Many people who have bunions are concerned that it is a cosmetic condition. There are some patients who are aware they may cause pain, and this can hinder completing daily activities. The medical term for a bunion is referred to as hallux valgus, and it is defined as a bony lump on the side of the big toe. It gradually develops from genetic reasons, or from wearing shoes that do not have enough room for the toes to move freely in. It will begin as a small bump, and will gradually increase in size if the same type of shoes are frequently worn. It can affect the other toes by pushing against them, and this can cause them to shift. Some patients develop corns and calluses on top of the shifted toes, and bursitis can develop in the affected joint of the big toe. There are protective pads that can be worn over the bunion until larger shoes are purchased. If you see the first sign of a bunion, or if it has increased in size, it is strongly advised that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can possibly recommend surgery for permanent relief.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why Do Bunions Form?
Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions
How Are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How Are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts
There are many and varied causes of foot pain, including injury, overuse, or conditions that result in inflammation involving bones, ligaments, and tendons. Arthritis and neuropathy are also common causes of foot pain, as are deformities like bunions and hammertoe. A number of methods are available to combat foot pain. A warm foot bath containing Epsom salt can be soothing to sore muscles after a long day of walking or standing. But if your feet are hot, swollen, and tired, a cool foot bath may be more effective. A simple foot massage with essential oils can also help reduce pain and promote flexibility. Exercise also has been shown to counteract muscle tightness. Of course, footwear is often one of the problems frequently associated with foot pain. Make sure that your shoes fit properly, providing ample toe room and adequate cushioning. Have corns and calluses that cause you to change walking patterns looked at and removed. If you have flat feet, or other foot deformities, custom orthotics may help alleviate pain. For more information on why you have foot pain and what to do about it, please consult a podiatrist.
Foot pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. If you have a foot pain, consult with one of our podiatrists from Manhattan Footcare. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Foot pain is a very broad condition that could be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Bone Spurs
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Ingrown Toenails
- Arthritis (such as Gout, Rheumatoid, and Osteoarthritis)
- Flat Feet
- Injury (from stress fractures, broken toe, foot, ankle, Achilles tendon ruptures, and sprains)
- And more
To figure out the cause of foot pain, podiatrists utilize several different methods. This can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.
Treatment depends upon the cause of the foot pain. Whether it is resting, staying off the foot, or having surgery; podiatrists have a number of treatment options available for foot pain.
Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.
Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy, is a term for nerve damage to the peripheral nervous system. These are nerves that are outside of the brain and spinal cord. Peripheral neuropathy can create various symptoms which may impair a person’s balance and their perception of their body and its movement. These symptoms include numbness, pain, and weakness in the feet. Older adults are more prone to developing peripheral neuropathy as a complication of diabetes, which can cause them to have foot drop, difficulty walking up stairs, rising out of their chairs, and standing up from a crouching position. All of this can increase the elderly person’s already heightened risk of falls. If you or someone you love is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned here, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a full examination and evaluation.
Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with one of our podiatrists from Manhattan Footcare. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.
Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:
- Sensation loss
- Prickling and tingling sensations
- Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
- Muscle weakness
Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.
To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.
Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.