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Fairhope, Brewton, Atmore, Jay Phone (251) 928-6768

Items filtered by date: July 2018

Monday, 30 July 2018 00:00

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the joints and causes pain and inflammation. Symptoms of RA tend to come and go, and you may have flare-ups when your symptoms are worse than usual. People with this condition commonly experience symptoms in their feet. The main symptom of RA is joint pain. This pain is typically described as a “throbbing” or “aching” sensation that is worse in the mornings or after a period of inactivity. Another common sign is joint stiffness that makes moving your joints difficult. This stiffness may occur in the morning, but if it occurs longer than a half hour, you should see your podiatrist immediately.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your Feet, 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 Brent Harwood, DPM of Southeast 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 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 one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Monday, 30 July 2018 00:00

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet

Although rheumatoid arthritis attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, ninety percent of people who actually develop this condition usually do so in the foot area. Those who develop this kind of arthritis in the feet usually develop symptoms around the toes and forefeet first, before anywhere else. Rheumatoid arthritis appears to have a genetic component. If it runs in the family, then you will be more likely to develop it as well.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the lining of the membranes surrounding the joints. This causes inflammation of the membrane lining, and the gradual destruction of the joint’s cartilage and even bone.

Some of the most common symptoms that are associated with RA include pain and swelling of the feet. Stiffness in the feet is also another common symptom that people experience. Those who have RA in the feet usually feel the pain in the ball or sole of their feet. This can get to be very painful at times. A person's joints can even shift and become deformed after a period of time.

In order to properly diagnose RA in the feet it is usually necessary for a doctor or podiatrist to evaluate the area. Your doctor will also question you about your medical history, occupation, etc., to determine whether anything in your lifestyle may have triggered the condition. There are a number of tests that may be performed to help diagnose RA, such as a rheumatoid factor test. There is, however, no one single test that will tell you for sure if you have RA. There are different X-rays that can be taken as well to determine if a person has RA in their feet.

There is a range of treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment of RA is usually a lifelong process that includes a variety of methods of treatment and therapy. Your doctor can prescribe special shoes that should help with arch support as well as heel support. A physical therapist can help those with this condition learn exercises which will keep their joints flexible. Surgery may be needed to correct some of the issues with the feet, such as bunions, and hammertoes. Fusion is usually the most successful surgical option for rheumatoid arthritis. However, people need to keep in mind that there are some risks associated with these surgeries.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018 00:00

Anesthesiology

Anesthesiologyanaesthesia or anaesthetics is the medical speciality that focuses on perioperative medicine and the administration of anesthesia.one of our podiatrists

Terminology varies between countries. In North America, the medical speciality is called anesthesiology, a doctor practising it is termed an anesthesiologist, and the treatment delivered is referred to as anesthesia. By contrast, in the United Kingdom and other countries following the British tradition, both the medical speciality and the treatment delivered are referred to as anaesthesia or anaesthetics, and the physician who performs them is termed an anaesthetist (in North America, the word anesthetist indicates a certified anesthesiologist assistant who delivers anesthesia under the supervision of a physician) or certified registered nurse anesthetist who in most states in the U.S. do not require physician supervision.

One of the fundamental practices of anesthesiologists is that of general anesthesia in which a person is placed in a medical coma. This is performed to permit surgery without the individual responding to pain (analgesia) during surgery or remembering the surgery.

If general anesthesia is not necessary, then regional anesthesia can be performed to induce analgesia in a region of the body. For example, epidural administration of a local anesthetic is commonly performed on the mother during childbirth to reduce the pain while permitting the mother to be awake and active in labor & delivery (general anesthesia would not permit this).

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Wednesday, 25 July 2018 00:00

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Monday, 23 July 2018 00:00

Why Do I Have Poor Circulation?

If you experience numbness or a tingling sensation in the feet, you may have poor circulation. Additionally, some patients may feel a cramping or coldness in their toes and this may often be the result of the inability of the circulatory system to transport blood to the cells of the body. A condition known as peripheral vascular disease, which is also referred to as PVD, may often occur when the veins or arteries become blocked. This may cause wounds on the feet to heal slower than average, and may often be accompanied by a decrease in body temperature, which may cause the feet to feel cold. Research has shown that heart disease may be a leading cause of poor circulation, and this may include a specific condition known as arrhythmias, or an irregular heartbeat. If you are experiencing symptoms that are indicative of poor circulation in the feet, it’s advised to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for additional information, including treatment options.

Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact Brent Harwood, DPM of Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your foot care needs.

Poor Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.

Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

Causes

Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:

  • Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness   
  • Numbness or cramping in the legs 
  • Skin discoloration
  • Slower nail & hair growth
  • Erectile dysfunction

Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.

As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Poor Blood Circulation in the Feet

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is often caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is usually the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis, can be the result of excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This restricts how much blood can flow through arteries. Reduced blood flow to a certain area of the body severely limits the amount of oxygen and nutrients that part of the body receives. This leads to degeneration in the muscles and other tissues. Sometimes, poor blood circulation in the feet and legs can be caused by other conditions, such as the damaging or inflammation of blood vessels, known as vasculitis.

The lack of oxygen and nutrients caused by poor blood circulation can restrict muscle growth and development, as well as cause muscle pain and cramps, weakness, and stiffness. Other common symptoms include numbness in the legs and feet, skin discoloration in the affected limbs, slower nail and hair growth, and erectile dysfunction in men. In more severe cases of PAD, pain can be present even when a person isn't exercising, and may range from mildly uncomfortable to completely debilitating.

Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is more common in those who are overweight or obese, have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, who smoke, or who have a family history of PAD or related conditions such as a heart attack, stroke, etc. Diabetes and smoking place a person at greatest risk for developing poor blood circulation, although advanced age, over 50, can also increase risk.

If you are experiencing poor blood circulation in the feet and legs caused by PAD, it is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce your risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke caused by this condition. If you smoke, quit completely. This will increase the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. Exercising and reducing the saturated fats in your diet. Saturated fats come from fatty meats, fried foods, whole milk, etc., can make a difference in improving blood circulation in feet. It is also important to avoid developing influenza and to carefully control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.

Your doctor may recommend combining lifestyle changes with a prescription medication regimen to improve blood circulation. The most commonly-used medications for PAD are called statins and work by blocking the amount of enzymes in your body that produce cholesterol. They are known by the brand names Zocor, Lipitor, Crestor, and others.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 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.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018 00:00

Before you start dancing...

 

Another name for a common condition referred to as toenail fungus, is onychomycosis. General treatment options typically include using topical creams or liquids, despite being relatively ineffective. Recent research has shown the onset of using laser therapies, which may be an effective option for the treatment of toenail fungus. The concept may be an advanced approach, which may diminish the severity of this condition by injecting a specific amount of light into the affected toenail. There is insufficient information available than can justify the effectiveness of laser treatment and it has been suggested to consider this type of treatment when other remedies have failed. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information about laser treatments.

Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.

What Are Toenail Fungal Infections?

Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:

  • Nail thickening
  • Brittleness of the nail
  • Discoloration of the nail

Diagnosis for Fungal Nails

Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.

What Is Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Laser Treatment for Fungal Nails
Monday, 09 July 2018 00:00

Laser Treatment for Fungal Nails

A new treatment for fungal nails, or onychomycosis, which has grown in popularity in recent years, is laser treatment. Laser treatment involves the use of a laser that kills fungus in the toenail with heat. Laser therapy causes no side effects and does not affect nearby healthy tissue.

Toenail fungus afflicts almost 10 percent of the U.S. population and is more common among the elderly. The most common symptom of toenail fungus is the discoloration and thickening of the nail. The nail can also become brittle and a foul smell may be produced. In rare cases, pain might be present. While it is not a serious condition, it can lead to a perception of disgust amongst those it affects. There are several different fungi that cause fungal infections. These include dermatophyte, yeast, and mold. The most common of these is dermatophyte.

Diagnosis for fungal nails involves a podiatrist utilizing microscopy and fungal cultures. This will allow the doctor to determine whether it is a fungus or another condition, such as lichen planus, psoriasis, nail damage, and onychogryphosis.

Fungus in the nails can be hard to get rid of with over-the-counter drugs. This is due to the nail being hard and protective, with fungus able to slip between the nail bed and plate. Furthermore the slow growth of the nail increases the difficulty of fungus going away. Laser treatment seeks to get around this by directly penetrating through the nail and killing the fungus. The laser is used on each infected nail for a couple of minutes. Patients then typically return several weeks or months later for another laser treatment. During this time the podiatrist will routinely observe the foot and infection. It is also recommended to wear clean socks and shoes and allow the feet to dry and breathe to prevent toenail fungus.

Laser treatment is still a relatively new treatment and not all podiatrists have laser machines. Ask your podiatrist if they do laser treatment for toenail fungus and if it is right for you.

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