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Podiatrist - Cromwell
162 West St Ste K
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. 

A disorder at Feet First Foot Care Specialists we see more frequently in our Middlesex County patients at this time of the year is gout. Colder temperatures and festive feasting are partly to blame. That’s because this arthritic condition can be triggered by some foods that are popular during the holidays. Gout occurs when uric acid builds up to excessive levels. If the kidneys do not eliminate it, it can crystalize in one or more joints. It is more likely to crystalize under cold conditions, and that is why gout typically occurs in the big toe. That being the part of the body farthest away from the heart and therefore the coldest.

Common Gout Triggers

There are several potential causes of gout— you can control some, others you cannot.

The conditions of which you likely do not have control, are:

  • Gender—Men are more likely to get gout than women. This condition most commonly strikes men between the ages of 30-50. Women can get gout, too, however. After menopause, their levels of uric acid increase, which is when they are more likely to experience an attack.
  • Family history—Your risk for gout increases if others in your family have had this disease.
  • Injury, and surgery— These too can be potential triggers for a gout attack.

Gout triggers over which you have some control:

  • Diet—Some foods and beverages contain high levels of purines—a chemical that usually occurs in your body. When purines break down, they produce uric acid, hence why eating purine-high foods can trigger an attack of gout. These foods and beverages include shellfish, red meat, organ meats, rich sauces, legumes, drinks sweetened with fructose, beer, brandy, and red wine. Limiting your intake of these items or eliminating ones directly tied to an attack may reduce the risk of gout in the future.
  • Weight—Being overweight causes your body to produce more uric acid making it difficult for your kidneys to excrete the excess. Another way maintaining a healthy weight benefits your feet.
  • Medical conditions—some diseases and disorders increase your chances of developing gout. These include high blood pressure, heart and kidney disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Following your doctor’s treatment instructions for controlling these conditions can help reduce gout risk.
  • Medications—some vitamins and medications can also increase uric acid level. These include anti-rejection drugs given for patients who have had an organ transplant, low-dose aspirin, and some blood pressure medications. You can check with your doctor to see if there are effective alternatives if you are prone to gout.

If you have experienced gout symptoms—excruciating pain in your toe, swelling, redness, and heat surrounding the joint, contact our Cromwell office by calling 860-632-5499. Our podiatrist, Dr. Adam Mucinskas, can determine if you have gout and how to manage it best.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
December 23, 2019
Category: Gout
Tags: gout   toe pain  

Here is a scenario that is not uncommon for us here at Feet First Foot Care Specialists in Middlesex County to see at this time of the year. After a delicious and rich holiday meal of shrimp cocktail followed by roast beef, potatoes in cream sauce and red wine, topped off with a nice glass of brandy, a patient wakes up in the middle of the night with agonizing pain in the big toe joint. This is the calling card of an arthritic condition known as gout. 

What’s Going On?

Gout attacks happen when uric acid builds up in the body and crystallizes in a joint. Uric acid is a byproduct of the breakdown of chemicals called purines which occur naturally in our bodies and in certain foods. In some cases, the body may produce too much uric acid or it may have difficulty eliminating normal amounts from the system. The big toe is the most frequent target of gout because the uric acid crystalizes at cooler temperatures and the toe is the body part that is the coldest, being the farthest from the heart. For some patients the tendency for gout is genetic. There are other risk factors too, however. These include:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Chemotherapy and certain medications
  • Surgery

What Can Be Done?

If it’s your first time having gout, you should contact our Cromwell office for an appointment by calling (860) 632-5499. Our podiatrist Dr. Adam Mucinskas will examine your foot and toe and also get a complete medical history. X-rays or lab tests may be conducted to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms. The foot doctor may recommend that you avoid foods high in purines (shellfish, red meat, red wine, organ meats, and brandy). Drinking plenty of water can help flush excess uric acid from your body. Medications are also available to help prevent future attacks.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
January 07, 2019
Category: general health
Tags: diabetes   nerve damage   gout   neuropathy  

Podiatrists are like the Sherlock Holmes of feet. They check the appearance and condition of your feet to find important clues about your overall health. They can pinpoint serious issues like impaired circulation, lung disease, and dehydration with their podiatry detective tools.

Your feet can show signs of serious health issues

There are some overall health issues that could change the appearance or feel of your feet during a foot exam. This is because circulatory system issues often appear in the extremity that is furthest from your heart: your feet! Here are some issues that could point to serious health problems:

  • Cold feet – hypothyroidism causes your thyroid to underproduce important hormones, which could cause your feet to chill. This might also cause depression, hair loss, and fatigue.
  • Dry, flaky skin – dry skin on the feet could be caused by nerve damage or an allergic reaction.
  • Swelling in the feet and ankles – fluid retention is a common sign of kidney disease.
  • Constant foot or leg cramps – frequent cramps could be from a lack of vital minerals like calcium or potassium, or from dehydration. Try eating a banana daily and make sure you’re getting plenty of fluids.
  • Hairless toes – impaired blood circulation could cause you to lose the hair on your toes.
  • Numbness – needles and pins or numbness in the feet and toes could be neuropathy, which is often linked to diabetes.
  • Red, painful, swollen big toe – Gout is a form of arthritis that results from uric acid buildup. It often causes a painful reaction in your big toe.
  • Clubbed toenails – rounded toenails could be a sign of pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, or lung cancer.
  • Sores that won’t heal – abrasions or ulcers that don’t heal quickly are a common side effect of diabetes.

Are you experiencing any of the above issues? Here at Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC, Dr. Adam Mucinskas can open up his detective’s bag of tools and get to the bottom of what you’re experiencing with your feet. Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment at our conveniently-located office in the Cromwell, Connecticut area: (860) 632-5499.

By Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC
June 06, 2018
Tags: gout   arthritis   osteoporosis  

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 48% of Americans over age 18 suffer from some pain in the musculoskeletal system. That’s nearly half of the adults in this country walking around with pain in bones or muscles!

Pain management is something we talk to patients about here often at Feet First Foot Care Specialists, LLC. It’s no surprise when you look at the foot too! In each of your feet, there are 28 bones, 30 joints, and over 100 muscles. It’s might seem like a tall order to keep all those moving parts healthy, but it just takes a few steps.

We’ve put together the following simple tips to keep your bones and joints healthy and pain-free:

  • Try weight-bearing exercises like lifting weights, jogging, kickboxing, or power walking. Low-impact exercises like swimming can also keep your muscles and joints active.
  • Wear the right gear. Getting the right shoes and protective gear for whatever activity you’re taking on is necessary to keep your body safe.
  • Don’t overdo it. Pain is your body’s way of telling you: “Cut it out!” Pushing past pain, or trying to “walk it off” could result in further injury.
  • Get the proper minerals. Vitamin D and calcium work in tandem to keep your bones healthy. Calcium can be easily attained from dark leafy greens, dairy, and some nuts. Vitamin D helps your bones absorb that necessary calcium, and can be obtained by soaking up the sun or through a vitamin supplement.

Not taking care of your body can have painful recourses. Here are some of the medical conditions that can arise in your foot’s musculoskeletal system.

  • Arthritis – chronic pain in the joints is usually because of arthritis. Common forms of this are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Maintaining healthy joints can help slow the onset of arthritis in some cases.
  • Osteoporosis – osteoporosis makes your bones brittle and weak, which can easily cause fractures. Calcium and vitamin D in the right amounts can help prevent this disease.
  • Gout – if you have high levels of uric acid in your body, it could cause a sudden painful inflammation of the joints in your big toe. This condition is often caused by eating too many foods high in a substance called purines.

If you are suffering from pain in your joints, muscles, or any other part of your feet or ankles, it’s time to make an appointment with us. Dr. Adam Mucinskas offers state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment at his office here in Cromwell, CT. Request an appointment online or call us at (860) 632-5499.



 








 

 

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162 West St Ste K
Cromwell, CT 06416