Items filtered by date: September 2021
Toe stretchers are a type of orthotic that may relieve toe pain. Conventional toe stretchers are usually made of gel, plastic, or silicone and slide between your toes, spreading them apart and positioning them away from the balls of the feet. They are worn while sitting or lying down and stretch the toe muscles and ligaments, increasing their flexibility, relieving pain, and preventing injuries. Toe stretcher socks are simply socks that separate the toes. They do not provide as much of a stretch as conventional toe stretchers, but still separate the toes and are warm and comfortable. Toe stretchers are used to treat a variety of conditions, including plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, bunions, corns, calluses, and Morton’s neuroma, among others. To see if toe stretchers are right for you, please consult with a podiatrist.
If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact the foot specialists from Marvel Foot & Ankle Centers. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.
Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.
If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.
If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.
The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space in the inner ankle that has nerves, blood vessels, and tendons passing through it. When the posterior tibial nerve inside of the tarsal tunnel is compressed, this leads to a painful condition called tarsal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms of this condition include foot pain, a pins and needles sensation, numbness, and swelling. The nerve compression that brings about tarsal tunnel syndrome can be caused by sports injuries, lesions, such as ganglion cysts, that occupy space in the tunnel, excess fluid buildup, changes in the biomechanics of the foot, wearing tight, ill-fitting shoes, or other medical conditions like diabetes and arthritis. In about 30% of cases, the cause is unknown. Nevertheless, tarsal tunnel syndrome can be treated and usually resolves within several weeks of treatment. If you have symptoms of this condition, please seek the care of a podiatrist.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be very uncomfortable to live with. If you are experiencing tarsal tunnel syndrome, contact the foot specialists of Marvel Foot & Ankle Centers. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome, which can also be called tibial nerve dysfunction, is an uncommon condition of misfiring peripheral nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is the peripheral nerve in the leg responsible for sensation and movement of the foot and calf muscles. In tarsal tunnel syndrome, the tibial nerve is damaged, causing problems with movement and feeling in the foot of the affected leg.
Common Cause of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Involves pressure or an injury, direct pressure on the tibial nerve for an extended period of time, sometimes caused by other body structures close by or near the knee.
- Diseases that damage nerves, including diabetes, may cause tarsal tunnel syndrome.
- At times, tarsal tunnel syndrome can appear without an obvious cause in some cases.
The Effects of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Different sensations, an afflicted person may experience pain, tingling, burning or other unusual sensations in the foot of the affected leg.
- The foot muscles, toes and ankle become weaker, and curling your toes or flexing your foot can become difficult.
- If condition worsens, infections and ulcers may develop on the foot that is experiencing the syndrome.
A physical exam of the leg can help identify the presence of tarsal tunnel syndrome. Medical tests, such as a nerve biopsy, are also used to diagnose the condition. Patients may receive physical therapy and prescriptive medication. In extreme cases, some may require surgery.
The peripheral nervous system transmits signals between the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and organs and limbs. For example, peripheral nerves would send a signal to the central nervous system regarding pain in the foot and the brain would direct the body to respond accordingly—that is, when this messaging system works correctly. In peripheral neuropathy there is damage to the peripheral nerves, which impedes this messaging system. Peripheral neuropathy is commonly caused by diabetes, but may also be present due to heredity, side effects of chemotherapy, drug or alcohol abuse, and other illnesses. Peripheral neuropathy can trigger symptoms in the feet such as numbness or an inability to perceive pain or temperature, cramping, muscle weakness, or tingling. Diabetic neuropathy can be particularly problematic as even minor cuts or abrasions can go undetected and turn into wounds or ulcers. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed, contact a podiatrist for a full examination and evaluation to determine if you may have peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with the foot specialists from Marvel Foot & Ankle Centers. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.
Symptoms of PAD include:
- Claudication (leg pain from walking)
- Numbness in legs
- Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
- Paleness of the skin
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
- Coldness in one leg
It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.
While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.
Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.