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Are You Suffering From Nerve Damage?

Neuropathy is a condition that can lead to numbness or loss of sensation in the feet, but it can also cause pain. This condition is more likely to develop for those who are diabetic, obese, or with high blood pressure.

Gout Affects Joints in the Big Toe

Gout is a type of arthritis that can cause severe pain and discomfort. Gout develops due to excess uric acid in the body which leads to the formation of sharp crystals in the joints. These crystals can trigger inflammation and cause intense pain, often affecting the big toe, knees, ankles, and other joints. Several factors can contribute to gout, such as a diet rich in purines found in red meat, seafood, and sugary drinks. Family history, obesity, and certain medications can also contribute to gout. To manage this condition, you must make healthy lifestyle choices, which include eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and drinking plenty of water. Medications can help reduce pain and control uric acid levels. Early diagnosis and proper management are pivotal in preventing gout attacks and potential joint damage. If you experience joint pain in the big toe, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our doctors from New England Foot & Ankle . Our doctors 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 offices located in Wakefield, MA, Nashua and Derry, NH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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The Rate of Toddler Foot Growth

When babies are born, their foot bones are not fully developed and act more like cartilage. The significant milestone of standing occurs when their feet, legs, hips, and core can support their weight, typically between nine to 18 months of age. Once they start walking, running and jumping will quickly follow. Although foot structure is usually developed by age two, complete development continues until the teen years. Given the crucial role of feet in standing and movement, parents need to care for their children's feet from an early age to avoid potential motor skill and ability issues in the future. Parents often wonder when it is appropriate to introduce shoes to their babies. Initially, shoes are unnecessary as they can hinder foot growth and movement. However, once walking is mastered, shoes become relevant. Keep in mind that rapid growth necessitates frequent changes in shoe size. As children get older, the speed of foot growth slows down. It is crucial to invest in well-fitting, durable shoes that support movement, balance, and coordination. Regularly checking shoe fit and promptly replacing them when outgrown is recommended by experts. On average, a child's shoes need to be changed every three to four months. If you have additional questions about your toddler’s feet, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist who can provide valuable information.

Making sure that your children maintain good foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact one of our doctors of New England Foot & Ankle . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Keeping Children's Feet Healthy

Having healthy feet during childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care. Here are some things to consider...

Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.

Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet.

Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable.

As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’. 

As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet.

Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus.

Be watchful for any pain or injury.

Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible.

Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Wakefield, MA, Nashua and Derry, NH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Wearing Orthotics May Help Certain Foot Conditions

There are specific foot conditions that may require patients to wear orthotics. They can range from having flat feet to other abnormal foot structures. Orthotics are defined as custom-made inserts for shoes and are designed to correct certain foot ailments. Having foot or heel pain may guide a patient toward inquiring about orthotics, and this information is often provided by a podiatrist. This type of doctor will perform a foot examination that can reveal existing deformities. This can be followed by having a conversation about current activities that are performed, which may help to determine the cause of the pain. Medical conditions that may improve by wearing orthotics can include arthritis, bunions, flat feet, and hammertoe. There are various types of orthotics that can be worn, and it is suggested that you confer with a podiatrist who can determine if this is the best course of treatment for you.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our doctors from New England Foot & Ankle . 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 our offices located in Wakefield, MA, Nashua and Derry, NH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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A Compressed Foot Nerve May Indicate Morton’s Neuroma

Foot pain is a common ailment. It can happen in different areas of the foot and for various reasons. Pain that occurs between the third and fourth toes may indicate Morton’s neuroma has developed. It is a condition that affects the nerve between these toes and causes it to become compressed and irritated. Morton’s neuroma is generally caused by wearing shoes that do not have enough room in the toe area, such as high heels.  It is beneficial to choose a shoe with a wider toe box if high heels are desired to be worn. Common symptoms that are associated with Morton’s neuroma can consist of a burning or tingling sensation, and many people feel as if there is a small pebble in their shoe or sock. Relief may be found in the beginning stages of Morton’s neuroma by wearing shoes that fit correctly. For progressed cases, it may be necessary for a more invasive treatment to be performed. If you have pain in this part of your foot, it is suggested that you seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and offer correct treatment options for Morton’s neuroma.

Morton’s neuroma is a very uncomfortable condition to live with. If you think you have Morton’s neuroma, contact one of our doctors of New England Foot & Ankle . Our doctors will attend to all of your foot care needs and answer any of your related questions.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton's neuroma is a painful foot condition that commonly affects the areas between the second and third or third and fourth toe, although other areas of the foot are also susceptible. Morton’s neuroma is caused by an inflamed nerve in the foot that is being squeezed and aggravated by surrounding bones.

What Increases the Chances of Having Morton’s Neuroma?

  • Ill-fitting high heels or shoes that add pressure to the toe or foot
  • Jogging, running or any sport that involves constant impact to the foot
  • Flat feet, bunions, and any other foot deformities

Morton’s neuroma is a very treatable condition. Orthotics and shoe inserts can often be used to alleviate the pain on the forefront of the feet. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can also be prescribed. In order to figure out the best treatment for your neuroma, it’s recommended to seek the care of a podiatrist who can diagnose your condition and provide different treatment options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Wakefield, MA, Nashua and Derry, NH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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The Importance of Foot and Toe Stretches

Many podiatrists cannot stress the importance of stretching the feet enough. When the feet are frequently stretched, foot pain and fatigue may be reduced, and circulation can be improved. The feet can tire from standing or walking for several hours during the day, in addition to wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. A common foot stretch is known as a calf or runner’s stretch. This is done by standing on a step while lowering one heel at a time until a gentle stretch is felt. The movement of the foot is controlled by two calf muscles, which connect to the Achilles tendon. These muscles can generally be tight, and performing a runner’s stretch can be an effective way to loosen them. The muscles in the feet that provide movement to the toes are called intrinsic muscles, and are located between the metatarsal bones. They can weaken with age, and stretching them properly may slow down this process. There are numerous stretches that can be done for the feet and toes, and if you would like more information about how to perform these, it is suggested that you speak with a podiatrist.

Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with one of our doctors from New England Foot & Ankle . Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Stretching the Feet

Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.

Great ways to stretch your feet:

  • Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
  • Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
  • Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle

Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Wakefield, MA, Nashua and Derry, NH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Ankle Fracture? Don’t Wait for Treatment

If you're suffering from an ankle fracture, professional attention shouldn't wait. Fractures may worsen over time and can make completing everyday activities incredibly difficult. See your podiatrist for treatment and guidance through the healing process. 

Who Can Be Prone to Getting Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is a common condition that many people will develop at some point in their lives. It can be uncomfortable and causes itchiness and redness. The affected areas are the bottom of the foot and between the toes. The itching can become so severe that people often seek medical treatment for relief. It is caused by a fungus that can enter the body through tiny cracks in the skin. This fungus thrives in warm and moist environments, including public swimming pools, shower room floors, and similar areas. It is beneficial to wear appropriate shoes in these areas, such as flip-flops or water shoes, which are sufficient to protect the soles of the feet. People who have sweaty feet, poor circulation, or a weakened immune system may be prone to getting athlete’s foot. Temporary relief may be found by applying over-the-counter creams. If you have developed athlete’s foot, it is strongly suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can prescribe medication as a permanent treatment method.

Athlete’s foot is an inconvenient condition that can be easily reduced with the proper treatment. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact one of our doctors from New England Foot & Ankle .  Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Athlete’s Foot: The Sole Story

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, can be an extremely contagious foot infection. It is commonly contracted in public changing areas and bathrooms, dormitory style living quarters, around locker rooms and public swimming pools, or anywhere your feet often come into contact with other people.

Solutions to Combat Athlete’s Foot

  • Hydrate your feet by using lotion
  • Exfoliate
  • Buff off nails
  • Use of anti-fungal products
  • Examine your feet and visit your doctor if any suspicious blisters or cuts develop

Athlete’s foot can cause many irritating symptoms such as dry and flaking skin, itching, and redness. Some more severe symptoms can include bleeding and cracked skin, intense itching and burning, and even pain when walking. In the worst cases, Athlete’s foot can cause blistering as well. Speak to your podiatrist for a better understanding of the different causes of Athlete’s foot, as well as help in determining which treatment options are best for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Wakefield, MA, Nashua and Derry, NH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Common Congenital Foot Abnormalities

There are congenital foot conditions that can affect newborn babies. A common abnormality is referred to as metatarsus adductus and is visible by the curve in the middle of the foot. Additionally, calcaneovalgus is evident as the foot is pushed up and out, making it difficult to point the foot down. Many times these conditions can gradually improve without medical attention and are generally not considered to be serious. Examples of complicated congenital foot ailments include clubfoot and congenital vertical talus. They may look similar to metatarsus adductus, however, prompt medical attention is needed for permanent relief. Treatment can consist of using casts soon after birth that are replaced weekly, and this is referred to as the Ponseti method. If your child has been born with a foot abnormality, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage your child’s foot condition.

Congenital foot problems require immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact one of our doctors of New England Foot & Ankle . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Congenital foot problems are deformities affecting the feet, toes, and/or ankles that children are born with. Some of these conditions have a genetic cause while others just happen. Some specific foot ailments that children may be born with include clubfeet, polydactyly/macrodactyly, and cleft foot. There are several other foot anomalies that can occur congenitally. What all of these conditions have in common is that a child may experience difficulty walking or performing everyday activities, as well as trouble finding footwear that fits their foot deformity. Some of these conditions are more serious than others. Consulting with a podiatrist as early as possible will help in properly diagnosing a child’s foot condition while getting the necessary treatment underway.

What are Causes of Congenital Foot Problem?

A congenital foot problem is one that happens to a child at birth. These conditions can be caused by a genetic predisposition, developmental or positional abnormalities during gestation, or with no known cause.

What are Symptoms of Congenital Foot Problems?

Symptoms vary by the congenital condition. Symptoms may consist of the following:

  • Clubfoot, where tendons are shortened, bones are shaped differently, and the Achilles tendon is tight, causing the foot to point in and down. It is also possible for the soles of the feet to face each other.
  • Polydactyly, which usually consists of a nubbin or small lump of tissue without a bone, a toe that is partially formed but has no joints, or an extra toe.
  • Vertical talus, where the talus bone forms in the wrong position causing other bones in the foot to line up improperly, the front of the foot to point up, and the bottom of the foot to stiffen, with no arch, and to curve out.
  • Tarsal coalition, when there is an abnormal connection of two or more bones in the foot leading to severe, rigid flatfoot.
  • Cleft foot, where there are missing toes, a V-shaped cleft, and other anatomical differences.
  • Macrodactyly, when the toes are abnormally large due to overgrowth of the underlying bone or soft tissue.

Treatment and Prevention

While there is nothing one can do to prevent congenital foot problems, raising awareness and receiving neonatal screenings are important. Early detection by taking your child to a podiatrist leads to the best outcome possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Wakefield, MA, Nashua and Derry, NH . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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Why Do I Have Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is found on the sole of the foot. It is the band of tissue that connects the toes to the heel, and it is instrumental in pointing and flexing the foot. An injury or overuse can cause this tissue to become torn or irritated, which may lead to getting plantar fasciitis. Patients who are afflicted with this condition often have difficulty in walking, and will seek the advice of a medical professional for relief. The pain is felt in the heel which can cause severe discomfort.  Runners may be prone to developing plantar fasciitis as a result of the repeated force the heels endure as well. It can also develop from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or that have minimum cushion support. Effective stretches can help the foot feel better. These can include the calf stretch which is done by standing on a step while lowering one heel at a time until a gentle stretch is felt. If you have heel pain, it is strongly suggested that you contact a podiatrist who can effectively diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our doctors  from New England Foot & Ankle . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, and causes mild to severe heel pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Non-supportive shoes
  • Overpronation
  • Repeated stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia

How Can It Be Treated?

  • Conservative measures – anti-inflammatories, ice packs, stretching exercises, physical therapy, orthotic devices
  • Shockwave therapy – sound waves are sent to the affected area to facilitate healing and are usually used for chronic cases of plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery – usually only used as a last resort when all else fails. The plantar fascia can be surgically detached from the heel

While very treatable, plantar fasciitis is definitely not something that should be ignored. Especially in severe cases, speaking to your doctor right away is highly recommended to avoid complications and severe heel pain. Your podiatrist can work with you to provide the appropriate treatment options tailored to your condition.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Wakefield, MA, Nashua and Derry, NH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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