Strategies to Help Prevent Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. This chemical can build up and crystallize in the joints, particularly the big toe joint, causing sudden and severe joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and inflammation. If you have had a previous gout flareup, or have a family history of gout, learning and utilizing certain prevention strategies can help you avoid future painful flare ups. Consuming a diet low in purines, a chemical found in red meat, shellfish, and other types of food, which is converted to uric acid in the body, can also lower your risk of gout. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can reduce uric acid crystal formation in the kidneys. Losing excess weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol and sugary beverages may also help. Certain medications may be prescribed by your doctor to lower uric acid levels in the body. To learn more about preventing and managing gout, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from Biebel & DeCotiis Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Holmdel and Middletown, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout

What Are Toe Stretchers?

Toe stretchers are a type of orthotic that may relieve toe pain. Conventional toe stretchers are usually made of gel, plastic, or silicone and slide between your toes, spreading them apart and positioning them away from the balls of the feet. They are worn while sitting or lying down and stretch the toe muscles and ligaments, increasing their flexibility, relieving pain, and preventing injuries. Toe stretcher socks are simply socks that separate the toes. They do not provide as much of a stretch as conventional toe stretchers, but still separate the toes and are warm and comfortable. Toe stretchers are used to treat a variety of conditions, including plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, bunions, corns, calluses, and Morton’s neuroma, among others. To see if toe stretchers are right for you, please consult with a podiatrist. 

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our podiatrists from Biebel & DeCotiis Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Orthotics?

Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.

Prescription Orthotics

If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.

If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Holmdel and Middletown, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes

Treat Your Feet to Diabetic Shoes

Diabetic shoes can bring relief to the feet of patients suffering from diabetes. 

Do I Need an X-Ray to Diagnose Hammertoes?

Hammertoe is a common foot deformity in which one or more of the four smaller toes bend downward at the middle joint, causing the affected toes to have a hammer-like shape. This condition can cause pain and discomfort that progressively worsens over time. The tops of the toes may develop corns or calluses as they rub against the inside of your shoes when walking. Diagnosing and treating hammertoe early is important, as the deformity can eventually become permanent. Your podiatrist will usually be able to diagnose hammertoe through physical examination alone. However, they may suggest an X-ray if they suspect that you could have arthritis or another condition that might be responsible for the hammertoe. In rarer cases, where the hammertoe is extremely painful, your doctor might also recommend that a fluid sample be taken from the joint to check for signs of infection or gout. If you have painful hammertoe, please seek the care of a podiatrist. 

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Biebel & DeCotiis Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact one of our offices located in Holmdel and Middletown, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Preventative Measures to Help Avoid Sprained Ankles

Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that bind and support the ankle joint become stretched beyond their limits. Having good balance as well as strength and flexibility in your feet, ankles, and lower legs can help prevent ankle sprains from occurring. Stretching your calf muscles before and after engaging in physical activity is important. From a standing position with your hands (at arm’s length) placed on a table or a wall, put one leg behind you. Keeping both heels on the ground, lean forward gently until you feel the stretch in your calf muscles. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then repeat the stretch with your other leg behind you. A podiatrist can provide additional stretching techniques and ankle strengthening exercises that can be applied in combination with other preventative measures to help you avoid a sprained ankle. These methods can also help to heal a sprained ankle should one occur.

Although ankle sprains are common, they aren’t always minor injuries. If you need your ankle injury looked at, contact one of our podiatrists from Biebel & DeCotiis Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

How Does an Ankle Sprain Occur?

Ankle sprains are the result of a tear in the ligaments within the ankle. These injuries may happen when you make a rapid shifting movement while your foot is planted. A less common way to sprain your ankle is when your ankle rolls inward while your foot turns outward.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Pain at the sight of the tear
  • Bruising/Swelling
  • Ankle area is tender to touch
  • In severe cases, may hear/feel something tear
  • Skin discoloration

Preventing a Sprain

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
  • Stretching before exercises and sports
  • Knowing your limits

Treatment of a Sprain

In many cases, the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate) is used to treat ankle sprains. However, you should see a podiatrist to see which treatment option would work best with your injury. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

It is important to ask your doctor about rehab options after you receive treatment for your injury. Stretching, strength training, and balance exercises may help the ankle heal while also preventing further injury.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Holmdel and Middletown, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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How Extra Body Weight Affects Foot and Ankle Health

There are many reasons for trying to lose weight. You may want to lower your cholesterol, bring down your blood pressure, increase your energy, or just feel more comfortable in your clothes. You can also add improving your foot and ankle health to the list. Being heavy can place a tremendous amount of strain on your feet and ankles, making you more likely to suffer from heel pain. Carrying excessive weight on your body can set the stage for conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, hammertoes, bunions, flat feet, and more. You are also at an increased risk of developing systemic diseases that affect foot and ankle health such as diabetes and gout. While you are working hard to take that extra weight off, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who has various methods of easing pain, while reducing pressure and distributing weight more evenly on your feet.

Obesity has become very problematic at this point in time and can have extremely negative effects on the feet. If you’re an obese individual and are concerned about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Biebel & DeCotiis Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Obesity and Your Feet

Since your feet are what support your entire weight when standing, any additional weight can result in pain and swelling. Being overweight is one of the main contributors to foot complications.

Problems & Complications

Extra Weight – Even putting on just a few extra pounds could create serious complications for your feet. As your weight increases, your balance and body will shift, creating new stresses on your feet. This uneven weight distribution can cause pain, even while doing the simplest tasks, such as walking.

Diabetes – People who are overweight are at serious risk of developing type-2 diabetes, which has a drastic impact on the health of your feet. As you get older, your diabetes might worsen, which could lead to loss of feeling in your feet, sores, and bruises. You could also become more prone to various infections.

Plantar fasciitis – Pressure and stress that is placed on muscles, joints, and tendons can trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue that forms along the bottom of the foot. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Holmdel and Middletown, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about How Obesity Affects Your Feet

Who Is Susceptible to Developing Sever’s Disease?

Overuse and repetitive motion is the cause of Sever’s disease. It is a condition that affects the heel of the foot in young children and teenagers, and typically occurs in active people of this age group. It happens as a result of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments pulling on the growth plate in the heel when overuse occurs. Common symptoms that are associated with this condition can consist of heel pain, and it is often worse upon arising in the morning. Effective treatments often begin with temporarily stopping the activity that caused the condition, followed by elevating the affected foot. If you notice your child is limping, please schedule a consultation with a podiatrist who can properly treat Sever’s disease.

Sever's disease often occurs in children and teens. If your child is experiencing foot or ankle pain, see one of our podiatrists from Biebel & DeCotiis Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can treat your child’s foot and ankle needs.

Sever’s Disease

Sever’s disease is also known as calcaneal apophysitis, which is a medical condition that causes heel pain I none or both feet. The disease is known to affect children between the ages of 8 and 14.

Sever’s disease occurs when part of the child’s heel known as the growth plate (calcaneal epiphysis) is attached to the Achilles tendon. This area can suffer injury when the muscles and tendons of the growing foot do not keep pace with bone growth. Therefore, the constant pain which one experiences at the back of the heel will make the child unable to put any weight on the heel. The child is then forced to walk on their toes.

Symptoms

Acute pain – Pain associated with Sever’s disease is usually felt in the heel when the child engages in physical activity such as walking, jumping and or running.

Highly active – Children who are very active are among the most susceptible in experiencing Sever’s disease, because of the stress and tension placed on their feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Holmdel and Middletown, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

Read more about Sever's Disease

What Caused My Foot Blister?

A blister on your foot is usually the result of friction from your shoes or socks rubbing against a concentrated area of skin and causing the top layer of skin to separate from the layers beneath it. Although they can be painful, red, and swollen, friction blisters usually heal without medical intervention. But not all blisters are caused by friction. Severe burns and sunburns may produce blisters. Contact dermatitis, caused by a foreign substance irritating the skin, is another common cause of blisters. Certain skin conditions, such as chickenpox and eczema, may also result in foot blisters. If you have blisters on your feet and are unsure of the cause, or if your blisters are painful and not improving over time, please consult with a podiatrist. 

Blisters may appear as a single bubble or in a cluster. They can cause a lot of pain and may be filled with pus, blood, or watery serum. If your feet are hurting, contact one of our podiatrists of Biebel & DeCotiis Podiatry Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Foot Blisters

Foot blisters are often the result of friction. This happens due to the constant rubbing from shoes, which can lead to pain.

What Are Foot Blisters?

A foot blister is a small fluid-filled pocket that forms on the upper-most layer of the skin. Blisters are filled with clear fluid and can lead to blood drainage or pus if the area becomes infected.

Symptoms

(Blister symptoms may vary depending on what is causing them)

  • Bubble of skin filled with fluid
  • Redness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Itching

Prevention & Treatment

In order to prevent blisters, you should be sure to wear comfortable shoes with socks that cushion your feet and absorb sweat. Breaking a blister open may increase your chances of developing an infection. However, if your blister breaks, you should wash the area with soap and water immediately and then apply a bandage to the affected area. If your blisters cause severe pain it is important that you call your podiatrist right away.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Holmdel and Middletown, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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It's Time for Beautiful Feet

You don't need an excuse to have beautiful nails. Step outside without worrying about the appearance of your feet.

Why Do I Have Toe Pain?

Toe pain can be an uncomfortable sensation. It may affect the ability to walk and can cause difficulty in completing daily activities. The medical term for a burning feeling in the toes is referred to as paresthesia. Toe pain can be chronic or sporadic, and this may be contingent of the origin of pain or why your toe is hurting. It can be caused by several reasons including the development of a bunion, or if there are existing calluses, corns, or sores on the toes. Additionally, hammertoe may be a common source of toe pain and this may be the result of genetic factors, or possibly from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. If you have toe pain it is strongly suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose your toe pain and help you with proper treatment techniques.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Biebel & DeCotiis Podiatry Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Causes

Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Corns
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
  • Flat Feet
  • Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
  • And more

Diagnosis

To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Holmdel and Middletown, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Foot Pain

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