Posts for: April, 2019
A condition that we treat frequently at Connecticut Foot Care Centers is bunions. We find that most patients are able to easily identify a bunion by its telltale bump on the side of the big toe, but often don’t know much more about this disorder. Below are some facts to help you better understand bunions and what to do about them:
FACT: A bunion is a deformity in the bone which occurs as a result of an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe. The toe moving out of place and moving towards the second toe is what produces the bony protrusion on the side of the toe. In some cases, the toe will even overlap the third toe or rotate and twist. Bunions can lead to additional deformities as well, such as hammertoe.
FACT: Unfortunately, by the time a bunion is visibly obvious, it has progressed to a more severe state. The best time to evaluate and treat a bunion is in its earliest stages. If you notice even a slight appearance of your toe beginning to look crooked or out of place, or if you start to feel pain or numbness in the toe, that’s the time to contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices. Our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will quickly examine your toe and diagnose the source of your discomfort.
FACT: There several conservative treatments available for bunion sufferers, including:
- Modifying footwear and choosing styles with low heels and roomy toe boxes
- Custom orthotic devices to help correct the position of the foot and stabilize the joint
- Exercises and physical therapy to maintain range of motion and joint flexibility
- Night splints to realign the toe and joint
- Padding, if friction and pressure are causing pain to the toe
FACT: Although bunions are not inherited, the biomechanical defect that predisposes a patient to develop a bunion can be passed on. One of the best ways to prevent bunions is to limit time spent in footwear with high heels and narrow pointy toe boxes. Other conditions such as flat feet and neuromuscular problems can also lead to bunions. Taking care of your feet and not ignoring the pain and other symptoms can also lower your risk of bunions.
It’s April, and that means we at Connecticut Foot Care Centers, LLC are celebrating National Foot Health Awareness Month. Having healthier feet is possible for all patients. And, it needn’t be time-consuming or complicated. Below are 8 simple steps to prevent common podiatric disorders and protect your feet and ankles.
- Don’t ignore foot or ankle pain. It’s your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. Make an appointment at one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices at the first sign of foot discomfort.
- Buy shoes that are the right size. It may sound astounding, but studies estimate that up to 90% of people are wearing shoes that are too small. Foot size can change over time. Get your feet professionally measured.
- Limit time in high heels with pointy toes. Styles that force the foot forward and squeeze toes together can increase the risk for bunions, hammertoes, and other deformities.
- Practice self-exams. Make inspecting your feet a regular habit. Report any unusual symptoms like swelling, lumps or growths and changes in toenails and skin to one of our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
- Trim toenails straight across and with no ragged edges. Don’t cut them too short and never round the edges as this can increase the risk of ingrown toenails.
- Keep feet dry. Fungal infections thrive in warm, damp places. If your feet sweat profusely, keep an extra pair of socks in your bag and change them whenever you notice your feet are damp. Consider using an anti-fungal powder daily as well.
- Wear flip-flops or shower shoes in public places. Gyms, nail salons, community pools and beach changing areas and restrooms are excellent places to pick up a bacterial or fungal infection.
- Don’t try to do the podiatrist’s job! Attempting to file down corns, remove warts or treat other foot problems on your own is likely to lead to injury or infection. Contact us today to request an appointment.
Imagine you were recently diagnosed with diabetes. Your doctor tells you all about what life changes to make, in addition to your new medical treatments, to help reduce the negative side effects of diabetes and decrease your vulnerability to other conditions that can be easily developed when you have diabetes. What if there were simple steps you could take to not only help maintain your diabetes better but also reduce your risk of developing other issues and diseases associated with diabetes? One of those diseases is called gout, which is a form of arthritis that more commonly affects people with diabetes.
As a disease, gout is triggered by excessive amounts of uric acid in your body. Gout causes uric acid to turn into crystals that form in and around the joints in our bodies. Most often, these crystals are formed within the joints of our feet, ankles, and toes. Uric acid crystals cause inflammation that leads to swelling and painfulness in the affected joint, leaving it tender and warm to the touch.
Even with diabetes, there are three simple things you can do on a daily basis to not only help manage your diabetes but decrease your susceptibility to developing gout as well!
Drink More Water - This seems like a no brainer, yet almost everyone forgets to drink enough water on a daily basis. Drink what feels right for you, but be consistent. Staying hydrated helps prevent the build-up of uric acid by breaking it down before it can form.
Drink Less Alcohol - We get it, alcohol is fun! This isn’t to say you can’t drink once in a while, but when it comes to drinking alcohol a few times per week, you run into trouble. Alcohol is not only high in calories but it can actually reduce our ability to fight off inflammatory uric acid buildup in our bodies.
Exercise More Often - For most people, a simple mile-long walk around your neighborhood or a local park will do. Change it up and go to different locations with more difficult walking paths! Exercise keeps your joints mobile and lubricated, reducing your risk of building up uric acid.
Don’t forget to check in with Dr. Jeffrey S. Kahn, Dr. Craig M. Kaufman, Dr. Ayman M. Latif, or Dr. Raffaella R. Pascarella at your next visit to Connecticut Foot Care Centers when you notice any new symptoms or foot problems arising. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our six locations across Rocky Hill, Bristol, Middletown, Glastonbury, Newington, and Kensington, Connecticut!
Are you wondering if what you’re experiencing might be some form of tendinitis? When it comes to Achilles tendinitis, the signs and symptoms can be achingly clear to those who develop this problem. Our Achilles tendon is a band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your calf muscles, stretching along the backside of our legs.
Achilles tendinitis is characterized by three common symptoms:
- Experiencing pain after physical activity, like stair climbing, running, or jumping
- Delayed onset of pain after trying a new activity or increasing the intensity of a previous activity you frequently engaged in
- Feeling an aching pain above the back of your heel and/or up along the back of your leg
These types of symptoms can occur as a result of repetitive injury or overuse of the Achilles tendon. Some folks are more vulnerable to developing Achilles tendinitis than others for various different reasons:
- Frequently running or jogging
- Being obese or out of shape
- Developing fallen arches or flat feet
- Starting an intense exercise regimen too quickly
- Spending most of your week being sedentary, but a day or two being very active
- Aging or being over 30 years of age
- Having a combination of the risk factors previously mentioned
Often, Achilles tendinitis is easily treated at home. In rare cases, Achilles tendinitis becomes severe enough that it might completely rupture, which requires surgical correction. In the event that your Achilles tendinitis bothers you longer than a few weeks or persists even after rest and treatment at home, you’re officially overdue for a visit to the podiatrist. With the help of Dr. Jeffrey S. Kahn, Dr. Craig M. Kaufman, Dr. Ayman M. Latif, or Dr. Raffaella R. Pascarella at Connecticut Foot Care Centers, you can learn about easy ways to treat and prevent Achilles tendinitis. Most importantly, this includes reducing your high impact activities, taking it slow when starting a new exercise regimen, and making sure your shoes are supportive and foot-friendly. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment at one of our 6 locations in Rocky Hill, Bristol, Middletown, Glastonbury, Newington, and Kensington, Connecticut.