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Monday, 30 October 2017 00:00

How to Alleviate Symptoms of Gout

Gout results from sharp crystals being formed when there is an abundance of uric acid in the blood. The big toe is usually the first place for this to happen, although, if not treated, it may spread to other joint areas like the knee or elbow. If there is tenderness or stiffness in the joint, this could potentially be a sign of gout. Using ice on the affected joint and drinking plenty of water can help to reduce symptoms. If you think that you might have gout, a podiatrist will be able to properly diagnose you and lead you on the path to recovery and future prevention.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from New England Foot and Ankle. 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 Massachusetts. 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

Tough break for Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward. Hayward badly fractured his left ankle during the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers game. He jumped up for a pass but collided with Lebron James and Jae Crowder. When he landed, his foot twisted and he collapsed. Hayward had signed a $128 million four year contract with the Celtics. The Celtics and Cavaliers game was his first time playing for the Celtics.

Sports related foot and ankle injuries require proper treatment before players can go back to their regular routines. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot and Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Sports Related Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are a common occurrence when it comes to athletes of any sport. While many athletes dismiss the initial aches and pains, the truth is that ignoring potential foot and ankle injuries can lead to serious problems. As athletes continue to place pressure and strain the area further, a mild injury can turn into something as serious as a rupture and may lead to a permanent disability. There are many factors that contribute to sports related foot and ankle injuries, which include failure to warm up properly, not providing support or wearing bad footwear. Common injuries and conditions athletes face, including:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Plantar Fasciosis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture
  • Ankle Sprains

Sports related injuries are commonly treated using the RICE method. This includes rest, applying ice to the injured area, compression and elevating the ankle. More serious sprains and injuries may require surgery, which could include arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery. Rehabilitation and therapy may also be required in order to get any recovering athlete to become fully functional again. Any unusual aches and pains an athlete sustains must be evaluated by a licensed, reputable medical professional.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Massachusetts. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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A new study by the University of Waterloo says that the elderly need up to twice as long as young adults to realize they are falling. Seniors are already at an increased risk of falling due to a number of reasons. This study helps show that once they are falling, they don’t process it as quickly as a younger person would. Consequently, there are more times that seniors can’t react fast enough to catch themselves or brace for impact. Falls are a leading cause of hospitalization among the elderly. Studies like this and increased awareness are needed to help prevent future falls among this rapidly growing group of people.

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 podiatrists from New England Foot and Ankle. 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 Massachusetts. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Thursday, 12 October 2017 00:00

Wounds that Don't Heal Need to be Checked

Your feet are covered a good part of the day. If you are diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often another sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Have your feet ever felt numb while you were working out? If so, then you may have experienced paresthesia, a numbness or prickling sensation that many people have temporarily experienced in their life. It is often described as a “pins and needles” sensation that usually goes away once the position of the body changes. Paresthesia is usually caused by a pinched nerve or reduced blood flow to a part of the body. When it comes to working out, the exercises we do can put our body in positions that may reduce blood flow. In other cases, the muscles can swell due to increased blood flow from exercising. Paresthesia is usually a normal condition and often goes away. Not everyone will experience paresthesia or foot swelling, and in most cases it isn’t serious. If, however, your feet have swollen up, feel numb, or you experience pain that doesn’t go away, it is recommended to see a podiatrist.
 

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot and Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness  or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Massachusetts. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 02 October 2017 00:00

Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain is a relatively common ailment in the United States. Most cases of heel pain are caused by a condition known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. Common factors that cause plantar fasciitis include overuse from exercising or athletics, pressure from obesity, or standing for long periods of time. Exercises like towel stretches, stair stretches, wall stretches, and more can help relieve pain if approved by a podiatrist. If the shoes you wear are old or uncomfortable, try a new pair that provides plenty of cushion and arch support; this will ensure comfort when wearing them for long periods of time. In very rare cases, surgery to relieve pressure may be deemed necessary. However, in most cases surgery is a last resort and will only be considered once all other methods have been exhausted. Seeing a podiatrist is vital for getting a proper diagnosis and treatment for heel pain and plantar fasciitis.

Many people suffer from bouts of heel pain. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot and Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is often associated with plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of tissues that extends along the bottom of the foot. A rip or tear in this ligament can cause inflammation of the tissue.

Achilles tendonitis is another cause of heel pain. Inflammation of the Achilles tendon will cause pain from fractures and muscle tearing. Lack of flexibility is also another symptom.

Heel spurs are another cause of pain. When the tissues of the plantar fascia undergo a great deal of stress, it can lead to ligament separation from the heel bone, causing heel spurs.

Why Might Heel Pain Occur?

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes                  
  • Wearing non-supportive shoes
  • Weight change           
  • Excessive running

Treatments

Heel pain should be treated as soon as possible for immediate results. Keeping your feet in a stress-free environment will help. If you suffer from Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis, applying ice will reduce the swelling. Stretching before an exercise like running will help the muscles. Using all these tips will help make heel pain a condition of the past.

If you have any questions please contact our offices located in Massachusetts. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Heel Pain
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