Items filtered by date: August 2021

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 00:00

Common Causes of Ankle Pain

Ankle pain can originate from any of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles that make up the ankle. A sprain is a very common cause of ankle pain and usually occurs due to a sudden twisting of the ankle that overstretched or tore ligaments. Achilles tendinopathy is common among athletes and is associated with pain in the back of the ankle and calf. Tibialis posterior tendinopathy causes pain on the inside of the ankle, while peroneal tendinopathy causes pain on the outside of the ankle. Osteoarthritis, a joint problem that occurs due to the wear and tear of the cartilage that lines the joints can affect the ankle as well, leading to stiffness and joint pain. If you are suffering from ankle pain it is strongly suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist.

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 New England Foot and Ankle. 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 one of our offices located in Chelmsford and Newburyport, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Tuesday, 24 August 2021 00:00

How Are Foot Ulcers Classified?

A foot ulcer is commonly known as “diabetic foot” and as its name suggests, it’s a frequent condition among diabetic patients. It is a wound on the foot that heals slowly and generally forms on the ball of the foot or the bottom of the big toe. Serious conditions can develop from an infected wound that is left untreated, including poor circulation, nerve damage, and in extreme cases risk of limb amputation. Diabetic foot ulcers can be classified into 4 groups. A wound that does not show signs of an infection is called uninfected. When the area around the wound has turned red, is warm to the touch, painful, or slightly swollen, this is known as a mild infection. If the infection involves deeper layers of skin down into the muscle, tendons, bone or joints, then a moderate infection is likely. A high body temperature or fever, accompanied with heavy breathing or a fast heartbeat can cause sepsis making this a severe infection. If you are a diabetic patient and notice a wound on your foot, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist regularly who can offer you proper wound care treatment.

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 one of our podiatrists from New England Foot and Ankle. Our doctors 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 Chelmsford and Newburyport, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 23 August 2021 00:00

Reminder: When Was the Last Time...?

Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, should be periodically replaced. Orthotics must fit properly to give you the best results. Protect your feet and ankles!

Plantar hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes the feet to sweat excessively. Having wet, sweaty feet most of the time is not only annoying, but can ruin your shoes, increase your risk of slipping and falling, and break down the skin on the feet, leading to athlete’s foot and other skin infections. The first line of treatment for this condition is usually topical medications, which are applied directly to the skin’s surface. Your podiatrist may prescribe an antiperspirant cream or powder. If these fail, your doctor may suggest iontophoresis, a procedure that uses electrical currents to reduce sweating. Botox injections into the feet are another potential solution. To learn more about treatments for plantar hyperhidrosis, please consult with a podiatrist. 

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot and Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.

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

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Tuesday, 10 August 2021 00:00

What Can Cause an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail is defined as a nail that grows into the outside edges of the skin. It generally affects the big toe and can cause severe pain and discomfort. It can occur as a result of wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in, or possibly from genetic factors. Additionally, the shape of the nail may be conducive to developing an ingrown toenail. Research has indicated that ingrown toenails may happen more often in children and pregnant women. This can be a result of the accelerated speed of the nail growth. Mild relief may be found when the affected toe is soaked in warm water which can be beneficial in pulling the nail away from the softened skin. An ingrown toenail can easily become infected if not promptly treated. If you are afflicted with this ailment it is strongly suggested that you speak with a podiatrist who can properly treat this condition.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of New England Foot and Ankle. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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

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Tuesday, 03 August 2021 00:00

Facts About Orthotics

Orthotics are inserts that you wear inside your shoes. They can be used to treat or manage a variety of foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis and acquired flat foot. Orthotics are typically not used to prevent overuse injuries like stress fractures or tendonitis. There are two types of orthotics: over the counter and custom. Over the counter orthotics can be bought in most major drug, department, and shoe stores. Custom orthotics are made especially for your foot. The type of orthotic you should get depends on the specific foot problems that you are dealing with. Over the counter orthotics that are appropriately selected can be beneficial for treating a variety of common foot problems, while custom orthotics are especially useful for those who have foot deformities. To find out if orthotics 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 New England Foot and 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 one of our offices located in Chelmsford and Newburyport, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Foot Orthotics for Athletes

Suffering from this type of pain? You may have the foot condition known as Morton's neuroma. Morton's neuroma may develop as a result of ill-fitting footwear and existing foot deformities. We can help.

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