The inside line of your foot should be as straight as possible including the shape of your big toe. When you have a bunion, that shape is thrown into disarray—the base of the big toe sticks out while the top of the toe points inward. It’s uncomfortable and unsightly. The smartest way to deal with bunions is to get professional treatment and advice from a podiatrist at Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists in Pennsauken and Turnersville, NJ.
Do You Have Bunions?
If you have bunions, it will be apparent, whether from the discomfort you feel when you’re wearing certain shoes, or by looking at your feet in comparison to others. The base of the toe shifts out of alignment until it looks like you have a growth on the inside of your foot. Check the rest of your toes as well—ideally, they should have ample space to move around and separate. If they are crunched together and overlapping due to pressure from the big toe, that’s a common sign of bunions.
Bunion Help from a Podiatrist
Even severe cases of bunions may be treatable using conservative, non-surgical methods. These are some of the therapies your Pennsauken and Turnersville, NJ podiatrist may recommend:
- The insertion of protective padding inside of shoes that will prevent friction and inflammation.
- Better footwear, designed to support and align the feet when you’re walking.
- Orthotic devices made by your foot doctor that train the feet into a more comfortable and attractive position.
- Foot splinting and wrapping.
No More Bunions
If you have a good understanding of why your bunions formed in the first place, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding a recurrence of this common foot condition. Here are a few tips for keeping your feet in good form:
- Toss the shoes you have been wearing most often, as they may be responsible for the bunions (tight shoes and high heels are common culprits).
- Soak and stretch your feet nightly, per instructions given by your Pennsauken or Turnersville, NJ podiatrist.
- Pay attention to the way you walk and make adjustments as needed. Overpronation, which is the inclination to roll your feet inward when you take a step, could cause stress on the big toe joint.
Normal Feet Are Possible
Don’t feel as if you have to spend a lifetime struggling to get your feet to fit normal shoes because of your bunions. Call (856) 488-5290 for our Pennsauken, NJ, office or (856) 875-8855 for our Turnersville, NJ, office today to talk about solutions with a podiatrist at Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists.
Diabetic feet need special care because of decreased circulation, neuropathy, joint deterioration, and more. While your primary care physician may guide you on blood sugar control, medications, a healthy diet, and active lifestyle, your podiatrist assesses and treats how your feet and ankles function everyday and for the long term. Enlist their help in the health maintenance of your diabetic feet.
Keeping ahead of neuropathy and avoiding amputation
Those are two key goals of diabetic foot care. Your podiatrist will want to see you regularly to assess the color, temperature, sensation, function, and shape of your feet and ankles, noting any developing problems. Early detection of circulation issues, nerve degeneration (neuropathy), and deformities, such as hammertoes, bunions, and Charcot Foot, are key.
Your podiatric foot examination will include an eye-on inspection of your skin (color, temperature, texture, and integrity). Your foot doctor also may perform gait analysis to watch for changes in how you walk. Sometimes a podiatrist orders X-ray imaging or an MRI to view the internal structure of the foot and/or ankle.
Remember, that foot ulcers are the primary threat to the overall health and well-being of the diabetic, says the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Untreated, they may lead to complications so severe amputation is the only option.
What can you do to treat your diabetic feet?
- Be proactive. Inspect your feet daily, looking redness or skin breakdown.
- Wash and dry your feet daily.
- Trim your toenails carefully using a clean clippers. Trim straight across and not too short to avoid ingrown toenails.
- Wear shoes at all times--even indoors--to avoid injury.
- Wear clean, well-fitting, moisture-wicking socks.
- Keep your weight and blood sugars within normal range.
- Get in-office treatment of calluses and corns, says the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
- Avoid all forms of tobacco.
- Report any changes to your foot doctor as soon as possible.
- See your podiatrist every six months or as he or she directs.
Healthy feet and a healthy you
Podiatric health is so important, but especially to the diabetic. So stay in touch with your foot doctor, and be routinized in your foot care for better long-term health.
A bunion is one of the most common foot deformities, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. Anyone can develop this painful condition but it most often occurs in women. A bunion affects the structure of the foot, causing the joint to become enlarged, which causes the big toe to lean inward towards the other toes. In some cases, the big toe even overlaps the toes. This deformed joint may often become red or swollen, especially when wearing certain shoes or after certain physical activities.
A bunion is a gradual deformity, which means that as soon as you begin to notice changes in the joint or you start to experience symptoms you should consult a podiatrist. While the only way to correct the deformity is through surgery this is usually the last treatment option. After all, a foot doctor can often create a treatment plan that will reduce pain and prevent the deformity from progressing without needing to turn to surgery.
The first course of treatment is usually more conservative. You may be able to manage your bunion pain and swelling by:
- Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs
- Icing the bunion for up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Placing orthotics into your shoes to alleviate pressure on the joint (talk to your podiatrist about creating custom orthotics)
- Splinting or taping the foot to improve the structural alignment
- Wearing appropriate and supportive footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the toes or bunion
- Applying a bunion pad over the area to prevent a callus from forming while wearing shoes
- Avoiding certain activities and sports that could exacerbate your condition
For many people, these lifestyle changes and simple at-home treatment options are all that’s needed to reduce bunion pain and discomfort, and to prevent the problem from getting worse. Of course, if you find that at-home care isn’t providing you with relief, or if bunion pain is persistent or severe, then you should turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Not sure if you have a bunion or not? Call your foot doctor.
When should someone consider bunion surgery?
As we mentioned earlier, bunion surgery is considered a last resort when all other treatment options have been exhausted and they haven’t helped get your bunion symptoms under control. You may also want to consider getting bunion surgery if:
- Your bunion is large and makes it difficult to wear shoes
- Your bunion pain is severe and chronic
- You have trouble walking or moving around because of your bunion
- Your bunion is affecting your quality of life
It can take up to 6 months to fully recover from traditional bunion surgery so it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your podiatrist to find the most effective method for getting your bunion symptoms under control.
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Heel pain
- Ankle sprains and fractures
- Foot fractures
- Sports-related injuries
- Bunions and hammertoes
- Corns and calluses
- Diabetic foot care
- Fungal infections
- Ingrown toenails
- Heel spurs
Your feet hurt along the arch and heel when you walk or take a run. To uncover the problem and treat it, consult the experts at Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists in Turnersville and Pennsauken, NJ. Often it is plantar fasciitis, and he'll prescribe simple treatment modalities to help you manage it. You can function and feel much better!
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of connective tissue running along the arch of the foot between the heel bone and the toes. It provides substantial support to your foot particularly when you are in motion.
Nearly two million people have plantar fasciitis, says the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), and frequently, the condition is associated with overpronation, a defect in how you place your feet on the ground and on factors such as:
- Repetitive motion, such as jumping or running
- A high arch structure
How your podiatrist can help
At Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists in Turnersville and Pennsauken, your podiatrist will examine your foot, take digital X-rays and/or an MRI and watch how you walk (gait analysis). This information, along with a review of your symptoms, can confirm a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis.
Your prescribed treatment can vary, but likely, it will be simple and non-invasive. Surgery is rarely used unless severe symptoms continue for more than one year, states the AAOS.
Most care plans include some of the following:
- Stretching exercises, particularly for the calf muscle and arch of the foot
- Shoe orthotics, customized inserts, to correct gait issues
- Elevation as needed
- Cortisone injections to reduce inflammation
- Night splints
- Supportive shoes with thick soles
While many people with plantar fasciitis also have spurs off the front of the heel bone, podiatrists typically do not remove these small bony projections.
Don't suffer with foot pain
You can be on your feet and return to your normal activities when you receive care for your plantar fasciitis at Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists. Call one of our two office for an appointment. In Turnersville, phone (856) 875-8855, or for the Pennsauken location, call (856) 488-5290.
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