Treating Painful Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can be a debilitating disease where a joint's lining (synovium) is attacked by the body’s immune system. This causes the synovium to become inflamed, which damages the surrounding tissues and ligaments. In time, this may dislocate toe joints and cause deformities such as bunions and hammertoes. Along with toe joints, rheumatoid arthritis can also occur in the ankle joint, the tarsometatarsal joints in the midfoot, and the hindfoot (heel area). While rheumatoid arthritis has no cure, a podiatrist can help treat its symptoms which, if left untreated, may inhibit a person’s ability to lead a normal life. Your podiatrist may prescribe special shoes, braces, and/or create custom orthotics to help restore functionality to the feet and ankles and relieve pain. Icing, gentle exercises, and physical therapy may also help relieve symptoms, as can corticosteroid injections. Make an appointment with a podiatrist today to begin treatment for your painful rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

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 one of our podiatrists of Community Foot Specialists. Our doctors 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 offices located in Beavercreek, Dayton, and Vandalia, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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What May Be Causing Your Heel Pain

If you are experiencing heel pain, chances are you may have plantar fasciitis, which is the most common cause. Plantar fasciitis occurs when there is an inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue on the bottom of the foot. This connective tissue attaches at the heel bone, then extends towards the forefoot, fanning out into five bands that attach to each toe’s phalanx bone. The plantar fascia supports the arch and helps to act as a shock absorber when walking, running, and jumping. Since the plantar fascia is used continuously in everyday activities it can become stressed, overused, and even torn. The heel pain of plantar fasciitis is usually at its most severe when you take your first steps after waking up or resting. It is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist if you are experiencing any kind of heel pain. Podiatrists treat plantar fasciitis and other forms of heel pain every day and have many therapies and methods of treatment that will offer you the relief you seek.

Plantar fasciitis can be very painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists  from Community Foot Specialists. 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 Beavercreek, Dayton, and Vandalia, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Exercises for Hammertoe

The foot condition that is known as hammertoe is considered to be a deformity. It is a noticeable ailment that affects the toes, and can resemble a hammer. The middle joint of the second toe bends downward, and corns may form on top of the affected joint. The toes are made of muscles, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. These vital parts of the toe work together to bend and straighten the toes, and hammertoe can develop if there is an imbalance in the toe structure. It can come from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, or from shoes that are too tight. Wearing the wrong footwear can squeeze the toes into a bent position. There are some patients who may be prone to developing this deformity that have existing medical conditions including flat feet, or longer toe bones. Relief may be found when specific stretches are practiced, including toe flexion and extension, and performing a foam roll massage. If you have been afflicted with hammertoe, please confer with a podiatrist who can determine the severity of this condition, and recommend correct treatment options.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from Community Foot Specialists. 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 our offices located in Beavercreek, Dayton, and Vandalia, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Foot Pain May Come From a Lack of Awareness

Foot pain is common among people worldwide and it can happen from neglect, improper care, and lack of awareness. A common foot condition known as a bunion can develop from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room in the toe area. Many people wear orthotics which may help to redistribute the weight of the foot and can possibly reduce pain too. Corns are caused by excess friction from wearing shoes and socks that are too tight. Relief may be found when a protective pad is worn over the corn and larger shoes are purchased. The arthritic condition called gout generally causes severe pain and discomfort and results due to excess uric acid in the joints of the big toe. Many people change their diet by eliminating red meat and shellfish which may help to prevent gout attacks. Patients who have been afflicted with plantar warts may be familiar with the pain that this ailment can cause. It is a hardened area of skin that is found on the bottom of the foot and grows inward. It is considered to be contagious and is caused by a fungus. If you are experiencing any type of foot pain, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you with the correct treatment methods.

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Community Foot Specialists. 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 our offices located in Beavercreek, Dayton, and Vandalia, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Contagious Athlete’s Foot

Tinea is the name of the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. It is a condition that affects the feet and is considered to be contagious. The symptoms that accompany athlete’s foot include itchiness, dry skin, and in severe cases, small blisters. This virus lives and thrives in warm and moist environments, including public swimming pools, locker rooms, and shower room floors. It is suggested that appropriate shoes are worn while in these areas, and it is beneficial to refrain from sharing towels. Additionally, washing and drying the feet thoroughly, and wearing clean socks daily, may help to prevent athlete's foot. There are many treatments for athlete’s foot, and it is advised that you consult with a podiatrist who can determine what the best one is for you.

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 podiatrists from Community Foot Specialists.  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 Beavercreek, Dayton, and Vandalia, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Treating Flat Feet in Children

Flat feet, also known as pes planus, is characterized by a collapse in the arch of the foot and a sagging of the heel. Babies are born with flat feet, but around 3 to 5 years of age, the arch begins to develop. There are three types of flat feet. Flexible flat feet impacts both feet, is typical in children, and does not cause pain. Flexible flat feet with a shortened Achilles tendon are rarely seen in kids and can cause pain, even disability. Rigid flat feet are least common and affects those with problems in the tarsal bones of the feet. This last type of flat feet is as likely to impact both feet as not and will often lead to disability and pain. If one suspects their child has flat feet and this has not resolved by around age 8 or if pain is involved, it is suggested that a podiatrist be consulted to examine the child’s feet and develop the best plan to treat the condition.

Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from. If you have flat feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Community Foot Specialists. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Are Flat Feet?

Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.

Conditions & Problems:

Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.

Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.

Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.  

Symptoms

  • Pain around the heel or arch area
  • Trouble standing on the tip toe
  • Swelling around the inside of the ankle
  • Flat look to one or both feet
  • Having your shoes feel uneven when worn

Treatment

If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Beavercreek, Dayton, and Vandalia, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Swollen Ankles Can Be a Danger Signal

When the feet and ankle swell closer to the end of the day, it may indicate that you’ve been standing or walking for too long. Elevating your feet can help to reduce the swelling (a.k.a. edema). Another cause of swelling is inflammation after an injury, which usually affects only one ankle. When both ankles are swollen, it may be a sign of fluid imbalance. The collection of fluids in the lower extremities can be caused by far more serious problems involving blood circulation, heart disease, liver damage or kidney malfunction. Other causes of swelling are overuse, not enough use, and trauma or injury. Still other underlying factors that can contribute to edema include pregnancy, autoimmune problems, blood clots, infection, and reaction to certain medications. If you are experiencing unusual or prolonged swelling in the ankles, especially if pain is another symptom, please consult a podiatrist as soon as possible for an examination and diagnosis.  

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Community Foot Specialists. Our doctors 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
  • Bursitis
  • 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 our offices located in Beavercreek, Dayton, and Vandalia, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Spraining an Ankle

An ankle sprain occurs when the foot inverts and twists causing the ankle joint out of its normal position. The ankle injury is sustained on the lateral ankle complex, composed of three ligaments – talofibular, calcaneofibular, and posterior talofibular – that hold the ankle bones and joints together. There may be small tears and damage to tendons, cartilage and blood vessels and there will usually be pain when weight is placed on the affected ankle, swelling, and even bruising. Anyone can sprain an ankle but those who participate in sports, walk on uneven surfaces, or wear inappropriate footwear are more at risk. It can take several weeks, even months for a sprained ankle to heal completely. Calling a podiatrist is suggested if you feel you might have sprained your ankle to determine how severe the injury is, make sure it is not broken through various manipulations and one or more imaging studies, and to provide the proper course of treatment.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact one of our podiatrists from Community Foot Specialists. 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 take place when the ligaments in your ankle are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured, including twisting or rolling over onto your ankle, putting undue stress on it, or causing trauma to the ankle itself.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Mild to moderate bruising
  • Limited mobility
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration of the skin (depending on severity)

Preventing a Sprain

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

Treatment of a Sprain

Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity.  Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast. If the sprain is very severe, surgery may be required.

If you have suffered an ankle sprain previously, you may want to consider additional support such as a brace and regular exercises to strengthen the ankle.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Beavercreek, Dayton, and Vandalia, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Effective Toe Stretches

A successful way to increase overall flexibility and mobility in the feet is by performing toe stretches. An effective method is accomplished by sitting with the feet on the floor and lifting and lowering the toes several times. Some patients find it helpful to wrap a towel around the big toe while pulling it toward you. Now stand next to a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. A toe flex is performed by flexing the toes of one of your feet as you press them against the wall, using your hands for balance. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat ten times on each foot. Many people like the feeling of pointing and flexing their toes, in addition to doming which strengthens your toes.  This is done to lift the arches in the foot and is practiced by trying to grip the floor with the toes. If you would like to have more information about the benefits of stretching the toes, please confer 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 podiatrists from Community Foot Specialists. 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 Beavercreek, Dayton, and Vandalia, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Proper Foot Health for Diabetic Patients

People who are diabetic often have to be concerned about their foot health. This disease can cause neuropathy, which is defined as a loss of feeling in the feet. When this occurs, it is often difficult to feel any cuts, bruises, or wounds that have occurred. These types of injuries can become infected, and may lead to foot ulcers, and possibly amputation, if not immediately treated. It may take longer for diabetics to heal, as a result of reduced blood flow to the feet. Preventative measures can include washing the feet daily, trimming the toenails properly, and always wearing shoes and socks. Additionally, checking the feet daily for minor cuts may help to avoid infections. If you are diabetic, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.

Diabetic foot care is important in preventing foot ailments such as ulcers. If you are suffering from diabetes or have any other concerns about your feet, contact one of our podiatrists from Community Foot Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetes affects millions of people every year. The condition can damage blood vessels in many parts of the body, especially the feet. Because of this, taking care of your feet is essential if you have diabetes, and having a podiatrist help monitor your foot health is highly recommended.

The Importance of Caring for Your Feet

  • Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
  • Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support.

Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their blood levels, as blood sugar levels play such a huge role in diabetic care. Monitoring these levels on a regular basis is highly advised.

It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet, especially for diabetic patients. Early treatment and routine foot examinations are keys to maintaining proper health, especially because severe complications can arise if proper treatment is not applied.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Beavercreek, Dayton, and Vandalia, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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