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By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 31, 2016
Tags: Pregnancy  

Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life. It comes with many changes to the body and that includes your feet too. Although these conditions may not seem like something to look forward to, they are temporary. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we want pregnant patients to know what to expect and be able to take steps to insure good foot health.

Swollen Feet and Ankles—with pregnancy comes an increase in blood volume and fluid in the body. The growing uterus can impede the circulation to the legs and feet resulting in fluid pooling in these areas and causing swelling. This swelling can be painful in and of itself and may also aggravate existing conditions in the feet where inflammation is a symptom.

Leg Cramps—many pregnant women suffer from painful “charley horses,” usually in the calf area. These often occur at night when your legs and feet are tired.

Bigger Feet—when you are pregnant, your body manufactures a hormone designed to make your ligaments more elastic and stretchy to accommodate the birth of a baby. For your feet, however, it may seem like these relaxed ligaments have caused you to go up a shoe size. Buy bigger shoes as needed and also look for ones with a sturdy, cushioned sole to help with balance as you adjust to your changing center of gravity and extra weight.

Healthy Foot Choices

If you have concerns about changes you are noticing in your feet, make an appointment with one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah. They will be happy to meet with you, examine your feet and determine if there are any podiatric issues that require treatment. In the meantime, here are some suggestions to help increase your foot comfort during pregnancy:

  • Drink plenty of fluids—although it may seem counterintuitive, staying well hydrated actually reduces swelling and helps with cramping.
  • Put your feet up—taking regular breaks throughout the day to elevate your feet for 15 to 20 minutes will help with soreness, swelling and foot discomfort.
  • Keep moving—foot and ankle exercises while you are sitting and walking and other weight-bearing exercise will all help you stay more flexible, less stiff and swollen.
  • Monitor your weight—try to stay within the limits your doctor suggests for each trimester with regard to weight gain. Excess weight means excess pressure on your feet and an increased likelihood of pain and other problems.

For more information, contact our Edison, Monmouth Junction or Monroe office today.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 24, 2016

The Achilles tendon, which attaches your calf muscles to your heel bone, is the strongest tendon in your whole body. It can withstand forces of over 1,000 pounds. It is also very susceptible to injury and inflammation and often causes athletes—both professional and amateur—to sit out many a game.

What Does it Feel Like?

In most patients we see at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care with Achilles tendonitis it starts gradually with some minor aches and pains in the tendon area a few hours after exercise. Over time, the pain gets worse and may occur while you are exercising as well. Other symptoms include swelling in the calf area, a little tenderness above the back of your heel first thing in the morning, stiffness and just an overall tired feeling in your calf and lower leg area.

What Causes It?

There are several factors that can bring on Achilles tendonitis, including:

  • Starting an exercise or sport too rapidly after a time off from activity
  • Excessive hill running or stair climbing
  • Not stretching or warming up adequately before exercising
  • Increasing the mileage or speed of your walking or running routine too quickly
  • Tight calf muscles
  • An injury caused by a sudden intense pushing off movement that involves the calf such as a sprint
  • Overpronation (feet roll inward)
  • The wrong footwear or improperly fitted footwear

What Can Be Done?

Once our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah have diagnosed Achilles tendonitis, there are several treatment options available depending on what’s causing the problem. Mostly likely, the foot doctor will ask you to rest the foot for a period of time and possibly to switch to activities that do not put strain on the tendon. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended to relieve pain and inflammation. To protect the tendon in the future, the podiatrist may recommend a bandage to limit the motion of the tendon, orthotics to relieve pressure on the area and exercises to stretch the tendon and make injury less likely.

If you believe you may be suffering from Achilles tendonitis, contact our Edison, Monroe, or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 17, 2016
Tags: Arthritis  

Arthritis affects 53 million people in the U.S. including 300,000 children. Actually, arthritis isn’t one disease, it’s a category of disorders and disease that involve the joints. Your feet are particularly susceptible to arthritis since there are 33 joints in each foot. In honor of National Arthritis Awareness Month, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care want to share some important information about arthritis with our Edison, Monroe and Monmouth Junction patients.

What are the Signs of Arthritis?

Although there are many forms of arthritis, the symptoms generally are joint related. These include:

  • Pain and tenderness in one or more joints
  • Joint swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • Stiffness first thing in the morning
  • Heat in a joint
  • Redness, rashes or growths on the skin surrounding an affected joint

Types of Joint Disease

The two type of arthritis that our doctors, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, see most frequently are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Osteoarthritis—this is the most common form of the disease. It results from the gradual deterioration of cartilage and joint lining and occurs more frequently in older people. This is also known as degenerative arthritis or wear and tear arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis—although it affects the joints, rheumatoid arthritis is a complex chronic inflammatory disease which affects other systems in the body as well. It is a very serious form of the disease and will get progressively worse over time.

Seeking Treatment

Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in our country. Getting treatment when the disease is in its earliest stages can greatly slow the progression of joint deterioration and lessen the debilitating effects. Depending on the cause of the arthritis, our foot doctors have several treatment options including medication for pain and inflammation, physical therapy and orthotics, which can relieve pressure on troubled joints.

If you are experiencing any joint related discomfort, don’t put off getting it evaluated. Make an appointment at one of our offices today by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 11, 2016
Tags: warts  

Now that the warmer weather is arriving and there will be more opportunities to go barefoot, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care expect to see more cases of warts. Warts are caused by a virus and although they can develop at this time of the year, when feet are bare, they are more likely to come in direct contact with the virus. The virus enters your foot through very tiny, even microscopic cuts in the skin.

Avoiding Contact

You can greatly reduce your risk of exposure to the virus that causes warts with a few simple tips:

  • Always wear shower shoes or flip flops in public places where people go barefoot. This includes town pools, gyms, locker rooms and showers.
  • Don’t share socks, shoes, flip flops or anything that touches another person’s feet.
  • Don’t touch a wart (on your own or someone else’s body) and then touch your own skin. Warts can spread from one part of the body to another.
  • Change your socks daily; more often if you tend to sweat profusely. Viruses and fungi thrive in dark, damp places.
  • Wash your feet daily and dry completely.

What do Warts Look Like?

There are two main types of warts that develop on feet: Plantar warts, also known as verrucas, and common foot warts. The Plantar warts are generally flat and hard and have tiny black pinpoints in the center. They vary in color but often are gray or brown. Plantar warts usually form on the sole of the foot. Common foot warts tend to be raised and fleshy. They can develop anywhere on the feet or toes.

Treatment

Sometimes warts will spontaneously disappear. Don’t be fooled, however, because they then frequently recur on the same site. Our foot and ankle doctors, Varun Gujral, DPM, and Dr. Nrupa Shah, DPM will examine your wart and determine the appropriate treatment. Warts can be very resistant to treatment and that is why non-prescription treatments often fail. The podiatrist has a variety of options available including freezing, laser cautery and prescription medications and ointments. If you find a wart on your foot, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050. Warts can become painful and spread if left untreated.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 04, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

May is National Osteoporosis Awareness Month and we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care want our patients to understand this disease and how it affects your feet. Knowing how to prevent the disabling consequences of osteoporosis is an important factor in being proactive about the health of your feet. Here are some questions and answers to help you learn more about this disease.

What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a disease where the bones become thin and susceptible to fractures. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that the disease is responsible for 2 million broken bones each year.

Who gets osteoporosis? This disease strikes men and women as they age. Studies show that one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.

How does osteoporosis affect the feet? Your feet have 28 bones each. In total, this accounts for approximately 25% of the bones in your entire body. Since your feet carry the weight of your whole body, they are often the first place that fractures caused by osteoporosis show up.

Can osteoporosis be prevented? Yes. There are several steps you can take to lower your risk of osteoporosis, including:

  • Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. This includes yogurt, milk, cheese and other dairy products and green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and bok choy. Choose products like juice and cereal that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
  • Take a calcium supplement daily. Your doctor can help you determine the right amount.
  • Engage in weight bearing exercise to strengthen bones and supporting muscles.
  • Talk to your medical providers about your specific osteoporosis risk.

What role does my podiatrist play? Your foot doctor can help you diagnose osteoporosis. Often times stress fractures, tiny cracks in the surface of the bone, which are not the result of an obvious injury, are caused by osteoporosis. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will use x-rays and bone densitometry tests (these measure calcium levels in the bones) along with a physical examination and your medical history to determine if you have osteoporosis.

What else can I do? Make sure that if you are in pain, you make an appointment at our Edison, Monmouth Junction or Monroe office to get it evaluated. The pain caused by a stress fracture may come and go and this leads many patients to wait too long before seeking treatment. Osteoporosis is frequently called the “silent crippler” because it is often not found until a bone is broken. So if you are experiencing any pain in your foot, contact our practice by calling 732-662-3050 as soon as possible.





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