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

Items filtered by date: July 2022

Wednesday, 27 July 2022 15:13

Gout Attacks Are Painful

gout 2Gout is a form of arthritis and it can create debilitating pain. It affects the joints in the big toe and it is caused by excess uric acid in the blood. This converts to crystals and lodges in the toe joints. There are specific foods that have high levels of purines in them that can lead to gout, consisting of red meat, shellfish, alcohol, and drinks that are made with large levels of sugar. The pain can last for several minutes or hours and is referred to as gout attacks. To obtain a proper diagnosis, a podiatrist may take a sample of the fluid in the joints to determine how to manage long-term gout. There are effective prevention techniques that may eliminate painful gout attacks. These include eating healthy foods daily, reducing alcohol intake, and incorporating a gentle exercise routine. If you would like additional information about how to manage gout and methods that may prevent it, please consult with a podiatrist.

 Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor will treat your podiatric 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 offices located in Fairhope, Brewton, and Atmore, AL and Jay, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your podiatric needs.

Read More About Gout

Wednesday, 27 July 2022 15:12

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. 

Monday, 25 July 2022 00:00

Are You Suffering From Nerve Damage?

Neuropathy is a condition that can lead to numbness or loss of sensation in the feet, but it can also cause pain. This condition is more likely to develop for those who are diabetic, obese, or with high blood pressure.

Wednesday, 20 July 2022 14:18

Simple Fall Prevention Methods

falls prevention 4Research has indicated that approximately one in three adults fall at least once per year. This can lead to serious foot injuries that can hinder completing daily activities. There are simple methods that can be implemented that may help to reduce falling episodes. When the lighting is improved in the household, it will become easier to see steps and obstacles that may be easy to trip over. Additionally, removing frayed rugs can reduce the number of falls incurred, and it is important to hold on to handrails while going up and down the steps. Many patients find it helpful to install grab bars in the shower and toilet area, and using a non-skid bathmat can provide stability in the shower. When a walker or cane is used, the sense of balance is often increased, and it is beneficial to keep a phone within reach in case a mishap occurs. It is helpful to have routine physical and eye exams performed, and this is needed to monitor existing medication and eyeglasses. If you would like more information about how falling can affect the feet, and effective fall prevention methods, please consult with a podiatrist.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

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

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Wednesday, 20 July 2022 14:18

Falls Prevention

Elderly ones are very susceptible to falls as they get older. Everyone experiences decreases in flexibility, balance, strength, and the senses as they age. It is important to take preventive measures to strengthen muscles and balance to prevent injuries from happening.

Finding an exercise program for the elderly is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of falls. Look for an exercise program that improves strength and balance. Elderly people who live a more sedentary lifestyle, with little physical activity, are at an increased risk of falling. Wearing well-fitted footwear that provides good foot support and cushion will help prevent falls from poorly fitted shoes. Talking to a podiatrist about your susceptibility to falls and about inspecting your prescriptions will help to avoid any medication that could make falls more likely. Due to a decline in the senses among the elderly, having your eyes and hearing checked is recommended.

Around half of all falls occur in the household. Removing tripping hazards in the home and making it more accommodating to older persons can significantly reduce falls. Some notable household changes include increasing lighting around the house, installing grab bars in the shower and bathroom, and making sure the floor is clear of clutter. Other smart options include installing a shower chair, using rubber-bottomed rugs, and placing railings on both sides of stairwells.  

Finally, discuss with a doctor and your family about your fear of falling. This will help to increase awareness among the population on the need for fall prevention. A lack of awareness on the matter, and a downplaying of importance are what increase the risks of falling. Following these tips can help to reduce the risk for yourself and your loved ones.

Do you work on your feet all day and find your feet in pain? Don't go to work in pain each day. Your foot pain can be treated, and we can help.

Wednesday, 13 July 2022 16:22

Who Is Affected by Morton’s Neuroma?

mortons neuromaJust about anyone can develop Morton’s Neuroma, a foot ailment that can be particularly painful and troublesome. However, some individuals may be at an increased risk of developing this condition, so it is important to discern your own level of risk. Morton’s neuroma primarily affects plantar digital nerves that run between the metatarsal bones of the foot. In most cases, Morton’s neuroma targets the nerve between the third and fourth metatarsal bones, resulting in pain. Although the exact cause of Morton’s neuroma is somewhat elusive and largely case-dependent, it is most likely caused by either extended straining and compression of the plantar digital nerves or inflamed joints surrounding these nerves. Certain individuals can be more susceptible to Morton’s neuroma than others. For example, approximately 75% of those who suffer from this condition are women. This is most likely due to the fact that women wear shoes such as high heels that compress the toes, putting the plantar digital nerves at risk. Additionally, ballet dancers who wear similarly restrictive footwear are at an increased risk of developing Morton’s neuroma. Individuals between the ages of 40 and 50 are typically at the highest risk of developing this condition. If you believe you may have Morton’s neuroma or are in one of these high-risk categories, you might consider contacting a podiatrist.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

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

Read more about Morton’s Neuroma

Wednesday, 13 July 2022 16:21

What is Morton's Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma, (also referred to as Morton’s metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuralgia, plantar neuroma or intermetatarsal neuroma) is a condition that is caused when the tissue around one of the nerves between your toes begins to thicken. This thickening can result in pain in the ball of the foot. Fortunately, the condition itself is not cancerous.

Morton’s neuroma affects women more often than men with a ratio of 4:1. It tends to target women between the age of 50 and 60, but it can occur in people of all ages. There are some risk factors that may put you at a slightly higher risk of developing the condition. People who often wear narrow or high-heeled shoes are often found to be linked to Morton’s neuroma. Additionally, activities such as running or jogging can put an enormous amount of pressure on the ligament and cause the nerve to thicken.

There usually aren’t any outward symptoms of this condition. A person who has Morton’s neuroma may feel as if they are standing on a pebble in their shoe. They may also feel a tingling or numbness in the toes as well as a burning pain in the ball of their foot that may radiate to their toes.

In order to properly diagnose you, the doctor will press on your foot to feel for a mass or tender spot. He may also do a series of tests such as x-rays, an ultrasound, or an MRI. X-rays are usually done to rule out any other causes for your foot pain such as a stress fracture. Ultrasounds are used to reveal soft tissue abnormalities that may exist, such as neuromas. Your podiatrist may want to use an MRI in order to visualize your soft tissues.

There are three main options for treatment of Morton’s neuroma: Injections, decompression surgery, and removal of the nerve. Injections of steroids into the painful area have been proven to help those with Morton’s neuroma. Decompression surgery has been shown to relieve pressure on the affected nerve by cutting nearby structures such as the ligaments in the foot. Another treatment option would be to surgically remove the growth to provide pain relief.

If you suspect that you have Morton’s neuroma you should make an appointment with your podiatrist right away. You shouldn’t ignore any foot pain that lasts longer than a few days, especially if the pain does not improve.

Ingrown toenails can be painful and can make wearing shoes or walking uncomfortable. Seek professional help if you believe you've developed an ingrown toenail and be treated safely. 

Wednesday, 06 July 2022 15:33

Tips to Remedy Cracked Heels

cracked heels 2Approximately 20% of all adults in the United States will experience heel fissures, or “cracked heels,” at least once during their lifetime. Cracked heels typically occur when the skin surrounding one’s heel becomes noticeably tough, dry, and thick. The dried skin around the heel can eventually crack, creating fissures. The risk of developing cracked heels is markedly higher during the winter season when the colder weather typically makes the skin drier. If you are experiencing cracked heels, you may be able to make use of several at-home remedies. For example, you may soak your feet in water for approximately 20 minutes and use a pumice stone to gently remove the hardened skin cells. Afterwards, you may apply a heavy-duty moisturizer to the back of your heel. Typically, moisturizers containing ingredients such as petroleum jelly or glycerin can effectively nourish the skin. To address cracked heels, you might also use alpha-hydroxy acids or urea to target hardened skin cells and effectively remove them from your heels. If at-home remedies like these fail to mitigate cracked heels, this could be a sign to consult a podiatrist. Ultimately, cracked heels can be an unsightly annoyance, but you and your podiatrist can take steps to address the affliction. 

If the skin on your feet starts to crack, you may want to see a podiatrist to find treatment. If you have any concerns, contact Brent Harwood, DPM from Southeast Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Cracked Heels

It is important to moisturize your cracked heels in order to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection. The reason cracked heels form is because the skin on the foot is too dry to support the immense pressure placed on them. When the foot expands, the dry skin on the foot begins to split.

Ways to Help Heal Them

  • Invest in a good foot cream
  • Try Using Petroleum Jelly
  • Ease up on Soaps
  • Drink Plenty of Water

Ways to Prevent Cracked Heels

  • Moisturize After Showering
  • Skip a Shower
  • Keep Shower Water Lukewarm
  • Don’t Scrub Your Feet

If you are unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels, seek guidance from a podiatrist. Your doctor will help you with any questions or information you may need. 

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

Read more about Cracked Heels

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