Tuesday, 27 February 2024 00:00

How Gout Progresses and Who Is at Risk

Gout, a type of arthritis characterized by sudden and severe pain attacks, can progress through four distinct stages, each posing unique challenges and implications for affected individuals. Initially, the asymptomatic hyperuricemia stage occurs, where elevated uric acid levels accumulate in the blood without any noticeable symptoms. This stage can persist for years before progressing to acute gouty arthritis, marked by sudden and intense joint pain, typically in the big toe. If left untreated, recurrent gout attacks may ensue, leading to the chronic gout stage characterized by frequent flare-ups and potential joint damage. In severe cases, tophaceous gout may develop, characterized by the formation of urate crystals in the joints and surrounding tissues, resulting in visible lumps. While anyone can develop gout, certain factors such as genetics, obesity, dietary habits rich in purines, alcohol consumption, and certain medications increase the risk. If you have developed gout, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can determine which stage you are in, and offer effective relief options.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor 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 our office located in Gilbert, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Tuesday, 20 February 2024 00:00

Treatment Options for Drop Foot

Foot drop is a condition marked by having difficulty lifting or moving the foot and toes. The foot fails to lift properly, causing a gait that looks like marching. Foot drop typically stems from nerve injuries as the result of sports injuries, spinal issues like slipped discs, or neuropathies associated with conditions such as diabetes. Other causes of drop foot  include inherited conditions like Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease or neurological disorders, such as stroke or multiple sclerosis. Treatment strategies for foot drop are multifaceted, depending on the underlying cause and severity of symptoms. Certain exercises can play an important role in strengthening and stretching muscles to improve function. In addition, braces, splints, or custom orthotics may offer external support and aid in maintaining proper foot positioning. In cases of permanent impairment, surgical joint fusion or nerve repair may be necessary. Electrical nerve stimulation devices also can offer promising therapeutic options, particularly for individuals affected by stroke or multiple sclerosis. If you have symptoms of foot drop, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and diagnosis, followed by the appropriate treatment options. 

If you have any concerns about your feet, contact Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Biomechanics in Podiatry

Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.

A History of Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
  • In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.

Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.

Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about The Importance of Biomechanics in Podiatry
Tuesday, 13 February 2024 00:00

Trim Properly to Avoid Ingrown Toenails

Improper toenail trimming is a common culprit behind ingrown toenails, a painful condition that occurs when the nail grows into the surrounding skin. The risk of ingrown toenails increases when toenails are trimmed improperly. This includes when toenails are cut too short, rounded at the corners, or not trimmed straight across. To trim toenails correctly and reduce the likelihood of ingrowth, you should follow a few simple steps. Firstly, soften the nails by soaking the feet in warm water for a few minutes. Using sanitized nail clippers, cut the nails straight across, avoiding curved edges. Ensure that the nails remain slightly longer than the skin at the nail's edge. Digging the clippers into the corners of the nails, or trying to create a rounded shape, will increase your chances of developing ingrown toenails. Adopting these toenail-trimming practices will help you maintain healthy, pain-free feet. If you suspect ingrowth, it is suggested you seek an appointment with a podiatrist, who can help you treat ingrown toenails and provide more prevention tips. 

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Barbara Davis of Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenails
Friday, 09 February 2024 00:00

It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Tuesday, 06 February 2024 00:00

Types of Arthritis Causing Ankle Pain

There are many kinds of arthritis, and one of them could be a cause of your ankle pain. Osteoarthritis, the most common type, occurs when wear and tear on the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones causes the bones to rub against each other. People with osteoarthritis in their ankle may experience painful joints between the shin and ankle. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition, often causes joint pain in both ankles. Gout is another type of arthritis that can cause ankle pain because of a buildup of uric acid in the body. Gout patients often feel pain in the big toe as one of their first symptoms. Sudden intense pain that lasts for several hours and affects any of the joints, including ankles, can indicate a gout attack. These are not the only forms of arthritis that can lead to ankle pain. Understanding the specific type of arthritis affecting the ankle is important for developing an effective treatment plan. If you are experiencing persistent ankle pain, it is suggested you consult a podiatrist who can help identify the underlying cause of your pain, diagnose types of arthritis, and explore appropriate treatment plans. 

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Various Causes of Ankle Pain

The Achilles tendon, a strong band of tissue connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone, plays a pivotal role in facilitating movement. An Achilles tendon injury refers to the damage or inflammation that occurs in this critical structure, impacting the ability to walk, run, or perform various physical activities. Typically, injuries to the Achilles tendon manifest as pain, swelling, and stiffness, often concentrated near the back of the heel. Individuals may experience difficulty pointing their toes or pushing off the ground. The discomfort can range from mild to severe, and in some cases, a noticeable thickening of the tendon may be observed. Achilles tendon injuries are frequently associated with overuse, sudden increases in physical activity, or inadequate warm-up routines. If you have endured an Achilles tendon injury, it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment method.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Barbara Davis of Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor 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 office located in Gilbert, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What are Achilles Tendon Injuries
Tuesday, 23 January 2024 00:00

Podiatry and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Podiatry is a specialized medical field dedicated to evaluating, diagnosing, and addressing issues related to the feet and ankles. Practitioners who hold specialized or extended roles in podiatry are well-equipped to provide expert assessment, guidance, and treatment for individuals dealing with all types of foot and ankle problems, including rheumatoid arthritis, or RA. Among patients affected by RA, podiatric care is a highly sought-after service. Podiatrists possess the knowledge and skills required to understand the unique challenges posed by rheumatic diseases on the feet and ankles. These doctors play a critical role in managing the foot-related aspects of RA, offering patients comprehensive care to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance their overall quality of life. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis that is impacting your feet and ankles, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for treatment.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Dr. Barbara Davis of Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Tuesday, 16 January 2024 00:00

Causes and Symptoms of Turf Toe

Turf toe is a common injury that often strikes athletes such as football players, dancers and gymnasts, with a sudden and traumatic onset. Most recall the precise moment it occurred. Turf toe results in pain around the ball of the foot, particularly on the bottom of the metatarsophalangeal, or MTP, joint, just  below the big toe. Those experiencing turf toe may note pain with or without movement. It can be felt when the toe is flexed to the extreme or during the toe-off phase of walking. Swelling of the MTP joint may accompany the pain, along with a decrease in strength and range of motion. The affected joint also may become warm and tender to the touch. Turf toe can cause a noticeable lump or gap, and what is described as a crunchy feeling due to inflammation. Difficulty walking and maintaining balance can result from the pain and loss of function in the affected joints and surrounding tissues.  If you suspect a  turf toe injury, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and accurate diagnosis. A tailored treatment plan can help you get back in the game.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Barbara Davis of Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking

Diagnosis

In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toe Pain
Wednesday, 10 January 2024 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Tuesday, 09 January 2024 00:00

What Is a Diabetic Foot Ulcer?

A diabetic foot ulcer, a grave complication for individuals with diabetes, is a chronic open sore that develops on the feet, typically on the bottom or sides. It arises from a combination of factors intricately linked to the effects of diabetes on the body. Diabetes can lead to neuropathy, causing reduced sensation in the feet and making it challenging to detect injuries or pressure points. Additionally, compromised blood circulation hampers the healing process, increasing the risk of infections and the formation of ulcers. Contributing further, the elevated blood sugar levels associated with diabetes impair the immune system, increasing the risk of infections. Foot ulcers, if left untreated, can escalate into serious complications and be quite painful. Recognizing the effects of diabetic foot ulcers underscores the importance of meticulous foot care in diabetes management. If you have diabetes and have developed a foot ulcer, it is suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can effectively treat this type of wound, and help you to manage this condition.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Gilbert, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Wound Care
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