Items filtered by date: November 2018

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 19:07

What Launches Gout Attacks?

Tis the season for cocktail parties, festive dinners, celebratory eating and—gout. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we expect to see more patients coming to us with gout at this time of year. We’ll often hear how after a holiday party they went home to bed only to wake up in the middle of the night with severe pain in their big toe. Although the foot was fine when they went to sleep, when they awoke in pain, they noticed that it was now swollen, red and hot. These are symptoms of a classic gout attack scenario.

The connection between feasting and gout is that there are several foods frequently found on holiday menus—red meat, shellfish, rich sauces, red wine, beer, and brandy–that are high in a chemical known as purines. Purines are also found in the body. When they break down, they produce uric acid. When there is an overabundance of uric acid in the body, it builds up in the joints where it can crystallize and bring on a gout attack.

Who’s at Risk?

Of course, not everyone who eats a slice of rib roast or has a glass of red wine gets gout. There are some patients whose bodies overproduce purines or have difficulty eliminating. They are therefore more sensitive to new purines entering into the body. Men aged 40-60 are the most frequent victims of gout attacks. In addition to foods, there are other factors that can increase the likelihood of gout, including:

  • Heredity
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications and vitamins

If you have suffered what you think is a gout attack, you’ll want to make an appointment at our Long Beach office as soon as possible. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley, and Dr. Constance Ornelas will examine your foot and get a medical history from you. In addition, the foot doctor may order laboratory tests or x-rays to confirm a gout diagnosis. In the initial stages, the podiatrist may prescribe medication to relieve gout symptoms and recommend that you drink plenty of fluids and keep your foot elevated as much as possible. If gout proves to be a recurring problem, prescribing maintenance medication may be an option. To learn more, contact us by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 19:05

6 Shoe Tips for Holiday Shopping

It’s that time of year again—flyers are flooding your mailbox and ads on television are getting you primed for holiday bargains. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want to make sure that the money you save on holiday shopping isn’t at the expense of your feet and ankles. Your best defense against foot pain and injury is the shoes you wear. Below are 6 tips for choosing the best shoes for long shopping days:

  1. Go for fit first. Did you know that some studies estimate as many as 90% of people are wearing shoes that are too small for their feet? The longer you’re on your feet, the more your feet swell. If you are starting with shoes that are too small, your shopping day is going to be shortened because your feet will begin to hurt after just a couple of hours of power walking from store to store. It’s a good idea to get your feet professionally measured to ensure the proper size.
  2. Don’t wear a new pair of shoes. Even if they felt comfortable in the store, a new pair of shoes should be worn for short periods of time at first to make sure there is no rubbing or friction. A marathon shopping day is not the time to try them out. Wear a pair that you know to be comfortable.
  3. Be light on your feet. Choose a lighter weight pair of shoes for a long day of shopping. The heavier the shoes, the faster your feet will get tired out wearing them.
  4. Don’t forget your orthotics. If the foot doctor has prescribed a custom orthotic device to be worn in your shoes, it’s to keep your feet properly positioned to help correct a biomechanical problem and avoid foot pain.
  5. Choose a thick sole. Shock absorption is key to preventing foot pain. Gel insoles and cushioned midsoles can increase comfort by cushioning your steps to protect your feet.
  6. Prevent injury. High top shoes with solid ankle support and shoes with a grooved tread can help prevent slips and ankle twisting injuries which could bring bargain shopping to a screeching halt. If you do sustain an injury, don’t wait. Contact our Long Beach office (562-420-9800) so that our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas can examine your feet and determine the extent of your injury and the appropriate treatment.
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 19:03

Flatfeet: Tricky to Track Down and Treat

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we see patients whose symptoms don’t immediately point to the cause of the problem. Flatfeet can be one of those conditions. Patients with flatfeet may experience one or all of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the foot, ankle, heel and/or lower leg
  • Lack of flexibility in the foot
  • General aching or fatigue in the foot or leg
  • Swelling in the midfoot area
  • Overpronation
  • Shin splints
  • Lower back, knee or hip pain

Finding the Cause

There are several types of flatfeet. They share one defining characteristic: a partial or total collapse or loss of the arch of the foot. Some possible causes of flatfeet include:

  • Heredity
  • Abnormal development of the arch during childhood
  • Trauma or injury
  • A gradual loss of arch over time due to aging, weight gain or medical conditions such as arthritis

This deformity may be present in varying degrees and therefore result in varying severity and kinds of symptoms. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s a good idea to make an appointment at our Long Beach office so that our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas can examine your foot.

To diagnose flatfoot, the foot and ankle surgeon will examine your foot and observe how the arch looks when you are standing and sitting. Most likely x-rays will be ordered to determine the severity of the deformity.

Treatment Options

How to best treat flatfoot will depend on how advanced your condition is and the symptoms you are experiencing. Some patients with flatfoot experience no symptoms and the foot doctor may just advise you on ways to prevent worsening of the flatfoot and what you can expect in the future. For those with symptoms, a number of non-invasive treatments exist including modifying your footwear, using custom orthotics, and physical therapy.

If you believe you may have flatfeet, contact us for an evaluation today by calling: (562) 420-9800.

Wednesday, 07 November 2018 19:01

Focus on Diabetic Foot Care

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we treat many patients with diabetes. November is American Diabetes Month and a good opportunity for us to go over some care tactics for patients with this disease. Below are some key areas to focus on:

Your Daily Care Routine

Of course, a good foot care regimen is important for everyone, but for a diabetic patient, it is even more critical. Your daily care plan should include:

  • Washing your feet with warm water and a mild soap
  • Drying your feet completely, with extra care to ensure that the area between your toes is completely dry (this will help prevent fungal infections)
  • Checking toenails for jagged edges. Always trim nails straight across with no rounded edges. Do not cut too short and never cut the corners.
  • Inspect your feet from every angle. Look for changes in skin and nail color, rashes, flaking skin, bruises, swelling, any scratches or cuts. Report anything that concerns you to our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas to evaluate. It’s always better to be over cautious!

Your Shoes and Socks

Shoes should have wide, roomy toe boxes and be made of soft, flexible materials. Avoid heels higher than 2 inches. When buying new shoes, have your foot professionally measured. Run your hand around the inside of the shoe to make sure there are no rough spots or loose stitching. Wear new shoes for only a few hours at a time and examine your feet after wearing to make sure there are no red spots or blisters forming.

Socks should be the type that wick moisture away from your feet. If you sweat excessively, change your socks multiple times throughout the day. Avoid socks that have overly tight elastic on the tops and those with seams across the toes.

Your Lifestyle Choices

Eating an appropriate diet to help manage your blood sugar is essential. A regular exercise routine will help you maintain a good weight and also improve circulation. Don’t smoke because it has a negative impact on circulation. Follow all of your doctor’s recommendations for keeping your diabetes under control.

If you have questions or concerns about diabetes and your feet, contact our Long Beach office today by calling: (562) 420-9800.

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