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What Exactly Is Gout?- The Podiatrist | YourFeetNZ

Far from the new disease on the block, gout has been plaguing people throughout history. Indeed, diagnosed for over 2,000 years, Gout is considered one of our longest-known diseases.
Throughout much of that history, gout was considered the “disease of kings,” primarily because it was thought to be a result of overindulgence of fatty foods and alcohol.
Modern science has shown us that—while such overindulgence can definitely heighten the risk of gout—anybody can be affected by the pain of gout.
Gout is a form of arthritis that often sneaks up in the middle of the night, suddenly attacking your joints with a deep, persistent pain.
Gout most often results when needle-like crystals of uric acid form in the body’s connective tissue or lodge themselves in the space between two bones (i.e., in the joints).
These uric acid crystals inflame the surrounding area and lead to inflammatory arthritis.
This inflammatory arthritis is responsible for heat, pain, redness, stiffness, and swelling commonly associated with attacks of gout.
What are the Symptoms of Gout?
The #1 biggest symptom of gout is extreme pain, swelling, throbbing and heat in the joint of your big toe.
If you’ve never had gout before, you might not understand how easy it is for doctors to diagnose gout.
Your doctor can do a test for the presence of uric acid crystals in your joint fluid (by taking a sample of the fluid in the affected joint), but most likely he will recognize the unique symptoms to diagnose that you do indeed have gout.
Other symptoms of gout include:
• Multiple attacks of acute arthritis
• Arthritis attacks that develop over the course of an extremely quick time (e.g., over the span of 12-24 hours with inflamed, painful, red, and hot joints)
• Arthritis attack that affects only one joint; most often affecting the toe, ankle, or knee. The first attack of gout most often affects the joints of the big toe. In fact, gout is thought to affect the big toe of 75% of all patients during the course of the disease.
Additionally, the affects of gout can be found in other joints such as the elbows, fingers, heels, instep, and wrists.

Who Gets Gout?
The most typical victim of gout is male, over 35, and at least somewhat overweight.
Gout affects nearly 1% of the world’s population. Gout is responsible for nearly 5% of all arthritis sufferers.
But anybody can get Gout!
Research has shown that 1 out of every 4 people with gout actually has a family history of gout…
While the genetic component is not currently fully understood, researchers are hopeful that such information will greatly impact the early diagnosis and prevention of gout in the future.
Because men tend to have higher levels of uric acid in their bodies to begin with, gout affects more men than women. However, after menopause, a woman’s uric acid level actually rises to be comparable to a man’s level.
In addition, age seems to play a role in the onset of gout. Men typically develop gout between the ages of 30 and 50. Women, on the other hand, rarely develop symptoms until they are 50 and older. Very few cases of gout have been diagnosed in children and young adults.
Is Gout Preventable?
Again, the answer is YES!!!
It’s important to know that, if you’ve suffered from gout once, you are highly likely to suffer from gout again. But the good news is, we are here to help you learn everything you need to know about treating gout, and then preventing it from ever occurring again.

Visit the website if you have any foot problems or for more information- http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

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Foot Problems Men Should Never Ignore- The Podiatrist | YourFeetNZ

men do not tend to rush off and have their feet checked

So is some foot pain normal?
From a Podiatrist’s perspective … the answer is no. It is a clear sign that something is wrong, and needs to be evaluated and treated.
Men are the first to admit they usually resist going to a Podiatrist (or Doctor) when their feet hurt. But the good news is that most foot or ankle problems are treatable, and easier to treat when diagnosed early.
Let’s look at foot pain this way—pain is like the oil light in your car. Left unchecked or ignored, what you may consider “some foot pain” can slowly worsen until it becomes more difficult and expensive to resolve.
Men: If you currently have foot pain, here are five foot problems you should never ignore:
Heel Pain- this is often caused by tissue inflammation, but can also result from what is known as a “stress fracture,” or a tight heel cord or plantar fasciitis which left untreated can eventually rupture.
Ankle Sprains- if severe, these should always require a prompt visit to the doctor. If left ignored, sprains may develop into chronic instability or tendon disease which eventually may require surgery.
Joint Stiffness – stiffness of any joint of the foot or ankle that develops slowly allows the natural joint cartilage to wear down leading to pain and loss of function. A painful arthritic joint left to develop over time usually results in joint replacement or fusion.
Tendonitis – usually develops from a sudden increase in physical activity at work or when men play weekend sports. Tendonitis left untreated may lead to a tear or rupture which usually requires casting, surgery or both.
Toenails – whether the toenails are thick or ingrown, “bathroom surgery” should be avoided and is especially considered dangerous if you have diabetes or have poor circulation. Treatment is usually straightforward and less dangerous if treated early.
If you are suffering from any of the above conditions or know of anyone who is also presently suffering, please take a moment and explore our website- http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz and make an appointment now.

http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Pain in the ball of the foot- The Podiatrist | YourFeetNZ

forefoot pain

Pain at the ball of the foot, or the forefoot, is a common complaint in athletes. The forefoot is the part of the foot in front of the ankle consisting of groups of bones that include the metatarsals (five long bones in the forefoot) and phalanges (the bones that make up the toes). There are many medical issues that can arise in this region due to trauma, overuse, or other factors. Forefoot pain can range from mild pain causing a slight limp to severe pain that prevents walking. Common causes include: stress fracture, interdigital neuroma (also known as Morton neuroma), and sesamoiditis.
Stress fractures
A stress fracture is one of the more concerning potential causes of your discomfort. Metatarsal stress fractures result from repetitive stress to the forefoot, usually from running, jumping, dancing, and other repetitive weight-bearing activities. Patients with stress fractures of the metatarsal shaft describe a history of gradually worsening pain in the forefoot. Initially the pain is intermittent and occurs only with use. The patient may present with poorly defined forefoot pain or point tenderness over a metatarsal shaft. If the causative activity continues, the injury can progress, with swelling, severe pain even with normal activities, and frank fracture.
Diagnosis is made using history, physical exam, and potentially imaging studies. They usually respond well to cessation of the causative activity. Crutches and partial weight-bearing for several weeks may be helpful in patients who have pain with walking. A short-leg cast and non-weight-bearing may be used for short periods of time in patients with severe pain.
Interdigital neuroma
Interdigital neuromas are thought to be due to swelling and scar tissue formation on the small interdigital nerves. They most commonly involve the third webspace, but may also be seen in the second and fourth. Symptoms associated with a neuroma may include sharp or shooting pain, numbness, or pins and needle sensation. Many patients describe it as feeling like something is wadded up under the toes. It frequently can be temporarily relieved by removing the shoes and massaging the area.
Neuromas can be caused by trauma or chronic irritation. Chronic irritation can be in the form of wearing shoes that are not wide enough in the forefoot area causing compression of nerve. The irritation may also occur from abnormal mechanics of the foot causing excess motion of the metatarsal bones.
Diagnosis can be made by using elements of the history and physical exam, or by imaging studies such as ultrasound or MRI. Conservative treatment may include use of properly fit shoes (well cushioned with wide forefoot), metatarsal foot pads (to evenly distribute pressure to the metatarsal heads), and physical therapy (to address mechanics and strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the foot). If conservative treatment fails, injection therapy and surgery are also considerations.
Inflammation
Inflammation or injury of the sesamoid bones located on the plantar surface of the big toe joint can also cause pain in athletes. The sesamoids are pea-sized bones that function as pulleys for tendons (just as the patella does for the knee extensors) and assist with weightbearing. The athlete with sesamoiditis typically complains of pain at the area of the big toe joint with weightbearing that is exacerbated by walking, and even more so by running. Exquisite tenderness of the sesamoids is present, and is exacerbated by pushing off with the great toe. Imaging may be required to differentiate between sesamoiditis and a stress fracture. Both may require a short period of immobilization followed by prolonged rest from weightbearing activity. Athletes can use alternative, nonweightbearing forms of exercise to maintain fitness. Treatment with custom orthotics, soft pads cut to relieve pressure on the sesamoids, and in severe cases, glucocorticoid injections may be helpful. Consultation with a foot surgeon is reasonable in persistent cases.
These are just a few of the potential causes of your pain, however there are many other potential causes of forefoot pain. Discussion with The Podiatrist is advised. A specific diagnosis can then be made, after a full history and physical is performed. Appropriate treatment can also then be discussed.

See The Podiatrist for all your foot problems.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz

Tips For Relieving The Pain Of Sore Feet: The Podiatrist and YourFeet

there are many reasons for sore feet

Sore feet are not only uncomfortable; they can put a big dent in your productivity and turn even the simplest task into a burdensome chore. Causes for sore feet can range from ill-fitting shoes to physical deformities, but luckily there are as many different solutions as there are problems; the trick is finding what works best for you. Many common foot problems like heel spurs, flat feet and torn ligaments can be solved best by using bio-mechanical intervention that can range from drug store variety inserts to custom-made orthotic devices.
Determining the Problem
To find the source of sore feet, start with the obvious culprit, ill-fitting shoes that do not provide the proper support for your body frame. So called “sensible shoes” with low profiles, sturdy arches and ankle support often provide instant relief from minor foot issues caused by inappropriate footwear. Under some conditions, like standing on hard or uneven surfaces all day, additional relief can be provided by drug store inserts that create a layer of cushioning for your feet to reduce the impact of each step. If these simple tactics do not yield favorable results, it is wise to consult with The Podiatrist to examine your feet to determine if you are suffering from treatable foot maladies that would benefit from custom-made orthotic devices.
Orthotic Solutions
The Podiatrist can examine your foot to determine if your problem results from an injury to or is the result of the way your foot functions in relation to the rest of your body. Injuries from sports and recreational activities can often be cured by providing proper support during the recuperation process so that the injury is not irritated and can heal properly. These types of inserts, pads and braces are temporary and will eventually become unnecessary.
If the problem lies in the basic structure of your foot, however, a more permanent orthotic will be recommended that is strategically designed to make your foot function correctly when you take a step. A cast of your foot is made and The Podiatrist uses this model to create the proper orthotic out of plastic, wood or rigid rubber. This kind of treatment can not only provide relief for sore feet, it can also have a direct impact on your legs and torso because it subtly changes your posture and corrects muscular issues that stemmed from improper balance.
See The Podiatrist for any foot problems.
http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz