Posts for: July, 2022
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 podiatristsThe Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC 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.
- 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
- 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.
Research has indicated that approximately one in three adults fall at least once per year. This can lead to serious foot injuries that can hinder completing daily activities. There are simple methods that can be implemented that may help to reduce falling episodes. When the lighting is improved in the household, it will become easier to see steps and obstacles that may be easy to trip over. Additionally, removing frayed rugs can reduce the number of falls incurred, and it is important to hold on to handrails while going up and down the steps. Many patients find it helpful to install grab bars in the shower and toilet area, and using a non-skid bathmat can provide stability in the shower. When a walker or cane is used, the sense of balance is often increased, and it is beneficial to keep a phone within reach in case a mishap occurs. It is helpful to have routine physical and eye exams performed, and this is needed to monitor existing medication and eyeglasses. If you would like more information about how falling can affect the feet, and effective fall prevention methods, please consult with a podiatrist.
Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatristsThe Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.
Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.
How to Prevent Falls
Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:
- Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
- Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
- Discuss any medications you have with a clinician to see if it increases the risk of falling
- Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
- Utilizing a walker or cane
- Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
- Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness
Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.
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 podiatristsThe Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLCwill attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.
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.
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 podiatristsThe Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
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.