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Monday, 14 October 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Gout

Patients who are afflicted with gout are aware of the intense pain that accompanies this condition. The part of the foot that is most often affected is the side of the big toe. When a gout attack occurs, the joints in the big toe become inflamed and produce severe pain and discomfort. A common reason why gout attacks occur can be a result of foods that are eaten that have elevated purine levels. These types of foods can include red meat, shellfish, and drinks that have high sugar levels. This may play a significant role in causing crystals to form in the joints of the big toe, and it may become red and swollen. Genetic factors may contribute to the onset of gout, in addition to existing medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Preventive measures can be implemented that may help reduce gout attacks from occurring. These can consist of eating healthy foods that have low purine levels, and incorporating a gentle exercise program into your daily routine. If you are prone to experiencing gout attacks, it is strongly advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. 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 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 one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 18 November 2019 00:00

Three Types of Ankle Sprains

Research has indicated the chances of a full recovery from an ankle sprain may be increased when an aggressive role in healing is practiced after the injury occurs. This may include initially wrapping the affected ankle in an elastic bandage followed by performing gentle stretching techniques when the ankle begins to feel better. These practices may help the ankle to heal faster which can be beneficial in resuming any sporting activity. There are known to be three types of ankle sprains. Light sprains will generally heal in approximately three weeks. If the ligaments are severely stretched, recovery may last between four and six weeks. Torn ligaments are referred to as a serious ankle sprain, and the healing process can take up to three months. If you have endured an ankle sprain, it is advised that you speak to a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, 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.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 11 November 2019 00:00

When Should Children Walk Barefoot?

Many parents notice their children have flat feet. Research has indicated that the majority of babies are born flat-footed, and in most cases, it may be nothing to be concerned about. This happens as a result of bones that are still flexible. Typically, these bones will become stronger as the aging process occurs. It is important that toddlers walk barefoot as often as possible while indoors. This forces the toes to grip the floor, which generally strengthens the overall foot. When children begin to walk outside, wearing shoes that have a soft sole may be beneficial in sensing different surfaces. Additionally, it is important to ensure there is adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Laces or fasteners may help to provide the stability that is needed to keep the shoes on the feet. If you have concerns about the development of your child’s feet, it is advised that you counsel with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What to Do to Keep Your Child’s Feet Healthy
Monday, 04 November 2019 00:00

The Benefits of Strengthening the Ankles

Research has indicated that the biomechanics of the ankle may be compromised if high heels are frequently worn. They may affect balance and strength, and this can allow falls to occur. If the desire to wear high heels is strong, it may be beneficial to alternate wearing these types of shoes with shoes that have a lower and wider heel. It may help to perform specific stretches while sitting, and this may aid in restoring strength in the ankle. Additionally, the ankle joints may become more stable, which can help to reduce the risk of injury. Heel lifts are an effective stretch for the entire foot. This is done by standing and slowly lifting the heels up and down, and then alternating feet. If you would like additional information about how to strengthen your feet from frequently wearing high heels, 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 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.

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 one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Living with foot pain is hard on your body.  Give us a call and let us find out what's wrong.

Monday, 28 October 2019 00:00

Toenail Fungus Can Become Severe

A common condition that many patients suffer from is known as toenail fungus. There are noticeable symptoms that exist with this condition and they often consist of yellowed and thickened toenails. In severe cases, the nail may separate from the nail bed, and can eventually fall off. It is caused by a fungus that lives and thrives in moist environments. These areas can include public swimming areas, shower room floors, and locker rooms. It is considered to be contagious, and measures can be implemented that may help in preventing this condition. These can consist of wearing appropriate shoes while in these types of places, and it is helpful to avoid sharing towels and shoes. There are several treatment methods that can be used for toenail fungus, and it is advised to consult with a podiatrist who can provide the best options for you.

For more information about treatment, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
Wednesday, 09 October 2019 00:00

Where Is the Plantar Fascia Located?

Patients that have a medical condition known as plantar fasciitis may notice the pain that often accompanies this ailment is worse in the morning upon arising. It occurs as a result of an inflamed plantar fascia, which is the tissue on the sole of the foot that connects the heel to the toes. This can happen from an injury that has occurred, or from standing for extended periods of time throughout the day on a hard surface. Patients who have developed this condition may find moderate relief when the foot is elevated as frequently as possible. Additionally, it may feel better to wear shoes that have adequate cushioning in the heel area. If you feel you have plantar fasciitis, it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can offer proper treatment options.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, 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.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Saturday, 05 October 2019 00:00

Do your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately?

Tuesday, 01 October 2019 00:00

How Do Broken Toes Occur?

Symptoms that are indicative of a broken toe often include severe pain, swelling, and bruising. It can become fractured as a result of a heavy object that has fallen on it, or if it is stubbed against a piece of furniture. The most common toes to break are the big and pinky toes, and this may happen because they are the least protected. If you feel you have broken your toe, it is helpful to have a proper diagnosis performed. This typically consists of having an X-ray taken, which is generally the most effective method in determining if a fracture has occurred. Many patients find relief in taping the affected toe to the one next to it. This is referred to as “buddy taping”, and may help to stabilize the toe as the healing process takes place. If you have broken your toe, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment.

Broken toes may cause a lot of pain and should be treated as soon as possible. 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.

What Is a Broken Toe?

A broken toe occurs when one or more of the toe bones of the foot are broken after an injury. Injuries such as stubbing your toe or dropping a heavy object on it may cause a toe fracture.

Symptoms of a Broken Toe

  • Swelling
  • Pain (with/without wearing shoes)
  • Stiffness
  • Nail Injury

Although the injured toe should be monitored daily, it is especially important to have a podiatrist look at your toe if you have severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include worsening or new pain that is not relieved with medication, sores, redness, or open wounds near the toe.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about What to Know About a Broken Toe
Monday, 23 September 2019 00:00

Excess Friction May Cause Blisters

Many patients will experience blisters on the feet as a result of friction. These can form on the back of the foot from wearing shoes and socks that do not fit correctly, which may cause difficulty in walking. When the skin in the affected area becomes damaged, the body’s natural response will be to form a small bubble over it. This is filled with liquid that will protect the area that has become raw. Additionally, there may be other reasons for blisters to form. These can include allergic reactions to insect bites, frostbite, or severe burns, and medical conditions such as herpes or eczema. As new skin grows, the majority of blisters will drain and heal on their own. If your blister has become infected, or is not healing in a timely fashion, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Blisters are prone to making everyday activities extremely uncomfortable. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters develop as a result of constantly wearing tight or ill-fitting footwear. This happens due to the constant rubbing from the shoe, which can often lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

How Do Blisters Form?

Blisters on the feet are often the result of constant friction of skin and material, usually by shoe rubbing. Walking in sandals, boots, or shoes that don’t fit properly for long periods of time can result in a blister. Having consistent foot moisture and humidity can easily lead to blister formation.

Prevention & Treatment

It is important to properly care for the affected area in order to prevent infection and ease the pain. Do not lance the blister and use a Band-Aid to provide pain relief. Also, be sure to keep your feet dry and wear proper fitting shoes. If you see blood or pus in a blister, seek assistance from a podiatrist.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Huntersville Office | 16419 Northcross Dr Suite A, Huntersville, NC 28078; Mooresvillle Office | 206 Joe Knox Avenue Suite D, Mooresville, NC 28117; and Mountain Island | 10310 Couloak Drive, Charlotte, NC 28216. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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