Posts for: November, 2017

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 21, 2017
Category: Nerve Injury
Tags: Physical Therapy   Orthotics  

When patients come to us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care with foot pain, we need to determine the source of the pain before the appropriate treatment can be prescribed to bring relief. In addition to examining your feet and ankles, our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will take a medical history, conduct tests and ask you questions about your activities and the pain itself. Pain that is related to your muscles tends to ache or throb and joint pain can be perceived as soreness or stiffness. Nerve pain, too, has its own distinct characteristics. Any of the following symptoms may point to nerve pain:

  • Pain is accompanied by a sharp or dull shooting sensation like an electrical shock traveling up or down the leg and foot
  • Muscle weakness in the area where the pain is
  • Pain that doesn’t go away
  • Numbness between the toes
  • The sensation of walking on a small pebble
  • Super sensitivity to cold or hot
  • A tingling or burning feeling on the bottom of your foot

Treatment Options

If the foot doctor determines that you are experiencing a nerve issue, a surgery to decompress or free a nerve that is being pinched may be recommended. Similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery, part of the roof of the tunnel that houses the nerve is removed. This gives the nerve more space to transmit and receive messages and thus the pain is eliminated.

There are also conservative measures that your podiatrist may want to try first to relieve nerve pain. These include:

  • Icing the affected area
  • Shoe modifications or custom orthotics
  • Oral medications to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Injection therapy
  • Bracing
  • Immobilization
  • Physical Therapy

As with most podiatric conditions early treatment is best because nerve damage can become permanent if not caught soon enough. If you have pain that you suspect may stem from a nerve problem, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 15, 2017
Category: Diabetic Foot Care

November is National Diabetes Month and here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we partner with many patients who have this disease to help manage it and protect the health of their feet. Since neuropathy, or loss of sensation, and reduced circulatory and immune system function are all associated with diabetes, our diabetic patients have elevated risks for foot issues. What might be minor or common conditions for other patients—blisters, bunions, athlete’s foot—can pose a major potential threat to diabetic patients. Wounds and infections can be slow and difficult to heal and lead to serious consequences, even amputation. Thankfully, our foot and ankle doctors, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, can help patients with regular podiatric care to prevent wounds and maintain the health of their feet.

Preventing Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 30 million Americans over the age of 18 have diabetes. Even more startling, a little over 84 million are believed to be pre-diabetic. Your physician can determine if you fall into this category. There are ways that all patients can lower their risk of diabetes. These include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease and stroke. Even losing 10-15 pounds can significantly reduce your risk. Start by cutting back on calories (swap veggies and hummus or whole grain snacks for chips, replace a starch with a salad, etc.).  Weigh yourself at least once a week. Increase the amount of water you drink—it can help you feel full.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking, in addition to raising your chances of developing diabetes, also impedes circulation, which is a contributing factor to diabetic complications.
  • Stay active. Exercise has multiple benefits: it helps prevent diabetes, increases circulation, helps your joints stay flexible and strengthens muscles, bones and your heart. You don’t have to run a marathon! Incorporate a walk during lunch hour. If you have a desk job, set a timer to get up every 30 minutes to stretch and take a quick walk around the office. Park a little further away from stores and your office. Consider adding strength training with weights, stretches and some aerobic sessions as you progress.

Start small. Little changes are more likely to be successful. If you have additional questions about diabetes and the health of your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 08, 2017
Category: Foot Pain

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, patients often come in with foot pain that they do not know the source of. If you are experiencing pain in your heel, arch, ankle, along the outside of your foot, your shin, knee, hip or lower back, it may be caused by partial or completely fallen arches.

Although the term “flat feet” may make it seem that the condition is fairly obvious, it is not always so. Some people have what’s known as flexible flat feet: when they are sitting they appear to have a defined arch but when they stand the foot flattens out. In some cases, an arch may be only partially fallen.  Since your arch is an important component in ensuring that the weight of your body is distributed properly, improper positioning can result in pain in your foot and the lower half of your body.

Possible Causes of Fallen Arches

One common cause of flat feet is overpronation or the tendency to walk with your ankles turning inward. A way to tell if this might be true for you is to look at a pair of shoes that you’ve had for a while. When placed side by side the shoes will appear to lean into each other if you overpronate. Flat feet can also be caused by a tendon inflammation or a biomechanical defect.

Getting Relief

In extreme cases, surgery on the midfoot bones or to repair a damaged or torn tendon may be necessary. Fortunately, however, there are several non-surgical treatment options available as well. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will examine your feet and decide on the best treatment if you are diagnosed with flat feet depending on the underlying cause and the severity of your condition. Options include:

  • Medications
  • Immobilization
  • Weight management
  • Modification of activities
  • Shoe changes
  • Physical therapy
  • Custom orthotics
  • Bracing

If you have pain that you believe is due to flat feet, contact our Monmouth Junction, Monroe or Edison office in New Jersey for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
November 01, 2017

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we often discover that patients do not realize the full spectrum of services offered by our podiatrist. Yes, of course we’re here for the major foot and ankle issues such as bunions, ruptured Achilles tendons and broken toes but there are many other ways the foot doctor can help, including:

  • Deal with “common” foot problems such as ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot and fungal nails. Sometimes patients mistakenly think they should try to treat these types of conditions on their own with over-the-counter products or, worse yet, “bathroom surgery.” We would much rather you bring these seemingly minor conditions to our office where we can treat them safely and effectively before they turn into a wound or become infected.
  • Help correct gait and walking issues by prescribing and fitting custom orthotic devices. These shoe inserts can help relieve pain and also shift pressure away from a damaged or injured area of the foot.
  • Lower extremity complaints. A pain in your knee can be related to something that’s going wrong in your ankle or heel. Your foot doctor will diagnose and treat symptoms anywhere from your knees down and you shouldn’t hesitate to bring up issues that involve your lower leg as well as your feet during your appointment.
  • Diagnose systemic problems that can affect your whole body. Did you know that several diseases may first show signs in your feet? Arthritis, diabetes and peripheral arterial neuropathy, for example, may be diagnosed through symptoms that show up in your feet. If our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah suspect a disease or other problem they can order the proper testing needed for diagnosis. If a systemic problem is found, the foot doctor can refer you to specialists and also coordinate your care with other physicians.
  • Offer information to help patients be proactive in preventing foot problems. By examining your feet, the podiatrist can give suggestions about shoe design, exercise routines and daily care regimens that can help accommodate any chronic foot conditions you may have and also to help prevent injuries.

Of course, it goes without saying that the foot doctor is here to deal with any pain, discomfort or unusual symptoms that develop in your toes, feet or ankles. When in doubt, don’t wait. It’s better to be reassured that your symptoms are nothing serious rather than wait until a major problem develops. Contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.