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Monday, 28 January 2019 00:00

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1.5 million people in the United States and is a very serious disease. It is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack joints. This attack creates inflammation that causes the tissue lining on the joints to thicken, which causes pain and swelling. It is important to catch this inflammation early, because over time it can damage cartilage, elastic tissue that covers bones in the joint, and the bones themselves. This damage can lead to the joint spacing between bones to shrink, which causes joints to become loose, unstable and painful. Joint deformity is also a possibility, and this cannot be reversed. Rheumatoid arthritis usually occurs symmetrically, so if one foot or ankle is affected then the other one most likely will be too. If you feel that you have any symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis, it is highly recommended that you speak with a podiatrist to start treatment as soon as possible.

Because RA affects more than just your joints, including the joints in your feet and ankles, it is important to seek early diagnosis from your podiatrist if you feel like the pain in your feet might be caused by RA. For more information, contact Don A. Shumway, DPM of Arizona. Our doctor will assist you with all of your podiatric concerns.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Inflammation of the lining and eventually the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone occur, causing severe pain and immobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, almost 90 percent of cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that the podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, occupation, and lifestyle to determine the origin of the condition. Rheumatoid Factor tests help to determine if someone is affected by the disease.

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

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Monday, 21 January 2019 00:00

Treating Fungal Nails with Laser Treatment

Fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) is one of the most common nail disorders among adults. It is a mycotic infection that occurs underneath the nail plate. The nail can become deformed, lifted, brittle, and discolored. These symptoms may lead to acute pain in the toenail area. There are various types of fungal nail infections and various types of treatments. One form of treatment is laser therapy, which also consists of varying methods. Photodynamic therapy uses light irradiation and a photosensitizing drug to find specific cells and destroy them. Other laser therapies that involve neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet or low-level lasers aim to selectively hinder fungal growth. Laser therapies are selective to the localized infection, which decreases the chance of systemic side effects. If you are interested in laser treatment for a fungal infection, consult with a podiatrist for further guidance.

Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with Don A. Shumway, DPM from Arizona. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.

What are Toenail Fungal Infections?

Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:

  • Nail thickening
  • Brittleness of the nail
  • Discoloration of the nail

Diagnosis for Fungal Nails

Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.

What is Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.

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

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Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

Where Are the Sesamoid Bones Located?

The structure of the foot consists of 26 bones. Two of these bones are referred to as the sesamoid bones, and their location is under the joint of the bottom of the big toe. The condition known as sesamoiditis occurs if these bones should become inflamed and irritated, which may be caused by an injury. Many patients have noticed symptoms that may include pain while standing, or severe discomfort if the toe is pulled in an upward motion. A proper diagnosis is generally necessary in confirming this condition, and this may consist of having an X-ray or MRI performed. There are several forms of effective treatment, including wearing shoes that offer additional cushioning, resting the foot, or using custom orthotics. These methods may provide a portion of the desired relief, and it is suggested to consult with a podiatrist for additional treatment options.

Sesamoiditis is an unpleasant foot condition characterized by pain in the balls of the feet. If think you’re struggling with sesamoiditis, contact Don A. Shumway, DPM of Arizona. Our doctor will treat your condition thoroughly and effectively.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis is a condition of the foot that affects the ball of the foot. It is more common in younger people than it is in older people. It can also occur with people who have begun a new exercise program, since their bodies are adjusting to the new physical regimen. Pain may also be caused by the inflammation of tendons surrounding the bones. It is important to seek treatment in its early stages because if you ignore the pain, this condition can lead to more serious problems such as severe irritation and bone fractures.

Causes of Sesamoiditis

  • Sudden increase in activity
  • Increase in physically strenuous movement without a proper warm up or build up
  • Foot structure: those who have smaller, bonier feet or those with a high arch may be more susceptible

Treatment for sesamoiditis is non-invasive and simple. Doctors may recommend a strict rest period where the patient forgoes most physical activity. This will help give the patient time to heal their feet through limited activity. For serious cases, it is best to speak with your doctor to determine a treatment option that will help your specific needs.

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

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Friday, 11 January 2019 00:00

Heel Pain Can be Treated!

Do you suffer from heel pain when you get up in the morning?

Monday, 07 January 2019 00:00

What Is Plantar Hyperhidrosis?

The medical condition that is referred to as planter hyperhidrosis is defined as excessive sweating of the feet. Many patients may experience extreme discomfort, and this may be a result of shoes and socks that are frequently wet. There are several symptoms that may be associated with this ailment, and these may include foot infections such as toenail fungus or athlete’s foot, blisters on the feet that may come from excessive friction, or a strong and unpleasant foot odor. There may be preventive measures that can be implemented to ease the discomfort of plantar hyperhidrosis, including utilizing antiperspirants on the feet, wearing layers of cotton socks, which may be helpful in absorbing sweat, or taking oral medications. If you are afflicted with this uncomfortable foot condition, it is suggested to speak with a podiatrist who guides you to begin the correct treatment.

If you are suffering from hyperhidrosis contact Don A. Shumway, DPM of Arizona. Our doctor can provide the care you need to attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Hyperhidrosis of the Feet

Hyperhidrosis is a rare disorder that can cause people to have excessive sweating of their feet. This can usually occur all on its own without rigorous activity involved. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis may also experience sweaty palms.

Although it is said that sweating is a healthy process meant to cool down the body temperature and to maintain a proper internal temperature, hyperhidrosis may prove to be a huge hindrance on a person’s everyday life.

Plantar hyperhidrosis is considered to be the main form of hyperhidrosis. Secondary hyperhidrosis can refer to sweating that occurs in areas other than the feet or hands and armpits. Often this may be a sign of it being related to another medical condition such as menopause, hyperthyroidism and even Parkinson’s disease.

In order to alleviate this condition, it is important to see your doctor so that they may prescribe the necessary medications so that you can begin to live a normal life again. If this is left untreated, it is said that it will persist throughout an individual’s life.

A last resort approach would be surgery, but it is best to speak with your doctor to find out what may be the best treatment for you.

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

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Wednesday, 02 January 2019 00:00

Possible Causes of Bunions

The foot condition that is known as a bunion may develop as the aging process occurs. It is one of the more common foot ailments and may often affect women more than men. It appears as a bony protrusion on the side of the big toe and may cause considerable pain and discomfort. There may be foot issues that can develop as a result of having a bunion, and these may include nerve damage that is incurred on the big toe in which feeling may be lost, calluses may develop on the sole of the foot, in addition to the toe appearing red and swollen. There may be several reasons why bunions may form, and these may include wearing shoes with limited room for the toes to move freely in, a genetic disposition, or medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. If you notice a bunion that is forming, it is advised to seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can discuss correct treatment options, which may include surgery.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact Don A. Shumway, DPM of Arizona. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.

Causes

  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development

Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

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

Read more about Bunions
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