Monday, September 9, 2013

Alcoholic Neuropathy

العربية: مجموعة مشروبات كحولية. Català: Divers...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is much research and controversy around the consumption of alcohol. Some camps provide the justification side with studies that indicate moderation can have heart health benefits. Others highlight the risks of drinking including pancreatitis, blood pressure problems, depression and nerve damage.

If you can say that you have engaged in prolonged use of alcoholic beverages, listen up – nerve damage, also called alcoholic neuropathy, is a serious risk that can significantly impact your quality of life. An ingredient found in alcohol called ethanol is toxic to your nerve tissue. When you go beyond drinking in moderation, the nerves in your feet and hands can become damaged, meaning you can lose sensation in these limbs. The nerve damage is often permanent.

Pain in your legs, feeling a “pins and needles” sensation in your feet, muscle spasms and weakness are symptoms of neuropathy that you need to monitor. It may be a loved one complaining of these that can alarm you of a problem that needs to be addressed before serious complications occur.

If caught early, symptoms can be treated before complications such as disability result. Medications, physical therapy, dietary changes and nerve stimulation are just a few of the treatment options podiatrist Dr. Tina Boucher uses to help patients with this condition. Call Central Connecticut Footcare Center today if you or someone you know needs diagnosis and treatment for symptoms described here. Neuropathy is not something to take lightly – call us at (203) 238-3668 to make an appointment today.
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Chronic Ankle Pain – Why You Have it and What to Do!

English: Ankle (malleolus)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Any nagging ache or pain can be just that – a real pain! When it happens to occur in your foot or ankle, it can really impact your quality of life. Simple tasks can become difficult and you realize how much you rely on your feet to get through the day.

Is chronic ankle pain something you are tired of dealing with? Numerous conditions can cause this and because it can lead to tissue damage and possible disability, it is worth getting to the bottom of why you have it and what you can do to keep it from getting worse.

When patients come in to Central Connecticut Footcare Center with persistent pain, we often start by asking about footwear. Shoes with tight toe boxes and higher heels don’t allow your feet to function properly, even if you claim to be comfortable! Good shoes help your feet gain strength and flexibility and without those and the proper support, pain can lurk around the corner.

Two other reasons for your sore ankles could be osteoarthritis and tarsal tunnel syndrome. The first is a degenerative joint disease typically affecting older people, while the latter can be caused by an ankle injury, bone spurs or having a condition such as diabetes. Our podiatrist, Dr. Tina Boucher will be able to find the root of your pain, get you on a tailored treatment plan and help you back to the freedom of living life without ankle pain!

How long have you been suffering, hoping your nagging problem will just go away? If you are like most people, your answer is probably far too long! Allow us to help get you back on your feet. Make an appointment at our Meriden, CT office today by calling (203) 238-3668 – you have nothing lose but that annoying pain!
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Take Care of Diabetic Feet with the Right Shoes

If you have diabetes, don’t underestimate the importance of your shoes!

There is much to monitor if you have diabetes and it can get overwhelming at times, even for someone who has lived with the disease for years. A foot problem is one thing that can bring serious danger and consequences and the right shoes can make all the difference.

Dr. Tina Boucher is a foot specialist highly dedicated to caring for her patients with diabetes. A foot problem left untreated can lead to wounds, ulcers and even amputation. We can’t stress enough the importance of wearing good shoes if you have diabetes and here is why:
  • Neuropathy is common with diabetes and the nerve damage in your feet impacts your ability to feel pain, heat and cold. For this reason, you need to be wearing shoes that support and protect your feet from foreign objects, cold temperatures and hot sand or sidewalks.
  • A poorly made pair of shoes may have rough stitching and areas of pressure. This can lead to the formation of blisters and even a small blister has the potential to turn into a serious wound.
  • Any pain or inflammation present can be made worse by wearing ill-fitting shoes.
  • Any current deformity such as Charcot foot, hammertoes or small amputation needs to be stabilized and protected to avoid further damage.
  • Custom orthotics are often beneficial to those with diabetes to provide extra support and stabilization. A good pair of shoes will need extra room to accommodate them.
If you have been trying to follow these general rules but continue to have foot pain or if a bad pair of shoes has left you with an injury, please contact us for treatment. Make an appointment today at Central Connecticut Footcare Center by calling (203) 238-3668. Allow Dr. Boucher to take care of your feet so you can concentrate on the other things that matter in life.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Arthritis in the Feet

Are you dealing with pain and inflammation in your joints?

Arthritis affects around 40 million Americans so you if you suffer from this painful disease, please know you are not alone! Our job at Central Connecticut Foot Care Center is to give patients relief from their foot and ankle pain. Foot specialist, Dr. Tina Boucher, treats patients with arthritis in their feet on a regular basis.

More specifically, it is osteoarthritis that develops in the joints of the foot and ankle. It is the most common type of arthritis and is degenerative in nature. This means that it gets worse over time as you age. The cartilage in your feet breaks down over time and because each foot has 33 joints, the result can be significant pain and loss of mobility.

How do I know if I have arthritis in my feet?

Arthritis can affect anyone at any age but typically those over 50 years of age are more susceptible. Early diagnosis can significantly limit and slow down the damage that this disease can cause. For this reason, please pay close attention if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Stiffness in your feet and ankles in the morning
  • Recurring pain or tenderness
  • Inability to move your foot or ankle, walk or bear weight
  • Redness or heat
  • Changes in your skin
Please contact our office if you have any of these symptoms. Dr. Boucher can diagnose if arthritis has set in and start you on the right path of treatment. This may involve pain relievers, arch supports, physical therapy or special shoes. Don’t allow joint pain to affect your life any longer. Call us today (203) 238-3668 to make an appointment or visit us online.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Osteoporosis Might First be Found in Feet!

Did you know that your bones are actually made of living, growing tissue? There are several components that make bones strong and flexible. Until about the age of 25, your bones continue to become more dense until they reach their peak bone mass. At this point, you have the most bone that you will ever have and more bone mass reduces your chances of breaks and osteoporosis as you get older.

Do you have an unexplained foot fracture?

As we age, we can lose bone and when you lose too much bone or don’t make enough, the condition is called osteoporosis. There are many risk factors for developing osteoporosis. Some you can’t control such as age, menopause and family history. Others factors such as poor diet, inactivity, smoking and weight loss are within your boundaries to control.

Foot specialist, Dr. Tina Boucher continually reminds her patients that foot pain is not normal. This bone condition is one reason you should always get symptoms looked at. Foot pain can be due to a stress fracture and the fracture could be indicative of osteoporosis. Unexplained stress fractures are often the first sign of the condition. Catching the condition early will provide time to respond with appropriate diet or lifestyle changes to slow down its progression.

Since your feet can provide valuable clues to your health such as whether you may have osteoporosis, please contact us with any unusual pain or symptoms. Call Central Connecticut Footcare Center at (203) 238-3668 and make an appointment with Dr. Boucher today.

Monday, July 1, 2013


English: Sprained Ankle
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Are you having pain and stiffness in your ankle?

Persistent pain in your foot or ankle can be very frustrating as it impairs your ability to carry out daily tasks or takes you out of activities. Dr. Tina Boucher, foot specialist in Meriden, CT regularly sees patients complaining of ankle pain and ready for relief.

If you are experiencing pain and stiffness in your ankle joint, it could be the result of a condition called osteochondritis. This is a common condition that most often develops after you have had a twisting-type injury to your ankle. During an injury, a piece of cartilage from the end of a bone in your ankle can “chip” off or become loose. Sometimes a chipped piece of cartilage stays in place leaving no pain or symptoms. It is when a fragment of cartilage moves and and gets caught between a joint that pain or stiffness can develop. Swelling and aching are also common symptoms we hear from patients at our podiatric office.

This sounds like what I may have, what can be done?

This is one of those conditions where the early it is diagnosed and treated the better. Rest and immobilization in a cast can give the bone injury time to heal. If the condition is more severe, surgery may be needed to remove the loose fragments of cartilage. The area where the fragment broke off from may need to be addressed as well. This can be done by drilling holes which stimulates blood vessels resulting in scar tissue that fills in the area.

To avoid surgery, please call us today if you are experiencing nagging, aching pain or stiffness in your ankle. Dr. Boucher can diagnose the severity of your injury and start appropriate treatment immediately. Call our office at (203) 238-3668 or visit us at
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Monday, June 17, 2013


English: children foot - plantar
English: children foot - plantar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Having anything wrong with your child, big or small, can be scary and if your child has clubfoot you may be full of fear of what this might mean. Dr. Tina Boucher, foot specialist in Meriden, CT treats children of all ages. There are many foot problems that can affect children and clubfoot is a very common condition that is not life threatening and often responds very well to effective treatment methods.

How did my child’s clubfoot happen?
Clubfoot is a common birth defect in which the foot is abnormally twisted at a sharp angle near the ankle. There is no known cause for this condition other than the foot turns during the development in the womb. There are some conditions such as spina bifida that can cause clubfoot as well.

Ultrasounds can show clubfoot in the womb and it can be diagnosed immediately at birth. X-rays are often taken to fully assess the severity of the defect. When it is detected at birth, the good news is that it is not painful for your child and it is correctable.

For patients with clubfoot, Dr. Boucher will treat with a goal to restore function to the foot or feet by the time the patient is ready to walk. Depending on the nature of the clubfoot condition, she may implement serial casting to move the bones into alignment, special shoes and braces. Surgery is required at times if tendons, ligaments and joints need to be adjusting but more conservative methods are often effective. They require patience as treatment may take several months and symptoms can last until the age of seven. With the expert care of Dr. Boucher, your child will be in great hands and will be given tailored care specific to his or her needs.

If you have any questions about clubfoot or concerns about the care your child is receiving, please contact our podiatric office today. Call Dr. Boucher at (203) 238-3668 or visit
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Monday, June 3, 2013

How Do You Balance Exercise in a Busy Life?

Personal trainer monitoring a client's movemen...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Are you being pulled every which way these days and find that exercise often falls to the bottom of the to-do list, or doesn’t even make it at all? The benefits of exercise are many: lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, keeps your heart healthy and your bones strong, keeps weight steady and relieves stress. So, what can you do when your life is busy? If your life is full with things that can’t necessarily be done away with, keep reading for some tips to get maximum benefit out of short workout windows.

Forget the idea that you need to be in the gym every day for a couple of hours. This just isn’t necessary and for most people, not even possible. Modify the way you workout and go for a maximum intensity session of circuit or interval training. Work on your upper and lower body in the same workout and reduce rest periods to cut down on the time. A trainer at a reputable gym can help you create a circuit to target all muscle groups, burn calories and give a good cardiovascular workout. You can build strength by adding weights as you progress and work up to completing the circuit two to four times. Write up a weekly schedule and create a time slot for a quick but effective workout 3-5 times a week.

Another common pitfall for busy people is bad eating habits. This isn’t going to help your exercise efforts so take the time to plan ahead. Pack your meals the night before so you aren’t tempted to stop for fast food. If you are busy, then you also need your sleep so make adjustments if you are lagging behind because of lack of sleep.

It is not always easy to manage a busy life but small adjustments will have a big pay off and staying healthy and fit will enable you to keep up. Make sure to call foot specialist, Dr. Tina Boucher if you have any concerns about your foot health or if foot pain is interrupting your ability to keep up with your life. Call our Meriden, CT podiatric office at (203) 238-3668 or visit us at
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Monday, May 20, 2013

How Should You Start Cycling?

Raumerrittet start
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Did you know that being an average daily cyclist allows you to have the fitness level of someone 10 years younger than you? That should give you a great reason to hop on two wheels! It goes without saying that it is important to stay fit and healthy for many reasons. Cycling is a great choice because anyone at any age can do it, there is minimal investment for equipment and it can be done indoors or in the great outdoors.

I would love to get into cycling, but where do I start?

Dr. Tina Boucher, foot specialist in Meriden, CT treats athletes of all types on a regular basis. Being well prepared in any sport is the best way to avoid injury. The first place to start is to find a bicycle that fits your body and the type of cycling you want to do. Go to a reputable sporting goods store where a professional can assess the tilt of your seat, the height of the handle bars and how far you have to reach over to reach them.

Getting a true workout on a bicycle will be about getting into a steady rhythm. A consistent pattern of pedaling and coasting is not going to set you up for success. Look for long stretches of road or trail where you don’t have to keep stopping along the way. It will also be helpful to track your revolutions per minute. The standard is 80-90 and staying within that zone will give you a great cardiovascular workout without putting too much stress on your joints.

Start slowly and allow your muscles time to adjust to the new form of movement you are putting on them. Aim for easy 30-45 minute ride and work your way up. If at any point, you are have consistent pain that does not go away or recurs, stop and call our office. Dr. Boucher can diagnose any potential injury or problems to be aware of. You can make an appointment by calling our podiatric office at (203) 238-3668 or visit us at
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Benefits of Cycling & How to Protect Your Feet!

A woman on a bike in Paris.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What are the benefits of cycling?

From the start, when cycling was first invented in the early 1900s, it has been a sport embraced by all ages. More than 100 million Americans enjoy cycling and are reaping the benefits. It doesn’t matter if you are biking to work, running errands or joining a road race, hopping on a bike is good for your body!

As far as burned calories go, cycling at a moderate to fast pace for 30 minutes can help you burn up to 300 calories. Biking is a great cardiovascular exercise that also helps strengthen your muscles. It is also a lower-impact form of exercise, which spares joints some of the stress that other types of exercise can put on your body. 

Dr. Tina Boucher, foot specialist in Meriden, CT is all about helping her active patients protect their feet. Some of the common cycling injuries she treats are: shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, sesamoiditis and foot numbness and pain. Over activity, lack of proper body alignment and poor footwear can each cause injury.

Your feet are transferring energy to the pedals in every push making proper shoes essential, even for a casual stroll through your neighborhood. If you are going to do more serious cycling, your shoes should have a stiff sole and fit snugly around your heel and the bridge of your foot. Look for ventilated uppers and avoid any shoes with loose straps or laces that could be hazardous. Also, bring your socks with you when you go to try on shoes to ensure you get the right fit.

If your feet are in pain at every turn of the pedal, take a break and come in and see Dr. Boucher. She can evaluate the cause of your foot pain and provide the right course of treatment. You can make an appointment at our podiatric office by calling (203) 238-3668 or visit us at
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Ollier’s Disease

Human Foot, sagital view, Bone and transparent...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What is Ollier’s disease?

Ollier’s disease has to do with enchondromas in the body. An enchondroma is basically a benign tumor of cartilage. These types of tumors commonly develop in the small bones of your hands and toes and the long bones in your feet called the metatarsals. It is often an injury or type of trauma to the toe that causes the formation of the irregularity of the bone. Appearing as a small bony mass, the irregularities can cause disfigurement and limit mobility depending on the size, number and location of the enchondromas.

When multiple enchondromas are present, a person is considered to have Ollier’s disease. It is a fairly rare condition, estimated to affect 1/100,000 people. It typically manifests in the first 10 years of a patient’s life and is not thought to be hereditary.

When there are several tumors, it is very important to be watching them closely as around 30% of people with this condition will develop malignancies of the tumors that are present. There are situations where the tumors can be aggressive and destroy surrounding bone tissue. This would require surgical intervention to remove the tumors.

For most people with Ollier’s disease, the enchondromas do not need any particular treatment. The condition often does not cause any painful symptoms or inhibit regular activity. With the possibility of the situations mentioned above though, regular monitoring and treatment is important as any noticed change will need to have the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

If you are noticing any abnormal bone development or abnormalities with your foot, make an appointment to see Dr. Tina Boucher. As a foot and ankle specialist, she can provide a thorough evaluation and identify the cause and possible treatment options. Call our podiatric office in Meriden, CT today at (203) 238-3668 or visit
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Feet on Fire

Are you being bothered by painful, burning feet?

Whether it is mild or severe, dealing with hot, painful feet can be frustrating. Burning feet can interrupt your daily activities, the ability to participate in sports or exercise, make wearing certain shoes difficult and hinder a good night of sleep.

Dr. Tina Boucher, foot specialist in Meriden, CT sees this condition regularly at her podiatric office. Patients often come in complaining of a burning sensation, numbness or a pins and needles feeling in their feet. If you have burning feet, it is really important to come in and have it checked out due to the fact that there are several reasons for why it is happening. It could be as simple as your feet are just tired but there may be an underlying cause that is serious and needs prompt intervention.

Some of the common causes for burning feet include:
  • Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage in the feet)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Vitamin deficiency anemia
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
If you are dealing with burning feet today, you can try and elevate your feet or bathe your feet in cool water to see if symptoms are alleviated. Changing to a more comfortable pair of shoes may also help. If the burning came on suddenly, it developed and has continued despite home care measures or is becoming more intense and painful, it is time to seek help.

Contact Dr. Boucher for a full evaluation. She can pinpoint the cause of your burning feet and find a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Call our podiatric office at (203) 238-3668 or visit

Monday, March 25, 2013

Finding a Great Pair of Ice Skates

A photograph of some ice hockey skates en . {|...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Whether you are hitting the ice for leisure, exercise or competition, a great pair of skates that fit you well is important. Having the right skates will make it easier to learn, keep you more stable and lessen the chance of injury.

Dr. Tina Boucher, foot specialist in Meriden, CT treats athletes and sports enthusiasts on a regular basis. Your feet play the most important role in any activity you do and keeping them safe and healthy will keep you staying active.

Here are a few tips to follow when trying to find the right pair of ice skates:
  • First of all, visit a reputable store with employees who know how to fit ice skates. They can help you find a pair appropriate to your level and answer any questions you may have.
  • Look for skates made of good quality leather, as they will provide the most support. A more expensive pair will also provide a higher quality of boot and blade.
  • If you are just going to skate, stay away from hockey or speed skates unless you plan on learning those sports.
  • Avoid wearing bulky, thick socks as it can affect finding the proper fit.
  • Keep in mind that skates often run a half-size smaller than shoes. Skates should fit snugly but you should be able to wiggle your toes.
  • Lace them up in the store properly to get a true feel for how they fit. When you flex your foot forward, you should be able to fit two fingers into the back of the boot.
If you are dreaming of gliding and spinning on the ice but are sidelined with foot pain, let us help you. Make an appointment with Dr. Boucher today for expert advice, diagnosis and treatment. You can call our podiatric office at (203) 238-3668 or find more information at
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Monday, March 11, 2013

Why Everyone Should Try Ice Skating

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ice skating is an excellent source of exercise and is fun! It may take a bit of practice but it provides some real health benefits and is an activity for all ages. In the 1600s, the Dutch used ice skating as a means of transportation to get from village to village. Now that would be a way to get around!

What are some benefits of ice skating?
  • It is a low-impact form of exercise and easier on your joints than running
  • It can help improve your balance
  • It is a great cardiovascular workout and helps build endurance
  • It is a great calorie burning exercise – A 150 lb person could burn up to 600 calories in an hour!
  • It helps build muscles in your arms, abdomen, legs, glutes and lower back
Are avoiding trying ice skating for fear of falling on the ice? That is a valid concern which is why, if you are a beginner, you should take the time for a few lessons. A coach will be able to instruct you on the proper way to fall and how to get back up. You will also be taught the proper way to glide and how to stop efficiently so falling will be less of a concern.

Something else to remember is that skates often come a bit smaller than your regular shoes. Take the time to find a pair that fit your foot right and have an employee tie the laces properly so that your feet and ankles are supported properly.

If you would like to try ice skating but are concerned about your foot health, make an appointment with foot specialist, Dr. Tina Boucher. She can evaluate your feet, diagnose any current problems or identify areas of concern. Call our podiatric office in Meriden, CT at (203) 238-3668 or visit
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