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pedal

September 2023

Tuesday, 26 September 2023 20:55

Definition and Underlying Causes of Gout

gout pain gout attackGout is a painful form of arthritis that results from the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. This condition can affect anyone, and it typically targets the big toe joint. A noticeable symptom of gout is intense pain, swelling, and redness in the affected joint, often occurring suddenly and causing discomfort that can last for days or weeks. The primary cause of gout is an overabundance of uric acid in the bloodstream, a condition known as hyperuricemia. Uric acid forms when the body breaks down purines, which are found in certain foods and are also produced naturally by the body. Factors such as genetics, a diet rich in purines, excessive alcohol consumption, and obesity can contribute to elevated uric acid levels. Treatment of gout typically involves managing pain during flare-ups with anti-inflammatory medications and lifestyle modifications can help to reduce uric acid levels. Long-term strategies often include dietary changes, weight management, and medications to lower uric acid production. By understanding gout's definition, causes, and appropriate treatment options, individuals can take proactive steps to alleviate pain and prevent future attacks. If you suffer from gout, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Robert Hope of Riverside Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your podiatric 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 Tuscaloosa, and Fayette, AL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

Read More About Gout

Tuesday, 26 September 2023 20:55

Gout

Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. This considered to be one of the most frequently recorded medical illnesses throughout history. Gout occurrences in the US have risen within the past twenty years and the condition now affects 8.3 million people which is 4% of all Americans. Researchers have found that gout affects men more than women and African-American men more than white men. 

Symptoms of gout are warmth, swelling, discoloration, and tenderness in the affected joint area. The small joint on the big toe is the most common place for a gout attack to occur.

People who are obese, gain weight excessively, drink alcohol heavily, have high blood pressure, or have abnormal kidney function are more likely to develop gout. Furthermore, certain drugs and diseases are likely to increase levels of uric acid in the joints which eventually leads to gout. You are also more likely to develop gout if you eat a lot of meat and fish.

Many who experience gout attacks will experience repeated attacks over the years. Some people who have gout symptoms, may never have them again, but others may experience them several times a year. If you have gout symptoms throughout the year, you may have recurrent gout. Those who have gout should also be careful about their urate crystals collecting in their urinary tract, because this may lead to kidney stones.

Diagnosis for gout is done by checking the level of uric acid in the joints and blood. Your podiatrist may also prescribe medicine to reduce uric acid buildup in the blood, which will help prevent any gout attacks.

To treat gout, your podiatrist may also prescribe you Anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) which will relieve the pain and swelling of a gout episode and it can also shorten a gout attack. Maintaining a healthy diet is also a proven method to prevent gout attacks. 

Thursday, 21 September 2023 21:16

A Guide to Treating Plantar Fasciitis

plantar fasciitisPlantar fasciitis, a common and often debilitating foot condition, can bring your daily life to a halt due to severe heel pain. Fortunately, various treatment options are available to help you regain your comfort and mobility. Conservative measures like rest and taking anti-inflammatory medications can help to alleviate discomfort. Wearing supportive footwear with proper arch support and cushioning can significantly reduce strain on the plantar fascia. Stretching exercises that target the calf muscles and Achilles tendon can also provide relief by loosening tight structures around the foot. Custom orthotics may be recommended to support the arch and distribute pressure evenly. In rare cases, when conservative treatments are not sufficient, medical interventions such as cortico-steroid injections or surgery may be considered. Plantar fasciitis can be challenging, but with the right approach and patience, you can overcome it and return to a pain-free, active lifestyle. If you have heel pain, it is suggested that you contact a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Dr. Robert Hope of Riverside Podiatry. Our doctor 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 podiatrist 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 offices located in Tuscaloosa, and Fayette, AL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

Read More About Plantar Fasciitis

Thursday, 21 September 2023 21:15

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. When this band of connective tissue becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis occurs. Fortunately, this condition is treatable.

There are several factors that may put you at a greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis. One of the biggest factors is age; plantar fasciitis is common in those between the ages of 40 to 60. People who have jobs that require them to be on their feet are also likely to develop plantar fasciitis. This includes factory workers, teachers, and others who spend a large portion of their day walking around on hard surfaces. Another risk factor is obesity because excess weight can result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

People with plantar fasciitis often experience stabbing pain in the heel area. This pain is usually at its worst in the morning, but can also be triggered by periods of standing or sitting. Plantar fasciitis may make it hard to run and walk. It may also make the foot feel stiff and sensitive, which consequently makes walking barefoot difficult.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis depends on the severity of the specific case of the condition. Ice massage applications may be used to reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy is often used to treat plantar fasciitis, and this may include stretching exercises. Another treatment option is anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen.

If you suspect that you have plantar fasciitis, meet with your podiatrist immediately. If left untreated, symptoms may lead to tearing and overstretching of the plantar fascia. The solution is early detection and treatment. Be sure to speak with your podiatrist if you are experiencing heel pain.

Thursday, 14 September 2023 20:22

Care for Senior Foot Health

shutterstock 547186888As people age, their bodies undergo various changes, and the feet are no exception. Senior citizens often encounter a range of foot problems that can significantly affect their mobility and overall quality of life. One of the most common issues is arthritis, which can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced joint flexibility. Additionally, decreased blood circulation and thinner skin make seniors more susceptible to foot sores and slow wound healing. To prevent these conditions, seniors must prioritize foot care. This includes wearing comfortable, supportive shoes, maintaining proper hygiene, and inspecting their feet regularly for any signs of problems. Regular exercise can also help improve circulation and reduce the risk of foot ailments. By taking proactive steps to care for their feet, seniors can enjoy greater comfort and mobility. If you have questions about elderly foot care, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can address any concerns you may have.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Dr. Robert Hope of Riverside Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly from taking notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause a general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Tuscaloosa, and Fayette, AL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

Read More About Elderly Foot Care

Thursday, 14 September 2023 20:22

Elderly Foot Care

As you grow older, you will start to notice more problems with your feet due to wear and tear. This may also happen because the skin will start to become thin and lose elasticity. Some signs of aging feet are regular aches and pains, bunion development, and clawed toes.

Fortunately, there are ways you can improve comfort, relieve pain, and maintain mobility in your feet. One of the best ways to deal with aging feet is to exercise. If you keep active, your muscles will become toned which will then strengthen the arches in the foot and stimulate blood circulation.

It is important that you practice proper foot care to protect your aging feet. You should wash your feet in warm water on an everyday basis. Afterward, the feet need to be dried well and it is important to dry between the toes. Your toenails should be trimmed and kept under control; nails that are poorly cut may become ingrown. At the end of each day, performing an inspection of your feet will allow you to detect any ailments in their early stages.

As you grow older, it becomes more important that you wear comfortable shoes. Your shoes should be secure, and they should provide decent arch support. If you are looking to buy a new pair of shoes, it is best to look for a pair that are made from a breathable material. It is also helpful to have shoes that have a bit of extra room at the top of the shoe, especially if you suffer from swollen feet.

The most common foot problems that elderly people will encounter are bunions, calluses, corns, hammertoes, heel pain, and foot problems related to diabetes. Some other issues include arch pain, tarsal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, and Morton’s neuroma

An annual foot examination is a great way for you to ensure that you do not have any serious health problems with your feet. You should talk to a podiatrist about the available treatment options for whichever foot issue you are dealing with.

Thursday, 07 September 2023 21:17

Footwear Influence on Bunions

bunion hallux valgus 1Bunions, or hallux valgus, is a foot deformity where the big toe tilts toward the second toe, causing a bony lump on the side of the foot. Symptoms include pain, swelling, callused skin, and changes in foot shape. Contrary to popular belief, fashion shoes such as high heels do not directly cause bunions. Bunions are primarily the result of a genetic predisposition and the mechanical structure of the foot. However, wearing shoes that squeeze the forefoot and crowd the toes can worsen an existing condition and lead to pain and joint deformity. Bunions can also develop due to factors such as age, arthritis, or sports activities. Preventing bunions involves choosing sensible, well-fitting footwear with ample toe room. Avoiding pointed shoes and excessive heels can be helpful. Proper footwear, non-surgical treatments, and wearing orthotics are initial choices. Surgery is typically the last option for bunions causing significant pain. This involves removing the bony lump and realigning the big toe, ultimately improving foot function and comfort. If you have a bunion that is causing discomfort, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to have it evaluated and obtain appropriate treatment.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact Dr. Robert Hope of Riverside Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of bony growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions is often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while X-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Tuscaloosa, and Fayette, AL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

Read More About Bunions

Thursday, 07 September 2023 21:16

Bunions

A bunion is a bump that forms at the base of the big toe. Bunions form when the big toe pushes against the next toe, which forces the big toe joint to get bigger and stick out.  As a result, the skin over the bunion may start to appear red and it may feel sore.

There are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing bunions. People who wear high heels or ill-fitting shoes are more likely to develop them, in addition to those who have a genetic history of bunions or have rheumatoid arthritis.

The most obvious way to tell if you have a bunion is to look for the big toe pushing up against the toe next to it. Bunions produce a large protrusion at the base of the big toe and may or may not cause pain. Other symptoms are redness, swelling, and restricted movement of the big toe if you have arthritis. 

Nonsurgical methods are frequently used to treat bunions that aren’t severe. Some methods of nonsurgical treatment are orthotics, icing and resting the foot, taping the foot, and pain medication. Surgery is usually only required in extreme cases. However, if surgery is needed, some procedures may involve removing the swollen tissue from around the big toe joint, straightening the big toe by removing part of the bone, or joining the bones of your affected joint permanently.

Your podiatrist will diagnose your bunion by doing a thorough examination of your foot. He or she may also conduct an x-ray to determine the cause of the bunion and its severity.

Saturday, 02 September 2023 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.

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