Browsing: Foot Health

Flat Foot Shoes and Problems With Regular Shoes

In many cases, people with flat feet have no success with ordinary footwear. Flat feet are feet where the arch of the foot that is shaped by the metatarsal and tarsal bones is completely flat. This means that there is no space between the inside of the foot and the floor. Foot arches play a very important role since they act as natural shock-absorbers, and is a section of the foot that is reinforced by tendons and ligaments and assists in supporting the body weight. Due to this, certain activities can be a bit restrictive due to the arch contacting the ground; therefore, good comfortable footwear is advised.

Women and Flat Foot Shoes

Today's trend of wearing sky scraper high heels is a perfect example of how women are demanding more than their suffering feet can handle. Heels more than two-inches high alters the way women usually walk, and heels more than three-inches multiplies the force on the ball of the foot. Unfortunately, many women are not aware, or they are not concerned, that continued use of high-heels may occasionally interfere with wearing flat foot shoes, making them nearly impossible to wear. Most women know that high heels affect their feet, and many admit that they hurt as well. However, they bear the discomfort for the sake of fashion.

If wearing high heels has this effect on women with arches, what about those with flat feet? Fortunately, these women have other smarter choices for shoes with heels. For women, pleasant walking pumps work well for work and social events. Shoe manufacturers have created comfort pumps for women without arches or for those who simply can not wear high heels. These flat foot shoes are frequently produced the same as athletic shoes with reinforced heels, flexible soles, and a wider toe box.

Shoes for Women

Flip flops have their own specific problems, the same as flats. Shoes without any arch support permit the foot to function as if it were barefoot. Flip-flops are fine for children in the middle of learning how to walk; however, grownups require shoes with good support to help their feet carry the body's force and weight.

There are those who have had flat feet since they were born, and others developed flat feet later on. Flat feet that are flexible; those that have arches when they sit, but disappear when they stand, can be shoddier than feet that are flat whether standing or not! Minus support or insoles for flat feet, a flat foot will probably develop hammertoes, tendon inflammation, and bunions. Most podiatrists believe that unconfined flat-footedness is the worst of any foot problem.

The best advice for women with flat feet is to try the “three-step test” when shopping. First a flat foot shoeought to flex where your foot flexes naturally, which is the ball of the foot. Secondly, a shoe should not bend from side to side. Lastly, compress the back of the heel of the shoe to make sure that it will tightly hold the heel. This procedure should help women with flat feet select better functioning flat foot shoes for their needs.

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Insoles – The Best Solution to Reduce Feet Aches and Pains

Many people experience tired and painful foot after long walks, exercises, or other vital activities. Insoles are the best solution to minimize the stress, and offer relief from pains and aches. Inserting insoles into your shoes offers excellent support system, and takes up all the pain caused due to physical activities like running, jogging, walking etc.

If you are looking for these foot care insoles, you will find a myriad of choices in the market. Insoles must be chosen according to the feet type and health condition if any. There are sports insoles that are dedicated for heavy athletic activities. These are shock absorbing insoles. The sports insoles, help in the treatment of shin splints, jumpers knee, runner's knee, and also other bone stress reactions. Insoles are also used normally for day today use, to relieve from or prevent foot acnes and tiredness and sores.

The benefits of insoles are basically support and cushioning. Cushioning is the most primary benefit of every insole. Cushioning helps absorb the shock while walking or running, thereby reducing the pressure on the foot. Thus it helps comforting the feet from tired and sore feeling, particularly of long periods of exertion. Supportive insoles help to improve the balance of the foot, and its alignment. While some insoles offer more cushioning effect, people with foot problems use the orthotic insoles with customized design to help themselves from pains and other anatomical and medical issues.

Different types of foot demand support at different areas. People with low foot arches or flat foot experience stress and pain due to over pronation. For such foots, an extra cushioning insole helps the arch to relax and support the curve. Those with high arches or curved arches have problems due to over flexing of their foot leading to stress, which is often the causative factor for painful inflammatory condition like plantar fasciitis. High arched foot requires corrective supports for even distribution of the weight and pressure.

Insoles are also useful to control odor of the foot. There are sweat absorbent insoles that helps smelly feet by keeping the foot moisture free and cool. Today we have insoles designed specifically for those with varicose veins, edema and arthritis.

Although picking the right insole for your feet should be solely based on your comfort and durability, if you have a postural or balance problem or experience any stress, it is always better to consult a podiatrist to buy the right orthotic insole for maximum benefit.

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Learning All About Toenail Fungus And The Best Treatment For It

People should be more conscious of their bodies. Sometimes, we are not particularly concerned about our bodies because we think we're healthy enough. But it really pays to be more aware of your physical attributes, especially when there are irregularities somewhere. For example, women are encouraged to always do a rough check of their breasts for signs of lumps. Men, on the other hand, are advised to have an executive check-up at least once a year. These precautions can make it easier for a person to attend to health problems. After all, you can never tell when an unusually large mole or lump has the potential to grow into malignant tumor.

The moment you spot signs or symptoms of irregularities in your body or you feel out of sorts, seek medical attention immediately. The saying an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure holds a lot of truth in it. Take the case of fungal growth. This is quite common and a lot of people get it. Even those who are very meticulous in keeping their bodies healthy and clean can not avoid it at all times. There are fungal growths that are borne out of infection. Others are a result of another more serious condition. Still, others are the result of contamination, especially if you made contact with someone who has them.

When you notice signs of these fungal infections, it's highly encouraged to have them treated as soon as possible. Otherwise, chances are they may spread even further and become more serious. One common example is onychomycosis or the fungal infection of the toenail. A lot of people actually experience this infection and it's not particularly dangerous. But it's not good to just treat it with ointments or salves. They will not solve the problem because you need to legally get to the root of it. That means considering the proper fungus laser treatment to have it permanently removed.

What happens if you do not have it removed properly? For one thing, the infection will grow and spread to your entourage foot. It will disfigure your toenails, toes, and even your entire foot. Plus, the pain will be excruciating. This means you will not be able to wear decent shoes or walk normally. This kind of infection is usually caused by poor hygiene, chronic athlete's foot, aging, or possibly an underlying disease. In some cases, it is also the result of a compromised immune system. If you experience signs of this in your foot, do not think twice and go for the laser treatment immediately.

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Bunions and Foot Pain

Bunions usually happen to develop around the base of big toe and could be easily distinguished by an abnormal looking bump. When the big toe gets partially dislocated, leaving the metatarsal bone exposed, this marks the beginning of a bunion. With the passage of time the joint could result into swapping as well as deformity due to which the bump can cause a lot of pain and inconvenience.

There are several factors that may result into development of bunions, but one of the most prominent one is the kind of footwear we use. For example; constrictive shoes, high heels and shoes with narrow toe box. Other factors responsible for bunions are injuries, arthritis, inherited structural defects, etc. Not to mention the smaller variety of bunions that are also known as 'tailor's bunions' or 'bunionettes' could happen on the joint of your little toe.

A common sign of bunion is the growth of a bump on outer side of your foot. Some other signs would include redness, tenderness or swelling at the region of displaced joint and the skin which is at the base of a toe might turn thick or hard. It is also quite common for calls and corners to develop at the spot where the overlapping of first and second takes takes place.

With time bunions grow more painful, especially when there is a serious infection in the tissues surrounding it. This may later result into a limited movement of big toe that could cause difficulty with your daily activities. In some cases the problem becomes so serious that it becomes impossible to wear shoes. Not only this, the displaced big toe might as well cause what we call 'hammertoe' development.

Bunions happen regardless of age and are permanent in nature which can only be removed by the means of surgery. But in most of the cases people prevent undergoing any form of surgery until and unless it becomes too painful or serious for them. Most individuals like to choose alternative or traditional treatments for bunions in order to get relief from pain or to prevent any further growth of it.

One of the simplest treatments for bunions is to bring changes to your footwear habit. You need to go for that footwear that are comfortable and have plenty of space for your toes. Do not wear footwear that is tight with little space for your toe to fit in, also make sure not to wear high heels at all. You can even opt for bunion pads that help in cushioning up the protrusion and decrease friction on your skin. This will reduce pressure on your affected region and will reduce inflation.

One can even use orthotic devices like padded shoe inserts that could help by evenly distributing pressure through your weight bearing activities. This will minimize your pain and will further prevent the condition to get worse. Most people find over the counter orthotics to work pretty fine for them but those who are suffering from serious deformities with regard to their foot structure might need customized inserts. Although anti-inflammatory medication can bring down discomfort up to some level but they are not considered as a permanent solution.

One can easily prevent development of bunions by wearing comfortable shoes that have plenty of space for the toes. Also, last but not the least there should be ample space between the shoe's end and tip of the longest toe.

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Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD)

This clinically inclined term reflects to the flatfooted condition acquired in adulthood. This merely manifests when the major tendon in feet experiences some degenerative and drastic changes in structure. This impairs the ability of foot to support the arch thebyy giving the pate a flat footed structure. It is one of the common problems afflicting people in the foot and ankle area and is sometimes brought to pass by a tendon inflamed or torn by extreme friction.

This affliction being the most common in adults rears its head slowly, developing in one foot at a time. However studies have shown that it can develop in both feet simultaniously. Considered to be a progressive affliction, it can gradually get worse with the passage of time if it is left untreated for long.

PTTD is characterized by extreme pain, swollen foot, falling arch and an inward inclining of the ankle. The said pain often tends to get worse with increased physical activity and may continue to afflict the subject even after the activity has ceased. If the posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is not treated in time, the pain experienced in the foot and ankle might get worse and cause the skin to redden, get warm and swell up considerably. The ultimate symptoms would display the manifestations of arthritis and progress to the ankle as well.

The most common cause of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is muscular and tendon overuse. The symptoms manifest in full greatly mostly after strenuous physical activity like hiking, walking, running or climbing a steep gradient. Though, acute injuries can also give way to PTTD. The impact of an all might severely injure the tendon in question and set this dysfunction in motion. Physically intensive sports like soccer, basketball, badminton, tennis, basketball and certain forms of dance may injure the tendon on the gradual level and progress it towards the long-term damage. With increased injury and damage, the tendon might be continuously damaged and cause the arch of the foot to fall

When compared, it is seen that women are afflicted by this condition much more than men and it's pretty rampant with women over 40 years of age. People with chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes and obesity run the risk of developing PTDD.

Since Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction is classified as a progressive disorder, its treatment can be meted out without intervening surgically. PTTD needs to be treated before it is too late.

The best way to deal with PTTD is to completely determine physical activity and engage in cold therapy and complete rest. However more conventional methods are required for cases of further advancement. The use of braces, orthotic devices and foot immobilization techniques using casts, physical therapy and medicine to soothe inflammation can reduce the affliction considerably. Also the subject is made to wear condition-friendly footwear to soothe the form.

While most initial cases can be resolved by such remedial treatment, advanced cases require more than just footwear modification. For extremely painful cases in which the symptoms can not be removed via conventional remedies, surgical methods are employed. The inflamed tissues are surgically removed and the tendons are repaired. Because of the complicated surgical procedure, the patients suffering from PTTD are often reduced to bed rest with little movement and increased periods of recuperation.

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Arthritis of the Foot – Symptoms and Treatment

One of the leading causes of disability in the United States is arthritis. The condition can occur at any age and anywhere in the body. The name, 'arthritis,' literally means 'pain within a joint' and is used to describe a number of conditions that affect the joint.

While there is no cure for arthritis, there are a number of treatment options available. Treatment goals are designed to manage pain, keep the affected individual active and provide overall relief.

There are three different types of arthritis that affect the foot:

1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis of the foot is also known as a degenerative condition that is more common in people after they reach middle age. The condition is caused from overall 'wear and tear' that results in inflammation, swelling and pain around the joint. The problem can make it painful to walk and in some cases debilitating. Osteoarthritis progresses gradually, and the symptoms

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is different than osteoarthritis in that is a system wide disease that does not follow a predictable pattern in certain joints like osteoarthritis does. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease where the immune system attacks itself and destroys the cartilage. The exact cause of this condition is unknown.

3. Post-Traumatic Arthritis

Foot trauma, specifically foot fractures, may lead to arthritis developing in the affected joint. An injured joint is about seven more times likely to become arthritic over time, if the area is not properly treated.

Symptoms of Arthritis in the Foot

The signs and symptoms of arthritis in the foot vary, depending on which foot joint is affected. Common symptoms may include:

· Pain and tenderness
· Stiffness or reduced range of motion in the foot
· Swelling in affected joint and surrounding areas
· Difficulty walking due to any of the above symptoms

Treatment for Arthritis of the Foot

The treatment plan for foot arthritis depends on the type, location and severity of the condition. There are wide ranges of treatment types available.

Nonsurgical treatment involves:

· Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications
· Custom-made shoes with a rocker bottom
· Shoe inserts, or orthotics
· Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises
· Steroid injections into the joint to treat pain and inflammation

Surgical treatment is available if the arthritis does not respond to nonsurgical treatment. The choice will depend on the type of the arthritis and where it is located. Surgery that is performed on the foot include:

· Arthroscopic debridement
· Arthrodesis (fusion of the joints)
· Arthroplasty (replacement of the affected joint)

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The Honey Bees Are Dying – Do We Need Them?

Dying off in alarming numbers!

For most of us it would have gone unnoticed; although it is fact since the late 1980 honeybees are dying off in alarming numbers. Without we hear it on the news or read it somewhere in the newspapers, how would we know? After all it is only a humble little bee of no great interest or importance to most of us, or is it?

Bees are known to bring us honey and are also responsive for the sting!

Do you know after a bee stains it will die? Unlike a wasp which is not affected after it fired its torpedo. It most likely flies away with a smirk on its face.

The little bee is not getting reduced in numbers because of its suicidal mission. We are responsible in many other ways for its disappearance.

The first thing that comes to our mind when we see a bee is “honey”. Nothing wrong with that! Honey has many good nutritional values ​​and has been accepted as healthy food and a natural substitute as sweetener.

It does not end there!

Our little bee spreads its wings further than that. It pollinates all our fruit and vegetables.

In all, bees pollinate over 130 different crops all over the globe. Our food supply depends on this humble little worker and also contributes to global food security.

Although, there are many other pollinating insects the bee alone is the largest contributor of the food we consume. It is hard to imagine how life would be without the multitude of flowers, varied fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries etc.

Bee colonies are disappearing!

Reports have confirmed that bee colonies around the globe are disappearing. It was estimated since 2006 almost one – third of the honey bee colonies have vanished.

The million dollar question here: What is causing this? There is only a short answer to this: “US”!

We contribute to their extension by working our mechanically clever designed devices representing a terrible biological disaster and destroying what nature has given us.

What is the cause of their extinction?

One of the theories is due to infestation by a mite. The virus transported by the parasite is infesting the bee's habitat.

Other facts are more and more highly toxic insecticides used in the agricultural application as seed treatment in hundreds of crops.

GMO (genetically modified organisms) which are highly toxic, get in to soils and ground water were they could stay for a long time, even years.

Some European countries like Germany and Poland have discontinued using GMO in all crops.

This is no longer just a theory that genetic engineering of crops is bad for the environment and the human population, this has become fact.

The use and planting of herbicide-tolerant GM crops is not only affecting many insects including butterflies, it is also killing other plants some insects kindly on for habitat and food.

How can we help our honey bees?

We must say NO to the GMOs, its herbicides and chemical roundup that is killing our bees and also affecting our own health just for the benefit of some to make a fast buck.

For the benefit of your own health use lots of honey! This is the only food on our planet that will not rot or spoil. No matter how long you keep it, it might crystallize and go sugary, although the perfect quality still remains.

Scientists of today also accept honey as a very effective medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey is natural and has no side effects. Constant use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacterial and viral diseases. Honey also has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. It is found that a mixture of honey and cinnamon cures many diseases.

If taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients.

If possible get the honey from your local beekeeper. It is better quality and you are supporting your local organic farmers market at the same time.

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Advanced Procedure Provides Solution for Bunions

Bunions are the enlargement of the big toe joint area, caused by a misaligned bone that pushes the big toe inward. Many people end the inconvision and pain associated with bunions because they do not know where to turn for treatment or think they can not spare the time to fix the problem. A bunion in its early stage, appears as an unsightly bump on the side of the foot. If left untreated, it can become significantly worse and the first toe may ever overlap the second toe or lead to other foot problems such as calluses, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, or premature arthritis.

Bunions Worsen Over Time

With the advent of the internet, many people choose non-surgical treatments for their bunions, spending hundreds of dollars on bunion splints, orthodics, and special corrective devices only to discover that the bunion continues to worsen and hurt. It is not uncommon for people to wear out several pairs of shoes in their quest for relief and lasting comfort. Over time, as the bunion worsens, patients must choose to continue suffering or seek medical treatment. Bunions affect one out of six people. The tendency to develop bunions is hereditary and women are more often influenced than men. Because bunions are a hereditary ailment, they will gradually worsen over time. While there are some successful, non-surgical options available, many bunions will require surgery to correct the joint alignment and provide long lasting pain relief.

Most Advanced Technique to Treat Bunions

Many board certified podiatrists may offer a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy. This is a procedure which will correct a bunion deformity. Using the most advanced technique available, podiatrists can reduce the enlarged joint behind the first toe and straighten the misalignment of bones using a small titanium, -alloy screw, or staple to maintain the correct position. The incision is closed using a plastic surgery technique which allows for a very thin, cosmetically pleasing scar. The outpatient procedure takes approximately one hour and the patient is, in most cases, able to walk in a walking boot within a few days of surgery. Follow-up visits are required to change bandages and monitor results with X-rays.

Do not wait for your bunions to become a painful burden. Consult with your podiatrist today to schedule your bunionectomy. It will transform your feet and relieve pain and discomfort. Educating yourself about the procedure and post op care will help you know what to expect and will help you prepare for your surgery.

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Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is a common condition where the corner or edge of one of the toenails grows into the soft flesh part of the toe. The result of this growth is a painful, sore region that is often red and may become infected. These ingrown problems typically affect the big toe, but can occur on any one of the toes.

Many ingrown toenails can be taken care of at home, but if you are in severe pain and the pain is spreading, you will want to see a doctor right away for treatment. Your doctor will recommend the appropriate treatment needed for the care of your toe.

Common Treatments

Through lifestyle and home remedies, ingrown toenails can generally be rented at home. Some of the most common home remedies include soaking the foot regularly in warm water and applying antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. If the pain and swapping continues, or if you see pus or redness spreading through the toe, you should see your podiatrist right away.

Treatments for these toenails may include:

· Partially removing the nail

Severe ingrown toenails may require a doctor to partially remove the nail. The toenail can be trimmed back far enough or removed to allow for proper healing. Before this procedure takes place, the doctor may numb the toe with a topical anesthetic or inject the numbing medicine into the toe. This treatment can be highly effective in relieving the pain and allowing the infected site to heal.

· Lifting the nail

Slightly ingrown toenails that include redness and pain associated with minor infection may require that the edge of the nail be lifted. The nail can be lifted slowly in order to separate from the overlying skin. This procedure helps the nail to be able to grow properly above the skin edge. A doctor may insert cotton, dental floss or a splint beneeth the nail to keep slightly raised.

· Removing the entire nail and tissue

Some people experience recurrent ingrown formation, and in this case, your doctor may recommend having the nail nail or a portion of the toenail removed. The underlying tissue or nail bed may also be removed to prevent the nail from growing back. The procedure is generally done with a chemical, laser or other method. If the toenail region is at risk for infection, topical or oral antibiotics will be given both before and after the treatment procedure takes place.

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Get Rid of Foot Cramps

Foot cramps can be at least annoying and at the most quite painful. It can be caused due to various factors like foot exertion, improper blood circulation, substance abuse, malnutrition etc. Foot cramps may also be caused when your feet do not get enough oxygen due to poor blood circulation to the feet. The best relief for foot cramps is stretching exercises. Although annoying, they are not a cause for concern by themselves but sometimes may lead to serious problems. So it is a good idea to see a podiatrist if you have severe foot cramps often.

You can less the chances of developing foot cramps by wearing right-fitting shoes. Do some simple stretching before you do any kind of exercise program to loosen the muscles. It is very important to loose the leg muscles before you take a swim as you may get foot cramps in the water. When you have a cramping sensation, place your feet under running water alternating between cool water and warm water. Follow this with a good foot massage for five to ten minutes.

Do you have peripheral vascular disease?
You may have peripheral vascular disease when there is poor blood circulation to the feet and legs. The walls of the artillery get thickened and this may lead to this foot problem. It could occur due to diabetes. Some of the common symptoms of Peripheral vascular disease are a dull cramping pain in the calf muscle or numbness or tingling in the foot or toes. There may also be changes in the color of the skin.

This problem can be treated though it may take a while and you have to be extra careful with your foot hygiene while it is healing. It is also important to wear right fitting footwear that does not cause too much pressure. If you have any corn or calluses, get it treated immediately because if you do not, the skin may break down and may be difficult to heal later on.

Treating children's foot problems
Proper foot care and foot treatment should begin in childhood. Some common foot disorders that affect children are flat feet, ingrown toenails and knock knees. Preventive foot treatment is important to your child. Many children walk in an awkward way which is termed pigeon toed, flat footed, or bowlegged. This may not cause pain at present but may get worse and cause pain as they get older. It is important for parents to get these foot disorders treated early. Curved feet and tendon contractures are other childhood foot problems. A podiatric doctor will be able to diagnose the problem and treat the child.

Some complaints from children could be because of what is called growing pains. The bones grow faster than tissues, tendons and ligaments and so may take several months to catch up to the length of the bones. This causes pain but it will pass. But do not ignore any complaint of pain from your child.

Treat your tendonitis
The tendon is found at the end of the muscle and attaches the muscle to the bone. Athletes overwork their tendons during rigorous practice and this may stress the area and cause tendonitis. Tendonitis is usually found in the foot as we use it the most and this is true for every one of us, not just athletes. The muscle gets tired and weakens, which may cause pain and swelling. Podiatrists or foot doctors may ask you to wear a support to restrict movement and help it heal. Your podiatrist may also want you to take an ultrasound to check the damage. If the pain persists, an MRI Scan may need to be taken in case there is a tear in the tendon or a rupture where the tendon meets the bone.

Athletes need to see a good foot doctor who understands sports injuries and can help, as severe tendonitis can hamper their sports career. They should go back for follow up visits after they are better, especially when they get back to their normal training and participation in competitions. Sometimes corrective surgery may be needed to realign the tendon.

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Talking to a Foot Surgeon About Bunions

With the help of a foot surgeon, you can get relief from a bunion. This abnormal bump that pushes your big toe up against the others can be painful and frustrating. The joint ends up going in the opposite direction, away from its normal alignment. Instead of solving the problem or providing any relief, this causes even more pain as the joint gets larger and the toes get even more crowded. At some point, it makes sense to consider surgery.


Once a bunion begins, the pain and frustration alone are enough to send you running into the office of the closest foot surgeon. The bulging of the big toe begins to change the shape of one of your feet, making it difficult to find comfortable shoes. Without a shoe on, the toes are crowded; when you try to put any type of shoe on, the crowding is worse and the pain is often unbearable. There are not a lot of place that a person can go without wearing shoes.

The overlapping of the toes often creates corn and callouses that ensure that patients feel pain through the foot. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of relief when it comes to the pain and eventually the big toe loses some of its mobility. When that happens a person needs to talk to a foot surgeon as soon as possible to ensure that he or she gets some kind of relief.

The Surgical Procedure

A foot surgeon will talk to the patient about the type of anesthetic that will be used. Some patients are okay with just a local anesthetic while others needs to have some type of sedative to make sure that they feel comfortable with the procedure. Once the area is numb, it is time to go in and make adjustments to the big toe. There are multiple ways that the operation can be handled and it is important that both the doctor and patient talk about which procedure will be used and how it will affect the person's feet.

It is possible for the operation to remove the area of ​​the toe that is bulging out. This is called a bunionectomy and it only takes about an hour to have the work completed. Other patients opt for realignment of the ligaments, removal of some of the bone of the toe, or a fusion of the big toe joint. In some cases, if the bunion is sufficient enough, it may require that an implant be inserted or a completely artificial joint.

If you are struggling with a bunion, contact a local foot surgeon today for more information on how you can get relief.

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How to Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy Foot Problems

Diabetic Neuropathy Foot Problems – How to Prevent Them

People living with diabetes, over time, may develop nerve damage in the foot. While some people with this form of nerve damage may experience no symptoms, others may have numbness, loss of feeling in the foot or toes, pain and tingling sensations.

Diabetic neuropathies may occur in almost any part of the body; however, the foot is one of the more common areas to experience problems in those with the disease. People who have had diabetes for over 25 years are the most susceptible to diabetic foot neuropathy.

Causes of Neuropathy in the Foot

There are a lot of causes for diabetic neuropathy to occur. Researchers have studies how the prolonged exposure to high blood glucose can lead to nerve damage in the foot, as well as other parts of the body. Nerve damage is likely due to a combination of factors, including:

· Metabolic factors, such as high blood glucose, long duration of diabetes, abnormal blood fat levels, and possibly low levels of insulin

· Neurovascular factors, leading to damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves

· Autoimmune factors that cause inflammation in nerves

· Mechanical injury to nerves, such as carpal tunnel syndrome

· Inherited exercises that increase susceptibility to nerve disease

· Lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol use

Prevention of Neuropathy

If you are experiencing any symptoms, such as numbness or tingling sensations in the foot or toes, pain or tenderness in the foot, or a loss of feeling in the foot or toes, it is important to undergo complete medical testing. Your doctor will diagnose the problem based on their symptoms reported as well as a physical examination.

The best way to prevent neuropathy is to keep the blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as possible. This means that maintaining safe blood glucose levels will help you avoid acquiring any symptoms associated with neuropathy and extremely prevent the condition from occurring.

Regular foot exams are necessary, especially for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, or have lived with the disease for a prolonged period of time. If you have been diagnosed with neuropathy already, you will require even more foot examinations.

Comprehensive foot exams should include assessment of the skin, muscles, bones circulation and sensation of the feet. Pressure and pinprick tests may be related to assessment the level of neuropathy or to ensure that preventive measures are being taken. Nerve lending studies and tests may be required throughout the assessment of care.

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What You Need To Know About Bunions

First of all, what is a bunion? A bunion is a large bump on the side of your foot. The bump is actually a visible sign of a change in the framework in the front part of the foot. With a bunion, the big toe is deviated. It is forced inward, toward the second toe, actually changing the alignment of the bones in the foot and producing that prominent bump on the side known as a bunion.

So how do you get one and is it something that can be prevented?

A bunion is not anything terrible and it's not caused from doing anything wrong. Wearing inappropriate shoes can make bunions worse or can cause you to feel the symptoms of a bunion earlier, but they do not actually cause bunions. Often a bunion is inherited. We inherit our foot shape and type just like we inherit eye color or the shape of our nose. Our foot shape and type can make us prone to developing bunions, so it is not actually the bunion that is inherited, the but the type of foot you have inherited that makes you more prone to the disorder.

It is easy to tell if you have a bunion since you can actually see the bunion on the side of the foot or the base of the big toe. It is a progressive disorder, meaning the changes in your foot are gradual and over the years, the bunion becomes worse and increasingly noticeable. It is usually appropriate, since the prominence of the bunion is quite obvious. However, you still need to be evaluated by a podiatrist. Since bunions are progressive, they will not just go away on their own but continue to get worse, some more quickly than others.

Something most people do not know is that a bunion does not always cause pain. Some people never even have symptoms. If they do, they usually do not appear until the later stages of the disorder. If you do have pain with a bunion it is usually worn on by wearing shoes that cramp the toes. If that happens, you may have pain or soreness, which sometimes restricts movement of the toe, at the sight of the bunion. You may even have sores between your toes or calluses on your big toe. You may have a burning feeling at the bunion site after you put pressure on it or have ingrown toenails on the big toe. Some people even experience numbness, but that is usually in more serious cases.

Women are more likely to have these symptoms than men. This may be because women wear high heels, which typically have a tight toe box and cramp the toes.

If you are having problems with a big toe joint: the shape of it, the bump, or you do not like the appearance, those are things that need to be looked at.

A podiatrist can take an x-ray and evaluate the shape of the bone. You can discuss your treatment options with your doctor. Sometimes podiatrists put people suffering from bunions in different shoes, which is very important in avoiding bunion pain. Doctors may also recommend bunion pads, which can be obtained from your doctor or purchased at drug stores, or put inserts or custom orthotic devices into the shoe to make the patient bear weight a little differently, taking the pressure off of the bunion. It is recommended that you avoid standing for long periods of time or doing any activities that cause bunion pain. In some cases, surgery may be needed. Surgery is a great option for bunions. There are a variety of surgical procedures that can be performed to help with bunion pain and recent advances have made it possible to operate on bunions with a very high rate rate. Sometimes, when bunion pain is interfering with your daily activities, surgery is the best option to get you back to walking pain free.

If you are not happy with the appearance of your foot or you have pain, see a podiatrist and have it looked at it. There so many options available for treating pain caused by bunions. There is no reason to live with it.

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Flat Foot Problems – Symptoms And Treatment

What Is Flat Foot?

The common condition known as flat foot is where one or both feet does not have a fully formed arch.

There are four arches of the feet but it is the medial longitudinal arch or inner arch that is affected. This is the main arch of the foot and it forms between the base of the heel bone (Calcanium) and the head of the first metatarsal.

The ligament involved is suspended by the talus, navicular and three cuneiform bones, like a string on a bow.

Causes Of A Flat Foot

Many people suffer with low arches or a lack of any formed arch at all, may be very painful and this may be due to a number of conditions:

  • Developmental
  • Hereditary
  • Ruptured Tendon or Ligament
  • Cerebral Palsy or Spina Bifida

If flat-footedness has been experienced by any other member of your family, then the condition may be hereditary. Depending on your age and severity of the condition a different approach to insoles supports may be necessary.

If the foot does not develop correctly this can also lead to an abnormal walking position, but the chances are, it will be more correctable if the patient is younger than the condition is picked up sooner rather than later.

Other conditions such as Spina bifida, muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy will result in flat-foot, as can a ruptured tendon or ligament causing a dysfunction of the gait cycle and in these cases surgery may be the only option.

Because flat-footed people are walking unnaturally on this part of the foot they may develop calluses or corners which can become painful. They will also wear out their shoes quite quickly if the correct arch supports are not fitted. This may also lead to other painful problems with the ankle, knee or hip, as the alignment of the lower limb is not as it should be.

How To Treat A Flat Foot With Insoles

There are several ways to treat flatfoot but it is probably better to get professional advice from your Chiropodist / Podiatrist before you embark on self treatment, particularly if you have secondary lesions such as corns, because these can ulcerate and become infected.

Sufferers will generally need to buy high quality insoles known as orthotics made from a range of materials which fit inside the shoe and support the arch in a specific way. There are off the shelf products from your local pharmacy to do this but it is often better to get a custom orthotic made.

The material the orthotic is made from is also important as to whether it needs to be softer so as not to cause pressure from the collapsing arch to one that is harder, providing more support. This will depend on the amount of dropped arch you are experiencing as to if an arch supporting insole will be beneficial as opposed to a gel insole.

This may be more expensive but if it is an adaptable orthotic, it can be adjusted by 'posting' as the arch is lifted over time.

More About Arch Pain

If you're experiencing inflammation or a burning sensation in the arch at night then you probably have some degree of arch pain.

This is where the plantar fascia ligament which forms the arch becomes inflamed and is not to be confused with plantar fasciitis, which is a micro tear of the ligament at the heel. In both cases it is due to an over stretching of the ligament from trauma.

The best treatment for this kind of arch pain is to use an orthotic to remove the pressure from the arch and provide support to correct the positioning of the foot and consequent posture of the body.

Even if you do not suffer with flat-footedness or arch pain it may be a good idea to use an off-the-shelf arch support or insole to prevent the condition from occurring. If you are an athlete or runner or your work requires that you are standing for long periods of time you will find this kind of arch support will be very beneficial.

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An Overview of the Different Causes of Heel Pain

Common Causes of Heel Pain

Heel pain is among the most annoying and debilitating health issues because it can seriously limit mobility. The heel must bear the weight of the entire body making it unacceptable to injury. It is critical to get an accurate diagnosis of the pain from the heel because there are several causes.

If you are experiencing pain in the heel read on to find out some of the common causes:

Plantar fasciitis – this is the most common cause of pain caused by the inflammation in the tissue that makes up the arch of the foot. The arch experiencing fatigue due to injury or overuse often causes plantar fasciitis. Long periods of standing and activity can increase symptoms.

Heel spur – heel spurs are commonly associated with people suffering from plantar fasciitis, although heel spurs can occur on their own. Heel spurs are common athletes as well as people who have occupations requiring a lot of walking and standing for prolonged periods.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome – tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused by the large nerve in the back of the foot the get pinched or impinged. This is very similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the hand. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can cause severe pain in the foot reducing or even inhibiting mobility.

Stress fracture – stress fractures are common in the foot but not in the heel. Stress fractures to the heel can occur as a result of acute injury or overuse. Athletes such as long distance runners are more susceptible to stress fractures than others.

Posterior heel pain – posterior pain in the heel leads to pain behind the foot rather than underneath the heel. Posterior pain in the heel is typically caused by tendinitis in the Achilles tendon or a bout of bursitis.

When to contact your health care provider

Many people wait too long to see their health care provider when they have recalcitrant pain in the heel. If you are unsure of what is causing your pain you should see your doctor immediately. The treatment of heel pain varies which means there are a wide variety of treatments designed to target specific causes. The wrong treatment can provide no relief and can make the undering cause worse.

Contact your health care provider if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

· Inability to walk

· Heel pain that will not subside

· Heel pain that gets worse at night or when resting

· Swelling that will not subside

· Foot discoloration

· Redness, heat or fever

Heel pain is something that you do not have to live with. The right health care provider can make the correct diagnosis and implement the right treatment plan.

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