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Monday, 12 April 2021 00:00

Gout Can Produce Extreme Pain

The most common form of inflammatory arthritis is referred to as gout. It is a condition that affects approximately four percent of Americans, and can be caused by genetic factors and eating habits. Common symptoms of this foot condition can include extreme tenderness, debilitating pain in the joints of the big toe, possibly causing difficulty in walking, and the toe may appear to be swollen. Some of the foods that can cause gout to develop include shellfish, red meat, and drinks that are made with large amounts of sugar. The pain comes from excess uric acid caused by elevated purine amounts that form in the joints, and can produce sensations that can feel like crystals in the feet. Mild relief may be found when lifestyle changes occur that include reducing the amount of food that is eaten with high purine levels. If you have frequent gout attacks, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you with proper treatment and prevention options.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Sun City West, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Everything You Need to Know About Gout
Monday, 05 April 2021 00:00

Why Does My Ankle Feel Weak?

Repeated ankle sprains that have not healed nor been properly rehabilitated can cause chronic ankle instability—a condition where the ankle becomes weakened, uncomfortable, swollen, unstable, and is prone to roll outward. While this occurrence typically happens during activities or walking, it can also happen just by standing. A podiatrist can determine the proper treatment of a chronically unstable ankle depending upon what an examination reveals and the level of activity of the patient. Treatments may include exercises to strengthen muscles, increase range of motion and improve balance, as well as bracing, medication, and even surgery if the patient does not respond to non-surgical methods.

Ankle sprains are common but need immediate attention. If you need your feet checked, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor 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 office located in Sun City West, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ankle Sprains
Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

Did I Break My Foot?

The foot is made up of 26 bones, and a fracture to any of them can lead to complications. A broken foot can have a variety of causes including falls, trauma, or even conditions such as osteoporosis. When the foot is broken, a snap or cracking sound may be heard, and in severe cases, the bone may even protrude from the skin. A fracture will lead to pain and swelling in the area, and putting weight on the foot will be difficult. Patients who may have broken their foot should consult with a podiatrist in order to determine the area and severity of the stress fracture. A podiatrist will be able to provide a treatment method for the given situation

A broken foot requires immediate medical attention and treatment. If you need your feet checked, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Broken Foot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A broken foot is caused by one of the bones in the foot typically breaking when bended, crushed, or stretched beyond its natural capabilities. Usually the location of the fracture indicates how the break occurred, whether it was through an object, fall, or any other type of injury. 

Common Symptoms of Broken Feet:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blue in color
  • Numbness
  • Cold
  • Misshapen
  • Cuts
  • Deformities

Those that suspect they have a broken foot shoot seek urgent medical attention where a medical professional could diagnose the severity.

Treatment for broken bones varies depending on the cause, severity and location. Some will require the use of splints, casts or crutches while others could even involve surgery to repair the broken bones. Personal care includes the use of ice and keeping the foot stabilized and elevated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Sun City West, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment for a Broken Foot
Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00

How Do Orthotics Work?

Orthotics are specially designed shoe inserts that help correct imbalances and provide additional support to the feet. They can be purchased over the counter or be custom made by a podiatrist. Orthotics can help provide relief from a variety of conditions such as corns, calluses, ulcerations, tendonitis, heel pain, recurring stress fractures, and even hip and lower back pain. Since orthotics are designed to address specific problems, they can work in various ways that include relieving pressure by redistributing body weight or by providing extra shock absorption. Patients who believe that orthotics may help relieve their foot and ankle issues should consult with a podiatrist. A podiatrist looks at a variety of factors, such as the foot’s structure and function, biomechanics and lifestyle factors, to determine the right fit for each individual patient.

If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor 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 office located in Sun City West, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Foot Orthotics
Wednesday, 17 March 2021 00:00

Heel Pain Can Be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning? If so, you should seek the professional help of your podiatrist and have a proper diagnosis performed. Heel pain can be caused by several different foot-related conditions.

Fungal nail infections often form when fungi gets into small cracks on the toenails.  These infections cause the nail to turn brown or yellow and become thick and crumbly.  The fungi that leads to nail infections often thrive in warm and moist environments such as locker rooms, showers, and pool areas.  Because of this, it is important to always wear some form of footwear in these environments. Other common ways to prevent toenail infections include frequently washing the feet, not sharing clippers or nail files, wearing a fresh pair of socks daily, wearing breathable footwear, and not sharing footwear with others. When fungal nail infections are left untreated, they can become painful and foul smelling. Therefore, if you do believe that you may have a fungal nail infection, it is important to consult with a podiatrist for treatment options.

For more information about treatment, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM of Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.

Antifungals & Deterrence

Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.

Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.

Sandals or open toed shoes – Wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Sun City West, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toenail Fungus

The large tendon on the back of the ankle connecting the calf muscle and the heel bone is known as the Achilles tendon. When this tendon tears, an Achilles tendon rupture may occur. A rupture is often common in sporting activities that involve pushing off the feet and sprinting, such as basketball and tennis. While Achilles tendon ruptures tend to happen more to males and people between the ages of 30 and 40, they can happen to anyone. Those who have poor flexibility, an inactive lifestyle, or are taking steroid medications may be at a higher risk for an Achilles tendon rupture as well. Signs of a rupture can include abrupt pain in the affected area, the feeling of getting kicked in the back of the leg, hearing a “pop” in back of the leg, weakness, and bruising or swelling in the area. If you believe that you have ruptured your Achilles tendon, or you would like to learn more about preventing a rupture, please consult with a podiatrist.

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM of Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Sun City West, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Achilles Tendon Injuries
Monday, 01 March 2021 00:00

How Seniors Can Care for Their Feet

Because the foot is made up of 26 bones, plus a variety of tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints, proper foot care is very important. As our bodies age, the feet experience a lot of wear and tear and other chronic health conditions begin to develop. Therefore, foot care becomes even more important for seniors. Seniors should do daily foot checks to monitor sores, cracks and cuts as well as check for infections. They should also wash their feet daily and make sure that they are dried thoroughly. Keeping the toenails trimmed straight across can help to prevent ingrown toenails. Shoes should fit properly and help protect the feet from extreme hot or cold temperatures. Moisturizing cream should be used to help keep the skin soft. Seniors who are dealing with corns, calluses, bunions or any other foot related issues should visit a podiatrist for proper care.

Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

The Elderly and Their Feet

As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.

Common Conditions 

  • Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
  • Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
  • Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
  • Shoes that don’t fit properly
  • Pressure sores
  • Loss of circulation in legs & feet
  • Edema & swelling of feet and ankles

Susceptible Infections

Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Sun City West, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Elderly Foot Care

Many pregnant women realize their feet have become bigger during their pregnancy and can permanently remain that way. This can happen from weight gain, or hormonal changes that naturally occur to aid in the delivery process. Swollen feet are a common ailment during pregnancy, and they can be noticed when the feet are at their largest at the end of the day. Mild relief may be found when compression socks are worn, and it may help to perform simple cardiovascular exercises. Pregnant women find it helpful to frequently elevate their feet, which may be beneficial in distributing the fluid from the feet to the legs. If you have questions about swollen feet or foot pain during pregnancy, it is strongly suggested that you speak to a podiatrist.

Pregnant women with swollen feet can be treated with a variety of different methods that are readily available. For more information about other cures for swollen feet during pregnancy, consult with Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

What Foot Problems Can Arise During Pregnancy?

One problem that can occur is overpronation, which occurs when the arch of the foot flattens and tends to roll inward.  This can cause pain and discomfort in your heels while you’re walking or even just standing up, trying to support your baby.  

Another problem is edema, or swelling in the extremities. This often affects the feet during pregnancy but tends to occur in the later stages. 

How Can I Keep My Feet Healthy During Pregnancy?

  • Wearing orthotics can provide extra support for the feet and help distribute weight evenly
  • Minimize the amount of time spent walking barefoot
  • Wear shoes with good arch support
  • Wear shoes that allow for good circulation to the feet
  • Elevate feet if you experience swelling
  • Massage your feet
  • Get regular, light exercise, such as walking, to promote blood circulation to the feet

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Sun City West, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Pregnancy and Foot Health
Monday, 15 February 2021 00:00

Properly Fitting Golf Shoes

People who enjoy the sport of golf are often unaware of the importance of wearing the correct golf shoes. Research has shown the average golfer to walk approximately 10,000 steps, and it is beneficial to wear golf shoes that fit correctly. Using a Brannock device will help you to determine a proper foot measurement. If the second toe is longer than the big toe, it is suggested to increase by a half size. Additionally, it is advised to measure the feet at the end of the day, when they are at their largest. The inside of the shoes and the cleats can help you to understand what type of walker you are, and this is helpful in choosing the correct golf shoes. If you would like more information about how to purchase golf shoes, please consult with a podiatrist who can provide you with helpful information.

Finding a properly-fitting shoe is important in reducing injuries and preventing foot problems. For more information about treatment, contact Michael F. Esber, DPM from Arizona Foot Health Center. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in proper fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improper fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

Keeping in mind how shoes fit the biomechanics of your body, properly-fitting shoes are vitally important. Fortunately, it is not difficult to acquire footwear that fits correctly. Be sure to wear shoes that support the overall structure of your body. Do your feet a favor and invest in several pairs of well-fitted shoes today.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Sun City West, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Proper Shoe Fitting
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