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Tuesday, 16 July 2024 00:00

Gout is a type of arthritis characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in joints, often the big toe. Recognizing the symptoms of gout can be straightforward when experiencing intense, painful swelling in a single joint that subsides and reappears, sometimes in different joints. However, pinpointing gout can be challenging if symptoms are less typical. A podiatrist can provide a definitive diagnosis through various tests. Lab tests for gout measure uric acid levels in the blood and joint fluid analysis to detect uric acid crystals. Imaging tests like X-rays, ultrasounds, and other types of scans can help rule out other conditions and identify joint damage or uric acid crystal deposits. Post-diagnosis, ongoing monitoring through blood tests ensures that uric acid levels remain controlled, preventing further attacks and complications. These tests, coupled with a podiatrist's expertise and certain pain relief medications, help manage and treat gout effectively. If you are experiencing symptoms of gout, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. 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 one of our offices located in Lansing, and Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Thursday, 11 July 2024 00:00

Properly made orthotics are essential for effectively addressing foot conditions and enhancing overall comfort and mobility. High-quality orthotics provide the necessary support and alignment, reducing pain and preventing further complications. Assessing orthotic quality involves examining the materials used, such as durable EVA foam, plastic, or carbon fiber, ensuring they offer adequate strength and longevity. The contour of the orthotic is vital, as it must match the unique shape of the individual's foot to provide optimal support and pressure distribution. A well-crafted orthotic will maintain its shape and support over time, adapting to the foot's natural movements. If you are considering custom-made orthotics, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can ensure they meet these standards, offering the best possible solution for various foot-related issues and promoting long-term foot health.

If you are experiencing discomfort in your feet and would like to try custom orthotics, contact Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Are Custom Orthotics?

Custom 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. 

Over-the-Counter Inserts

Shoe inserts come in a wide variety and 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, custom 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're experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibility of using custom orthotics or shoe inserts. A podiatrist can determine which type of custom orthotic or shoe insert is right for you and help you take the first steps toward being pain-free.

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

Read more about Investing in Custom Orthotics Means Investing in Foot Health
Tuesday, 09 July 2024 00:00

Diabetic foot ulcers are open sores or wounds that commonly occur on the feet of individuals with diabetes. They generally result from a combination of neuropathy, poor circulation, and immune system impairment. Neuropathy causes a loss of sensation, leading to unnoticed injuries. Poor circulation hinders healing, while immune dysfunction makes infections more likely. These ulcers can become severe, leading to complications such as infections, gangrene, or even amputations if left untreated. Management of diabetic foot ulcers includes comprehensive wound care, infection control, and addressing underlying conditions. Regular cleaning and debridement to remove dead tissue can promote healing. Antibiotics may be prescribed to combat infection. Additionally, offloading techniques, such as specialized footwear or orthotics, help reduce pressure on the ulcer. Controlling blood sugar levels is imperative to generate healing and prevent recurrence. Regular monitoring and care are essential for effective management. If you have diabetic foot ulcers, it is strongly suggested that you visit a podiatrist for personalized treatment and prevention strategies.

Wound care is an important part in dealing with diabetes. If you have diabetes and a foot wound or would like more information about wound care for diabetics, consult with Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

What Is Wound Care?

Wound care is the practice of taking proper care of a wound. This can range from the smallest to the largest of wounds. While everyone can benefit from proper wound care, it is much more important for diabetics. Diabetics often suffer from poor blood circulation which causes wounds to heal much slower than they would in a non-diabetic. 

What Is the Importance of Wound Care?

While it may not seem apparent with small ulcers on the foot, for diabetics, any size ulcer can become infected. Diabetics often also suffer from neuropathy, or nerve loss. This means they might not even feel when they have an ulcer on their foot. If the wound becomes severely infected, amputation may be necessary. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to properly care for any and all foot wounds.

How to Care for Wounds

The best way to care for foot wounds is to prevent them. For diabetics, this means daily inspections of the feet for any signs of abnormalities or ulcers. It is also recommended to see a podiatrist several times a year for a foot inspection. If you do have an ulcer, run the wound under water to clear dirt from the wound; then apply antibiotic ointment to the wound and cover with a bandage. Bandages should be changed daily and keeping pressure off the wound is smart. It is advised to see a podiatrist, who can keep an eye on it.

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

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Tuesday, 02 July 2024 00:00

Ankle pain, which plagues many runners, stems from the repetitive stress placed on the joints with every step. Runners take approximately 1,700 steps per mile, each one contributing to the cumulative strain on their ankles. The primary causes of ankle pain in runners include ankle sprains, strains, tendonitis, and stress fractures. Ankle sprains involve stretched or torn ligaments, resulting in pain, swelling, and difficulty in moving the ankle. Strains, which are injuries to the tendons, can cause pain, muscle spasms, and cramping. Tendonitis, the inflammation or irritation of a tendon, is often triggered by overuse, wearing improper footwear, repetitive motion, and conditions like low arches or flat feet. Symptoms can include a dull ache, tenderness, and limited swelling. Stress fractures, which are tiny cracks in the bones caused by repetitive force and overuse, can result from excessive mileage, in addition to sudden increases in running distance and changes in running surfaces. Symptoms include worsening pain that diminishes with rest and limited swelling. If you are experiencing ankle pain from running, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment options.

Ankle pain can have many different causes and the pain may potentially be serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Dr. Michael A. Wood from Foot Health Institute. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.

Causes

The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis

Symptoms

Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.

Diagnosis

Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.

Treatment

Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

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

 

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