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May 2021

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system malfunctions and begins to attack otherwise healthy joints. When the immune system attacks the lining of the joints, called the synovium, it thickens and produces excess joint fluid. Excess joint fluid and certain chemicals released by the immune system cause the joints to become inflamed. This leads to symptoms such as pain, swelling, stiffness, redness, and a feeling of warmth around the joints. RA often affects the joints of the feet, which can make walking and going about your daily activities more difficult. If you have RA that affects your feet, please consult with a podiatrist, who can help you manage this condition and maintain your mobility.

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 William Urton, DPM of British Columbia. 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 Langley, BC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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Ingrown toenails (when the nail grows into the surrounding skin) are a very common malady that podiatrists treat, as oftentimes the toenail becomes very painful, inflamed, or even infected. You can help prevent ingrown toenails from developing by avoiding shoes that are too tight and trimming your nails straight across—and not too short. There are a couple of home remedies you can try to get relief from an ingrown toenail, such as soaking the toe in warm water mixed with either Epsom salts, apple cider vinegar, or a mild soap. Also, try applying an antibiotic cream to the nail several times a day and keeping it wrapped in a bandage to help reduce the chances of an infection developing. Wear comfortable, non-restrictive shoes that give the toes plenty of room. You can even try using an over-the-counter toe protector, which is a padded ring that cushions the toe and prevents it from rubbing against other toes or footwear. If your ingrown toenail becomes a chronic issue, the pain worsens, or you see signs of an infection, contact a podiatrist for more advanced treatment options.

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact William Urton, DPM of British Columbia. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.

Causes

  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.

Treatment

Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

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

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Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.

Monday, 10 May 2021 00:00

HPV and Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They occur on the sole of the feet—most typically on the balls of the feet, heels, and under the toes—and are spread by human contact when the virus enters the bloodstream through tiny cracks in the skin. They usually present as hard, thick, lesions akin to calluses, and sometimes tiny blood vessels are present, which look like black specks on the surface. Plantar warts can range in size, and are often tender or sometimes even painful. They can form as either independent growths or as part of a cluster of warts. While plantar warts can sometimes go away over a period of years, it is suggested that you seek the care of a podiatrist if you have circulatory problems or diabetes, or if your warts are painful, bleeding, or spreading quickly.

Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. If you need your feet checked, contact William Urton, DPM from British Columbia. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

About Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus, getting into open wounds on the feet. They are mostly found on the heels or balls of the feet.

While plantar warts are generally harmless, those experiencing excessive pain or those suffering from diabetes or a compromised immune system require immediate medical care. Plantar warts are easily diagnosed, usually through scraping off a bit of rough skin or by getting a biopsy.

Symptoms

  • Lesions on the bottom of your feet, usually rough and grainy
  • Hard or thick callused spots
  • Wart seeds, which are small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots
  • Pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing

Treatment

  • Freezing
  • Electric tool removal
  • Laser Treatment
  • Topical Creams (prescription only)
  • Over-the-counter medications

To help prevent developing plantar warts, avoid walking barefoot over abrasive surfaces that can cause cuts or wounds for HPV to get into. Avoiding direct contact with other warts, as well as not picking or rubbing existing warts, can help prevent the further spread of plantar warts. However, if you think you have developed plantar warts, speak to your podiatrist. He or she can diagnose the warts on your feet and recommend the appropriate treatment options.

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

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Monday, 03 May 2021 00:00

How High Heels Can Injure the Feet

While high heels are commonly worn by many women, they can have long term effects on the feet. High heel wearers can walk with shorter and more forceful strides, and their toes are usually in a flexed position. This can put more strain on the muscles since the calf muscles have shortened. Additionally, once a regular high heel wearer goes back to more comfortable shoes like sneakers or flip flops, they are at a greater risk of developing an injury because they are putting their injured feet into a new environment. Ultimately, wearing high heels on a daily basis can lead to issues such as hammertoes, bunions, sprained ankles, fractures and ligament tears. If you are suffering from injuries due to wearing high heels, or you would like tips on how to prevent injuries while wearing high heels, consulting with a podiatrist is recommended. A podiatrist will be able to treat your foot and ankle problems and offer advice on how to prevent future injuries.

High heels have a history of causing foot and ankle problems. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact William Urton, DPM from British Columbia. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Effects of High Heels on the Feet

High heels are popular shoes among women because of their many styles and societal appeal.  Despite this, high heels can still cause many health problems if worn too frequently.

Which Parts of My Body Will Be Affected by High Heels?

  • Ankle Joints
  • Achilles Tendon – May shorten and stiffen with prolonged wear
  • Balls of the Feet
  • Knees – Heels cause the knees to bend constantly, creating stress on them
  • Back – They decrease the spine’s ability to absorb shock, which may lead to back pain.  The vertebrae of the lower back may compress.

What Kinds of Foot Problems Can Develop from Wearing High Heels?

  • Corns
  • Calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Plantar Fasciitis

How Can I Still Wear High Heels and Maintain Foot Health?

If you want to wear high heeled shoes, make sure that you are not wearing them every day, as this will help prevent long term physical problems.  Try wearing thicker heels as opposed to stilettos to distribute weight more evenly across the feet.  Always make sure you are wearing the proper shoes for the right occasion, such as sneakers for exercising.  If you walk to work, try carrying your heels with you and changing into them once you arrive at work.  Adding inserts to your heels can help cushion your feet and absorb shock. Full foot inserts or metatarsal pads are available. 

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

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