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Monday, 29 January 2018 00:00

Causes of Gout

Extreme pain often accompanies episodes of gout, a type of arthritis. Symptoms of gout may include the foot becoming red and swollen and feeling warm to the touch. In most cases of gout, the big toe is afflicted and may cause the symptoms to occur swiftly and abruptly. Typically, this condition generally lasts a few days, but many patients often complain of the pain and swelling lasting a few weeks. Common causes of gout may include drinking excess alcohol and ingesting an overabundance of red meat. This occurs when a buildup of uric acid crystals is produced by purines found in different types of food. Treatments may include applying ice to the affected area and resting the foot to help the pain and swelling dissipate. There are ways to reduce the possibility of a gout attack, which may include several dietary and lifestyle changes. If you think you might be suffering from gout, you should make an appointment with a podiatrist.

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 Huntersville, Mooresville, and Mountain Island, NC. 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

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel. When this tendon is injured, immediate attention is necessary to encourage proper healing. This injury typically occurs while participating in a sport involving running or jumping and may initially be felt due to a sharp pain in the back of the heel. Symptoms of this condition may include the inability to point and flex the foot, limping, and experiencing significant swelling and pain. Treatment may consist of applying ice packs to the affected area, and it’s advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Occasionally, the leg is put into a cast for proper healing. For severe tears to the Achilles tendon, surgery and a rehabilitation program may be necessary for a complete recovery.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, 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.

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 create immense 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 injuries 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 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 What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
Monday, 15 January 2018 00:00

Can Exercising Help My Feet?

Exercises for the feet can be extremely effective in relieving foot pain in addition to preventing possible injuries. Conditions that may benefit from exercise may be plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. After applying consistent effort, the pain may ease in a few weeks, possibly resulting in much needed relief. An effective stretch for the plantar fascia is to sit while crossing one foot over the knee, pulling the toes back until you feel the muscle stretch. After holding this position for a few seconds, switch to the opposite side. Using a towel that’s wrapped around the ball of your feet while keeping the knees straight and pulling the toes toward the body can be beneficial in stretching the Achilles tendon. Holding this stretch for a few seconds will also stretch out the bottom of the feet. However, before performing any of these stretches speaking with a podiatrist is highly recommended.

Exercising your feet regularly with the proper foot wear is a great way to prevent injuries and build strength. If you have any concerns about your feet, 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.

Exercise for Your Feet

Exercise for your feet can help you gain strength, mobility and flexibility in your feet. They say that strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body. Your feet are very important, and we often forget about them in our daily tasks. But it is because of our feet that are we able to get going and do what we need to. For those of us fortunate enough to not have any foot problems, it is an important gesture to take care of them to ensure good health in the long run.

Some foot health exercises can include ankle pumps, tip-toeing, toe rises, lifting off the floor doing reps and sets, and flexing the toes. It is best to speak with yOur doctors to determine an appropriate regimen for your needs. Everyone’s needs and bodies are different, and the activities required to maintain strength in the feet vary from individual to individual. 

Once you get into a routine of doing regular exercise, you may notice a difference in your feet and how strong they may become.

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 and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Monday, 08 January 2018 00:00

Causes of Hammertoe

Weakened muscles in the toe may cause the tendons to become shorter, enabling the middle joint in the toes to protrude. There may be several causes of this particular condition, referred to as hammertoe, including an inherited predisposition. Symptoms may include experiencing difficulty in walking or not being able to flex and point your toes. Wearing proper footwear is important, especially keeping the heels to 2 inches or less.  If the toes are not able to stretch, surgery may be an option. A consultation with a podiatrist is recommended for a proper diagnosis and the best treatment options.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact 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.

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Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00

How to Treat Corns

When the skin on the foot rubs against a shoe, there is a chance a corn will develop. Typically, the pressure from this causes the skin to thicken; this may produce extreme pain, affecting the deeper layers of the skin. Hard corns are generally caused by poorly fitted shoes and may develop on the top of the toes. Corns that affect the area in between the toes are referred to as soft corns, and moisture from the toes may be the underlying reason for this condition. Occasionally, corns may develop on the soles of the feet, most likely caused by running or walking. There may be several treatment options available, including having a podiatrist trim the corn down, which will ease the pressure. Wearing shoes that fit properly, in addition to applying a moisturizer regularly will help to manage the corn once it’s trimmed. Chemical treatments may also be effective, which may help  the corn to be less painful. Please consult with a podiatrist, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation, for a recommendation for the best treatment options.

If you have any concerns regarding your feet and ankles, contact one of our podiatrists of Carolina Foot & Ankle. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Corns: What are they? And how do you get rid of them?
Corns can be described as areas of the skin that have thickened to the point of becoming painful or irritating. They are often layers and layers of the skin that have become dry and rough, and are normally smaller than calluses.

Ways to Prevent Corns
There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as wearing:

  • Well-fitting socks
  • Comfortable shoes that are not tight around your foot
  • Shoes that offer support

Treating Corns
Treatment of corns involves removing the dead skin that has built up in the specific area of the foot. Consult with Our doctors to determine the best treatment option for your case of corns.

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 and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Corns: What Are They, and How Do You Get Rid of Them