Find out how to get your bunion pain under control and when to see a podiatrist.
A bunion is a painful foot deformity that warrants turning to a podiatrist to learn how to manage your pain and slow the deformity’s progression. If you suspect you might have a bunion, but you’ve never actually found out, it’s time to turn to a podiatrist to learn more. In the meantime, here’s what you should know about bunion pain and ways to manage it.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is a deformity of the big toe’s joint that causes a large, bony bump to stick out at the edge of the foot at the base of the toe. The bump may become swollen, red or painful, especially when wearing certain shoes.
What Are Some Ways That I Can Manage My Symptoms?
There are ways to slow a bunion’s progress enough that you may never need surgery. If your symptoms are minor, changing your shoes will make a world of difference. Opt for shoes with a wide toe box, don’t put pressure on the bunion, and have a low heel.
Shoes should also provide proper support, and remember—shoes don’t last forever. We know it’s tough to part with them, but if your shoes are worn out, they aren’t giving your feet the stability they need.
Other ways to reduce bunion pain and take pressure off the deformed joint is to,
- Maintain a healthy weight (or lose excess weight)
- Apply a non-medicated bunion pad over the joint before wearing shoes
- Consider using custom orthotics or night splints (talk with your podiatrist first)
- Take NSAID pain relievers when necessary to ease bouts of achiness and throbbing pain
- Apply ice packs to the area or take warm soaks to ease symptoms
- Consider getting regular massages to help boost blood flow
Can I Get Rid of a Bunion?
The simple answer is “yes”. You can get rid of a bunion but only through surgery. Of course, while surgery is usually the last treatment option to consider, this doesn’t necessarily mean that surgery isn’t the right choice for you. You may be a good candidate for bunion surgery if,
- Your bunion doesn’t respond to home treatment
- Bunion pain is severe and chronic
- Your bunion affects your daily routine and quality of life
Don’t let bunion pain impact your life and daily routine. A podiatrist can map out a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle and activities to help you better control your pain and get back to what you love doing.
Are you dealing with a painful toenail? It could be an ingrown toenail.
Any ingrown toenail happens when the edge of a toenail, typically the big toenail, grows into the skin. As you might imagine, it can be pretty painful (but if you have one, we certainly don’t have to tell you). If you suspect you might have an ingrown toenail but are unsure, here’s what you should know, including telltale signs of one.
Why Do Ingrown Toenails Happen?
There are many reasons why you could be dealing with an ingrown toenail. Of course, one of the most common causes is not trimming your toenail correctly. Didn’t realize there was a right and wrong way to keep your toe? Well, there is! If you trim your nails too short or cut them at a curve (rather than straight), you may be prone to developing an ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenails can also happen if you’ve recently injured the toe (even stubbing your toe counts) or if your shoes are just a little too tight.
What Are the Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail?
If you have an ingrown toenail, the first symptom you may experience is foot pain around the affected nail. The area may also be red, swollen or tender to the touch.
When Should I Call My Foot Doctor?
While soaking the toe and allowing it time to heal (you better stop wearing those tight-fitted shoes during this time!) can often be all that’s needed to manage your symptoms until the nail is healthy again, some circumstances warrant visiting us for care including,
- When at-home measures haven’t improved your symptoms within three days
- When the pain gets worse (this could be a sign of infection)
- When the toe becomes severely swollen, is warm to the touch or begins to drain pus
- If you have nerve damage in your feet, diabetes or circulation problems
If in doubt about whether you may be dealing with an ingrown toenail, call your podiatrist to find out if your symptoms warrant coming in for a consultation. If you develop increased redness and pain, fever or skin that’s warm to the touch, these are signs of an infection, and it’s important that you turn to your foot doctor immediately.
Prone to ingrown toenails? Here’s what you should know…
Let’s take a look at how to protect your ingrown toenails and when it’s time to turn to a podiatrist to treat this common foot problem,
Wear Properly Fitted Shoes
While this might seem obvious, you wouldn’t believe how many people try to cram their feet into shoes that bunch up their toes and put pressure on the nails. If you wear shoes like this, it’s time to stop. Shop for shoes with a large toe box; you should be able to wiggle your toes when wearing your shoes. Looking for new shoes? Go shoe shopping in the afternoon or evening when your feet are at the largest (yes, feet often swell throughout the day).
Trim Your Nails the Right Way
Yes, there is a right way to trim your toenails, and if you find yourself dealing with ingrown toenails throughout the year, then your trimming technique could be to blame. While you want to trim your toenails regularly, you want to ensure you aren’t trimming them too short. The nails should be level with the tips of your toes; any lower, and you risk ingrown toenails. You also should never cut or trim the edges of the nail into a curve; nails should always be cut straight across.
Protect Your Feet
Are you a powerlifter or an athlete? Do you pound the pavement or work on a construction site? Suppose your daily routine, workout or work is labor-intensive and prone to injuries. In that case, you want to ensure you wear the proper protective footwear to prevent bars, beams and other hard objects from hitting your foot, as injuries to the nail can also lead to ingrown toenails.
Know When to See a Podiatrist
While ingrown toenails can often be managed with home care, there are times when you will want to see a podiatrist for treatment. It’s time to turn to a podiatrist if,
- You have diabetes, and you develop any foot problems, including an ingrown toenail
- Your ingrown toenail becomes severely painful, swollen or red
- Pus or drainage is coming from the toenail
- You don’t know if you’re dealing with an ingrown toenail or not
- You don’t see an improvement in your symptoms within a day or two of home care
Dealing with ingrown toenails? Your podiatrist can provide your feet with the treatment they need to prevent further issues. Call yours today.
Turn to a podiatrist to find out more about orthotics and their benefits
If you are dealing with sore, tired, and achy feet you may be wondering whether you should turn to a podiatrist for custom orthotics. Custom or prescription orthotics are far more effective than those over-the-counter, one-size-fits-all orthotics you’ll find at your local drugstore. Luckily, podiatrists craft orthotics to fit your needs and your feet, so they are tailored to you. Here are the types of custom orthotics that are available.
What are orthotics?
Orthotics are in-shoe devices that help to correct structural abnormalities within the foot that may impact how the foot, ankle, leg, and hip function. Prescription orthotics are specially crafted by a foot and ankle specialist to correct issues you’re dealing with, manage symptoms and improve movement overall.
What are the types of custom orthotics?
Orthotics are categorized as accommodative or functional,
These types of orthotics are most often recommended for those who are dealing with injuries, pain, and other similar problems that may require additional cushioning and support. These orthotics are typically made from a soft, flexible material, making them more about comfort than functionality (even though they may be able to control abnormal movements, as well). Accommodative orthotics are often best for,
- Calluses and corns
- Diabetic foot ulcers or diabetic feet
- Arch support
- Heel pain
- Chronic pain
This orthotic is made from a semi-rigid or rigid material, making it the ideal option for correcting faulty biomechanics and gait issues within the feet. Functional orthotics can help stabilize the foot and ankle and may be an ideal option for athletes as well as those who are prone to tendonitis, bursitis, hip pain, and shin splints. Of course, if you aren’t sure which type of orthotic is right for you, you should speak with your podiatrist.
What goes into getting orthotics?
Before getting custom orthotics, your podiatrist will need to perform a comprehensive assessment of the foot, ankles, knees, and hips to understand what structural or functional issues you’re dealing with. This examination is straightforward and non-invasive. From there, a plaster cast of your foot will be made to help craft your custom-fitted orthotics. Once your orthotics are ready, you’ll come back into the office to have them fitted.
Most people can benefit from custom orthotics. If you want to find out which type of orthotics are right for you and how they could support your feet, talk with your podiatrist today.
Learn more about ankle pain, how to treat it and when to seek professional care.
It should go without saying that if you are dealing with ankle pain, it isn’t something that you should ignore. Whether you noticed it while walking off the field after a game or noticed that the pain has been getting gradually worse over time, it’s important that you turn to your podiatrist to get some answers.
What are some common causes of ankle pain?
An injury to the muscles, bones, and ligaments of the ankle is usually the most common cause of pain. Other causes include,
- Broken ankle/foot
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Plantar fasciitis
- Stress fracture
- Sprained ankle
When should I see a doctor?
Even minor issues that may go away on their own may first present with pain. While trying at-home remedies and care to help alleviate your pain is often a great first step, it’s important that you seek immediate care from your foot doctor if you have,
- Severe pain or swelling
- A severe malformation or deformity
- Open wound
- Cannot bear weight on your foot
- Notice that the foot is red, warm, or tender to the touch, or you have a high fever (these are all signs of infection)
- You have ankle pain or other symptoms, and you have diabetes
While you won’t need immediate attention you will still want to come in for care if you experience ankle swelling that doesn’t go away after several days of at-home treatments or ankle pain that hasn’t gotten better within a week of rest and home care.
How is ankle pain treated?
When you turn to a podiatrist, they will perform a physical examination and run imaging tests to diagnose the cause of your ankle pain. Your diagnosis will also help us determine your treatment plan. Of course, many patients that are only dealing with minor issues can often eliminate their symptoms with these self-care options,
- Avoiding certain activities
- Icing the ankle
- Wearing compression bandages
- Elevating the foot and ankle above your heart
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen
Experiencing ankle pain isn’t normal. If you are experiencing new or worsening ankle pain, or pain resulting from an injury, it’s best to turn to a podiatrist as soon as possible for care.
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