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Tuesday, 07 December 2021 00:00

Gout is a form of arthritis where excess uric acid in the bloodstream crystallizes on joints in the body. Although other joints in the body can be affected by gout, it typically occurs in the joint of the big toe. Gout flares are intense attacks of pain, inflammation and sometimes redness and warmth in the skin around the affected joint. These flare-ups often occur at night and typically last from 12 hours to a few days. People who are male, overweight, over 40, or who suffer from angina, kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or psoriasis are more at risk of developing gout. Additionally, consuming sugary drinks and foods rich in purines, as well as certain medications are believed to contribute to the formation of this painful condition. If you are experiencing painful flare ups in your big toe joint and fall into one of these categories, make an appointment with a podiatrist. By taking a sample of fluid from the affected toe and performing an examination, they can determine if the cause of your discomfort is gout, and help treat it.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Steven Karr, DPM from Grand Blanc Family Footcare. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle 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 office located in Grand Blanc, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Tuesday, 30 November 2021 00:00

Toenail fungal infections are a very common disease of the nails. The fungus responsible for toenail infections is called onychomycosis, or tinea unguium. It is very hearty and can be resistant to D-I-Y treatments at home. Fungal infections can cause the toenails to become brittle, crumbly, thickened, ragged, and discolored with yellow or white streaking or spots. A podiatrist may treat toenail fungal infections with oral medications, topical therapies, removal of damaged areas of the nail (debridement), or laser therapy. If you think you have a toenail fungal infection, reach out to a podiatrist to discuss your treatment options.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Steven Karr, DPM of Grand Blanc Family Footcare. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Grand Blanc, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Tuesday, 23 November 2021 00:00

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic progressive disease that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints. It often emerges first in smaller joints such as those in the feet and hands. Left untreated, this painful condition may cause erosions in the affected joint, changes in the foot’s shape, and mobility issues. A podiatrist can help manage the pain of rheumatoid arthritis while helping maintain and improve the foot’s functionality and mobility. The treatment options a podiatrist may utilize include custom orthotics, physical therapy, bracing, compression, pain relievers, steroid injections, and even surgery to correct extensive damage. If you have pain in any joint in your foot or ankle make an appointment right away with a podiatrist. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the chances of future deformity and disability.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, 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 Steven Karr, DPM of Grand Blanc Family Footcare. 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 or ankle 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 our office located in Grand Blanc, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Feet
Tuesday, 16 November 2021 00:00

 

The band of tissue on the bottom of the foot, called the plantar fascia, plays a very important role in your body. It attaches the front of the foot to the heel bone, absorbs the body’s weight and pressure during movement, and  supports the arch. There are a number of conditions or situations that overly stress the plantar fascia. Included are obesity, age, pregnancy, standing for prolonged periods of time, physical activities that strain the heel, or having high arches, flat feet and other conditions that cause you to over-pronate (roll your foot inwardly as you move). This excessive stress on the plantar fascia can irritate it or even tear it, causing it to become inflamed and painful. Podiatrists have a great deal of experience in treating plantar fasciitis as it is the leading cause of heel pain. A podiatrist may use tests such as an MRI, X-ray or ultrasound to properly diagnose plantar fasciitis and rule out other ailments that also cause heel pain. Other methods a podiatrist may use to reduce pain and treat plantar fasciitis include physical therapy, night splints that gently stretch the plantar fascia, orthotics that correct can help distribute weight more evenly, steroids to reduce inflammation and pain, and shock wave therapy that initiates the body’s healing response. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to help remove scar tissue or release tension and swelling. If you are experiencing any kind of heel pain, have it checked out by a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact Steven Karr, DPM from Grand Blanc Family Footcare. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Grand Blanc, MI . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis
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