Peripheral neuropathy, a condition where nerves in the body's extremities like feet are damaged, is especially prevalent in those over 55 years old. This nerve damage can affect sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves, leading to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, pain, muscle weakness, and balance issues. Early consultation with a podiatrist is important for symptoms such as foot pain or wounds that are not healing, especially in people at high risk, including diabetic patients. Diabetes is the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy, where high blood sugar levels damage nerves. Other causes can include physical injuries, viral infections, medication side effects, and excessive alcohol use. Treatment varies based on the cause and symptoms. Untreated peripheral neuropathy can cause serious complications like foot ulcers, infections, gangrene, and even amputation. It can also cause heart and circulation issues. If you have symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, it is strongly suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an evaluation and treatment.
Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with one of our podiatrists from Manhattan Footcare. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.
Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:
- Sensation loss
- Prickling and tingling sensations
- Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
- Muscle weakness
Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.
To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.
Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.
Painful deformities, such as hammertoes, can be treated. Stop living with foot pain, and have beautiful feet again!
Preventing falls at home is essential for maintaining safety, especially for seniors or those with mobility challenges. You can take several steps to create a safer living environment. Begin by evaluating your home for potential hazards, paying close attention to loose rugs, clutter, and uneven surfaces. Ensure that walkways are clear, and keep frequently used items within easy reach. It is helpful to install handrails and grab bars in critical areas such as bathrooms and staircases that can provide essential support. Having adequate lighting is important so make sure that rooms and hallways are well-lit, with light switches easily accessible. Consider using non-slip mats in the bathroom and kitchen to reduce the risk of slipping. Furniture arrangement also plays a role, and it is beneficial to have it arranged in a style that can create clear pathways and ensure stability. Wearing supportive footwear with non-slip soles is essential, as it can greatly reduce the risk of falls. Additionally, staying physically active and maintaining muscle strength can improve balance and coordination, making falls less likely. Falling can greatly impact the feet, and it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can help you implement successful fall prevention strategies.
Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Manhattan Footcare. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.
Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.
How to Prevent Falls
Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:
- Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
- Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
- Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
- Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
- Utilizing a walker or cane
- Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
- Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness
Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.
Gout is not only about discomfort. If not addressed, especially when it is ongoing, it can evolve into major health challenges over the years. There are formations called tophi, which essentially are hardened clusters of urate crystals. These can emerge in various areas, including the feet. Even though they might not always be painful, neglecting them can harm your bones, cartilage, and joints. With prolonged gout, individuals often experience regular joint inflammation. This consistent swelling, combined with tophi, can result in permanent joint alterations and rigidity. In extreme situations, surgical intervention might be necessary to rectify or even replace damaged joints. Additionally, gout raises the likelihood of kidney stone formation. This happens because urate crystals can accumulate in the urinary system. Over time, if these stones block your kidneys, it can lead to scarring and damage. There's a belief that this kind of kidney damage, if not treated, can progress to chronic kidney ailments. Moreover, the persistent pain due to chronic gout can be mentally taxing. It can hinder daily activities like walking and working, leading to emotional strain. If you have gout, it is strongly suggested that you make a n appointment with a podiatrist to get treatment for this painful affliction before it takes more of a toll on your body and mind.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness, and tenderness in the joints. The condition usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. A gout attack can occur at any random time, such as the middle of the night while you are asleep.
- Intense Joint Pain - Usually around the large joint of your big toe, and it most severe within the first four to twelve hours
- Lingering Discomfort - Joint discomfort may last from a few days to a few weeks
- Inflammation and Redness -Affected joints may become swollen, tender, warm and red
- Limited Range of Motion - May experience a decrease in joint mobility
- Genetics - If family members have gout, you’re more likely to have it
- Medications - Diuretic medications can raise uric acid levels
- Gender/Age - Gout is more common in men until the age of 60. It is believed that estrogen protects women until that point
- Diet - Eating red meat and shellfish increases your risk
- Alcohol - Having more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases your risk
- Obesity - Obese people are at a higher risk for gout
Prior to visiting your podiatrist to receive treatment for gout, there are a few things you should do beforehand. If you have gout you should write down your symptoms--including when they started and how often you experience them, important medical information you may have, and any questions you may have. Writing down these three things will help your podiatrist in assessing your specific situation so that he or she may provide the best route of treatment for you.