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By Plaza Podiatry
November 03, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Pain   Ankle Pain   Joint Pain  

With more than 30 joints in your foot, joint pain may seem like it can come from anywhere and everywhere. Swelling, tenderness, stiffness, redness, bruising or increased warmth--these all can come along with the pain and can be caused by trauma, infection, arthritis, bursitis, gout or structural foot problems. With such an unpleasant litany of symptoms and causes, it's helpful to know a few simple tips to ease your pain before you visit your podiatrist for a full diagnosis.

Joint Pain Treatment

When you first notice any joint pain in your foot and ankle, your podiatrist may initially treat your pain with RICE, which stands for:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Your podiatrist will also recommend limiting walking and bearing weight on the painful foot. Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can also help to reduce local inflammation and pain. Custom orthotics may also be prescribed to support the foot, particularly if the issue lies in foot mechanics. If your pain is caused by a condition such as gout, lifestyle changes and alterations in your diet may also help reduce or even eliminate your pain.

If you're experiencing immobilizing joint pain in your feet or ankles, your podiatrist is best equipped to determine the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment. What may seem like joint pain could also be something else entirely, such as a stress fracture, or could be caused by an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, such as Rheumatoid arthritis. Schedule an appointment today to ensure accurate treatment and a speedy recovery!

Sprained AnkleHave you ever twisted your ankle while participating in a sport? Or maybe you simply slipped while walking? Either way, ankle sprains, and fractures should not be ignored. Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur when ligaments are stretched or torn, with nearly 85% occurring laterally or on the outside of the ankle joints. By visiting your podiatrist, you can receive the care you need to get back on your feet.

Symptoms of a Sprained or Fractured Ankle

Your symptoms upon spraining your ankle may vary depending on the severity of your pain and how it occurred. The symptoms of an ankle sprain may include:

  • Pain or soreness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty walking
  • Stiffness in the joint

All ankle sprains will produce some level of pain at the time of your injury and the joint will also feel tender, beginning to swell. If your sprain is mild, you may experience a slight loss in the function of your joint.

With a more serious sprain, you will most likely fall during the initial impact of the injury. It will often be difficult to move or put weight on your injured ankle, producing bruising and swelling from the ankle to the foot. Once you have had ankle sprains or other ankle injuries before, you may have a weakened joint that creates more of a chance for future injuries to take place.

Common symptoms of an ankle fracture are similar to ankle sprains, and include:

  • Pain to touch
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to walk on the leg
  • Deformity around the ankle

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment for your ankle sprain begins with self-care. The RICE evaluation is highly recommended upon the initial onset of your injury:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

When your podiatrist feels you are ready to begin participating in sports and exercising, you can help prevent further sprains and fractures by wearing an ankle brace during the first initial months of being back on your ankle. Special wraps are also available to protect your ankle. 

If your symptoms still persist after taking the initial step of at-home-care, or if you suspect you might have a fracture, a visit to your podiatrist may be in order. With a consultation at our practice, your ankle sprain or fracture can be treated and further prevented. There is no need to put an end to your athletic lifestyle with recurring ankle injuries.

By Plaza Podiatry
September 08, 2017
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Gout  

How many times have you found yourself yelling, “Oh, my aching feet,” but then shrugged it off, figuring that "aching feet" are a natural part of life? You don’t have to put up with aching feet. Your podiatrist urges you to not ignore that ache in your feet.  When pain occurs, it is the first sign that something isn’t right, so a trip to our practice is in order.

Gout is a form of arthritis, and it can often cause extreme pain to your feet. Approximately one million Americans suffer from gout, and although its source is a systemic problem within the body, there are some suggestions for how to treat gout that may help reduce your chance of having a gout flare-up. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

Because the joint inflammation of gout can resemble that of a joint infection or other forms of arthritis, diagnosing gout requires removing a small amount of fluid from the joint and examining it for uric acid crystals. Once a diagnosis has been made, your podiatrist can recommend a gout treatment plan to help:

  • Stop acute attacks
  • Rapidly relieve pain and inflammation
  • Avert future attacks
  • Prevent the development of tophi, kidney stones and kidney disease   

Gout treatment will most likely involve anti-inflammatory medications to relieve acute pain and inflammation, as well as urate-lowering drugs to control urate levels and prevent future attacks.

Other gout treatment strategies might include the following:

  • Avoid foods with high purines, such as organ meats, anchovies, shellfish, bacon and gravies, and increasing intake of dairy foods.
  • Avoid alcohol, which increases the production of urate and impairs excretion
  • Lose weight to reduce blood urate levels
  • Avoid medications that contribute to hyperuricemia, including diuretics

With proper treatment by your podiatrist, gout is one of the most controllable forms of arthritis. So when pain occurs, don’t just deal with it, seek treatment immediately. 

By Plaza Podiatry
August 02, 2017
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Osteoporosis   Foot Fracture  
Broken LegWhen people think of osteoporosis, they may think of it in relation to the spine and hips—quite possibly the wrists and ribs, as well. However, osteoporosis can also affect your feet. In fact, seemingly unexplained foot fractures may be an early indication that you have osteoporosis.  
 
Osteoporosis means “porous bones," and that your bones are losing their density, making them thinner and easily breakable. Foot fractures from osteoporosis can come in the form of stress fractures, which are tiny fractures that cause small cracks in your feet. Because of the lack of structure to the bones, they become weak, which can lead to fractures.  
 
In their advanced stages, fractures can happen from something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning. These fractures can occur anywhere, but most commonly occur in the neck, low back, hip, wrists and feet. In the feet, these fractures often occur with repetitive trauma due to wearing unsupportive shoes, such as flip-flops. With this loss of structure comes the collapse of joints in the feet, which can cause arthritis and pain. Fractures in the feet from osteoporosis can range from small stresses in the bone to large displaced breaks that require surgery. However, surgery for osteoporotic patients can be a challenge.  
 
The sooner you deal with stress fractures the better. If you have pain in your feet that seems beyond any normal soreness, you should visit your podiatrist  for further diagnosis and treatment.

What do I do?

The general advice for aging people is to make sure you have enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet.  Exercise is also vital for increasing bone strength and protecting you against these painful fractures. Any type of activity in which you move is good—walking, running, swimming, dancing and even bowling can be just what you need to strengthen your bones. If you have foot issues and are unsure of how much your feet can take, talk to your podiatrist. 
 
Be sure to choose shoes that offer proper support to your feet and ankles as well. Your podiatrist might recommend orthotics to give you that extra support to your arches.  Even if your bones are not affected by osteoporosis, orthotics can still help you by providing extra stability that may save you from a fall that could break other bones.  
 
Your feet play an important role in making aging easy and less painful. Avoid the dangers of osteoporosis by taking care of your overall health and paying attention to your feet! If you have any foot problems or pain, contact our office for proper diagnosis and treatment. 
By Plaza Podiatry
July 03, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Foot Care  

Bare FeetSince your feet bare the brunt of your weight, it is important to take extra precautions while working to protect them from harm. When your job requires you to stand on your feet for a long period of time, work in potentially hazardous areas, or with potentially hazardous materials, you have some risk of foot injury. Productive workers depend on their ability to walk and move about safely, with ease and comfort. According to the National Safety Council, there are about 120,000 job-related foot injuries in any given year, with one-third of them being toe injuries.

Follow Proper Guidelines

While you are off the job, there are a few steps you can take to protect your feet, including:
  • Washing your feet daily
  • Drying them thoroughly
  • Checking your feet for corns, calluses and cracks
  • Keeping your feet warm
  • Trimming your toenails straight across
  • Visiting your podiatrist.
  • Wearing protective footwear for each activity
On the other hand, when you are working it is important to do the following:
  • Develop safe work habits and attitudes
  • Be aware of the hazards of your job
  • Be alert and watch for hidden hazards
  • Watch out for other workers’ safety
  • Follow the rules and don’t cut corners

Wear Protective Footwear

Safety shoes were created to protect your feet, help prevent injuries to them and to reduce the severity of your injuries should one occur while at work. According to the National Safety Council, it is estimated that only one out of four victims of job-related foot injury wear any type of safety shoe or boot. Your feet are the most valuable part of your body and are constantly subjected to injury in the workplace. With many potential work hazards, it's important that you discuss with your supervisor which safety shoes, boots or other protective equipment that you need for your protection.
 
Your podiatrist is specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of all manners of foot conditions. Visit our office if you experience any work injury or if you have any further questions on how to properly care for your feet. 




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