Posts for: May, 2019
Did you know that arthritis is not just one disease but rather a category that covers over 100 different joint disorders? At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that with 33 joints in each of your feet any form of arthritis can prove to be very debilitating. May is National Arthritis Awareness Month and we’d like to do our part by educating patients about other conditions that can be associated with arthritis.
Diabetes—if you have diabetes, your risk of developing arthritis is nearly doubled. This hormonal problem can cause musculoskeletal changes that can create joint pain, stiffness and swelling, which can affect your feet severely. Left untreated, joint damage can occur.
Obesity—carrying excess weight both increases your risk for getting certain kinds of arthritis and makes arthritic conditions worse. Currently, one in five Americans has arthritis, but among patients diagnosed as obese, that number increases to one in three. Since your feet bear the weight and pressure of your entire body, being overweight greatly increases the pain from arthritis in your lower extremities and also can decrease your mobility.
Heart Disease—all types of arthritis involve inflammation. And some types are actually classified as inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout and psoriatic arthritis. Inflammation from any source increases your risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
Depression—patients with arthritis have higher rates of anxiety and depression. Being in pain, losing the ability to do things you could previously do and worrying about the progression of the disease can all have a negative impact on your mental health.
If you’re experiencing any joint stiffness, pain or discomfort, get it checked out promptly at 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 want to examine your feet and get a complete medical history. A total body approach will benefit your feet and help you continue to live the active life you enjoy. Contact us today for an appointment.
May is Older Americans Month, and at Connecticut Foot Care Centers that gives us the perfect opportunity to celebrate our senior patients. It’s a myth that getting older automatically means foot pain and problems. Many conditions that affect the feet of seniors, including diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes as well as common foot and ankle problems can be prevented with proper care. Below are six simple ways to protect your feet as you age.
- Don’t ignore foot pain. At any age, foot pain is not “normal.” The best outcomes for podiatric disorders occur when problems are diagnosed and treated promptly. If you experience pain or discomfort, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices for an appointment.
- Boost your calcium intake. The bones in your feet carry your entire body. To stay strong, they need ample amounts of this mineral. Obvious sources are dairy products, but if you are lactose intolerant, turn to leafy greens, seeds, canned fish like sardines and salmon, fortified breads, juices and cereals or supplements to meet your daily requirement.
- Keep moving. Exercise has many benefits to your feet. It helps maintain range of motion and flexibility as well as aiding you in maintaining an appropriate weight.
- Practice self-exams. Get in the habit of regularly inspecting your feet or ask a family member or caregiver to do it for you. Look for growths, lumps, changes in toenails, rashes, bruising or swelling and let 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. know if you find anything concerning.
- Fall-proof your home. Do a walk through with a family member or friend and evaluate areas that could increase the risk of falls and fractures. Some things to check include: loose carpets or throw rugs, clutter or electrical cords on the floor, poor lighting in stairwells and hallways, bathrooms that need grab bars or no stick surfaces in tubs, railings on both sides of the stairs.
- Get your feet measured. Shoe size can change when you get older. Buy shoes that are sturdy with non-slip soles and roomy toe boxes.
Helping you care for your feet so you can continue to live the active life you love is our goal. If you have questions about foot health care, contact us today.
Do you suffer from ongoing ankle pain or stiffness? Do your ankles feel weak and do they frequently twist or give way when you are walking or standing? At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that chronic ankle problems can be very debilitating and prevent you from leading the active life you love.
Tracking Down the Cause
The first step if you are experiencing uncomfortable ankle symptoms is to contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices for an appointment. 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., will do a complete examination of your ankle and foot. The foot doctor will want to get information about previous ankle sprains and injuries as part of a complete medical history. The podiatrist may order x-rays (which can be done in office) or other imaging studies in addition to physically checking your ankle for signs of tenderness, pain or swelling.
The most common cause of chronic ankle pain and instability is a previous sprain that was not fully rehabilitated. Too often patients don’t complete all the sessions of physical therapy or other treatment recommendations of their podiatrist because the pain stops, and they think they are ready to resume all their regular activities again. But, in addition to the ligaments being healed, surrounding muscles also need to be retrained and strengthened to give the ankle the full support needed to prevent further sprains. Other possible sources of ankle pain and weakness include:
- An undetected stress fracture
- Nerve compression (tarsal tunnel syndrome)
- A biomechanical defect affecting the structural alignment of the foot and ankle
Relieving Painful Symptoms
Once the podiatrist has determined the source of the symptoms you are experiencing with your ankle, the proper course of treatment can be determined. There are several options available including bracing, physical therapy, exercises, and surgery. The foot doctor will discuss the best choice for you. Don’t delay seeking treatment for chronic ankle problems. Contact us today.
Here in greater Hartford and Middlesex Counties, lawns are getting green and that means that the spring and summer chore of mowing the grass will soon be starting up again. At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that thousands of people sustain serious foot and toe injuries every year from mower accidents. What’s worse, most of these injuries could have been avoided. Below are some simple precautions that we’d like all of our patients to take to prevent mower injuries this season.
Get off to a safe start—have your mower checked and serviced before the first cut of the season to avoid malfunctions. If you are buying a new mower, make sure you get one with a switch that shuts off the machine automatically if your hands leave the mower. Read the user’s manual completely before using a new mower.
Wear protective shoes—don’t even think about mowing your lawn barefoot or in flip flops or other open shoes. Even if it’s hot out, work boots are your best choice. Mower blades whirl at 3,000 rotations per minute—that’s powerful enough to cut through sneakers and canvas shoes.
Make sure conditions are right—never mow a lawn that hasn’t completely dried out after a rainstorm. Losing control of a mower on a slippery lawn is the top cause of emergency room visits resulting from lawnmower injuries. Also be sure that your yard is cleared of debris, sticks, toys, and rocks that can be picked up and shot out of your mower causing serious injury to bystanders.
Keep children at a safe distance—teach youngsters not to set foot on the lawn while you’re mowing. Never give a child a ride on a mower. Too many tragedies occur when small feet get stuck under a mower climbing up or down.
Mow smart—for hills, mow slowly back and forth. Don’t go up and down and never try to pull a running mower backward. Make wide turns. Avoid mowing the lawn when you are tired or don’t feel well.
If you do sustain a non-emergency injury from a mower blade or twist an ankle on a slope, 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 examine your injured foot and make sure that your foot injury receives the proper treatment.