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November 2021

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

Gout May Be Causing Pain in Your Big Toe

If you suffer from sudden pain, swelling, tenderness, heat, and stiffness in the joint of your big toe, you may have gout. This condition is an inflammatory form of arthritis where excess uric acid forms hardened crystals in the joints. The big toe is usually where gout occurs. People most at risk of developing gout are those with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, kidney dysfunction, or a genetic predisposition to it. Some believe that eating foods that are rich in purines can also contribute to gout’s formation in a person’s body. Uric acid is a byproduct of the body’s process of breaking down purines. People who suspect they have gout should consult with a podiatrist who can not only diagnose the condition, but help manage pain with anti-inflammatory medicine, make dietary recommendations, and even remove uric crystals in severe cases.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. 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 our office located in Boston, MA . 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, 23 November 2021 00:00

What Can Be Done to Treat an Ankle Sprain?

Ankle sprains can occur when one or more ligaments in the ankle are overstretched or torn, usually due to a sudden, twisting injury of the ankle. Sprains can range from mild to severe, but in all cases, a full recovery is vital to prevent future ankle injuries. For all ankle sprains, it is important to protect the sprained ankle from further injury by resting it. Applying ice, compressing, and elevating the injured ankle can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can be useful for pain management. Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help during the recovery process as well. Moderate to severe sprains will usually require further treatments to ensure proper healing. These may include footwear modifications, wearing orthotics, going to physical therapy, wearing an ankle brace or support, and in particularly severe cases, undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament. If you have sprained your ankle, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist. 

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 Boston Common Podiatry. 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 our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

Posterior Tibial Nerve Neuralgia

Posterior tibial nerve neuralgia, also known as tarsal tunnel syndrome, is a nerve disorder that is caused by compression of the posterior tibial nerve. This nerve runs through the tarsal tunnel, an area along the inside of the ankle that houses nerves, blood vessels, and tendons. When the posterior tibial nerve is compressed, it causes symptoms such as foot, ankle, and toe pain, a pins and needles sensation in the foot, and numbness. Conservative treatments such as resting and icing the foot, wearing orthotics, and taking pain medications can help relieve symptoms. For more information about tarsal tunnel syndrome and to discover the best course of treatment for you, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact one of our podiatrists of Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.

Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
  • Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.

The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
  • The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
  • If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.

A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.

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

Read more about Treating Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Monday, 15 November 2021 00:00

Do Your Child's Feet Hurt?

Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.

 

The band of tissue on the bottom of the foot, called the plantar fascia, plays a very important role in your body. It attaches the front of the foot to the heel bone, absorbs the body’s weight and pressure during movement, and  supports the arch. There are a number of conditions or situations that overly stress the plantar fascia. Included are obesity, age, pregnancy, standing for prolonged periods of time, physical activities that strain the heel, or having high arches, flat feet and other conditions that cause you to over-pronate (roll your foot inwardly as you move). This excessive stress on the plantar fascia can irritate it or even tear it, causing it to become inflamed and painful. Podiatrists have a great deal of experience in treating plantar fasciitis as it is the leading cause of heel pain. A podiatrist may use tests such as an MRI, X-ray or ultrasound to properly diagnose plantar fasciitis and rule out other ailments that also cause heel pain. Other methods a podiatrist may use to reduce pain and treat plantar fasciitis include physical therapy, night splints that gently stretch the plantar fascia, orthotics that correct can help distribute weight more evenly, steroids to reduce inflammation and pain, and shock wave therapy that initiates the body’s healing response. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to help remove scar tissue or release tension and swelling. If you are experiencing any kind of heel pain, have it checked out by a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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 Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

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 our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
Tuesday, 02 November 2021 00:00

What Is Sever’s Disease?

When children between the ages of 8 and 14 struggle with heel pain, it is often a result of Sever’s disease. This occurs when the bones in the calves grow slightly quicker than the Achilles tendon (which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone). When this happens, the tendon tightens and the bones in the heels become swollen and sore. As the child continues to grow, there is thankfully no long-term damage caused by Sever’s disease. Common signs of Sever’s disease include limping, tenderness in the heel, and swelling in the heel bone, particularly after running and jumping activities. Parents who believe that their child is suffering from Sever’s disease should consult with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.    

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from Boston Common Podiatry. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

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

Read more about Sever's Disease
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