitis can be very painful, especially when you take your first steps in the morning, thereby engaging the plantar fascia after a long period of inactivity. Icing, stretching, anti-inflammatory medications and injections, casting, splinting, and other conservative treatments administered by a podiatrist can usually repair the plantar fascia without the need for surgery. It is suggested to make an appointment with a podiatrist to have your condition diagnosed and treated properly. 

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists from 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 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 offices located in Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Rheumatoid arthritis can be a debilitating disease where a joint's lining (synovium) is attacked by the body’s immune system. This causes the synovium to become inflamed, which damages the surrounding tissues and ligaments. In time, this may dislocate toe joints and cause deformities such as bunions and hammertoes. Along with toe joints, rheumatoid arthritis can also occur in the ankle joint, the tarsometatarsal joints in the midfoot, and the hindfoot (heel area). While rheumatoid arthritis has no cure, a podiatrist can help treat its symptoms which, if left untreated, may inhibit a person’s ability to lead a normal life. Your podiatrist may prescribe special shoes, braces, and/or create custom orthotics to help restore functionality to the feet and ankles and relieve pain. Icing, gentle exercises, and physical therapy may also help relieve symptoms, as can corticosteroid injections. Make an appointment with a podiatrist today to begin treatment for your painful rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

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 one of our podiatrists from The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors 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 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 Rheumatoid Arthritis