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Monday, 03 December 2018 00:00

Gout May Cause Severe Pain

If you have ever been afflicted with gout, you are most likely aware of the pain and discomfort this condition may cause. Research has shown that having a genetic predisposition may aid in the occurrence of primary gout, and secondary gout may occur as a result of ingesting diuretics on a long-term basis. This painful ailment will typically affect the joints of the big toe and is the result of crystals that form in the blood, which lodge in the joints. Ingesting foods that are high in purine levels may aid in the formation of these crystals, and it is advised to avoid or limit eating these types of foods, which may include shellfish, red meat, or excessive alcohol. Keeping your weight at a healthy level and drinking plenty of fresh water daily may be effective ways in helping to prevent painful gout attacks. If you feel you have gout, it is advised to speak with a podiatrist as quickly as possible, so the proper treatment techniques can begin, and relief can be attained.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle 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 North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout
Monday, 26 November 2018 00:00

Practicing Daily Foot Care is Important

It is important to maintain proper care for your feet, and this may be especially true of the elderly population. Research has shown the natural cushioning in the feet may diminish as the aging process occurs, and the toenails and skin may appear to become dry and brittle. There are several ways to practice good foot care, and these may include looking at your feet closely on a frequent basis, which may aid in noticing any blisters or cuts, wearing footwear that feels comfortable, and performing mild stretches, which may improve circulation. Additionally, washing and drying the feet daily may be helpful in preventing or controlling unpleasant foot odor. If you would like additional information about how to take care of elderly feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 19 November 2018 00:00

Plantar Warts Cause Pain in the Heel

The medical name for a condition that is commonly known as plantar warts is called verrucae warts. It is a result of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that typically enters the foot through small cracks in the heel and will affect the skin on the bottom of the feet. If you are afflicted with this painful foot condition, you may experience symptoms that include pain while walking as a result of pressure the heel must endure, and a yellow and hardened area on the skin, possibly with small black spots in the center. This virus lives in areas that are consistently moist and humid, which may include swimming pools and the surrounding areas or locker rooms. There are several different treatment options that can be implemented, which may provide the desired relief, and it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist to discuss which is the best one for you.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about All About Plantar Warts

If you are standing or walking for the majority of the day as a result of your working activities, you may be familiar with the pain and discomfort your feet may experience. Specific foot conditions may amplify and become worse by standing on your feet for most of the day, including pain that may originate from corns, calluses, or certain foot deformities. There may be several options that can be enforced to alleviate a portion of the discomfort, which may include executing changes in the working environment, wearing different types of shoes or using shoe inserts, and standing on suitable floor mats instead of hard floors. Research has shown that moderate relief may be attained by performing simple foot stretches throughout the day. It may also help to elevate the feet when the work day is over, and this may aid in reducing any swelling that may be present. If you would like additional advice on how your feet may feel better while working, it’s suggested to speak with a podiatrist who will be able to provide the correct information.

While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Working on Your Feet

Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.

Positive Changes

Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.

Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.

Eliminate Pain

Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.

Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen. 

With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Working on Your Feet
Monday, 05 November 2018 00:00

What Causes An Ingrown Toenail?

If you are experiencing pain and swelling surrounding the nail on the big toe, you may have what is known as an ingrown toenail. Research has shown that when this condition is treated promptly and correctly, many unpleasant and uncomfortable foot conditions may be avoided. These may include a  painful infection developing, as well as partial or total removal of the toenail. There are several causes of why this ailment may occur, including improperly cut toenails, wearing shoes and socks that may be too tight, or possible injuries to the toe. Additionally, genetics may play a role in determining the shape of the toenail, which may press more easily into the side of the toenail.  Painful symptoms may include bleeding or discharge from the surrounding area of the toenail, severe redness, or swelling. It’s advised to consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible so the correct treatment options may be discussed.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact the podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails

There are many women who enjoy wearing high heels despite knowing foot pain may develop from wearing these specific type of shoes. Research has shown that when the heel is high, the arch in the foot may become inflamed and this may typically cause pain and discomfort. If high heels are worn on a frequent basis, the toes may undergo stress, and this may possibly cause corns and calluses to develop. The likelihood of incurring a fall may increase as a result of the line of gravity being altered by the height of the heel. There are several ways to enjoy wearing high heels while keeping your feet as comfortable as possible. These may include slipping off your shoes at an appropriate time and performing gentle stretching exercises, including pointing, flexing and rolling your ankles. Additionally, circulation in the feet may be increased by wiggling the toes. Your feet may benefit by wearing shoes that are more comfortable the following day, which may allow the foot muscles to rest. Please speak to a podiatrist if you would like additional information concerning the dangers of wearing high heels.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Why High Heels Are Not Ideal for Healthy Feet
Monday, 22 October 2018 00:00

Should My Child’s Feet Be Measured?

Research shows that children typically begin to walk at approximately twelve months of age. There are many adorable and cute shoes available for purchase, but they may not be ideal for children’s feet. It is strongly recommended that a proper foot measurement is obtained and this will aid in determining the correct shoe size for your child’s feet. There are several qualities to look for when buying shoes. These may include choosing a shoe with a wide area for the toes to move about in, having a sturdy and flexible sole that is easily bent, and shoes that are comprised of breathable materials. Your child may walk better in shoes that fit properly and this may avoid any tripping or falling that may occur. Please speak with a podiatrist to learn about the importance of proper shoe fitting for your child’s feet.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact the podiatrists of InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Monday, 15 October 2018 00:00

Intense Pain May Accompany Gout

An excess of uric acid levels in the blood may lead to a painful condition known as gout. When the body has difficulty in processing this buildup, crystals will typically form in the joint of the big toe. It is often considered to be a form of arthritis, and may cause considerable pain and discomfort. This ailment may develop as a result of ingesting foods that are rich in purines, which may often include red wine, seafood or chocolate. Research has shown there may be several predispositions for gout to occur. People who have high blood pressure or who have abnormal kidney functions may be at a greater risk to develop this ailment. Patients who are afflicted with gout are aware of the intense pain, swelling and redness that accompanies this predicament. If you have developed gout it's suggested to consult with a podiatrist who can provide valuable information about the treatment of this debilitating condition.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 08 October 2018 00:00

Why do Stress Fractures Develop?

If you enjoy the sport of running or jogging, you may develop a stress fracture. This may gradually occur from the frequent repetitive motion that accompanies this type of activity. Despite the fact that many people who engage in sports may endure the discomfort of a stress fracture, certain individuals may be prone to developing this ailment. This may include having a medical condition that may weaken the bones, or experiencing a disorder that may affect the nerves. This may result in a loss of feeling. The pain that is associated with this condition may not be felt. The noticeable symptoms may include pain and discomfort and may be more intense in one foot. After an MRI or bone scan is performed, the proper treatment options can be discussed, such as possibly wearing a cast or boot or taking certain medications. Please consult with a podiatrist if you have endured a stress fracture and would like information about correct treatment techniques that are right for you.

Activities where too much pressure is put on the feet can cause stress fractures. To learn more, contact the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Stress fractures occur in the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use.  The feet and ankles then lose support when walking or running from the impact of the ground. Since there is no protection, the bones receive the full impact of each step. Stress on the feet can cause cracks to form in the bones, thus creating stress fractures.

What Are Stress Fractures?

Stress fractures occur frequently in individuals whose daily activities cause great impact on the feet and ankles. Stress factors are most common among:

  • Runners                                  
  • People affected with Osteoporosis
  • Tennis or basketball players
  • Gymnasts
  • High impact workouts

Symptoms

Pain from the fractures occur in the area of the fractures and can be constant or intermittent. It will often cause sharp or dull pain with swelling and tenderness. Engaging in any kind of activity which involves high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
Monday, 01 October 2018 00:00

Simple Adjustments to Prevent Falling

Many people have found that making simple adjustments in the household may aid in preventing falls from occurring. These changes may include installing grab bars in the shower area, keeping the lighting bright in the house, repairing loose carpet, in addition to removing the majority of the clutter that may be present. Research has shown falling to be the number one cause of injuries in elderly people, and this may result in serious injuries. It can be a frightening experience, and many seniors may not engage in certain activities to prevent a fall from occurring. Additionally, it may be beneficial to live on one floor, which will eliminate the possibility of falling down any steps. When non-slip mats are used in the bath and shower areas, the risk of falling may be decreased. It’s important to pay close attention to any condition in the house, which may promote falling.

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 the podiatrists from InStride Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors 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 doctor 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.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina and South Carolina. Search for an office located near you. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention
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