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Tuesday, 31 January 2017 00:00

Diets Healthy for Gout

If you are currently living with gout, knowing how to keep your uric acid levels down is absolutely vital in maintaining good overall health.  Eating a low-purine diet is something that needs to be done to stay healthy.  High fiber and low fat foods are ideal.  For instance, drink 1% milk instead of whole milk.  Also, eat low-purine fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and kiwi.  These fruits produce less uric acid than others.  Limiting carbohydrate intake is  important as well.  Instead of drinking fruit juices, drink vegetable juice. Low-purine vegetables include: cucumber, kale, cabbage, carrots, and beets.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & 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 North Carolina. 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
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 00:00

What Are Plantar Warts?

There are over 100 different varieties of HPV, or human papilloma virus.  Nearly 12% of the global population have had warts at one time, and plantar warts are but one of these types.  They all share one basic characteristic, they have the ability to infect skin cells.  Many people, when they hear the term HPV, think that it refers to genital warts.  But this is not the case, and HPV can manifest itself in many different forms.  Plantar warts occur on the feet, typically on the palms or the soles.  They can be flat or raised, and usually occur in dry, cracked areas of the foot.  Treatments vary in scope and effectiveness.  If you think you may have a plantar wart, talk to your podiatrist and go through the treatment options available.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. 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

  • Legions 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. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about All About Plantar Warts

obesity4The holidays would not be complete without the endless gathering of family and friends, enjoying vast amounts of delicious food, decadent sweets, and festive cocktails. However, self-indulging in these treats go hand-in-hand with a heightened risk of health problems. Not only does weight gain increase your risk for things like heart attack and stroke, but it affects your body on a musculoskeletal level. Individuals who may be overweight or obese must also take into account the extra pressure they are placing on their feet, in particular, their arch. The amount of force placed on our feet can cause much pain and damage to the ankle, leg, and hip due to improper weight distribution. It is important to always keep yourself on a good exercise routine to lower your risk of weight-gain, especially around the holiday season.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Obesity and Your Feet

Monday, 09 January 2017 15:17

Managing Your Morton’s Neuroma

feet3Morton’s neuroma is a foot condition that often affects middle-aged women, especially those who wear narrow shoes. While benign, the condition can be very painful; pain typically affects the front of the foot and extends to the toes. Pain flare-ups tend to occur in response to irritation, trauma, or excessive pressure. Morton’s neuroma pain can be made worse by continual walking, especially while wearing narrow shoes. Morton’s neuroma can be diagnosed through a number of methods including clinical examinations, MRIs, or ultrasound. If you suspect you have Morton’s neuroma, be sure to contact your podiatrist.

Morton’s Neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Morton’s neuroma.

Monday, 02 January 2017 16:04

Winter Coming, Cracked Heels Abound

corns2As winter approaches, we all know how important it is to make sure to keep our skin from getting too dry. Just as we use balms and moisturizers for our face and hands, there are many ways to protect against dry and cracked feet and heels. Glycerin lotions are some of the best remedies for combatting dryness. Hydrogenated oils are also very effective moisturizers, and can be used not only on your feet, but your ankles and legs too. In addition, fruits such as bananas and pineapples have plentiful amounts of helpful enzymes to ensure smooth and crack-free feet and ankles.

Cracked heels are unsightly and can cause further damage to your shoes and feet. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are unappealing, and make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Not only may they look bad, but they can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.

How do you get them?

Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.

Promote Healing

Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief, or who suffer from chronic dry feet.

Wear Socks – wearing socks with medicated creams, helps lock in moisture so it can stay on longer.

Moisturizers – applying it both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.

Pumice Stones – these remove dead skin, and then you can massage cream onto your foot. This way the cream will be absorbed. The skin needs to be exfoliated; therefore the outer layer dead skin needs removal.

Change in Diet

Eating healthy, with a well-balanced diet, will give the skin a fresh and radiant look. Your body responds to what kinds of food you ingest. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc supplements will also help with skin tissue.

Most importantly seek a health professional for foot care if something is wrong or doesn’t seem to be working. A podiatrist will help you with any questions or information needed.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in North Carolina. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about cracked heels.

achilles tendon6Known as the thick tendon that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone, the Achilles tendon allows you to do everyday activities such as walking and running. Insertional Achilles tendonitis is a condition of the Achilles tendon in which pain is experienced at the heel, and which can become chronic if left untreated. Non-insertional Achilles tendonitis can be described as a microscopic tearing of the fibers in the tendon. If the problem becomes chronic, a bone spur can eventually develop as the tendon thickens. If severe, the condition may require surgery.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can cause severe difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What are the symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

- Inflammation

- Dull to Severe Pain

- Increased blood flow to the tendon

- Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

- Extreme pain and swelling in the foot

- Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

- Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise

- Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles tendon injuries.

Monday, 19 December 2016 17:13

How to Tell If You Have Plantar Fasciitis

toenail fungus7If you’re experiencing stiffness and pain in the soles of your feet that typically becomes more prominent during the mornings, you may have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be described as a foot condition that results from overuse of the plantar fascia, the tissue that runs along the soles of your feet. Excessive stress on this area can lead to inflammation. Being overweight, having flat feet or high arches, pregnancy and improper footwear such as flip flops are also factors in the development of plantar fasciitis. Treat your condition by icing your feet, stretching your muscles and having proper rest by avoiding any strenuous activity.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

·     Excessive running

·     Non-supportive shoes

·     Overpronation

·     Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

·     Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices

·     Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis

·     Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis

Monday, 12 December 2016 17:13

Burning Sensation in the Feet

working feet2If you have symptoms of a burning sensation in your feet, you may have any number of conditions. The sensation of burning in the feet can be either minor or severe, affect people over 50, and occur most frequently during the night. Nerve damage from diabetes, vitamin deficiency or alcoholism, obesity, strain on the feet, overheated feet, eczema or dermatitis, blood disorders, or any other impairment of the feet’s nerves can all lead to the described burning sensation. Seeing your podiatrist is vital to understanding any underlying causes. Make sure that you are wearing properly-fitting shoes as well.

When dealing with systemic disease of the feet, is extremely important to check the affected areas routinely so that any additional problems are caught quickly. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Systemic diseases affect the whole body, and symptoms usually are displayed in the feet. This condition can make a patient’s ability to walk unbearable. Systemic diseases include gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.

Gout – is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. Common symptoms include pain, inflammation, and redness at the metatarsal/phalangeal joint of the base big toe. Gout can be treated by NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation, and other drugs that lower the acid levels in the body.

Diabetes mellitus – is an increase in the level of blood sugar that the body cannot counteract with its own insulin. Failure to produce enough insulin is a factor in Diabetes.

Diabetes of the Feet

Diabetic Neuropathy – may lead to damaged nerves and affect the feet through numbness and loss of sensation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease – can restrict the blood flow to the feet, and often times lead to amputation of the feet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Systemic Diseases of the Feet

Monday, 05 December 2016 12:45

CDC Releases Report on Arthritis

Arthritis5Arthritis is a condition that affects not only the hands and wrists, but feet and ankles as well.  There are more than 50 million people in the US that are currently diagnosed with arthritis and there are a lot of different opinions on how to effectively treat the disease.  Frequently it is difficult to parse through what does work and what doesn’t.  Arthritis can be painful, especially when it affects the foot and ankle area.  When trying to manage this pain, it is important to be informed on what types of treatments are effective, keeping in mind that some can actually be harmful.  The CDC has recently released a report that outlines some good and bad treatments for this chronic ailment.

Arthritis can be a difficult condition to live with. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Arthritic Foot Care

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of different joints in your body, such as in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. On top of this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help to temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about arthritic foot care

broken foot4The fifth metatarsal is the long bone that connects to the pinky toe on the outside of the foot.  This bone is especially prone to fracture for people involved in any sort of prolonged physical activity, especially team sports.  A stress fracture is one of the most common injuries in soccer, but many other athletes also suffer this injury.  It is vitally important to never ignore any type of foot pain, on the field or off.  Professionally, there is immense pressure to perform, which can lead to dependency on prescription painkillers.  But the truth is, we all need our feet, not just star athletes. The best course of action is always to contact a podiatrist and get to the root of the problem.

Activities in which too much pressure is placed on the feet can cause stress fractures. If you have any concerns about your feet contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Dealing with Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

The Stress Fractures occur on the foot and ankle when muscles in these areas weaken from too much or too little use. Then the feet and ankles 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. The stress on the feet causes cracks to form in the bones, thus called 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
  • Play tennis or basketball
  • Gymnastics
  • 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 that involves in high impact will aggravate pain.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Huntersville, Mooresville and Mountain Island, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

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