Posts for category: Proper Foot Care

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 05, 2017
Category: Proper Foot Care
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Arthritis and other conditions that cause inflammation of the joints can strike anywhere in the body but with 33 joints in each foot, pain and stiffness in them can have a large impact on your ability to stand, walk and carry on daily activities. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will examine your feet and most likely order x-rays and/or other imaging studies to determine the cause of joint discomfort. In addition to proper medical treatment for joint disorders, your diet can play a role in decreasing joint pain.

What Not to Eat

There are certain foods that can actually trigger an inflammatory response. Some to avoid include:

  • Sugar—excess sugar in the body can trigger pro-inflammatory responses in the brain. In addition to obvious sources of sugar (candy, cookies, cakes, etc.) be on the lookout for hidden harbingers: tomato sauce, salad dressings and low fat yogurts
  • Fried foods
  • Refined flour—found in products like cereal, pizza crust, white bread, bagels and pasta, this type of flour has had slow-digesting fiber and nutrients removed, meaning they break down quickly and basically turn to sugar in your body (see above!)
  • Dairy products (with the exception of yogurt, which can help fight inflammation)—these are allergens for many people and can trigger an inflammatory response in the body
  • Artificial sweeteners and additives
  • Processed foods

Foods that Fight Inflammation

Conversely, there are also foods that can help suppress or decrease inflammation in your joints. Try swapping some of these into your diet in place of the foods you are trying to eliminate:

  • Tomatoes
  • Green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, collard greens and kale
  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines
  • Certain fruits, including: strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts (almonds and walnuts)

You may see a trend here: the foods that fight inflammation are healthy foods and those that aggravate it are ones we’re better off without. Maintaining a healthy diet will also help keep your weight down, which is another way to reduce joint pain.

To learn more about how to be proactive in caring for your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction, office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
August 24, 2017
Category: Proper Foot Care
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Is there a late summer vacation on your calendar? If so, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care want to suggest some items to add to your suitcase to ensure that your feet stay pain free while you travel:

  • Mini-first aid kit. Some bandages, moleskin and antibacterial ointment will help prevent and/or treat any blisters, minor cuts and scrapes that you may get on your feet.
  • Flip flops or shower shoes. If your vacation plans include a pool or beach, or you hope to use a hotel gym to keep up your fitness routine, be sure you have a pair of shoes that you can wear to protect your feet from coming in contact with the bacteria and fungi that cause athlete’s foot, fungal toenails and other common fungal infections.
  • Water bottle. Extra walking during sightseeing excursions or shopping trips and warm temperatures can cause your feet to swell. One way to combat this is by staying hydrated with  plenty of water, which will flush excess fluid from your body.
  • Sunscreen. Even if your trip is not to a beach or resort, remember to apply sunscreen to your feet if you are wearing open shoes or sandals. Many travelers end up with bad sunburn on the tops of their feet after a whole day spent outdoors and this can make the rest of your trip miserable. If water activities are part of your vacation fun, be sure to reapply sunscreen after swimming and don’t forget the bottoms of your feet as well.
  • Nail clippers and emery board. A ragged toenail needs to be filed or trimmed to prevent it from catching on socks and tearing. Never trim nails short or in a curved shape, however, that the skin on the side can start to grow over them and cause an ingrown nail.

These few items will only take up a small amount of space in your travel bag, but will make a big difference in your comfort and enjoyment on your trip. If you find your feet are bothering you after you return, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey so that one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah, can examine your feet and determine if you have an injury or foot disorder developing.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
July 07, 2017
Category: Proper Foot Care
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Summer fun is something we all look forward to but at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care it’s also a time of the year when we see an increase in certain foot conditions and injuries. You can enjoy the lazy, hazy days of summer and still keep your feet safe and healthy if you take a few precautions. Below are some foot health concerns you’ll want to try to prevent:

  1. Ankle Sprains—does this sound familiar? You’re at a family picnic and your nephews challenge you to a basketball shoot out or friends at the beach want to play volleyball. You join in wearing your flip flops or sandals and there’s that one killer shot that results in an ankle twisting injury. Even spontaneous and casual athletic activities require the proper footwear. Keep a pair of sneakers in your car for impromptu games.
  2. Fungal Infections—fungi and bacteria love the summer months! They thrive in dark, damp places like sweaty socks and shoes and they are spread by direct contact—all those bare feet around the pool make it so easy! You can help reduce the risk of fungal skin and toenail infections by keeping feet dry. Change socks often and use a foot powder if you tend to sweat profusely. Avoid coming in contact with surfaces or items that may have touched other people’s feet. If you get professional pedicures, be sure to check that your salon is following proper sanitizing procedures.
  3. Sunburn—getting sunburn on your feet can sideline you if it’s too uncomfortable to even put shoes on. People often forget to lather up the sunscreen on the bottoms of their feet but if you’re spending the day at the pool or beach with your feet up it’s essential. Don’t forget to reapply after swimming. Remember to use sunscreen too if you are just out for a day of shopping or sightseeing if you are wearing open shoes or sandals.
  4. Puncture wounds—another common summer hazard for feet are puncture wounds and cuts. Lake bottoms, beaches and grassy yards can all hide sharp objects that can injure an unsuspecting victim. Your best bet is to limit the amount of time you go bare foot. Water shoes and other summer footwear will protect your feet from cuts and wounds.

If despite your best efforts, you do injure your foot or end up with an itchy rash on the skin of your feet, don’t delay in making an appointment to see one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050. Prompt treatment means you’ll be back to summer fun faster and avoid a more serious condition.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
June 21, 2017
Category: Proper Foot Care
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At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we believe in educating our patients to be proactive when it comes to the health of their feet. One way to do that is by getting in the habit of examining your feet on a regular basis. Here’s what to look for:

  1. Pain/discomfort—these are never normal on an ongoing basis. While it’s true that after a day spent walking the mall or standing for long periods of time your feet may feel sore, burning or aching, these symptoms should go away once you get off your feet. Pain that is chronic, whether dull or sharp, constant or intermittent, indicates a problem.
  2. Changes in appearance—lumps, redness, blisters or sores, calluses and corns are all signs of potential foot concerns. Check too for changes in shape, swelling or any abnormal appearances in the toes or toenails.
  3. The ability to experience sensation—use the tip of a pencil eraser and lightly run it over the top and bottom of both your feet and along both sides. Does the sensation feel equal in all areas of your feet? Neuropathy (nerve damage) can lead to decreased sensation in your feet.
  4. Circulation—take a look at your toenails. Nails that are white or those that appear more red, blue or purple may be a telltale sign of blood flow issues. Another way to test circulation is by pressing down on the nail of the big toe until the color leaves the nail. Then release and time how long it takes for normal color to return. Anything within the range of 2 to 5 seconds is considered normal.

Of course, we don’t recommend you use self-checks to make a self-diagnosis. Any changes, pain or concerning symptoms should be brought to the attention of one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. In many cases, self-examination of the feet can help detect podiatric problems in their earliest stages which can improve treatment outcomes significantly. If you have found something of concern, contact our Monroe, Monmouth Junction or Edison office by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
April 13, 2017
Category: Proper Foot Care
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Most of the time, patients come to Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care to find out what foot problem is plaguing them but sometimes what they learn instead is that they have a systemic disease that affects their entire body. Symptoms that are affecting your feet can be a tip off to a bigger medical problem. Here are some illnesses that reveal themselves in your feet:

  1. Thyroid Disorder—if this gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism) it can cause muscle weakness, nervousness and problems with skin and hair. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can result in fatigue, depression and feeling cold. In either case, signs of thyroid disorders can be found in nail and skin changes. Feet that are excessively sweaty or so dry that they become cracked can point to a problem with the thyroid.
  2. Diabetes—one of the side effects of diabetes is neuropathy or nerve damage. Nerve damage in the feet can be experienced as burning, tingling, numbness or a “pins and needles” type of discomfort. Swelling can also be a sign of a circulation issue, another problem typically associated with diabetes.
  3. Cardiovascular Disease—indications of circulatory problems such as swelling of ankles and feet can also be an indicator of high blood pressure or other cardiovascular disorders.
  4. Osteoporosis and calcium deficiencies—with nearly a quarter of the bones in your body found in your feet it’s not surprising that issues such as osteoporosis or a calcium deficiency would be apparent there. Stress fractures and regular fractures can be signs of these disorders.

If you notice unusual changes in your feet or ankles—including changes in your toenails, skin color, swelling, bruising or shape changes—contact our Edison, Monmouth Junction or Monroe office by calling 732-662-3050 and let our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah perform a complete examination. What your foot doctor finds may significantly impact your health.