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.
What do I do?
Since 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
- 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
- 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
As parents, we want our children to remain healthy and happy. But when they are in pain, it is our duty to find the best ways to relieve their discomfort. While many toddlers grow out of flat feet, it is important to pay close attention to your child’s feet in order to ensure they are developing properly.
Pediatric flat feet can be classified as symptomatic or asymptomatic, and are quite common. Symptomatic flat feet exhibit symptoms such as pain and limitation of activity, while asymptomatic flat feet show no symptoms at all.
Flat foot can be apparent at birth or it can show up years later. Most children with flat feet have no symptoms, but some have one or more of the following:
- Pain, tenderness, or cramping in the foot, leg and knee
- Outward tilting of the heel
- Awkwardness or changes in walking
- Difficulty wearing shoes
- Reduced energy
- Voluntary withdrawal from physical activities
How Is Flat Foot Identified?
Your podiatrist will diagnose your child by examining the foot and observing how it looks when he or she stands and sits. Your podiatrist will observe how your child walks and will evaluate the range of motion of the foot. Since flat foot can sometimes be related to problems in the leg, your podiatrist may also examine the knee and hip. X-rays may be used to determine the severity of the deformity, with additional imaging and tests needed for further diagnosis.
Visit our office for further diagnosis and treatment options for your child’s flat feet. While many children do grow out of flat feet, if your child suffers from pain caused by flat foot, we can help them get back on their feet again!
As the temperatures rise and the weather begins to heat up, many will stay cool by slipping on a pair of their favorite flip-flops. Whether you are hitting the beach or simply walking around town, flip-flops are often our selected footwear of choice for those hot, summer months. Unfortunately, wearing flip-flops can lead to painful foot ailments, including cuts and abrasions, broken toes and painful sprains. The flip-flops that are widely purchased today can be extremely unsafe for your feet.
Some flip-flops can be cushioned, which lead people to believe that they are good for your feet, but most offer little to no arch support. Flip-flops can also be very flimsy, which causes them to break down quickly. Shoes that do not offer proper arch support can lead to biomechanical abnormalities starting when the heel strikes the ground. This, in turn, can lead to pain felt in the joints of your foot and ankle, as well as in the knees, hips, lower back, shoulders and neck. If you wear flip-flops, wear them with caution and in moderation. It is important to assess how long you can wear flip-flops on an individual basis and to be aware of the effects they can have on your body.
Tension for Your Toes
Wearing flip-flops may feel like the next best thing to going barefoot, but your feet are working a lot harder than you may realize. By wearing flip-flops, you are forcing a change in your walking stride. With each step you take, your toes pull down on the shoe to stabilize the foot against the ground because your foot has to work harder to keep the flip-flop on. Forcing your toes to act in this unnatural manner can cause toe pain and even stubbed toes.
Problematic Heel Pain
It is estimated by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons that about 15 percent of all adult foot injuries involve plantar fasciitis, which is an awful pain caused by the overstretching of a tendon in your heel called the plantar fascia. By wearing flip-flops, you are increasing your risk of developing heel pain. While many people don’t want to give up flip-flops, it's important to understand that if you are going to the beach, wear them. However, if you are going to the mall or even an amusement park, don’t wear them.
Wear the Right Shoes for Your Activity
When choosing footwear for summer or vacation, it is important to follow these guidelines for healthy feet:
- Shoes should be lightweight and ventilated.
- Have an extra pair of shoes and alternate between them daily so that each pair has a chance to dry out completely.
- Wear socks that are made of an acrylic fiber, not cotton, as acrylic draws moisture away from the feet.
- Change your socks at least once a day.
Flip-flops should not be worn as everyday shoes—they are meant for the beach and the pool, not for everyday walking. Wearing flip-flops for an occasional stroll may be fine, but you should never overdo it.
If you feel pain in your foot or ankle, visit your podiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment. You can prevent painful foot conditions and injuries by wearing appropriate footwear and avoiding flip-flops.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.