Arthritis and Your Feet

A couple weeks ago on October 12th, the Arizona Institute of Footcare Physicians recognized World Arthritis Day.  While Arthritis Awareness Month is not until May, we would like to share more information on how arthritis affects the feet.

Arthritis, characterized by inflammation and swelling of the soft tissues and lining of the joints, afflicts 50 million Americans. Every joint in the body is susceptible to arthritis, the foot and its composition of 33 joints is a common target.  “Arthritic feet can interfere with active lifestyles, limiting mobility and independence,” says Kerry Zang DPM, a Mesa podiatric surgeon. “The disabling effects of arthritis can often be avoided through early diagnosis and appropriate medical care.” Dr. Zang stresses early diagnosis as key to effective treatment of arthritis. If the inflammation from arthritis isn’t treated, both soft tissue and cartilage can be damaged and destruction of the cartilage may be irreversible.

Arthritic symptoms generally include swelling and pain or tenderness in one or more joints for more than two weeks, redness or heat in a joint, limitation of motion of a joint, early morning stiffness, and skin changes, including rashes. Symptoms do vary according to the form of arthritis and there are more than 100 different forms.

Among the most recognized forms are:

Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease (wear and tear), the most common form which results in lost of cartilage between joints so you feel “bone on bone” crunching and pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis, a complex, chronic inflammatory disease that can be crippling

Gout, a condition caused by elevation of uric acid levels in the joints – sometimes a by-product of diet.

Psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory arthritis associated with psoriasis.

“Most forms of arthritis cannot be cured, but can be controlled and brought into remission,” he says. ” Arthritis treatment involves controlling inflammation and preserving joint function (or restoring it). Surgery is indicated in end-stage arthritic condition,” says Dr. Zang.  Traditional treatment methods include anti-inflammatories, pain medication, shoe inserts called orthotics that help with off-loading the joints affected, and physical therapy and exercise.

In addition to the traditional treatments, Dr. Zang points out that there are new advancements in treatment for arthritis. There has also been preliminary success with different types of injections into the joints to repair the cartilage and joint structures. It is important to coordinate care between the patient’s Rheumatologist or Primary Care Physician and the Specialist.”  Another critical aspect to the treatment of arthritis is patient education and involvement,” says Dr. Zang. “It is so important for patients to be active in their care, patients shouldn’t try to ignore their condition.”

For more information on arthritis, you can visit www.arthritis.org, the website of the Arthritis Foundation.  If you or someone you know are having pain in your feet related to arthritis, please call our office at 480-834-8804 or visit www.azfeet.com.

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Meet Your Feet

Check out this video from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA)!

Your feet are an engineering masterpiece with 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, and tendons the hold the structure together and allow it to move in a variety of ways.

Whether from chronic arthritis or due to a sprained ankle, when your feet hurt, it affects everything you do.  So, why do you want to see a podiatrist for your foot and ankle problems?

The word podiatrist comes from the Greek words “pod” which means “foot” and “iatros” which means “doctor” –therefore podiatrist literally means “doctor of the foot.”

The APMA describes a podiatrist as “a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon, qualified by their education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. Podiatrists are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to treat the foot and ankle based on their education, training and experience.

Podiatrists are defined as physicians by the federal government and in most states. DPMs receive medical education and training comparable to medical doctors, including four years of undergraduate education, four years of graduate education at one of eight accredited podiatric medical colleges and two or three years of hospital residency training. Within the field of podiatry, practitioners can focus on many different specialty areas, including surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics or primary care.”

The eight podiatrists on staff at the Arizona Institute of Footcare Physicians treat all these conditions and more.  Please visit our website at www.azfeet.com to read more about common foot and ankle conditions, the variety of treatments, and to meet the doctors:

Kerry Zang, DPM
Todd Galle, DPM
Kimberly Leach, DPM
Donald Siegel, DPM
Shahram Askari, DPM
Sanford Kaner, DPM
Susan Erredge, DPM
Janna Kroleski, DPM

Spenco Sandal Giveaway!

Starting today, spread the word to your friends and family, and “like” our facebook page to be entered to win a pair of Spenco Sandals! (A $40 value)

  www.facebook.com/azfeet

Spenco Sandals are designed with orthotic-quality arch and heel support.  They have superior impact cushioning and motion control that help reduce pronation and supination.  A top quality sandal that feels great on your feet!  We also sell both the Yumi and Kholo styles in our office.  Ask about them at your next appointment!  We’ll be happy to help fit you in a pair.

The winner will be chosen on January 15, 2012.

World Arthritis Day

Today is World Arthritis Day.  Recognized every year on October 12th, World Arthritis Day aims to raise awareness about arthritis and the 50 million Americans and 300,000 children it affects.  There are more than 100 different types of Arthritis, but the most common form of arthritis is Osteoarthritis.  Also called “degenerative joint disease,” this type of arthritis occurs when cartilage breaks down between the joints.  This can happen gradually as we age, or more quickly because of a serious injury or trauma to a joint.

Arthritis, which literally means “inflammation of the joint”  causes pain and swelling.  Because each foot has 33 joints, feet can be more susceptible to arthritis.  Our feet carry all the forces of our body weight each and every day.  Whether we are walking, running, or standing, our feet help us function everyday; when our feet hurt, it hurts our quality of life.

Learn more about arthritis and your feet today with a great article from the American Podiatric Medical Association. http://www.apma.org/MainMenu/Foot-Health/Foot-Health-Brochures-category/Learn-About-Your-Feet/Arthritis.aspx

If you have arthritis and pain in your feet, please visit our website at www.azfeet.com or call our office at 480-834-8804 and sign up for an appointment with one of our eight physicians today.

Welcome to the Arizona Institute of Footcare Physicians!

Hello!  Welcome to the official blog of the Arizona Institute of Footcare Physicians!  We are excited to launch our social media sites with our blog, facebook, and twitter, (and eventually youtube!)   These sites will provide you with more information about the Arizona Institute of Footcare Physicians, wellness tips for your feet, and tools to better advocate for your health.

Each of our eight physicians is committed to personalized patient care, with specialties in the fields of diabetes, arthritis, sports medicine and surgery.  Upcoming blog posts will spotlight our doctors, the many conditions that can affect the feet, and the latest treatments for common foot and ankle disorders.

We look forward to providing you with the most up to date information, and we hope you will join us!

Be sure to check us out at the following…

facebook.com/azfeet & twitter.com/azfeet

You can always find us at… www.azfeet.com.