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Cromwell, CT 06416

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By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
September 27, 2022
Category: arthritis

Each foot has 26 bones and 33 joints — together, the feet contain more than 25 percent of the bones in your entire body. The lower extremities support us each day in every activity. It is important to pay attention to any pain, swelling, stiffness, or burning in the feet. Arthritis can form anywhere in the feet, but the most common form is osteoarthritis. Getting arthritis can tremendously transform someone’s life, but luckily, through the years, foot care specialists have found ways to treat and prevent the wide range of symptoms that arise from arthritis. 

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Arthritis is a complex disease that encompasses over 100 different disorders. In general terms, arthritis is inflammation and swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints. This is generally accompanied by an increase of fluid in the joints. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between the bones of your feet degrades over time. The cushioning between the bones disappears, and the bones painfully rub against each other. Osteoarthritis usually affects elderly men and women but is more common in women. 

What Causes Arthritis?

The different types of arthritis can be brought on due to:

  • Trauma—to the body or joints
  • Aging— the most common cause of osteoarthritis 
  • Genes—for some patients, arthritis may be hereditary.
  • Infections—viral or bacterial 
  • Occupation—certain work environments that require you to bend or be on your feet for long hours predispose patients to osteoarthritis.
  • Gender—women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis as they age.

Symptoms of Arthritis

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Loss of flexibility or regular movement
  • Grating or rubbing sensation

Diagnosis for Arthritis

For an accurate diagnosis, a podiatrist physician will:

  • Review your complete health history, including your current symptoms 
  • Physically examine the movement of your joints
  • Conduct imaging and lab tests to evaluate joint fluid content

An arthritis diagnosis can be categorized into:

  • Inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Degenerative arthritis, such as osteoarthritis
  • Metabolic arthritis, such as gout
  • Infectious arthritis, in the case of patients with Lyme disease

If you are experiencing discomfort in your feet or ankles, call our Cromwell, Connecticut office at (860)-632-5499 to schedule an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Adam Mucinskas or visit our website for more information. 

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists
April 05, 2021

At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, our Middlesex County patients sometimes come to us because of ongoing stiffness and pain in an ankle. It may also include swelling and even difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot. The first thing our podiatrist, Dr. Adam Mucinskas, will likely want to know is if you recently twisted your ankle or suffered another type of ankle injury. If the answer is “no,” he will examine your ankle and conduct any necessary tests to find the source of your discomfort.

3 possible causes of chronic ankle problems:

  1. Osteochondritis—with this condition, lesions form on the ankle bone, causing pain and stiffness. Osteochondritis can affect patients of any age and often traced back to an old ankle injury. Usually, immobilizing the ankle and foot will allow for healing to occur. You may require surgery for more severe cases to remove loose fragments of bone and cartilage and clean up any defects.
  2. Arthritis—if you’re over 50, there’s an increased risk the stiffness and soreness you are experiencing may be arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the result of wear and tear on your joints that occurs as you age. An injury to the ankle in the past may hasten the development of arthritis in the joint. The podiatrist has many possible avenues to help slow the progression of arthritis and improve your symptoms. Physical therapy, custom orthotics, and anti-inflammatory medications can all help. In addition, eating a nutritious diet low in sugars and processed foods and regularly exercising will also make joints healthier.
  3. Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain—the telltale symptom of this disorder is pain outside the ankle. Although the most common reason for chronic lateral ankle pain is a previous ankle sprain, it can be caused by a fracture in one of the bones in the ankle joint, nerve injury, scar tissue, or an inflamed or torn tendon. The treatment will depend in part on the source of the pain. Once that is determined, the foot doctor may prescribe medication, physical therapy, or bracing the ankle. If there’s a fracture, immobilization may be necessary to allow the break to heal.

If you have persistent ankle pain or other symptoms, contact our Cromwell office call 860-632-5499 for an appointment today.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
September 22, 2020
Category: orthotics
Tags: Plantar Fasciitis   bunions   arthritis  

At Feet First Foot & Ankle Care Specialists, we find many of our Middlesex County patients are surprised when we prescribe a custom orthotic to relieve foot or ankle pain. Orthotics serve three primary functions: changing foot function, protection, or a combination of both. Custom orthotics made from a mold of your unique foot structure treat a wide range of symptoms.

Here are four podiatric disorders that may be helped by custom orthotics:

  1. Diabetes—One of the most significant concerns for patients with diabetes is developing an ulcer or wound on the foot. Poor circulation, which is commonly associated with this disease, can make it difficult to heal a wound on the foot. Serious infections and even amputations can be the result of uncontrolled ulcers. Soft orthotics are made to pad a specific area at risk for developing a wound or sore and showing potential danger signs.

  2. Arthritis—Joint pain and stiffness are the two most frequent symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. An orthotic can help reposition your feet to take the load off of affected joints and make walking and standing more comfortable.

  3. Plantar Fasciitis/Flat Feet—When the arches of your feet collapse or flatten, pain in the arch and the heel often occur. The plantar fascia is a long band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. Lack of arch support puts a strain on the plantar fascia and causes heel pain. Orthotics can be used to add support to the arch of the foot.

  4. Bunions—Although bunions are a progressive deformity, a custom orthotic can help realign the big toe and slow its movement out of proper position. Orthotics can make it more comfortable to wear shoes.

The first step to determining if a custom orthotic will help your foot pain is to make an appointment at our Cromwell office by calling: (860) 632-5499 so that our podiatrist, Dr. Adam Mucinskas, can examine your feet and ankles and diagnose the cause of your podiatric discomfort. The foot doctor will then let you know if a custom orthotic or another treatment method will be best to alleviate your pain.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
October 02, 2019
Category: arthritis

During the month of October, we recognize World Arthritis Day. Here at Feet First Foot Care Specialists, we want patients to realize that arthritis isn’t inevitable and there are steps you can take to reduce symptoms.

There are several misconceptions patients have about arthritis. The first is that arthritis is a single disease. It is actually an umbrella term that includes more than 100 disorders that affect the joints. Another misconception is that arthritis is a natural part of getting older that just has to be accepted. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Although osteoarthritis, the most common type, occurs as joints and cartilage wear down, your lifestyle choices can play a key role in determining whether you develop arthritis and its severity. Some ways to reduce your risk and your symptoms include:

  • Eating a healthy diet. Being overweight dramatically increases your risk of developing arthritis, especially in your feet and ankles. There are 33 joints in your feet, and they carry the weight of your entire body. Excess weight means excess strain and pressure on those joints. You can also help your bones and joints by ensuring you get enough calcium and vitamin D and avoiding fried foods and those high in sugar as these are known to cause joint inflammation.
  • Stay active. Regular exercise, particularly weight-bearing activities like walking, increase joint strength and help you maintain flexibility and full range of motion. You’ll also burn calories which will help keep your weight in check.
  • Be safe. Arthritis often sets in at the site of an old injury. Don’t take unnecessary chances. Practice ladder safety, drive carefully and take precautions to avoid sports injuries to reduce your chances of developing arthritis as you age.

Take Early Action

Recognize the symptoms of arthritis:

  • Joint stiffness, particularly first thing in the morning
  • Pain or tenderness in a joint
  • Limited range of motion
  • Swelling
  • Skin changes such as redness, warmth, rashes or growths

If experience any of these, don’t delay. Make an appointment at our Cromwell office by calling: (860) 632-5499. Our podiatrist, Dr. Adam Mucinskas, will examine your feet and ankles and determine the source of your joint discomfort. Treatment in the early stages of many types of arthritis can significantly slow its progression and increase your mobility.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
September 11, 2019
Category: foot deformities
Tags: corns   calluses   arthritis   Hammertoe   orthotic device  

Do you notice that your second, third or fourth toe appears to be bending at the middle joint? This can be an early sign of a deformity known as hammertoe. At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, we want patients to better understand this condition and the importance of seeking treatment early.

What Causes Hammertoes?

Hammertoes are the result of an abnormality in the balance of the muscles in the toes. Factors that can increase the risk of a hammertoe developing include:

  • Improperly fitting footwear—particularly shoes that are too tight in the toe box
  • Heredity
  • Trauma
  • Arthritis

Treatment Options

As the toe becomes more bent, the pain from walking and pressure from shoes increase. Secondary problems like corns and calluses may also develop on the affected toe. In addition to pain and discomfort, however, an even greater reason to seek treatment is to prevent the toe from becoming permanently rigid in that position. Our podiatrist Dr. Adam Mucinskas will prescribe the treatment that is best for you. Some possibilities for relief include:

  1. Change your shoes—choose footwear made of soft material with roomy toe boxes.
  2. Stretch it out—exercises can be done to stretch the toe and strengthen surrounding muscles.
  3. Add some padding—nonmedicated gel cushions and pads can be applied to ease pain and provide a barrier between your foot and your shoe.
  4. Put it on ice—applying an ice pack to the hammertoe several times a day can reduce inflammation, swelling and pain.
  5. Ditch high heels—get rid of anything over 2-inches high, because they put too much pressure on your toes. Discard styles with narrow, pointy fronts as well.
  6. Tape it up—the foot doctor may use taping to correct the imbalance of the muscles in the toe.
  7. Go custom—an orthotic device prescribed by the podiatrist is made according to a model of your unique foot. The orthotic can help with the muscle imbalance and redistribute weight to relieve pain and inflammation.

A last resort, if conservative measures don’t bring relief, is a surgical procedure to correct the hammertoe.

If you believe you have a hammertoe forming, contact our Cromwell office for an appointment by calling: (860) 632-5499.



 








 

 

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162 West St Ste K
Cromwell, CT 06416