At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know that sometimes patients try to postpone dealing with symptoms in their feet. A change in the way your feet look or feel can be indicative of a developing podiatric problem. In some cases, symptoms in your feet may be early warning signals of disorders that can affect your entire body. Below are some changes that should not be ignored.
Numbness—loss of sensation in your feet can be a sign of nerve damage or neuropathy. The most frequent cause of neuropathy in the feet is diabetes. Changes in sensation can also indicate a circulation problem or heart disease. For all of these disorders, early detection will ensure the best treatment and outcomes. In addition, decreased sensation in your feet can result in a cut, blister, rash, or injury to your foot that may go undetected if you can’t feel the pain. Inspect your feet frequently, top and bottom, if you are experiencing these types of symptoms.
Joint Pain—pain or soreness in the joints of your toes, feet, or ankles, especially if accompanied by stiffness, can be a sign of arthritis. Feet are often one of the first parts of the body to exhibit signs of joint disease due to the heavy amount of usage they get. Arthritis, however, is an overarching term that refers to over 100 disorders that affect the joints. Pain that is focused on the big toe joint, for example, may point to gout—an arthritic condition that can be controlled with medication and by limiting or eliminating certain foods from your diet like red meat, organ meats, red wine, shellfish, and beer. Arthritic joints will eventually lose flexibility and functionality if left untreated. In the early stages of the disease, orthotics, exercise, and modifications to footwear can significantly ease symptoms and slow the progression.
Swelling and Inflammation—the cause of swollen feet can run the gamut from just standing for too long, to an immune system disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis, to a problem in a pregnancy or heart/circulation dysfunction. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will want to know if your swelling is accompanied by a fever or muscle aches and what makes it worse or better.
Don’t put off getting foot symptoms evaluated. Please make an appointment at our Edison (732-204-6630), Monroe (732-204-6802), or Monmouth Junction (732-204-6945) office promptly so the foot doctor can get to the source of your discomfort and start treatment as soon as possible.