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By Dr. Jade Gittens
April 27, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: bunions  

BunionsWhat is a Bunion?

Are you dealing with a bunion? A bunion is a protrusion of the bone at the base of the big toe. While a bunion may seem like a bump, according to the (APMA) American Podiatric Medical Association a bunion is actually the enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe – the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. While bunions are a common foot disorder, it is not something that you should ignore as bunions can cause discomfort and become inflamed if left untreated.
 

What Causes Bunions?

Bunions can be hereditary and aggravated by the shoes you wear, especially high heels or shoes that don’t have enough room for your toes. Certain factors can also contribute to the development of bunions, such as if you have flat feet or low arches or if your feet pronate (when the ankles roll in towards each other during movement and cause excessive and prolonged pressure on the joints in the feet). If you are dealing with bunions, or think that you are, it’s important to seek help from a qualified podiatrist to get the care you need to relieve your pain and discomfort.
 

How a Podiatrist Can Help

Your podiatrist may recommend certain conservative at home steps you can take to minimize the discomfort. The first thing they may recommend is that you look at or change the kind of shoes you wear. It’s important to find shoes that are wide enough to accommodate your toes. Shoes such as high heels are likely to make the problem worse. Bunion pads can also help with your discomfort.
Severe bunion pain can restrict your mobility. Untreated bunions can continue to get worse if you don’t do something about them and can lead to other issues such as calluses and corns, or you may experience pain or redness on the site of the bunion, as well as swelling.
Other treatment options include orthotics or a combination of physical therapy and medication to relieve pressure and inflammation of the bunion. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to resolve the issue.
 

Prevention is Key

We all like to remain active, and oftentimes it is the result of this activity that can make your bunion pain worse. You should visit your podiatrist if you notice any issues so they can be caught and treated as early as possible. Call our office today.
By Dr. Jade Gittens
April 24, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

As the weather begins to warm up and the leaves begin to bloom, you are probably looking forward to switching out your winter boots fortoenail fungus flip-flops and your jeans for shorts. However, as you make the switch from the cold weather months to Spring, you may notice that your toenails look different than you remember from the last time you donned your summer sandals. This could mean that you have toenail fungus, a common condition which grows slowly over time. Find out more about toenail fungus and its treatments with Dr. Jade Gittens in Somerset, NJ.

What is toenail fungus? 
Toenail fungus occurs when the toenail becomes infected, usually via tiny cracks or cuts in the skin around the nail. Since toenail fungus is slow-growing and often does not show any obvious symptoms, patients may not realize that they have this condition. However, understanding the signs and symptoms of toenail fungus can help you identify this condition early before its symptoms become severe.

Do I have toenail fungus? 
One of the earliest signs of toenail fungus is a white or yellow dot on the nail. As the condition progresses, the dot begins to spread and the nail becomes more and more yellowed and oddly shaped. The nail may begin to thicken and become brittle, breaking or chipping easily. Eventually, the nail may become loosened or even separate from the nail bed altogether. In some cases, the fungus spreads to the skin around the toenail.

Preventing Toenail Fungus
Those who have diabetes, a weakened immune system, athlete’s foot, or who have a family history of toenail fungus are more at risk of developing this condition. However, the fungus is spread by direct contact, meaning that keeping your feet clean and dry can help prevent the development of toenail fungus. Always wear shower shoes in public places which tend to be moist or humid, such as public pools or gym locker rooms. Never wear dirty socks and try to change out of sweaty or damp socks as soon as possible.

Treating Toenail Fungus in Somerset, NJ 
Toenail fungus can be very stubborn and take time and patience to treat. Your doctor may recommend topical ointments, powders, or lacquers applied to the nail to help kill off the infection. If these methods do not prove successful, laser treatment or surgery to remove part or all of the nail from the nailed may become necessary.

For more information on toenail fungus, please contact Dr. Gittens in Somerset, NJ. Call 732-412-1282 to schedule your appointment today!

By Dr. Jade Gittens
April 02, 2018
Category: Foot Care

The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body, located in the back of the lower leg and connecting the heel bone to the calf muscle. This tendon is crucial as it facilitates walking and running by helping to raise the heel off of the ground. While the tendon can withstand immense force, it’s also surprisingly vulnerable. Injuries to the Achilles tendon require prompt treatment.  

When the Achilles tendon becomes inflamed from excessive use, tendinitis can weaken it over time and cause small tears. Athletes are at a high risk for Achilles tendon injuries, which often occur at the start of a new exercise or training program, or due to not having enough rest or recovery time.

You don’t have to be an accomplished athlete to suffer an Achilles tendon injury. People with flat feet, arthritis and other foot problems are also more susceptible to develop Achilles tendinitis due to increased demands placed on the tendon when walking.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include:

  • Mild pain after running or exercising that intensifies gradually
  • Localized pain along the tendon, especially after running
  • Tenderness near the heel bone, with pain being worse first thing in the morning
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the lower leg and ankle
  • Swelling around the tendon
  • When the disorder progresses to degeneration, the tendon may become enlarged and develop nodules in the area where the tissue is damaged

Prevention

To prevent injuries to the Achilles tendon, strengthening and stretching the calf muscles through daily exercise is recommended.  Alternating intense exercise with low-impact workouts and wearing proper shoes for your foot type and activity can also help reduce your risk for injury.

Any time you experience pain, tenderness or swelling along the Achilles tendon, visit us for professional diagnosis and treatment. Treatment for an injured Achilles tendon should begin right away with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Without prompt care, Achilles tendinitis will get progressively worse, thus increasing the risk for further deterioration and rupture. As a last resort, surgery may be recommended to repair the tendon.  

Our office can provide the best diagnosis and treatment, for optimal recovery. If you suspect Achilles tendinitis is holding you back, call us today to schedule an appointment, and get on the road to walking with ease again.

By Dr. Jade Gittens
March 21, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Athlete's Foot  

Staying active and working out is a crucial part of keeping your body and mind in top shape. However, this could mean frequenting placesathlete's foot which are conducive to the spread of athlete’s foot. But what is this condition and what does it mean for your feet? Find out more about athlete’s foot with Dr. Jade Gittens in Somerset, NJ.

What is athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin on the feet and between the toes. This condition causes itchy, dry, burning skin which stings and appears scaly. The infection often occurs in individuals who frequently have very sweaty feet in tightly enclosed areas like socks and tight shoes. The infection can occur on one or both feet and can spread to the hands. The infection can also transfer from person to person by direct contact, making it contagious, especially in situations where people share towels, shoes, socks, or walk barefoot on the same floors.

Can I prevent athlete’s foot?
Preventing athlete’s foot is as easy as preventing yourself from coming into contact with the fungus. Though this is difficult when you live in the same house as someone, you can prevent the spread of athlete’s foot to your partner. First, avoid direct contact with risky areas like public pools or locker rooms by ensuring that you always wear shower shoes in these places. Never share towels or socks with other people and always keep your feet clean and dry, taking extra care after engaging in activities which cause heavy perspiration. Use over-the-counter antifungal powders on the feet regularly to further prevent athlete’s foot.

Treating Athlete’s Foot in Somerset, NJ
Treating athlete’s foot often begins with a physical examination during which your doctor can assess your symptoms and make an accurate diagnosis. If athlete’s foot is the problem, they may suggest first using over-the-counter antifungal creams or powders to treat your symptoms. However, prescription-strength versions of these medications may become necessary if the over-the-counter varieties fail to show results. If you think you have athlete’s foot, consult with your foot doctor to determine the best treatment option for you.

For more information on athlete’s foot or preventing its spread, please contact Dr. Jade Gittens at her practice in Somerset, NJ. Call 732-412-1282 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Gittens today!

By Dr. Jade Gittens
March 02, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Aching Feet  

We’ve all been there before - after a long day of work, shopping or a playing sports, your feet ache and you feel as if you couldn’t walk another step from the pain. They might be heavy and swollen, even tight in your shoes, especially as you age. So why do your feet hurt after a long day upright, and when is it time to worry it might be something more than simple strain?

Achy Feet Factors:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Dehydration

Causes of Achy Feet

When you are constantly on your feet, a significant amount of stress is put on your legs and feet. Strenuous walking or standing for long periods has an obvious effect on your feet. Other factors include ill-fitting, poorly padded shoes, tight socks or stockings and tight garters. Reduced blood circulation to the ankles and feet also causes tired aching feet.

Your age and level of dehydration contribute to how achy your feet are after a long day. Poor circulation can also cause foot swelling and, therefor, foot pain.

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Tired, Aching Feet

There are ways to relieve pain associated sore feet and legs.

  1. Elevate your feet for 15-20 minutes.

  2. Soak your feet in warm water with epsom salts, or a warm, wet towel and wrap it around your feet and legs.

  3. Massage your feet or have someone massage your feet for you.

  4. Exercise your feet, as it helps to keep them healthy - it tones muscles, helps to strengthen the arches and stimulates blood circulation.

  5. Wear orthotic insoles in your shoes. Ask your podiatrist if an orthotic device is a good fit for your lifestyle

When foot pain persists, it's important to visit our office for a thorough examination. The cause of your foot pain may be more serious than simple stress and overwork. Your podiatrist can identify serious problems and work with you to determine a treatment plan that will put an end to your tired, achy feet once and for all.





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