Bunions are a common condition affecting many people. However, due to its slow-growing nature and lack of serious symptoms in the early stages, patients often do not realize they have a bunion at all. Find out more about bunions, their causes, and how your podiatrist can help with Dr. Richard Lesser at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ.
Do I have a bunion?
A bunion looks like a lump or bump at the base of the big toe. It is a bony growth that gets bigger very slowly over time, often not producing any symptoms until its advanced stages. However, some tell-tale signs you have a bunion include:
- soreness around the big toe joint
- bulging bump on the outside edge of the base of the big toe
- decreased range of motion in the big toe
- corns or calluses where the smaller toes overlap
- foot pain, either intermittently or persistently
- swelling and irritation around the big toe
If you have persistent pain, a visible bunion, or have difficulty finding shoes that fit, you should consult with your podiatrist for the best course of treatment for you.
What causes a bunion?
Certain factors are thought to contribute to bunion growth. They include:
- the type of foot you inherit genetically
- congenital deformities of the foot
- certain injuries to the foot
- too-tight or too-narrow shoes
- high-heeled shoes
Bunion Treatments in Howell, NJ
If you think you have a bunion, your foot doctor can help you manage your symptoms and, if necessary, treat your bunion. In some cases, simply changing the type of shoes you wear and monitoring your bunion is enough to slow its growth enough to avoid invasive treatments. However, some people may require a bunionectomy. This surgery removes the bunion altogether and realigns the toes to ensure they lie straight in their correct positions.
For more information on bunions, please contact Dr. Richard Lesser at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ. Call (732) 370-1100 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Lesser today!
Treating toenail fungus
Toenail fungus--it's one of the most common podiatric problems children, teens, and adults have. Causing thickened, yellow, brittle nails, onychomycosis (the medical name for toenail fungus) spreads easily and can be stubborn to treat. If you see one or more of your toenails changing shape, color, and texture, see your foot doctor right away. They have the expertise and treatments to give you ten clear toenails once again.
How toenail fungus starts
The micro-organism thrives in dark, moist environments--sweaty socks and sneakers being prime candidates. Additionally, shared towels, nail clippers, shower room floors, and pool decks breed toenail and Athlete's Foot fungus. In fact, if you suffer periodic outbreaks of itchy, uncomfortable Athlete's Foot, you're more prone to onychomycosis, says the American Academy of Dermatology.
Conquering toenail fungus
Your foot doctor sees scores of patients with toenail fungus. Visual inspection is the main diagnostic tool, and for mild cases of onychomycosis, the podiatrist may recommend creams or ointments applied topically. Oral medications are an option as well.
Additionally, modern podiatry offers innovative laser treatments which kill the micro-organism right where it lives. Painless and very effective, laser treatments are applied to all ten toenails to prevent re-infection.
Unfortunately, toenail fungal infections can become quite severe and spread to the nail bed. When infection is severe, the podiatrist may advise complete removal of the toenail to prevent further problems.
Prevention is best
Of course, if you can avoid toenail fungus, your feet and nails will look and feel their best, and you won't be embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes or sandals in the warm weather. However, some people are more prone to this common infection--diabetics, those with poor peripheral circulation and individuals who are immunosuppressed.
Regardless, your podiatrist recommends these preventive measures for healthy, fungus-free nails:
- Wash your feet with soap and water daily, and dry them with a clean towel.
- Clip your toenails straight across with a clean clippers.
- Wear clean socks daily.
- Change your gym shoes after a workout. In fact, alternate pairs if possible, letting your footwear dry out between wearings.
- Wear flip-flops or shower sandals in the locker room and poolside, too.
Have you been experiencing any heel pain or bothersome tenderness without any obvious cause? Although heel spurs themselves sometimes do not cause acute discomfort, they are frequently associated with the painful inflammation known as plantar fasciitis, a condition commonly described as feeling like a knife is wrenching through your foot. Read below for more information on the typical causes, symptoms, and treatments of heel spurs.
What is a Heel Spur?
A heel spur is often the result of overstraining foot muscles and ligaments, overstretching the plantar fascia (the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes), and repeatedly tearing the heel bone membrane. From these actions arises a calcium deposit on the underside of the heel bone. Risk factor for developing the condition include:
- Possessing any walking gait abnormalities
- Regularly running or jogging on hard surfaces
- Wearing poorly fitted or overly worn shoes
- Wearing shoes that lack arch support
- Being excessively overweight or obese
What are The Symptoms?
Heel spurs do not carry many symptoms by themselves. However, they are often related to other afflictions, most typically plantar fasciitis. The most common sign of this combo of conditions is a feeling of chronic pain along the bottom or back of the heel, especially during periods of walking, running, or jogging. If you are experiencing this recurring inflammation, it is a good idea to visit your local podiatrist's office and inquire about undergoing an x-ray or ultrasound examination of the foot.
What are the Treatment Options?
The solutions to heel spurs are generally centered around decreasing inflammation and avoiding re-injury. They include:
- Applying ice on the inflammation
- Performing stretch exercises
- Wearing orthotic devices or shoe inserts to relieve pressure off of the spur
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to relieve pain
- In extreme cases, surgery can be performed on chronically inflamed spurs
If you are dealing with symptoms of heel spurs or pain in your feet, turn to a podiatrist so that we can get you back on your feet. Don't ignore your pain.
How your podiatrist in Howell, NJ, can help with heel pain
If you’ve been sidelined to the couch because of persistent, nagging heel pain, there is help. It’s time to talk with your podiatrist. Dr. Richard Lesser at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ, wants to share the facts about heel pain and how you can get relief to get back on your feet!
Heel pain can be caused by stepping on sharp objects, causing a bruise on your heel, or from excess calcium deposits causing bone spurs on your heel. One of the most common causes of excruciating heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which can cause pain so severe it affects your ability to walk or stand.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue, known as the plantar fascia which runs across your heel, becomes inflamed. The condition is common to runners, but it can also affect you if you are overweight, overpronate when you walk, or walk and stand on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
Prevention can do a lot to prevent heel pain, so make sure your floors are free of sharp objects which can injure your feet. Also always make sure to wear supportive, protective footwear. If you play sports or activities, make sure you always wear the appropriate footwear for the sport you are doing.
For relief from mild heel pain, you can try these easy, non-invasive remedies at home:
- Doing arch stretches
- Using inserts or cushions in your shoes
- Resting and taking the weight off of your feet
Severe heel pain should be treated by your podiatrist. Dr. Lesser may recommend several effective treatments to get you back on your feet, including:
- Custom-fit orthotics or footwear
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
- Physical therapy and stretching exercises
- Prescription strength anti-inflammatories
For severe cases that don’t respond to conventional therapies, surgery may be indicated. Dr. Lesser will discuss whether surgery is an option for you to consider.
You can end resistant heel pain by seeking help from an expert. Call Dr. Richard Lesser at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ. Get relief by calling today!
Arthritis is a joint condition that affects roughly 54 million American adults according to the Arthritis Foundation. It can show up in joints all around the body, including the feet and toes. When the joints of the feet are affected by inflammation, it affects a patient’s ability to move their toes, bend their feet up or down, and turn on a dime when participating in athletic activities. Learn the steps that you can take to care for arthritic feet and improve your overall foot health.
Arthritis in the Feet
Arthritic joint pain, which is usually caused by an inflammatory reaction, is most commonly felt in the big toe, ankle, and the middle part of the foot. There are many different types of arthritis conditions that could affect the feet, including psoriatic, reactive, and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form—it is caused by the bones rubbing together, making the joints feel stiff and painful. Patients who are overweight are more likely to struggle with arthritic feet, as are seniors. Some people have had arthritis since childhood (juvenile arthritis or JA), making them more likely to develop foot deformities like bunions and struggle with swollen joints.
Though arthritis isn’t a curable condition, the symptoms can be eased with treatment so that you can continue to walk, jog, exercise, and work without debilitating pain. These are some of the ways your podiatrist may treat arthritis in the feet:
- An X-ray or other imaging test to examine the condition of the joints.
- Physical therapy exercises to make the joints more flexible.
- Orthotic device or shoe for better foot support.
- Joint injections (corticosteroids).
- NSAID drugs (anti-inflammatories).
- Surgery to remove inflamed tissue around the joints (Arthroscopic debridement) or fuse the bones (arthrodesis).
Caring for Your Feet
Seeing a foot doctor is an important part of caring for arthritic feet. But there are also some actions you can take at home to keep your feet and joints in good condition:
- Get rid of shoes that put too much pressure on your joints, like high heels or sneakers that don’t support the ankles.
- Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salt and massage your feet when relaxing.
- Commit to doing the toe and foot exercises suggested by your podiatrist.
Treating Arthritic Feet
Arthritic feet shouldn't prevent you from carrying on with normal life and physical activities. Get help from a podiatrist as soon as you start to experience symptoms and take extra steps to care for your feet.
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