Posts for tag: immediate treatment
Gout is a painful arthritic condition that affects nearly 4% of the world’s population, yet most people don’t recognize a gout attack when it happens. Pretty surprising for a disease that was first identified in 2640BC.
Gout, also called hyperuricemia, is brought on by high levels of uric acid which form crystals in the body. Uric acid is needed to break down purines, a chemical compound found naturally in many foods. Some bodies produce too much uric acid, and instead of being used, it builds up in the metatarsal joint of your big toe.
Symptoms include sudden and intense pain with redness and swelling. Attacks often happen at night and create tenderness so acute it’s painful to even lay the bedsheets over your toe. Lavish and decadent foods such as bacon, veal, scallops, and alcohol (particularly beer) have high levels of purines and can trigger the condition.
READ MORE ABOUT GOUT: My Big Toe Hurts
Many first-time gout sufferers delay treatment and eventually end up in an urgent care for pain relief. No need! Corticosteroid injections are available in-office and reduce swelling and pain almost immediately. Next, your podiatrist will work with you to form a plan to manage your gout.
The good news is that gout attacks are easily avoidable with dietary changes or oral medications. The bad news is that without treatment, the potential for an attack is always present because the internal process that leads to gout cannot be corrected.
If you are suffering from an attack, don’t delay your treatment. Gout can be indicative of cardiovascular issues or kidney damage. Know the signs and symptoms, so there’s no doubt in your mind about gout.
Your toes are permanent roommates and if you’ve ever had a roommate, you know that people who live in close proximity need their space. Your toes are no different! When you crowd your toes by wearing pointed-toe shoes, high heels that put pressure on the front of the toes, or any shoe with a narrow toe box, it can lead to a hammertoe. What is a hammertoe? I’m glad you asked…
A hammertoe is an abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe. It most often occurs in the second, third, and fourth toes. When your toes are curled under for extended periods of time, they begin to hold that shape. It may become painful to stretch or manipulate the toe and secondary issues such as blisters, corns, and calluses can arise. Improperly fitting shoes are a huge factor in the development of hammertoes. They are also more likely to develop in toes that have experienced a trauma, such as a bad break, jam, or stub. There are some genetic risk factors too, so let your podiatrist know if you have a family history of hammertoes (even if you haven’t developed one yourself). Arthritis and muscle imbalances are also causes of hammertoes.
READ MORE: Hammertoes
Women are more susceptible than men and the chances of developing this condition increase as you age. If your second toe is longer than your big toe, you will need to pay particular attention to the way your shoes fit and give extra space. Your shoes may also become uncomfortable due to corns or calluses that form on the bump of the toe. Use a pumice stone to reduce calluses and put a silicone or moleskin pad on the toe to avoid further rubbing.
Time is of the essence with a hammertoe. If treatment begins as soon as the toe begins to bend (when it’s still moveable), the condition can often be halted with simple methods such as toe exercises, roomier shoes, toe splints, or orthotics. If you allow your hammertoe to go untreated until it is fixed into position, which is what about 50% of our patients do, a surgical solution may be your only option. Your podiatrist might release or reposition the tendons and ligaments holding the toe curled or use pins and bone fusions to correct the bend.
The best thing you can do for your feet is to wear the proper shoes and make an appointment with the FAAWC immediately when you notice a hammertoe developing. We’re here to help.
READ MORE: Quick Tips for the Shoe Store
Winter can be a treacherous time. Some hospitals report an almost 500% increase in emergency room visits during the winter. Many of these visits are the result of a slip and fall, which can culminate in major foot and ankle injuries. Oddly enough, scientists still can’t figure out exactly what makes ice slippery. One theory is that the top-most layer of water is caught between a solid and liquid form. The molecules move chaotically over the frozen layer, creating a volatile surface with a serious lack of traction between your foot and the ground. No matter what the truth is, we all know that feeling of our first unsteady step outside when it’s icy.
There are several ways to gain back your confidence while walking on snow or ice. When we walk on a stable surface, our body weight is split mid-stride, meaning each leg supports your entire weight at an angle to the ground. When we have good traction, this is not a problem, but in less than ideal conditions, this can cause a nasty fall. To avoid this, we can take a lesson from one of the cutest animals on the planet: penguins. Just maybe not THIS penguin. When a penguin walks, he supports his weight perpendicularly over each foot. By keeping our center of gravity always over the front leg, we can reduce the chances of slipping. Don’t carry heavy loads and keep your hands out of your pockets. Like the penguin, keep your arms out slightly and use them for balance.
When walking in snow, follow the leader! Compacted snow has better traction than fresh snow. Walking in someone else’s footsteps can help you keep your balance. If you want to be the brave leader who breaks the fresh fallen snow, walk heel to toe. Pressing your heel down first creates a hole that prevents your foot slipping forward and out from under you.
Proper footwear is also a chief factor in helping keep us safe in the winter. Pick boots with a deep rubber tread. Traditional athletic shoes are great for dry pavement and court floors, but don’t provide the support needed for walking on snow, ice or slush. To make your existing shoes snow-ready, consider buying some type of crampon. Several companies make simple strap on traction cleats without those crazy spiky looking things that you thought were only for mountain climbers.
If you do take a fall, do so safely. I know what you’re thinking; “how can falling be safe?” If you can, avoid falling onto your knees, hands, or spine. In the event of a backward fall, try tucking your knees and “rolling” onto the ground while pushing your chin toward your chest. For a forward or sideways fall, fight your natural instinct to push out your hands to break your fall. Instead, keep your arm parallel to your body. Falling on the fleshy parts of the body and relaxing as you fall can help reduce injury. If you are particularly accident prone, don’t be shy about wearing kneepads, wrist guards, or even a helmet. Thick clothing and coats can also help cushion you in the event of a fall.
If something unexpected happens, the FAAWC is here to help. Did you know that FAAWC offers Immediate Access hours? If you find yourself the victim of a sudden slip and fall resulting in a foot or ankle injury, don’t sweat it. Urgent and/or emergency care is offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays. Patients will have “immediate access” to our doctors during this time for diagnosis and treatment of your injuries. On Friday, FAAWC is also open for walk-in appointments from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Injuries can happen at any time, but we certainly have an increased risk whenever there happens to be snow or ice on the ground. Don’t wait to get treatment for your winter injuries. Come see us and we can help get you back on your feet.
Whether you are an existing patient or searching for a podiatrist in the Delaware, OH area, we're excited you are here. With the podiatry industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping our patients and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.
As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote podiatric awareness as a vital part of your healthy, active lifestyle. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including the latest developments in podiatry, podiatric treatments and helpful foot care advice from Dr. Graebner and her staff.
We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure the long-term health of your feet.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns