Tag Archives: Arthritis

Straight, No Chaser: Arthritis – Response to Reader Question

 knucklescrack

 

Does joint cracking cause Arthrtis?

I actually understand the question. You would think all that snap, knuckle and pop would represent bad things happening to your bones, and over time, it could cause damage to the joints. Fortunately this isn’t what is happening.
Basically manipulation of the joint space when you’re attempting to crack your knuckles or other joints creates a vacuum within the (synovial) fluid that bathes the joint. The air within that vacuum can result in the characteristic popping sounds you hear when further manipulation occurs, disrupting that air pocket. In other instances, popping sounds from the joints can be the result of the snapping of tendons. This latter consideration is more likely as you age, with narrowing of joint spaces and stiffening of tendons that already occur.

knucklespop

Here’s what you need to be concerned about: pain when your knuckles pop. Generally, the absence of pain suggests that you’re not harming anything of note. Conversely, the presence of pain suggests a problem potentially exists that requires evaluation. These problems could represent the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis: inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sac that cushions bone as they move across other moving body parts, such as muscles, skin or tendons
  • Tendonitis: inflammation of the tissue that connects muscle to bone

knucklepop

So regarding the question of does cracking your knuckles cause arthritis, it’s a pretty simple “no.” With any luck, you’ll just have to wait to age for that to happen!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

 

footproblems

We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom up because so much weight is placed on your feet (no pun intended). Also, many people take their feet for granted and allow different types of conditions to progress before doing anything about them.
Today’s blog, done in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association, aims to give you a working knowledge of conditions that affect your feet. Over the next few weeks, please use the posts on some of the individual topics mentioned below as a starting point for understanding various entities, conditions and diseases that relate to your feet.

Arthritis

rheumatoid-arthritisfeet

Arthritis is inflammation of your joints, which are the spaces where various bones meet. The inflammation typically leads to pain, swelling, warmth and redness. As we age or as disease strikes, we are even more subject to arthritis in our feet, in the same way other joints are affected, because each foot has nearly three-dozen joints (33 to be exact). Straight, No Chaser has previously addressed the treatment of arthritis here.

Bone Spurs

 heel-bone-spur

Osteophytes (aka bone spurs) are bony projections that extend along the edges of bones. The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).

Cardiovascular Disease

Pvdfeet

High Blood Pressure Your feet are especially susceptible to the effects of hypertension (aka high blood pressure), because they represent the most distant point from your heart. As your heart’s function worsens–a manifestation of hypertension–your feet suffer from the effects of poor circulation (e.g., receiving suboptimal amounts of the oxygen and nutrients supplied by healthy blood). Check here for the Straight, No Chaser review of high blood pressure.
Peripheral Arterial Disease When fatty deposits (i.e., plaques) partially or completely block our arteries, the blood supply to various organs is compromised. This becomes even worse as the arteries become hardened with prolonged exposure. With the feet’s location being as far from the heart as it is, they are at higher risk.

Diabetes

Diabetic Wound Care

DM foot ulcer

We have described diabetic foot ulcers here in Straight, No Chaser. You must be aware of the risks of losing limbs if you’re diabetic, as this occurs in approximately 15% of diabetics.
Diabetic (Peripheral) Neuropathy 
The effects of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include damage of our peripheral nerves, called peripheral neuropathy. This phenomenon is most prevalent in the fingers and toes.

Foot & Ankle Injuries

Sprains, Strains & Fractures
 These injuries compromise the ability of the feet to support and move the body.

calcaneal fracture

  • A sprain is an injury to the soft tissue of a structure such as the foot.
  • A strain (aka a pulled muscle) is an injury that results from excessive stretching and/or tearing of a structure’s supportive muscles.
  • A fracture is a disruption (e.g., break) in a bone.

Muscle & Tendon Problems

Haglund’s Deformity 

HaglundsDeformity


If you’ve ever heard the term “pump bump,” you know what Haglund’s Deformity is. This bony enlargement on the back of the heel often occurs in women who wear pumps. 
Heel Pain 
The heel bone (the calcaneus) is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. Due to size and stress, it is especially susceptible to injury.
Tendinitis 
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon prior to its disruption and represents one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.
Plantar fasciitis

Plantar_Fasciitis1

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. This occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. Plantar fasciitis is usually quite painful, and that pain makes walking difficult.

Skin Disorders

Athlete’s Foot 

toes+athletes+foot


This fungal infection is the result of conditions favorable to fungal growth: dark, warm and humid conditions. It itches and hurts, but treatment is readily available when preventative measures don’t control it.
Corns and Calluses

cornscalluses

Irritation to a part of the foot will prompt the body to form thicker skin to prevent irritation and injury. These present as corns and calluses.
Psoriasis 
psoriasis
We have discussed 
psoriasis here in Straight, No Chaser. It represents abnormally rapid production and replacement of skin cells. This causes a build up of dead cells on the surface that is recognized as scaly, dry and silver patches.
Skin Cancers of the Feet
 Although more common on exposed areas of the body, skin cancer can develop anywhere, including on the feet. Skin cancers of the feet tend to present as recurrent cracking, bleeding or ulceration more so than with pain.
Sweaty Feet 
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. This often presents on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
Warts 
Planters Warts
When warts present on the feet, they tend to be painful. These are fleshy manifestations of a virus infection.

Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders

bunion

Bunions
 Bunions occur at the base of the great toe and is an enlargement of the joint that forms when the bone or tissue actually moves out of place.

Hammer-Toe-3

Hammer Toes
 A hammer toe is a bending (contracture) of the toe at its first joint, (i.e., the proximal interphalangeal joint). This produces an appearance of an upside-down V.

Neuroma

Neuromas
 A neuroma (aka “pinched nerve”) is a non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue, most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th toes (the two next to your pinkie toes). Given that this involves growth of nerve tissue, it shouldn’t surprise you that neuromas are painful.

Toenail Problems

ingrown_toenail

Ingrown Toenails   Ingrown toenails represent the most common nail impairment and involve a condition when the corners of the nail dig painfully into your soft tissue, producing signs of infection and inflammation.

toenail-fungus

Toenail Fungus
 When you notice an ongoing change in the color and quality of your toenails, you should suspect toenail fungus. These infections occur under the nail’s surface and require antifungal medications.

Treatment Terms

orthotics

Shoe Inserts Inserts are simply foot supports that are placed inside your shoes. Shoe inserts don’t require a prescription.
Orthotics
 Orthotics are typically custom-designed and prescribed devices designed to support and comfort your feet.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser Reader Submission: Does Joint Cracking Cause Arthritis?

 knucklescrack

I actually understand the question. You would think all that snap, knuckle and pop would represent bad things happening to your bones, and over time, it could cause damage to the joints. Fortunately this isn’t what is happening.
Basically manipulation of the joint space when you’re attempting to crack your knuckles or other joints creates a vacuum within the (synovial) fluid that bathes the joint. The air within that vacuum can result in the characteristic popping sounds you hear when further manipulation occurs, disrupting that air pocket. In other instances, popping sounds from the joints can be the result of the snapping of tendons. This latter consideration is more likely as you age, with narrowing of joint spaces and stiffening of tendons that already occur.

knucklespop

Here’s what you need to be concern about: pain when your knuckles pop. Generally, the absence of pain suggests that you’re not harming anything of note. Conversely, the presence of pain suggests a problem potentially exists that requires evaluation. These problems could represent the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis: inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sac that cushions bone as they move across other moving body parts, such as muscles, skin or tendons
  • Tendonitis: inflammation of the tissue that connects muscle to bone

knucklepop

So regarding the question of does cracking your knuckles cause arthritis, it’s a pretty simple “no.” With any luck, you’ll just have to wait to age for that to happen!
 
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

footproblems

We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom up because so much weight is placed on your feet (no pun intended). Also, many people take their feet for granted and allow different types of conditions to progress before doing anything about them.
Today’s blog, done in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association, aims to give you a working knowledge of conditions that affect your feet. Over the next few weeks, please use the posts on some of the individual topics mentioned below as a starting point for understanding various entities, conditions and diseases that relate to your feet.

Arthritis

rheumatoid-arthritisfeet

Arthritis is inflammation of your joints, which are the spaces where various bones meet. The inflammation typically leads to pain, swelling, warmth and redness. As we age or as disease strikes, we are even more subject to arthritis in our feet, in the same way other joints are affected, because each foot has nearly three-dozen joints (33 to be exact). Straight, No Chaser has previously addressed the treatment of arthritis here.

Bone Spurs

 heel-bone-spur

Osteophytes (aka bone spurs) are bony projections that extend along the edges of bones. The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).

Cardiovascular Disease

Pvdfeet

High Blood Pressure Your feet are especially susceptible to the effects of hypertension (aka high blood pressure), because they represent the most distant point from your heart. As your heart’s function worsens–a manifestation of hypertension–your feet suffer from the effects of poor circulation (e.g., receiving suboptimal amounts of the oxygen and nutrients supplied by healthy blood). Check here for the Straight, No Chaser review of high blood pressure.
Peripheral Arterial Disease When fatty deposits (i.e., plaques) partially or completely block our arteries, the blood supply to various organs is compromised. This becomes even worse as the arteries become hardened with prolonged exposure. With the feet’s location being as far from the heart as it is, they are at higher risk.

Diabetes

Diabetic Wound Care

DM foot ulcer

We have described diabetic foot ulcers here in Straight, No Chaser. You must be aware of the risks of losing limbs if you’re diabetic, as this occurs in approximately 15% of diabetics.
Diabetic (Peripheral) Neuropathy 
The effects of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include damage of our peripheral nerves, called peripheral neuropathy. This phenomenon is most prevalent in the fingers and toes.

Foot & Ankle Injuries

Sprains, Strains & Fractures
 These injuries compromise the ability of the feet to support and move the body.

calcaneal fracture

  • A sprain is an injury to the soft tissue of a structure such as the foot.
  • A strain (aka a pulled muscle) is an injury that results from excessive stretching and/or tearing of a structure’s supportive muscles.
  • A fracture is a disruption (e.g., break) in a bone.

Muscle & Tendon Problems

Haglund’s Deformity 

HaglundsDeformity


If you’ve ever heard the term “pump bump,” you know what Haglund’s Deformity is. This bony enlargement on the back of the heel often occurs in women who wear pumps. 
Heel Pain 
The heel bone (the calcaneus) is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. Due to size and stress, it is especially susceptible to injury.
Tendinitis 
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon prior to its disruption and represents one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.
Plantar fasciitis

Plantar_Fasciitis1

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. This occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. Plantar fasciitis is usually quite painful, and that pain makes walking difficult.

Skin Disorders

Athlete’s Foot 

toes+athletes+foot


This fungal infection is the result of conditions favorable to fungal growth: dark, warm and humid conditions. It itches and hurts, but treatment is readily available when preventative measures don’t control it.
Corns and Calluses

cornscalluses

Irritation to a part of the foot will prompt the body to form thicker skin to prevent irritation and injury. These present as corns and calluses.
Psoriasis 
psoriasis
We have discussed 
psoriasis here in Straight, No Chaser. It represents abnormally rapid production and replacement of skin cells. This causes a build up of dead cells on the surface that is recognized as scaly, dry and silver patches.
Skin Cancers of the Feet
 Although more common on exposed areas of the body, skin cancer can develop anywhere, including on the feet. Skin cancers of the feet tend to present as recurrent cracking, bleeding or ulceration more so than with pain.
Sweaty Feet 
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. This often presents on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
Warts 
Planters Warts
When warts present on the feet, they tend to be painful. These are fleshy manifestations of a virus infection.

Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders

bunion

Bunions
 Bunions occur at the base of the great toe and is an enlargement of the joint that forms when the bone or tissue actually moves out of place.

Hammer-Toe-3

Hammer Toes
 A hammer toe is a bending (contracture) of the toe at its first joint, (i.e., the proximal interphalangeal joint). This produces an appearance of an upside-down V.

Neuroma

Neuromas
 A neuroma (aka “pinched nerve”) is a non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue, most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th toes (the two next to your pinkie toes). Given that this involves growth of nerve tissue, it shouldn’t surprise you that neuromas are painful.

Toenail Problems

ingrown_toenail

Ingrown Toenails   Ingrown toenails represent the most common nail impairment and involve a condition when the corners of the nail dig painfully into your soft tissue, producing signs of infection and inflammation.

toenail-fungus

Toenail Fungus
 When you notice an ongoing change in the color and quality of your toenails, you should suspect toenail fungus. These infections occur under the nail’s surface and require antifungal medications.

Treatment Terms

orthotics

Shoe Inserts Inserts are simply foot supports that are placed inside your shoes. Shoe inserts don’t require a prescription.
Orthotics
 Orthotics are typically custom-designed and prescribed devices designed to support and comfort your feet.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser Reader Submission: Does Joint Cracking Cause Arthritis?

 knucklescrack

I actually understand the question. You would think all that snap, knuckle and pop would represent bad things happening to your bones, and over time, it could cause damage to the joints. Fortunately this isn’t what is happening.
Basically manipulation of the joint space when you’re attempting to crack your knuckles or other joints creates a vacuum within the (synovial) fluid that bathes the joint. The air within that vacuum can result in the characteristic popping sounds you hear when further manipulation occurs, disrupting that air pocket. In other instances, popping sounds from the joints can be the result of the snapping of tendons. This latter consideration is more likely as you age, with narrowing of joint spaces and stiffening of tendons that already occur.

knucklespop

Here’s what you need to be concern about: pain when your knuckles pop. Generally, the absence of pain suggests that you’re not harming anything of note. Conversely, the presence of pain suggests a problem potentially exists that requires evaluation. These problems could represent the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis: inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sac that cushions bone as they move across other moving body parts, such as muscles, skin or tendons
  • Tendonitis: inflammation of the tissue that connects muscle to bone

knucklepop

So regarding the question of does cracking your knuckles cause arthritis, it’s a pretty simple “no.” With any luck, you’ll just have to wait to age for that to happen!
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

footproblems

We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom up because so much weight is placed on your feet (no pun intended). Also, many people take their feet for granted and allow different types of conditions to progress before doing anything about them.
Today’s blog, done in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association, aims to give you a working knowledge of conditions that affect your feet. Over the next few weeks, please use the posts on some of the individual topics mentioned below as a starting point for understanding various entities, conditions and diseases that relate to your feet.

Arthritis

rheumatoid-arthritisfeet

Arthritis is inflammation of your joints, which are the spaces where various bones meet. The inflammation typically leads to pain, swelling, warmth and redness. As we age or as disease strikes, we are even more subject to arthritis in our feet, in the same way other joints are affected, because each foot has nearly three-dozen joints (33 to be exact). Straight, No Chaser has previously addressed the treatment of arthritis here.

Bone Spurs

 heel-bone-spur

Osteophytes (aka bone spurs) are bony projections that extend along the edges of bones. The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).

Cardiovascular Disease

Pvdfeet

High Blood Pressure Your feet are especially susceptible to the effects of hypertension (aka high blood pressure), because they represent the most distant point from your heart. As your heart’s function worsens–a manifestation of hypertension–your feet suffer from the effects of poor circulation (e.g., receiving suboptimal amounts of the oxygen and nutrients supplied by healthy blood). Check here for the Straight, No Chaser review of high blood pressure.
Peripheral Arterial Disease When fatty deposits (i.e., plaques) partially or completely block our arteries, the blood supply to various organs is compromised. This becomes even worse as the arteries become hardened with prolonged exposure. With the feet’s location being as far from the heart as it is, they are at higher risk.

Diabetes

Diabetic Wound Care

DM foot ulcer

We have described diabetic foot ulcers here in Straight, No Chaser. You must be aware of the risks of losing limbs if you’re diabetic, as this occurs in approximately 15% of diabetics.
Diabetic (Peripheral) Neuropathy 
The effects of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include damage of our peripheral nerves, called peripheral neuropathy. This phenomenon is most prevalent in the fingers and toes.

Foot & Ankle Injuries

Sprains, Strains & Fractures
 These injuries compromise the ability of the feet to support and move the body.

calcaneal fracture

  • A sprain is an injury to the soft tissue of a structure such as the foot.
  • A strain (aka a pulled muscle) is an injury that results from excessive stretching and/or tearing of a structure’s supportive muscles.
  • A fracture is a disruption (e.g., break) in a bone.

Muscle & Tendon Problems

Haglund’s Deformity 

HaglundsDeformity


If you’ve ever heard the term “pump bump,” you know what Haglund’s Deformity is. This bony enlargement on the back of the heel often occurs in women who wear pumps. 
Heel Pain 
The heel bone (the calcaneus) is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. Due to size and stress, it is especially susceptible to injury.
Tendinitis 
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon prior to its disruption and represents one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.
Plantar fasciitis

Plantar_Fasciitis1

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. This occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. Plantar fasciitis is usually quite painful, and that pain makes walking difficult.

Skin Disorders

Athlete’s Foot 

toes+athletes+foot


This fungal infection is the result of conditions favorable to fungal growth: dark, warm and humid conditions. It itches and hurts, but treatment is readily available when preventative measures don’t control it.
Corns and Calluses

cornscalluses

Irritation to a part of the foot will prompt the body to form thicker skin to prevent irritation and injury. These present as corns and calluses.
Psoriasis 
psoriasis
We have discussed 
psoriasis here in Straight, No Chaser. It represents abnormally rapid production and replacement of skin cells. This causes a build up of dead cells on the surface that is recognized as scaly, dry and silver patches.
Skin Cancers of the Feet
 Although more common on exposed areas of the body, skin cancer can develop anywhere, including on the feet. Skin cancers of the feet tend to present as recurrent cracking, bleeding or ulceration more so than with pain.
Sweaty Feet 
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. This often presents on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
Warts 
Planters Warts
When warts present on the feet, they tend to be painful. These are fleshy manifestations of a virus infection.

Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders

bunion

Bunions
 Bunions occur at the base of the great toe and is an enlargement of the joint that forms when the bone or tissue actually moves out of place.

Hammer-Toe-3

Hammer Toes
 A hammer toe is a bending (contracture) of the toe at its first joint, (i.e., the proximal interphalangeal joint). This produces an appearance of an upside-down V.

Neuroma

Neuromas
 A neuroma (aka “pinched nerve”) is a non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue, most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th toes (the two next to your pinkie toes). Given that this involves growth of nerve tissue, it shouldn’t surprise you that neuromas are painful.

Toenail Problems

ingrown_toenail

Ingrown Toenails   Ingrown toenails represent the most common nail impairment and involve a condition when the corners of the nail dig painfully into your soft tissue, producing signs of infection and inflammation.

toenail-fungus

Toenail Fungus
 When you notice an ongoing change in the color and quality of your toenails, you should suspect toenail fungus. These infections occur under the nail’s surface and require antifungal medications.

Treatment Terms

orthotics

Shoe Inserts Inserts are simply foot supports that are placed inside your shoes. Shoe inserts don’t require a prescription.
Orthotics
 Orthotics are typically custom-designed and prescribed devices designed to support and comfort your feet.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser Reader Submission: Does Joint Cracking Cause Arthritis?

 knucklescrack

I actually understand the question. You would think all that snap, knuckle and pop would represent bad things happening to your bones, and over time, it could cause damage to the joints. Fortunately this isn’t what is happening.
Basically manipulation of the joint space when you’re attempting to crack your knuckles or other joints creates a vacuum within the (synovial) fluid that bathes the joint. The air within that vacuum can result in the characteristic popping sounds you hear when further manipulation occurs, disrupting that air pocket. In other instances, popping sounds from the joints can be the result of the snapping of tendons. This latter consideration is more likely as you age, with narrowing of joint spaces and stiffening of tendons that already occur.

knucklespop

Here’s what you need to be concern about: pain when your knuckles pop. Generally, the absence of pain suggests that you’re not harming anything of note. Conversely, the presence of pain suggests a problem potentially exists that requires evaluation. These problems could represent the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis: inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sac that cushions bone as they move across other moving body parts, such as muscles, skin or tendons
  • Tendonitis: inflammation of the tissue that connects muscle to bone

knucklepop

So regarding the question of does cracking your knuckles cause arthritis, it’s a pretty simple “no.” With any luck, you’ll just have to wait to age for that to happen!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC
 

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom up because so much weight is placed on your feet (no pun intended). Also, many people take their feet for granted and allow different types of conditions to progress before doing anything about them.
Today’s blog, done in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association, aims to give you a working knowledge of conditions that affect your feet. Over the next few weeks, please use the posts on some of the individual topics mentioned below as a starting point for understanding various entities, conditions and diseases that relate to your feet.

Arthritis

rheumatoid-arthritisfeet

Arthritis is inflammation of your joints, which are the spaces where various bones meet. The inflammation typically leads to pain, swelling, warmth and redness. As we age or as disease strikes, we are even more subject to arthritis in our feet, in the same way other joints are affected, because each foot has nearly three-dozen joints (33 to be exact). Straight, No Chaser has previously addressed the treatment of arthritis here.

Bone Spurs

 heel-bone-spur

Osteophytes (aka bone spurs) are bony projections that extend along the edges of bones. The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).

Cardiovascular Disease

Pvdfeet

High Blood Pressure Your feet are especially susceptible to the effects of hypertension (aka high blood pressure), because they represent the most distant point from your heart. As your heart’s function worsens–a manifestation of hypertension–your feet suffer from the effects of poor circulation (e.g., receiving suboptimal amounts of the oxygen and nutrients supplied by healthy blood). Check here for the Straight, No Chaser review of high blood pressure.
Peripheral Arterial Disease When fatty deposits (i.e., plaques) partially or completely block our arteries, the blood supply to various organs is compromised. This becomes even worse as the arteries become hardened with prolonged exposure. With the feet’s location being as far from the heart as it is, they are at higher risk.

Diabetes

Diabetic Wound Care

DM foot ulcer

We have described diabetic foot ulcers here in Straight, No Chaser. You must be aware of the risks of losing limbs if you’re diabetic, as this occurs in approximately 15% of diabetics.
Diabetic (Peripheral) Neuropathy 
The effects of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include damage of our peripheral nerves, called peripheral neuropathy. This phenomenon is most prevalent in the fingers and toes.

Foot & Ankle Injuries

Sprains, Strains & Fractures
 These injuries compromise the ability of the feet to support and move the body.

calcaneal fracture

  • A sprain is an injury to the soft tissue of a structure such as the foot.
  • A strain (aka a pulled muscle) is an injury that results from excessive stretching and/or tearing of a structure’s supportive muscles.
  • A fracture is a disruption (e.g., break) in a bone.

Muscle & Tendon Problems

Haglund’s Deformity 

HaglundsDeformity


If you’ve ever heard the term “pump bump,” you know what Haglund’s Deformity is. This bony enlargement on the back of the heel often occurs in women who wear pumps. 
Heel Pain 
The heel bone (the calcaneus) is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. Due to size and stress, it is especially susceptible to injury.
Tendinitis 
Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon prior to its disruption and represents one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.
Plantar fasciitis

Plantar_Fasciitis1

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. This occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. Plantar fasciitis is usually quite painful, and that pain makes walking difficult.

Skin Disorders

Athlete’s Foot 

toes+athletes+foot


This fungal infection is the result of conditions favorable to fungal growth: dark, warm and humid conditions. It itches and hurts, but treatment is readily available when preventative measures don’t control it.
Corns and Calluses

cornscalluses

Irritation to a part of the foot will prompt the body to form thicker skin to prevent irritation and injury. These present as corns and calluses.

Psoriasis 
psoriasis
We have discussed 
psoriasis here in Straight, No Chaser. It represents abnormally rapid production and replacement of skin cells. This causes a build up of dead cells on the surface that is recognized as scaly, dry and silver patches.
Skin Cancers of the Feet
 Although more common on exposed areas of the body, skin cancer can develop anywhere, including on the feet. Skin cancers of the feet tend to present as recurrent cracking, bleeding or ulceration more so than with pain.
Sweaty Feet 
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. This often presents on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
Warts 
Planters Warts
When warts present on the feet, they tend to be painful. These are fleshy manifestations of a virus infection.

Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders

bunion

Bunions
 Bunions occur at the base of the great toe and is an enlargement of the joint that forms when the bone or tissue actually moves out of place.

Hammer-Toe-3

Hammer Toes
 A hammer toe is a bending (contracture) of the toe at its first joint, (i.e., the proximal interphalangeal joint). This produces an appearance of an upside-down V.

Neuroma

Neuromas
 A neuroma (aka “pinched nerve”) is a non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue, most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th toes (the two next to your pinkie toes). Given that this involves growth of nerve tissue, it shouldn’t surprise you that neuromas are painful.

Toenail Problems

ingrown_toenail

Ingrown Toenails   Ingrown toenails represent the most common nail impairment and involve a condition when the corners of the nail dig painfully into your soft tissue, producing signs of infection and inflammation.

toenail-fungus

Toenail Fungus
 When you notice an ongoing change in the color and quality of your toenails, you should suspect toenail fungus. These infections occur under the nail’s surface and require antifungal medications.

Treatment Terms

orthotics

Shoe Inserts Inserts are simply foot supports that are placed inside your shoes. Shoe inserts don’t require a prescription.
Orthotics
 Orthotics are typically custom-designed and prescribed devices designed to support and comfort your feet.
Feel free to ask your SMA personal healthcare consultant any questions you have on this topic.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom up because so much weight is placed on your feet (no pun intended). Also, many people take their feet for granted and allow different types of conditions to progress before doing anything about them.

Today’s blog, done in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association, aims to give you a working knowledge of conditions that affect your feet. Please use the posts over the next few weeks as a starting point for understanding various entities, conditions and diseases that relate to your feet. Once you finish this blog, you may want to review the past Straight, No Chaser post on the maintenance of healthy feet.

Arthritis

rheumatoid-arthritisfeet

Arthritis Arthritis is inflammation of your joints, which are the spaces where various bones meet. The inflammation typically leads to pain, swelling, warmth and redness. As we age or as disease strikes, we are even more subject to arthritis in our feet, in the same way other joints are affected, because each foot has nearly three-dozen joints (33 to be exact). Straight, No Chaser has previously addressed the treatment of arthritis here.

heel-bone-spur

Bone Spurs Osteophytes (aka bone spurs) are bony projections that extend along the edges of bones. The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease).

Cardiovascular Disease

Pvdfeet

High Blood Pressure Your feet are especially susceptible to the effects of hypertension (aka high blood pressure), because they represent the most distant point from your heart. As your heart’s function worsens–a manifestation of hypertension–your feet suffer from the effects of poor circulation (e.g., receiving suboptimal amounts of the oxygen and nutrients supplied by healthy blood). Check here for the Straight, No Chaser review of high blood pressure.

Peripheral Arterial Disease When fatty deposits (i.e., plaques) partially or completely block our arteries, the blood supply to various organs is compromised. This becomes even worse as the arteries become hardened with prolonged exposure. With the feet’s location being as far from the heart as it is, they are at higher risk.

Diabetes

DM foot ulcer

Diabetic Wound Care We have described diabetic foot ulcers here in Straight, No Chaser. You must be aware of the risks of losing limbs if you’re diabetic, as this occurs in approximately 15% of diabetics.

Diabetic (Peripheral) Neuropathy 
The effects of high blood glucose (sugar) levels include damage of our peripheral nerves, called peripheral neuropathy. This phenomenon is most prevalent in the fingers and toes.

Foot & Ankle Injuries

calcaneal fracture

Sprains, Strains & Fractures
 These injuries compromise the ability of the feet to support and move the body.

  • A sprain is an injury to the soft tissue of a structure such as the foot.
  • A strain (aka a pulled muscle) is an injury that results from excessive stretching and/or tearing of a structure’s supportive muscles.
  • A fracture is a disruption (e.g., break) in a bone.

Muscle & Tendon Problems

HaglundsDeformity

Haglund’s Deformity 
If you’ve ever heard the term “pump bump,” you know what Haglund’s Deformity is. This bony enlargement on the back of the heel often occurs in women who wear pumps. 

Heel Pain 
The heel bone (the calcaneus) is the largest of the 26 bones in the human foot. Due to size and stress, it is especially susceptible to injury.

Tendinitis 
We have previously discussed disruption to the Achilles tendon. Tendinitis is the inflammation of a tendon prior to that disruption and represents one of the most common causes of foot or ankle pain.

Plantar_Fasciitis1

Plantar fasciitis Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. This occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. Plantar fasciitis is usually quite painful, and that pain makes walking difficult.

Skin Disorders

toes+athletes+foot

Athlete’s Foot 
This fungal infection is the result of conditions favorable to fungal growth: dark, warm and humid conditions. It itches and hurts, but treatment is readily available when
preventative measures don’t control it.

cornscalluses

Corns and Calluses
 Irritation to a part of the foot will prompt the body to form thicker skin to prevent irritation and injury. These present as corns and calluses.

psoriasis

Psoriasis We have discussed 
psoriasis here in Straight, No Chaser. It represents abnormally rapid production and replacement of skin cells. This causes a build up of dead cells on the surface that is recognized as scaly, dry and silver patches.

Skin Cancers of the Feet
 Although more common on exposed areas of the body, skin cancer can develop anywhere, including on the feet. Skin cancers of the feet tend to present as recurrent cracking, bleeding or ulceration more so than with pain.

Sweaty Feet 
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. This often presents on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

Planters Warts

Warts 
When warts present on the feet, they tend to be painful. These are fleshy manifestations of a virus infection.

Toe Joint & Nerve Disorders

bunion

Bunions
 Bunions occur at the base of the great toe and is an enlargement of the joint that forms when the bone or tissue actually moves out of place.

Hammer-Toe-3

Hammer Toes
 A hammer toe is a bending (contracture) of the toe at its first joint, (i.e., the proximal interphalangeal joint). This produces an appearance of an upside-down V.

Neuroma

Neuromas
 A neuroma (aka “pinched nerve”) is a non-cancerous growth of nerve tissue, most commonly located between the 3rd and 4th toes (the two next to your pinkie toes). Given that this involves growth of nerve tissue, it shouldn’t surprise you that neuromas are painful.

Toenail Problems

ingrown_toenail

Ingrown Toenails  We discussed 
ingrown toenails in Straight, No Chaser. They represent the most common nail impairment and involve a condition when the corners of the nail dig painfully into your soft tissue, producing signs of infection and inflammation.

toenail-fungus

Toenail Fungus
 When you notice an ongoing change in the color and quality of your toenails, you should suspect toenail fungus. These infections occur under the nail’s surface and require antifungal medications.

Treatment Terms

orthotics

Shoe Inserts Inserts are simply foot supports that are placed inside your shoes. Shoe inserts don’t require a prescription.

Orthotics
 Orthotics are typically custom-designed and prescribed devices designed to support and comfort your feet.

Feel free to ask your SMA personal healthcare consultant any questions you have on this topic.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Treatment of Arthritis

arthritisrx

The thing about treating arthritis is you’d better do it. If you’re not lucky enough to have a form that readily responds to treatment or if you didn’t get early treatment, your arthritis will progress and create an incrementally worse situation for you. Given that we’re discussing arthritis, we’re talking loss of mobility somewhere, maybe in your legs or hands, and pain.
The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve function, and prevent further joint damage. The underlying cause often cannot be cured.
Treatment considerations for arthritis fall into three general categories: lifestyle changes, medication and surgery. Let’s review each.
Lifestyle
The best time to enact lifestyle changes is before you’re struggling to return to normalcy. Exercise is a lifelong habit that will improve the quality and extend the quantity of your life. For starters, exercise maintains and improves muscle tone. It also strengths your bones and cartilage. This will reduce pain, fatigue and stiffness over the long term.
Exercise should include a tolerable level of aerobic activity, flexibility exercises to sustain your range of motion and strength training to maintain and improve your muscle tone. Physical therapy is another component; massage, heat and ice application, splints and other treatments are important in maintaining blood flow, mobility and positioning as stiffness and deformity increase over time.
Medication
Using medication for arthritis is a very delicate act. Many if not most arthritics are aging and may have other medical issues. Medications in these settings have risks for side effects and drug interactions, including kidney, liver and heart damage, stroke, ulcers and bleeding. Any medications should be coordinated with your physician. Typical over-the-counter (OTC) medical regimens begin with acetaminophen, then move to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen).
When OTCs don’t work, your doctor may prescribe medicines, including steroids and other medications called biologics, immunosuppressants and DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs). These drugs all are effective in certain patients but can have serious side effects.
Surgery
Surgery is an option if and when other therapies haven’t worked and if the patient is healthy enough to have it. There are two primary options. Arthroplasty rebuilds the joint, and joint replacement starts from scratch.
Let’s start back where I’ll always hope you start: prevention. Here are some lifestyle change tips for holding off the onset of arthritis or slowing down its advance.

  • If you are overweight, do what you can to slim down. Weight loss significantly reduces joint pain in the legs and feet.
  • Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Among other things, a rich supply of vitamin E yields benefits you’ll need. Also eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., salmon, mackerel, herring, flaxseed, canola oil, soybeans and soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts).
  • Sleeping eight to 10 hours a night and taking naps during the day can help you both prevent and recover from flare-ups more quickly.
  • Avoid staying in one position for too long.
  • Try stress-reducing activities, such as meditation, yoga or tai chi.
  • Avoid positions or movements that place extra stress on your sore joints.
  • Change your home to make activities easier (e.g., grab bars in the shower, the tub, and near the toilet).
  • Consider capsaicin cream over your painful joints. Typically expect improvement after three to seven days if it’s going to help.

If and when you develop arthritis, it’s going to be a tough time. Get ahead of the challenge and take care of yourself in advance. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: The Inevitable Disease (Assuming You Live Long Enough)

 osteoarthritisOA

Actually, humans have a few different “inevitable” diseases, but today we’re discussing arthritis, specifically degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis). For this conversation, the inevitability of arthritis is based in the gradual wear and tear on your joints. It seems our design includes an expiration date on our joints. By now, you’re likely wondering why. The answer is in the definition.
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints.

  • Inflammation is a process of some form of attack to an area, producing symptoms that usually include redness, swelling, warmth and pain.
  • A joint is the area where two bones meet.

It stands to reason that when regular use becomes wear and tear, ongoing inflammation ensues, the structure of your bones and joints changes and function decreases. This is why you see decreased movement and deformities in the involved joints of arthritics.
What I just described was a reasonable description of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, but in fact there are over 100 different types of arthritis. Given its importance in helping you understand and treat yourself and/or your loved one with arthritis, let’s review the common and distinguishing mechanisms.
cartilage
Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage, which is the tissue coating the ends of two bones at a joint. Its purpose is to keep the bones in place and moving smoothly. When cartilage is damaged, the bones rub together. This damage results in pain, swelling, stiffness, warmth and redness—inflammation.
The causes of this inflammation are broad but typically center on four mechanisms:

  • The aging process itself causes sufficient wear and tear on the body, including bones and cartilage, such that the joints will suffer. This represents the most common form of arthritis: degenerative joint disease, aka osteoarthritis.
  • When you break bones, especially near a joint, the resulting damage and/or insufficient healing will expedite the development of arthritis.
  • When you develop certain infections, they can occur in the bones/joints or target those areas. This also can lead to arthritis.
  • The body’s immune system sometimes mistakenly views certain parts of the body as foreign. When this occurs, it will attack healthy tissue, including bones and cartilage. These conditions are known as autoimmune disorders, and they cause inflammation and can lead to acute and chronic arthritis.

You’ve heard of many different forms of arthritis. If you know anyone with any of the following diseases, they likely have arthritis as part of (if not the predominant feature of) the disease.

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Gonococcal (i.e., due to gonorrhea) arthritis and other arthritis due to other bacterial infections
  • Gout
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (in children) and rheumatoid arthritis (in adults)
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis (Reiter syndrome)
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

The inflammation and other symptoms usually go away if you can find and treat the cause. If it doesn’t go away, or if it goes untreated, chronic arthritis will develop.
Here are the various conversations you should have with your physicians regarding arthritis:

  • “I have a family history of arthritis. Should I be concerned?”
  • “I have a newly swollen joint but didn’t strain or sprain anything.”
  • “All of a sudden my joint (or joints) have really started hurting.”
  • “My skin in my (knee, elbow or other joint) is very hot and very red.”
  • “I have arthritis, and now I’m having problems moving my joint.”
  • “I have arthritis, and the swelling is much worse.”
  • “I have arthritis, and my pain has lasted more than three days.”
  • “I have arthritis, and I have developed a fever plus my joints are really aching.”
  • “I have arthritis, and I seem to be losing weight.”

This afternoon, I’ll discuss general treatment of arthritis and tips you can use to help yourself or your loved one with arthritis. I welcome any questions or comments you may have on this topic.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress