What Is Gout?
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis once known as “the disease of kings.” It occurs when high levels of uric acid develop in the blood. Left unchecked, this acid can form needle-like crystals in joints and cause sudden, intense pain, along with tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling.
Your Risk of Gout
Gout occurs in about 4% of American adults. How many of these known risk factors apply to you?
- : People who are very overweight are at a higher risk for gout. Further, they tend to develop it at a younger age than people of normal weight.
- : As the percentage of red meat and shellfish in your diet increases, so does your risk of gout.
- : Consume no more than two liquor drinks or two beers a day to manage the risk of gout.
- : Drinks sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup have recently been linked to increased gout risk. Save them for special occasions.
- : You’re more likely to develop gout if a close relative has it.
- such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
- : Gout is more common in men than women until age 60, although scientists haven’t proven why. It is generally believed that naturally occurring estrogen protects women up to that point.
Symptoms of Gout
The signs and symptoms of gout almost always occur suddenly — often at night — and without warning. They include intense joint pain, typically in the big toe, lingering discomfort, inflammation and redness, and limited range of motion
Gout typically affects one joint at a time, but may affect a few or even many. Symptoms most commonly occur in the big toe, but it can also affect other joints in the leg (knee, ankle, foot) and occasionally in the arms (hand, wrist, and elbow) as well. The spine is rarely affected.
Stages of Gout
happens when uric acid levels spike or crystals that have previously formed in a joint are jostled. Gout attacks usually happen at night and get worse over the next eight to 12 hours. The symptoms typically ease up on their own after a few days and tend to disappear within a week.
is the time between attacks. Although there’s no pain, it’s important to note the gout isn’t gone. Low-level inflammation may be damaging joints Jason Grossman, DPM recommends lifestyle changes at this point, possibly accompanied by medication to prevent future attacks.
uric acid levels remain high over a long period of time, chronic gout develops. Attacks occur more frequently and the pain may not ease as it once did. Permanent joint damage may occur, leading to a loss of mobility. With proper management and treatment by Dr. Jason Grossman, this stage can be avoided entirely.
Do you suspect that your symptoms might be gout? Have you recently experienced what you think may be a gout attack? Dr. Jason Grossman has years of experience diagnosing your symptoms and treating your pain. Call (732) 679-4330
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is a deformity in the bones of your foot that forms when your big toe pushes against the toe next to it for a long period of time. This forces the joint of your big to enlarge and stick out. Bunionettes (often called “tailors’ bunions”) are bunions that grow on the joint of your little toe.
How Will I Know if I Have a Bunion?
Bunions can develop without symptoms, but it’s more likely that you’ll notice signs as a bunion grows. Bunion symptoms can include:
- Redness, swelling or tenderness around your big toe joint
- A bulge or bump on the outside of the base of your big toe
- Visible, possibly painful changes in your foot shape
- Decreased movement of your big toe or foot
- Corns or calluses developing where the first and second toes overlap
- Persistent or occasional discomfort
- Trouble wearing old shoes and/or difficulty finding a new pair that fit your feet comfortably
What Causes Bunions?
There are many theories about how they develop, although doctors don’t yet know for sure. Scientists do know that women are affected more often than men, and have identified some risk factors:
- Poorly fitting shoes: If you frequently wear shoes that are too tight, too narrow or too cramped in the toe box, you are at high risk for bunions. These shoes create the exact situation that leads to their development. The relationship between high heels and bunions is unclear, but most doctors recommend that you save those stilettos for special occasions.
- Arthritis: Inflammatory conditions make you more susceptible to bunions.
- Heredity: Those with an inherited structural foot defect are likely at high risk for bunions.
- Congenital foot defects: Some people are born with foot deformities that lead to bunions.
Can Bunions Be Treated?
Yes! You’ll need to begin with a visit to a podiatrist like Jason Grossman, DPM to have your feet examined and to determine if your problem is, in fact, a bunion. If you do have a bunion, there are non-surgical treatment options available. Icing, over the counter medication, and padding or splinting may help. If those don’t provide relief, surgical intervention might be necessary.
Are you experiencing pain or swelling around your big toe? Are you wondering if you have a bunion? Dr. Jason Grossman sees patients with bunions every week. He can determine the source of your foot pain and work with you to create an individual treatment plan. Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here to make a convenient appointment at our Old Bridge and Sayreville offices office today.
Athlete’s Foot is another name for tinea pedis, a common fungal infection of the feet. Athletes often find themselves dealing with tinea pedis after wearing sweaty socks and walking in locker rooms, but anyone can get it.
For most patients, Athlete’s foot is merely an inconvenience, although it can be tricky to cure. For patients with diabetes or a weakened immune system, Athlete’s foot can lead to more systemic infections. If you suspect that you’ve picked a case of athlete’s foot, you should visit the podiatrist right away to keep it from spreading or affecting others.
Preventing Athlete’s Foot
Tinea pedis thrives in warm, moist environments and is commonly found in showers, on locker room floors, and around swimming pools. Transmission occurs through contaminated surfaces or through direct contact with an infected person. Jason Grossman, DPM recommends the following steps to minimize your risk of infection:
- Good hygiene is always the best defense. Wash your feet with soap and water every day. Dry them with a clean towel. Be attentive to the spaces between the toes.
- If your feet tend to get sweaty, use an antifungal powder daily.
- Use your own socks, shoes, or towels; don’t share.
- Wear sandals in public places where people commonly walk barefoot, such as locker rooms and pool decks.
- Keep feet dry with socks made out of breathable fibers, such as cotton or wool, or made out of synthetic “wicking” fibers.
- Change into clean socks daily.
- Rotate your footwear when possible to give your shoes time to dry out.
- Spray shoes with an anti-bacterial spray such as Lysol occasionally.
How Can I Tell If I Have Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot has many symptoms. Check in with your feet often and be watchful for the following Top Five:
- cracking and peeling skin, especially between the toes and on the soles
- itching, stinging, or burning between the toes or on the soles
- tiny, itchy blisters
- unusual dry skin
- red, raw skin
What If I Get Athlete’s Foot?
Dr. Jason Grossman sees patients with athlete’s foot every week. Diagnosis is usually a simple exam, although a lab test might be needed. Treatment is typically as easy as routine application of antifungal cream or ointment, but oral medication is occasionally appropriate.
Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here to schedule a convenient appointment in our Old Bridge and Sayreville offices without delay. Jason Grossman, DPM and the friendly staff will help your feet feel and look their best.
Every year, one third of the United States population over 65 experiences a fall, and the percentage increases proportionally with age. Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions, and 40% of all nursing home admissions. 40% of those admitted after a fall do not return to independent living.
While it’s fairly simple to recover from most, a small percentage can lead to serious complications.
- Among people aged 65 to 69, one out of every 200 falls results in a hip fracture.
- One fall leads to another. More than half of seniors who fall will experience another fall within six months.
- For many seniors, a fall has a profound negative effect on independent living.
- When an elderly person falls, their hospital stays are almost twice longer than those of elderly patients who are admitted for any other reason. With any hospital stay comes risks, including exposure to dangerous germs.
- Falls are the leading cause of death from injury among people 65 and older. Approximately 9,500 deaths in older Americans are associated with falls annually.
Numerous factors can lead to a fall. People can trip, slip, stumble over obstacles, and get knocked down. Health issues can affect your sense of balance, too, increasing your chance of falling. However, current research is finding that foot health and strength plays a much larger role in preventing falls than previously thought. Older people with frequent or chronic foot pain have a higher chance of falling than whose feet are in good health.
Dr. Jason Grossman recommends the following simple steps to lower your risk of falls:
- Wear sensible shoes. The best shoes for your feet are comfortable with wide, low heels. Choose shoes that fit well and provide good arch support and cushioning.
- Wear your shoes indoors to prevent slipping, especially on stairs. If you have diabetes, see a podiatrist often. This can help in many ways, including early intervention around the numbness of neuropathy.
- Stay active. Try some exercises for your feet or gentle yoga to improve balance.
- Lose a few pounds if you’re overweight. Carrying excess weight stresses the feet.
- Keep your living space tidy and uncluttered.
Maintain the good health of your feet with regular visits to Advanced Feet and Ankle Care. Jason Grossman, DPM will examine your feet for issues, then help you with appropriate recommendations and treatment. Call our friendly staff at (732) 679-4330 or click here for a convenient appointment in our Old Bridge or Sayreville offices.