With more than 30 joints in your foot, joint pain may seem like it can come from anywhere and everywhere. Swelling, tenderness, stiffness, redness, bruising or increased warmth--these all can come along with the pain and can be caused by trauma, infection, arthritis, bursitis, gout or structural foot problems. With such an unpleasant litany of symptoms and causes, it's helpful to know a few simple tips to ease your pain before you visit your podiatrist for a full diagnosis.
Joint Pain Treatment
When you first notice any joint pain in your foot and ankle, your podiatrist may initially treat your pain with RICE, which stands for:
Your podiatrist will also recommend limiting walking and bearing weight on the painful foot. Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can also help to reduce local inflammation and pain. Custom orthotics may also be prescribed to support the foot, particularly if the issue lies in foot mechanics. If your pain is caused by a condition such as gout, lifestyle changes and alterations in your diet may also help reduce or even eliminate your pain.
If you're experiencing immobilizing joint pain in your feet or ankles, your podiatrist is best equipped to determine the cause and recommend the appropriate treatment. What may seem like joint pain could also be something else entirely, such as a stress fracture, or could be caused by an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, such as Rheumatoid arthritis. Schedule an appointment today to ensure accurate treatment and a speedy recovery!
How many times have you found yourself yelling, “Oh, my aching feet,” but then shrugged it off, figuring that aching feet are a natural part of life? You don’t have to put up with aching feet. Your podiatrist urges you to not ignore that ache in your feet. When pain occurs, it is the first sign that something isn’t right, so a trip to our practice is in order.
Gout is a form of arthritis, and it can often cause extreme pain to your feet. Approximately one million Americans suffer from gout, and although its source is a systemic problem within the body, there are some suggestions for how to treat gout that may help reduce your chance of having a gout flare-up.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Because the joint inflammation of gout can resemble that of a joint infection or other forms of arthritis, diagnosing gout requires removing a small amount of fluid from the joint and examining it for uric acid crystals. Once diagnosis is made, your podiatrist can recommend a gout treatment plan to help:
- Stop acute attacks
- Rapidly relieve pain and inflammation
- Avert future attacks
- Prevent the development of tophi, kidney stones and kidney disease
Gout treatment will most likely involve anti-inflammatory medications to relieve acute pain and inflammation, as well as urate-lowering drugs to control urate levels and prevent future attacks.
Other gout treatment strategies might include the following:
- Avoid foods with high purines, such as organ meats, anchovies, shellfish, bacon and gravies, and increasing intake of dairy foods.
- Avoid alcohol, which increases the production of urate and impairs excretion
- Lose weight to reduce blood urate levels
- Avoid medications that contribute to hyperuricemia, including diuretics
With proper treatment by your podiatrist, gout is one of the most controllable forms of arthritis. So when pain occurs, don’t just deal with it, seek treatment immediately.
What do I do?
Since your feet bare the brunt of your weight, it is important to take extra precautions while working to protect them from harm. When your job requires you to stand on your feet for a long period of time, work in potentially hazardous areas, or with potentially hazardous materials, you have some risk of foot injury. Productive workers depend on their ability to walk and move about safely, with ease and comfort. According to the National Safety Council, there are about 120,000 job-related foot injuries in any given year, with one-third of them being toe injuries.
Follow Proper Guidelines
- Washing your feet daily
- Drying them thoroughly
- Checking your feet for corns, calluses and cracks
- Keeping your feet warm
- Trimming your toenails straight across
- Visiting your podiatrist.
- Wearing protective footwear for each activity
- Develop safe work habits and attitudes
- Be aware of the hazards of your job
- Be alert and watch for hidden hazards
- Watch out for other workers’ safety
- Follow the rules and don’t cut corners
Wear Protective Footwear
As parents, we want our children to remain healthy and happy. But when they are in pain, it is our duty to find the best ways to relieve their discomfort. While many toddlers grow out of flat feet, it is important to pay close attention to your child’s feet in order to ensure they are developing properly.
Pediatric flat feet can be classified as symptomatic or asymptomatic, and are quite common. Symptomatic flat feet exhibit symptoms such as pain and limitation of activity, while asymptomatic flat feet show no symptoms at all.
Flat foot can be apparent at birth or it can show up years later. Most children with flat feet have no symptoms, but some have one or more of the following:
- Pain, tenderness, or cramping in the foot, leg and knee
- Outward tilting of the heel
- Awkwardness or changes in walking
- Difficulty wearing shoes
- Reduced energy
- Voluntary withdrawal from physical activities
How Is Flat Foot Identified?
Your podiatrist will diagnose your child by examining the foot and observing how it looks when he or she stands and sits. Your podiatrist will observe how your child walks and will evaluate the range of motion of the foot. Since flat foot can sometimes be related to problems in the leg, your podiatrist may also examine the knee and hip. X-rays may be used to determine the severity of the deformity, with additional imaging and tests needed for further diagnosis.
Visit our office for further diagnosis and treatment options for your child’s flat feet. While many children do grow out of flat feet, if your child suffers from pain caused by flat foot, we can help them get back on their feet again!
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