Causes and Symptoms of Gout

The medical condition referred to as gout is often the result of excess uric acid in the blood levels. Crystals will typically form and lodge in the joints of the big toe, and may cause severe pain and discomfort. There are several symptoms associated with this condition, and these may include swelling, redness and tenderness at the base of the big toe. The crystals generally cause inflammation and there may be extreme pain that is associated with this. Gout attacks may be the result of an inherited trait, or may occur from the foods that are ingested. Specifically, these foods may include an overindulgence of red meat, alcohol, or shellfish, and these may affect the uric acid in the blood. If you are suffering from this condition, please consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible for correct treatment remedies.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Jeffrey Wachtel from Wachtel Family Foot Care. Our doctor 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 office located in Lansdale, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Gout

Advertisements
Causes and Symptoms of Gout

Heel Spurs May Develop in Different Parts of the Foot

A small bony protrusion that forms on the bone of the heel is often referred to as a heel spur. It may be located at the back of the heel or underneath it, and may produce severe pain and discomfort. The Achilles tendon may be affected if this condition forms at the back of the heel and as a result, pain may be felt while walking or running. If the spur develops on the bottom of the foot, it may be near the plantar fascia, and a condition known as plantar fasciitis may develop. This will often inflame this band of tissue that connects the foot to the heel, and patients who have this ailment may often experience severe pain in the sole of the foot. A proper diagnosis may include having an X-ray performed, followed by possibly choosing shoes with a cushioned sole, which may help to relieve pain that may originate from the inflammation. It’s important to confer with a podiatrist to learn what the best treatment options are for you.

Heel spurs can be incredibly painful and sometimes may make you unable to participate in physical activities. To get medical care for your heel spurs, contact Dr. Jeffrey Wachtel from Wachtel Family Foot Care. Our doctor will do everything possible to treat your condition.

Heels Spurs

Heel spurs are formed by calcium deposits on the back of the foot where the heel is. This can also be caused by small fragments of bone breaking off one section of the foot, attaching onto the back of the foot. Heel spurs can also be bone growth on the back of the foot and may grow in the direction of the arch of the foot.

Older individuals usually suffer from heel spurs and pain sometimes intensifies with age. One of the main conditions spurs are related to is plantar fasciitis.

Pain

The pain associated with spurs is often because of weight placed on the feet. When someone is walking, their entire weight is concentrated on the feet. Bone spurs then have the tendency to affect other bones and tissues around the foot. As the pain continues, the feet will become tender and sensitive over time.

Treatments

There are many ways to treat heel spurs. If one is suffering from heel spurs in conjunction with pain, there are several methods for healing. Medication, surgery, and herbal care are some options.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our office located in Lansdale, PA. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technology to meet your needs.

Read more about How to Treat Heel Spurs

Heel Spurs May Develop in Different Parts of the Foot

Diabetes and Wound Care

It’s important for most people to check their feet frequently for abnormal conditions, and this is especially true for diabetic patients. If cuts, scrapes and blisters are not noticed, the chances of developing an infection may be amplified because of the body’s inability to heal efficiently. If there are wounds on the feet, recent research has shown the importance of resting frequently, which takes pressure off of the affected area. If you notice cuts on your feet and ankles, it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist as quickly as possible. At this time a treatment plan can be discussed, which may include what type of wound dressing to use and how often it should be changed. It may be helpful to the patient and may aid in the healing process if the blood sugar levels can be controlled by maintaining a healthy diet and gentle exercise plan.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Jeffrey Wachtel from Wachtel Family Foot Care. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a nondiabetic. 

What is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Lansdale, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care

Diabetes and Wound Care

What is Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma, (also referred to as Morton’s metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuralgia, plantar neuroma or intermetatarsal neuroma) is a condition that is caused when the tissue around one of the nerves between your toes begins to thicken. This thickening can result in pain in the ball of the foot. Fortunately, the condition itself is not cancerous.

Morton’s neuroma affects women more often than men with a ratio of 4:1. It tends to target women between the age of 50 and 60, but it can occur in people of all ages. There are some risk factors that may put you at a slightly higher risk of developing the condition. People who often wear narrow or high-heeled shoes are often found to be linked to Morton’s neuroma. Additionally, activities such as running or jogging can put an enormous amount of pressure on the ligament and cause the nerve to thicken.

There usually aren’t any outward symptoms of this condition. A person who has Morton’s neuroma may feel as if they are standing on a pebble in their shoe. They may also feel a tingling or numbness in the toes as well as a burning pain in the ball of their foot that may radiate to their toes.

In order to properly diagnose you, the doctor will press on your foot to feel for a mass or tender spot. He may also do a series of tests such as x-rays, an ultrasound, or an MRI. X-rays are usually done to rule out any other causes for your foot pain such as a stress fracture. Ultrasounds are used to reveal soft tissue abnormalities that may exist, such as neuromas. Your podiatrist may want to use an MRI in order to visualize your soft tissues.

There are three main options for treatment of Morton’s neuroma: Injections, decompression surgery, and removal of the nerve. Injections of steroids into the painful area have been proven to help those with Morton’s neuroma. Decompression surgery has been shown to relieve pressure on the affected nerve by cutting nearby structures such as the ligaments in the foot. Another treatment option would be to surgically remove the growth to provide pain relief.

If you suspect that you have Morton’s neuroma you should make an appointment with your podiatrist right away. You shouldn’t ignore any foot pain that lasts longer than a few days, especially if the pain does not improve.

What is Morton’s Neuroma?

Tips for Buying New Sneakers

Before you purchase a new pair of running shoes, there are a few rules you should keep in mind to help you get the best value for your money. It is important that you follow these guidelines, because running shoes are supposed to support your entire body, in addition to your feet. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to get pulled into the hype of a new sneaker release. Avoid letting a name brand determine the type of shoes you decide to put on your feet.  It is also best to avoid buying running shoes online because it will be nearly impossible to determine how supportive or comfortable the shoes will be on your feet. Another helpful tip to consider when shopping for shoes is to walk around in the store with them on; this will help ensure that they fit comfortably without being too tight.

If you are a runner, wearing the right running shoe is essential. For more information, contact Dr. Jeffrey Wachtel from Wachtel Family Foot Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

To increase performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is important to choose the right running shoe based on your foot type. The general design of running shoes revolves around pronation, which is how the ankle rolls from outside to inside when the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral runners are able to choose from a wide variety of shoes, including minimalist shoes or even going barefoot.
  • Runners who overpronate, or experience an over-abundance of ankle rolling, should choose shoes that provide extra motion control and stability.
  • Runners who underpronate, or supinate, have feet that have high arches and lack flexibility, preventing shock absorption. They require shoes with more flexibility and cushion.

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

Read more about Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Your Foot Type

Tips for Buying New Sneakers

How to Prevent Falls As You Age

Each second of each day in the United States, an elderly person falls. This statistic is why falls are the number one cause of injuries and death among older adults according to the CDC. Since over 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day, the number of fall-related deaths and injuries suffered is expected to increase. Some of the risk factors that influence the amount of falls experienced by the elderly are reduced muscle strength, decreased activity, more severe chronic health conditions, and increased use of medications. One of the main causes of falls are deterioration in balance and strength. A solution to this issue could be found by taking vitamin D supplements to improve bone, muscle, and nerve health. If you are an older adult, you should practice strength and balance training. Activities such as Tai Chi are recommended because they will help make your legs stronger and improve your balance.

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 Dr. Jeffrey Wachtel from Wachtel Family Foot Care. Our doctor 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 office located in Lansdale, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Falls Prevention

How to Prevent Falls As You Age

Can High Heels Damage the Feet?

Many women choose to wear high heels to accent the shape of the foot, despite the pain that may be endured. Additionally, other foot conditions may develop as a result of wearing this type of shoe, including blisters, deformities involving the toes, bunions, and strained calf muscles. Research has shown that when they are worn occasionally, it may give the feet the needed time to rest and heal. It may be beneficial to wear flat shoes or a more comfortable style that may include shoes that are wider, which may give the toes adequate room to move about in.  Moderate relief may be found when gentle stretching exercises are performed. This may be accomplished by rolling your foot over a tennis ball, which will stretch the bottom of the foot, in addition to having your heel drop as you stand on a step, which will aid in stretching the heel. If you would like additional information about how high heels affect the feet, please consult with a podiatrist.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Jeffrey Wachtel from Wachtel Family Foot Care. Our doctor 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 office located in Lansdale, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Effect of High Heels on the Feet

Can High Heels Damage the Feet?