Items filtered by date: June 2023
Research has shown that bunions are the most common medical condition that affects the front of the foot. It is easy to notice by the large bump that develops and protrudes on the side of the big toe. Severe bunions may cause the other toes to shift together, and larger shoes may need to be purchased. A bunion is considered to be a deformity and can happen from wearing shoes that do not have ample room for the toes to move freely in. High heels can fit into this category, and it is helpful to limit how frequently they are worn. There are various types of bunions, and a simple bunion is a bump on the side of the big toe joint. The same bunion may have skin irritation from rubbing against the shoes and a tailor’s bunion forms on the pinky toe. Bunions with hallux limitus can change the structure of the foot, which may cause the bunion to form on the top instead of on the side of the foot. Some people can help to wear a protective pad over the bunion for mild relief. If you have a bunion, it is strongly suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can offer you treatment options that are correct for you.
What Is a Bunion?
Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.
- Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
- Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development
- Redness and inflammation
- Pain and tenderness
- Callus or corns on the bump
- Restricted motion in the big toe
In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.
Foot shuffling is when someone takes shorter strides and drags their feet when walking. Consistent shuffling can be a sign of an underlying health issue related to the nervous system, joints, or muscles. The most common neurological condition causing a shuffling gait is Parkinson’s disease. Foot shuffling can also come on from foot drop. This is when there is a difficulty or inability to lift the foot while taking a step. This condition can be caused by multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, or stroke, among other things. As one ages, the gait can change with decreased walking speed and range of motion in the ankles, knees, and hips, as well as impaired foot clearance. When the joints of the legs are tight or there is muscle weakness from injuries, health conditions like arthritis, or long periods of inactivity, a shuffling gait can also happen. Stretching and strengthening exercises, balancing activities, and orthotics can help, as well as assistive devices like a walker or cane. If you have a shuffling gait, it is strongly suggested that you see a podiatrist to help identify the underlying cause and devise an appropriate treatment plan individualized to your needs.
Biomechanics in Podiatry
Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.
A History of Biomechanics
- Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
- In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.
Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.
Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.
Hammertoe is a common foot condition that can happen from an imbalance of muscles surrounding the toe joints. Hammertoe can be categorized as classic hammertoe, mallet toe, and claw toe. In classic hammertoe, the affected toe will bend down at the joint and resemble a hammer. As toes are important to the balance of the foot and control pressure distribution, hammertoe can cause problems with walking. The affected toe can appear deformed, calluses can form on them, and it may be painful to wear shoes. Relief options for hammertoe pain can include choosing shoes with wide toe boxes, using toe pads, and wearing orthotics. If these conservative options are not successful and pain persists or worsens, surgery may be an option to straighten the toe. If you suffer from a painful hammertoe, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for an evaluation and to receive treatment that is personalized to your specific situation.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact the foot specialists of Marvel Foot & Ankle Centers. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.
- Painful and/or difficult toe movement
- Joint stiffness
- Physical deformity
- Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
- Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
- Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
- Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe
If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.
Have your feet inspected by a professional before starting a new sport or physical activity. Taking charge of your foot health will keep you in good physical condition and can help you avoid a potential injury, such as a fracture or sprained ankle.
Prevent injuries and see a foot specialist.
If you are the type of employee that must work all day on your feet, you might be at an increased risk of developing certain foot conditions. For example, cashiers must stand in more or less a static position all day at work. This can be quite detrimental to the health of the feet. To combat the ill effects of standing still all day, a worker might consider standing straight as opposed to being hunched over. This promotes proper alignment. Also, a worker could potentially complement periods of standing still by performing brief exercises. Therefore, how an employee stands can potentially have consequences for their foot health. If you are someone that spends a significant amount of time standing on your feet all day, it is suggested that you reach out to a podiatrist for suggestions on preventing foot problems.
While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact the foot specialists from Marvel Foot & Ankle Centers. Our doctors will treat your foot and ankle needs.
Working on Your Feet
Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.
Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.
Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.
Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.
Achilles tendon – Stretching the foot out flat on the floor will relax the calf muscles and tendon. These exercises can be performed almost anywhere. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen.
With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.