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The now 26-year-old The Secret Life of the American Teenager star Megan Park is raising awareness for rheumatoid arthritis through the educational campaign Joint Decisions, having lived with the condition since she was a child. “It’s empowering people who live with RA to share in the healthcare decisions that are going to impact their life and their overall wellbeing,” she explains. Often mistaken as only occurring in the elderly, RA can affect anyone at any age. Painful swelling in the lining of the joints, such as those in the hands and feet, typically occurs.

Understanding where RA starts will help treat and prevent the condition. If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, contact Dr. Bryant A. Tarr, D.P.M. of Sudbury & Westford Podiatry. Dr. Tarr will treat your foot and ankle needs.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the joints. Severe pain and immobility are caused by an inflammation of the lining of your joints, and in worse cases the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone can occur.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Feet

Although RA usually attacks multiple bones and joints throughout the entire body, many cases result in pain in the foot or ankle area. Pain will often initially present in the toes before the condition worsens and spreads throughout the entire foot.

Symptoms

  • Swelling and pain in the feet
  • Stiffness in the feet
  • Pain on the ball or sole of the feet
  • Joint shift and deformation

Diagnosis

Quick diagnosis of RA in the feet is important so that your podiatrist can treat the area effectively. Your doctor may ask you about your medical history and lifestyle to help determine possible causes of your RA.

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no cure for RA, so treatment options are designed to specifically target the symptoms of it, most notably the pain it causes. Two types of anti-inflammatory drugs – non-steroidal or NSAIDs and corticosteroids – may be prescribed by your doctor. In some severe cases where the joints are too badly damaged, surgery may be an option. As always, speak with your podiatrist to help determine the appropriate treatment options available to you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Sudbury and Westford, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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The first time Kathleen Sundbye experienced a gout attack, she had no idea what it was. “The pain was unbearable and seemed to come from the inside out, so I thought that maybe I had a piece of glass lodged in my toe,” the 63-year-old said. It took several unsuccessful tests for conditions such as neuropathy and bursitis before a visit to a foot specialist identified Sundbye’s condition. Gout occurs three to four times more frequently in men than women, creating the misconception that women do not get gout. Due to this perception, gout is often misdiagnosed in women.

Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you have any concerns regarding gout, consult with Dr. Bryant A. Tarr, DPM of Sudbury and Westford Podiatry. Our doctor will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.

People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.

Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Sudbury and Westford, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot ankle injuries.

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Kenton Lee, founder of the nonprofit Because International, and Proof of Concept, an Oregon-based shoe design studio, have developed a pair of sandals that can expand with the use of a strap. The result is a pair of shoes that costs as little as $12 a pair. Coming in two sizes, small and large, the shoes accordingly fit a child’s foot from kindergarten to fourth grade and then fifth grade to ninth grade. The genius lies in the rubber sole that wraps over the toe, which unfurls to expand the toe box and the child grows.

Growing children should wear proper fitting shoes to ensure that their development is not hindered by detrimental foot problems. For more information about proper shoe fitting and its benefits for children, consult with Dr. Bryant A. Tarr, DPM of Sudbury and Westford Podiatry. Our doctor will help you determine the best fit for your children’s feet and provide you with the information to help answer all of your questions.

Proper Shoe Fitting

A common concern when it comes to foot health, having properly fitted shoes can help prevent injuries to the foot. Out feet affect our posture and gait, which in turn affects the biomechanics and overall bodily structure. With 33 joints, 26 bones, and over 100 ligaments, the potential for serious injury is much greater than one realizes. Although the feet cease growth in adulthood, they still change shape as they mature. Here are some factors to consider when it comes to investing in properly fitting shoes:

  • Be sure the shoes fit correctly right away
  • Ensure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest portion of the shoes
  • Even though they may look fashionable, improperly fitting shoes can either create adverse conditions or exacerbate existing ones you may already have
  • Walk along a carpeted surface to ensure the shoes comfortably fit during normal activity

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Sudbury and Westford, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot ankle injuries.

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During a game against the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival lost his balance while skating backward and broke his ankle. According to a statement from the Blackhawks through Dr. Michael Terry, Rozsival suffered a fractured left ankle. The defenseman will require surgery to repair it and is not expected to return to full hockey activity until next season.

To ensure that a broken ankle completely heals, treatment should be sought right away. For assistance, see Dr. Bryant A. Tarr, DPM of Sudbury and Westford Podiatry. Our doctor will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs.

Broken Ankles

The ankle consists of three bones- the tibia, the fibula, and the talus. The tibia and the fibula are the two bones that connect to your knees. They sit directly above the talus bone, which is protected by a fibrous membrane and allows slight movement in the ankle joint. A break usually occurs in one of these bones after the foot is twisted too far, a strong impact like jumping from a great height, or repeated stresses like running.

Diagnosis

If you suffer an ankle injury, it is essential that you receive a correct diagnosis. One of the first signs that the ankle is broken is an inability to put any weight on it. There will often be severe bruising and swelling at the sight of the injury. Your doctor may also order an x-ray be taken to determine the exact location and extent of the injury.

Treatment

Without proper care, a broken ankle may not heal properly and could cause arthritis and instability later in life. Therefore, seeking proper treatment is essential to making a full recovery.

There a number of steps you can take to accelerate the healing process however. Elevating your feet above your head and icing the ankle can reduce pain and swelling.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Sudbury and Westford, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot ankle injuries.

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To fight and raise awareness for arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability, the Arthritis Foundation is holding their 2015 Walk to Cure Arthritis at Montrose Beach. The walk does not only set an example for raising awareness, but for exercising to help manage arthritis. The CDC recommends two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week; this can include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, gardening, or dancing. Another option is an hour and 15 minute vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week; this can include calisthenics, weight training, or working with resistance bands.

The feet are one of the most common sites for arthritis to occur in the body. If you are struggling with arthritis in your feet or ankles, call Dr. Bryant A. Tarr, DPM of Sudbury and Westford Podiatry. Our doctor can examine your lower extremities to help alleviate your joint pain.

Arthritic Foot Care

Arthritis is a joint disorder that involves inflammation of different joints in your body, such as in your feet. Arthritis is often caused by a degenerative joint disease and causes mild to severe pain in all affected areas. On top of this, swelling and stiffness in the affected joints can also be a common symptom of arthritis.

In many cases, wearing ill-fitting shoes can worsen the effects and pain of arthritis. Wearing shoes that have a lower heel and extra room can help your feet feel more comfortable. In cases of rheumatoid arthritis, the arch in your foot may become problematic. Buying shoes with proper arch support that contour to your feet can help immensely.

Alleviating Arthritic Pain

  • Exercises that stretch the foot can prevent further pain and injury and increase mobility
  • Most of the pain can be alleviated with anti-inflammatory drugs, heat, and topical medications
  • Massages can help to temporarily alleviate pain.

It is best to see your doctor for the treatment that is right for your needs and symptoms. Conditions vary, and a podiatrist can help you determine the right method of care for your feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Sudbury and Westford, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot ankle injuries.

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