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March 2020

Monday, 30 March 2020 00:00

Methods That May Help to Prevent Falling

Research has indicated that elderly people may be more susceptible to falling in their living environments. This can lead to sprained or broken ankles, and it may be difficult to complete daily activities. It is important for caregivers to ensure their patients have regular vision and medical examinations, as this can be helpful in having clearer vision and feeling stable. There are methods that can be implemented which can help to reduce falling. These can include removing carpeting that is worn, replacing lighting with brighter bulbs, and installing grab bars in the bath and toilet area. Additionally, it may help to encourage the patient to incorporate a gentle exercise program into their daily routine, as this may be beneficial in maintaining strength. If you would like additional information about how the feet can be protected by preventing falling, please consult with a podiatrist.

Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.

Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falls

Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:

  • Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
  • Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
  • Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
  • Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
  • Utilizing a walker or cane
  • Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
  • Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness

Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 23 March 2020 00:00

Painful Plantar Fasciitis

Located on the bottom of the foot, there is a large portion of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. This is known as the plantar fascia, and if it becomes inflamed, the condition known as plantar fasciitis may develop. This condition can occur for a variety of reasons. These can include standing for extended periods of time throughout the day on a hard surface, participating in running or jumping activities, or from wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Common symptoms that are often associated with plantar fasciitis can include swelling, severe pain after arising in the morning, and it may be difficult to walk. You may find relief when proper foot stretches are performed, and when the affected foot is elevated, as this may help to diminish existing swelling. It is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist if you experience any symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that is often caused by a strain injury. If you are experiencing heel pain or symptoms of plantar fasciitis, contact one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. When this ligament becomes inflamed, plantar fasciitis is the result. If you have plantar fasciitis you will have a stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As the day progresses and you walk around more, this pain will start to disappear, but it will return after long periods of standing or sitting.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

  • Excessive running
  • Having high arches in your feet
  • Other foot issues such as flat feet
  • Pregnancy (due to the sudden weight gain)
  • Being on your feet very often

There are some risk factors that may make you more likely to develop plantar fasciitis compared to others. The condition most commonly affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. It also tends to affect people who are obese because the extra pounds result in extra stress being placed on the plantar fascia.

Prevention

  • Take good care of your feet – Wear shoes that have good arch support and heel cushioning.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you are a runner, alternate running with other sports that won’t cause heel pain

There are a variety of treatment options available for plantar fasciitis along with the pain that accompanies it. Additionally, physical therapy is a very important component in the treatment process. It is important that you meet with your podiatrist to determine which treatment option is best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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Monday, 16 March 2020 00:00

Can Certain Foods Cause Gout?

A type of inflammatory arthritis is referred to as gout. This can be a painful and debilitating foot condition that commonly affects the big toe. It may occur as a result of elevated uric acid levels in the blood, and can develop due to genetic factors, or from certain foods that are eaten. These types of foods often include red meat, shellfish, and drinks that have a high sugar content. Some of the symptoms that are associated with gout can include severe pain and discomfort, swelling, and it is often difficult to walk. If you have frequent gout attacks, it may be beneficial to consider eating healthier foods, and drinking plenty of water. For patients who are experiencing symptoms of this condition, it is strongly suggested that you seek a consultation with a podiatrist for professional care.

Gout is a painful condition that can be treated. If you are seeking treatment, contact one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. 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 Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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Monday, 02 March 2020 00:00

The Definition of a Bunion

The medical term for a condition that is referred to as a bunion, is known as a hallux valgus deformity. It is defined as a bony protrusion that forms on the side of the big toe, and may affect the positioning toes next to it. It may occur from genetic factors, or from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. This condition is also considered to be a form of arthritis. It may lead to bursitis, which is an inflammation that develops over the affected joint. If you are in the beginning stages of developing a bunion, it is advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can offer a correct diagnosis and begin the proper treatment.

If you are suffering from bunions, contact one of our podiatrists of North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.

Why Do Bunions Form?

Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary

Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions

How Are Bunions Diagnosed?

Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.

How Are Bunions Treated?

  • Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
  • Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
  • Orthotics or foot inserts
  • Surgery

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Bunions
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