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
June 15, 2017
Category: Proper Footwear
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At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we always stress to our patients the importance of good quality, supportive and properly-fitting footwear. Many foot problems can be avoided if patients wear the right shoes for their feet. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah can even offer advice on the best style of shoes to accommodate any issues you currently have with your feet. If you wish to have your feet evaluated, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.

Just for fun, here are some facts about shoes and shoe sizes you may not have known:

  • The first system for measuring shoe size was established in the 1300’s in Britain.
  • Women’s shoes weren’t differentiated from men’s shoes until the 1700’s
  • It wasn’t until 1818 in Philadelphia that left and right shoes were made. Prior to that, shoes for both feet were the same.
  • The oldest preserved shoe is 5,500 years old. It was found in a cave in Armenia.
  • The only shoe museum in North America is located in Toronto. It features shoes spanning 4,500 years.
  • The first sneakers were made in America in 1916.
  • The record for the world’s largest shoe size is held by Matthew McGrory who wears a US size 28.5.
  • The first pair of boots were made for Queen Victoria in 1840.
  • Heels were originally added to Middle Eastern shoes to help get the foot off the burning sand.
  • During year one of a child’s life their feet grow to reach almost half their adult size.
  • By age 12, the foot is about 90% of its adult length.
  • Studies show that 9 out of 10 women are wearing shoes that are too small for their feet.
  • Your feet swell to their largest size at the end of the day—that’s why it’s the best time to go shoe shopping.
  • During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe, heels on shoes were always red.
  • The average foot has gone up 2 shoes sizes in the last 4 decades.
By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
June 08, 2017
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If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail you know that it can be an extremely painful condition. The nail curves down on the side of a toe and literally begins to grow back into the skin surrounding the nail. This usually causes the skin to become red, swollen, warm and painful. Once the nail actually punctures the skin, it creates an entry point for bacteria and an infection may develop as well. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we see many cases of ingrown toenails that could have been prevented or at least stopped before they progressed to an infected state. Unfortunately several myths persist about the cause, treatment and prevention of this common condition. Here’s a few we would like to clear up:

MYTH: Cutting a notch in your toenail will prevent it from becoming ingrown.

TRUTH: Not only does this old wives tale not work, it is likely to result in an injury or infection if you try it. Ditto for shoving a cotton ball under your nail. These types of “bathroom surgeries” are always a bad idea.

MYTH: You don’t need to see the podiatrist for an ingrown toenail. There are over-the-counter treatments for that.

TRUTH: Over the counter treatments for ingrown nails may reduce the pain but they don’t usually cure it. If your nail is not infected (showing pus or any type of drainage), you can try soaking your foot in warm water several times a day and then trying to gently massage the ingrown nail out. If this does not work, however, you should make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office and let one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah treat the toenail.

MYTH: Treatment for an ingrown toenail from the podiatrist is painful.

TRUTH: The treatment is far less painful than the ingrown nail! In severe or chronic cases, the foot doctor will numb the affected toe with a local anesthetic and remove part of the nail border. Patients will usually experience immediate relief. If an infection is present an antibiotic may also be prescribed.

MYTH: Ingrown toenails are inherited—there’s nothing you can do about them.

TRUTH: While for some people the tendency toward ingrown nails is genetic, there are also steps you can take to help reduce the risk. Trimming toenails straight across with no curved edges and wearing shoes that fit properly and don’t squeeze the toes are two ways to help prevent ingrown nails.

If you have an ingrown toenail, stop suffering and contact us for an appointment at: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
June 01, 2017
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Osteoporosis is a disease that affects bone strength. It occurs when your body does not produce enough bone, loses a substantial amount of bone or both. You may be wondering why we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care want to share information about this disease with our patients. It’s because nearly a quarter of all the bones in your body are in your feet! In honor of National Osteoporosis Month, now is an ideal time to spread the word about increasing the strength and health of your bones.

Facts and Figures

Half of all Americans over the age of 50 are at risk of breaking a bone due to osteoporosis or low bone density. In addition to age, other risk factors for osteoporosis are a family history of the disease, being a post-menopausal woman and having a body type that is small and thin.

Be Proactive about Bone Health

The good news about osteoporosis is that there are several ways you can take action now—regardless of how old you are—to help strengthen and protect your bones.

Work it Out—when you are inactive, bone mineral and muscle mass are lost at a very fast rate. Your bone is a living organ and is constantly being renewed. Muscle strengthening exercise (such as weight lifting) and weight bearing exercise (such as brisk walking) provide the tools that help keep bones strong.

Diet Debrief—crash dieting is bad for your bones. Following a diet plan that will help you lose weight gradually or maintain a healthy weight is desirable. It definitely reduces strain on your bones if you are not overweight. Remember to include lots of foods rich in calcium and vitamin D because these are the key nutrients needed for strong bones. In addition to dairy products, look for cereals and juices that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D and add leafy greens such as bok choy, kale and broccoli to your menus as well.

Balancing Act—activities such as Tai-Chi can help increase balance and lessen your risk of falls. Making sure you have properly installed stair rails and keeping pathways in your home clear of clutter are also good ideas.

Talk to Your Foot Doctor—our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah, will be happy to discuss your personal risk factors for osteoporosis and can help you determine if a bone density or other tests are recommended at this time. Contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050 to schedule an appointment.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 25, 2017
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To beat the increasing heat as summer approaches, you decide to move your exercise routine indoors. You start working out on the treadmill but it doesn’t seem very challenging—until you discover the incline programs. You increase the slope and the amount of time you’re walking until you really feel like you’re burning calories. The next day, however, when you get out of bed, you can hardly walk. The area in the back of your lower leg between your heel and your calf is so sore and stiff. If this or a similar scenario sounds familiar, chances are you’ve aggravated your Achilles tendon, a condition patients frequently bring to us at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care.

Inflaming the Tendon

Sudden increase in the intensity or duration of your exercise program or starting a sport or fitness routine too quickly after a period of inactivity are common causes of Achilles tendonitis but there are other causes of this disorder too. The condition of overpronation or flat feet puts excess pressure on the Achilles tendon. In addition, certain gait abnormalities may inflame the Achilles tendon since it is the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the calf muscle and is instrumental in raising your heel off the ground when you walk.

Treatment and Prevention

Our foot and ankle doctors, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will start by examining your foot and ankle and assessing the condition of the Achilles tendon and its range of motion. X-rays or other digital imaging studies may be ordered to help confirm a diagnosis or rule out other causes of pain in this area.

There are several ways to help relieve the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis. First, you will need to stop whatever activity is causing the inflammation and give the tendon a rest. If you are experiencing significant pain, the foot doctor may recommend that you ice the area or take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen. Night splints, custom orthotics and physical therapy are all possible treatment options depending on the cause and severity of your symptoms.

You can help reduce the risk of future episodes of Achilles tendonitis by taking the time to stretch your calf muscles before and after exercising or physical work. Wearing properly fitted shoes that are designed for the activity or sport you are participating in will also help.

If you are experiencing stiffness, tenderness or pain in your Achilles tendon, contact us to make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office by calling: 732-662-3050. 

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