A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of your body. In the foot, the most common occurring neuroma develops at the base of the third and fourth toes. This condition is referred to as Morton's neuroma.
There are typically no physical signs of Morton's neuroma, such as a lump or a knot. Instead, symptoms may include:
- A sharp, achy or burning pain in the ball of your foot
- Numbness, tingling, or cramping in the toes or forefoot
- Feeling as if you're standing on a pebble in your shoe
While the exact cause of Morton's neuroma is unknown, the growth of the neuroma seems to occur in response to injury, pressure or irritation to one of the nerves that lead to the toes. People with foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes and flat feet are at higher risk for developing a neuroma. Women are also more likely to develop this condition, as wearing high-heels or narrow-toed shoes can increase pressure on the toes. Other potential causes are activities that involve repetitive irritation to the ball of the foot, such as running.
Morton's neuroma can make walking and performing normal activities difficult and painful. Treatment options vary with severity, and identifying the neuroma in its earliest stage of development is important to avoid more invasive treatments or surgical correction. Left untreated, neuromas tend to worsen, so it's always best to visit our office at the first sign of pain.
Early treatments aim to relieve or reduce pressure on the area around the affected toes. Depending on the severity of your neuroma, a podiatrist may recommend:
- Modifications to footwear. Wide-toed shoes relieve pressure on the neuroma.
- Shoe inserts or padding to provide support for the arch of the foot, which removes pressure from the nerve.
- Anti-inflammatory medications can help ease any pain and inflammation. Ask your doctor first.
- Icing to reduce inflammation.
- Rest to lessen repetitive pressure on the neuroma.
In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended for patients who do not respond to conservative treatments. We can help you determine the best approach for your specific condition.
According to a study published in Arthritis Care & Research, bunions occur in over a third of the population, making it one of the most common foot problems for patients. Talk to a podiatrist at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ about the ways to relieve bunions, and have your foot examined to see the extent of your case.
The Curious Case of Bunions
Bunions are a curious case for many patients because they look like growths that suddenly appear on the side of the foot. But in truth, a bunion is not a growth but rather a bone protrusion. If you look at a bunion on an X-ray chart, you’ll see that the toe joint bends inward creating what is called a “Hallux Valgus Angle.” The larger the degree of the angle, the more abnormal the deformity. Additionally, the toes press together and become tangled, which can be painful.
The Common Causes of Bunions
To understand what causes bunions to form, think of what pressure may be put on your feet during the course of the day. For instance, if you have a habit of wearing tight, pointy-toed shoes that crush your toes together, that may be contributing to the problem. People with certain hereditary backgrounds are more likely to develop bunions due to weak joints, wider feet, and arthritis symptoms. Patients who are middle-aged or older and have weight problems are more likely to develop bunions.
Way to Relieve Bunions
Your Howell podiatrist can help relieve bunions using targeted treatments. Some patients have flexible joints, meaning that the bunion can be realigned to a favorable position using orthotics, splints, foot wrapping, and other techniques. In the case of a rigid bunion that is more difficult to move, it may require surgery. Bunion pain relief is possible with corticosteroid injections, oral or topical medications, and padding between the toes.
Get Bunion Care`
Your feet need as much care and attention as the rest of your body. If you think you have a worsening case of bunions, get prompt and proper care at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ. Call 732-370-1100 today to schedule an initial exam with Dr. Richard Lesser or Dr. William Hoffman.
Metatarsalgia denotes a common foot condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the joints and bones of the ball of the foot - the area just before the toes, also called the metatarsal region.
Symptoms of metatarsalgia can develop suddenly, especially after an increase in exercise or high-impact activities, but normally the problems develop over time. Common symptoms of metatarsalgia include:
- Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot - the part of the sole just behind the toes
- Pain that intensifies when you stand, walk or run
- Pain that radiates from the balls of the feet into the toes
- Numbness or tingling in the toes
- A feeling in your feet as if you are walking with a pebble in your shoe
- Pain that increases when walking barefoot
Sometimes a single factor can trigger metatarsalgia. More often, multiple factors contribute to the pain, including:
- Over-training or Over-activity. Extensive training and high-impact sports, especially running, places an abnormal amount of stress on the balls of the feet, causing irritation, inflammation and pain.
- Other foot disorders. High arches, hammertoes, bunions, stress fractures and Morton's neuroma can all trigger metatarsalgia symptoms.
- Poor-fitting footwear. High heels, narrow-toed shoes and shoes without adequate padding can all contribute to metatarsal problems.
- Excess weight. Extra weight places excess pressure on your metatarsals.
- Aging. The fat pads on the metatarsals thin out as a person ages, diminishing the ability of the metatarsal bones to protect themselves.
Although generally not serious, metatarsalgia can disrupt your day to day activities, and when left untreated can lead to additional pain in your unaffected foot, back or hips. Treatment to eliminate metatarsalgia symptoms can be as simple as resting, icing the affected area and wearing proper-fitting shoes to significantly reduce swelling and ease pain.
When conservative treatments aren't effective and pain persists, visit our practice for a full exam and a proper diagnosis. In most cases, metatarsalgia can be treated non-surgically. An experienced podiatrist may prescribe specially-designed orthotics or shock-absorbing insoles and arch supports to prevent and minimize future problems with metatarsalgia.
Ingrown toenails, also known as onychocryptosis, can be annoying and painful. This common condition occurs when the surrounding skin on one or both sides of the nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself penetrates the skin. As the nail digs into the skin, redness, swelling, and pain are often the result.
People develop ingrown toenails for various reasons. Poor nail-trimming is the most common cause, as this encourages the skin to fold over the nail. Other causes include trauma, such as stubbing a toe, or skin conditions, such as fungal infections or nails that are simply too large. In some cases, the condition may even be inherited. Poor fitting shoes generally aggravate the condition, making it worse.
Many cases of ingrown toenails may be prevented by:
- Wearing well-fitted shoes and socks
- Protecting feet from trauma when possible
- Trimming toenails straight across and avoiding repeated trimming of the nail borders
- Keeping feet clean and dry to prevent infection
If an infection is not suspected of your ingrown, it can usually be safely treated from home by soaking your foot in warm water. Avoid "bathroom surgery" and repeated cutting of the nail as this will only make the condition worse.
When attempts to reduce your symptoms from home fail, or when pain, inflammation, swelling or discharge accompany your ingrown, the toenail is most likely infected and should be treated by a podiatrist at our office. People with diabetes, nerve damage or poor circulation should always seek care immediately if an ingrown nail is detected, regardless of the severity.
A podiatrist can examine the affected toe and determine the best treatment for your condition. For an infection, an antibiotic may be prescribed. Other treatments may involve trimming or removing the infected nail with a minor in-office surgical procedure.
Ingrown toenails may be annoying, but rest assured that they can easily be prevented and treated with the help of your podiatrist. If you think you have an ingrown toenail, visit our practice for quick and easy treatment.
Is foot pain hurting your daily routine? When foot pain interferes with your normal activities, you should see a podiatrist. A podiatrist can help you achieve real relief with little trouble or expense. Family Foot Health Center, which is located in Howell, NJ, offers state-of-the-art treatments for foot pain. Dr. Richard Lesser and Dr. William Hoffman are some of the finest podiatrists in Howell, NJ. Read on to learn about the causes of foot pain.
If your pain is in your heel, you may have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the band of tough tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis is common in fitness enthusiasts and athletes. Such strain injury can be caused by excessive walking, running, or a jumping injury from landing. Moreover, being overweight and wearing footwear with poor arch support increases your risk of plantar fasciitis. Treatment of plantar fasciitis include injections, orthotics, physical therapy, splinting, and surgery.
A bunion is an unnatural, bony bump that develops on the joint at the base of the big toe. Bunions can be extremely painful. Years of wearing poorly fitting shoes can cause bunions. Such footwear gradually pushes the foot bones into an unnatural shape. Bunions are also associated with certain types of arthritic conditions. The types of arthritis thought to cause bunions include gout, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Some of the top treatments for bunions include ice therapy, shoe inserts, medication, splinting, or surgery.
Athlete's Foot is a contagious fungal infection of the foot. Walking barefoot increases your risk of contracting athlete's foot. You can also catch the fungus through contact with an infected person. The fungus is commonly found around swimming pools, on locker room floors, and in showers. Athlete's foot may cause foot pain, scaling, itching, and burning. Common treatments for athlete's foot include antifungal ointment, spray, powder, lotion, and prescription antifungals.
Calluses can be annoying, but your body forms them to protect sensitive skin. A callus is a thick area of skin caused by repeated friction or pressure. A callus can cause pain when you are wearing shoes or walking. Wearing poorly fitting shoes can cause calluses. Other risk factors that may signal an increased risk of calluses include wearing footwear without socks and foot deformities. Some of the top treatments for calluses include cushion pads or insoles, medicated creams, and surgery.
Corns develop naturally to help protect the skin underneath them. A corn is a thick, hardened layer of skin caused by pressure and friction. Corns generally occur on the top and side of the foot. They can be painful when pressed. Repetitive activities like climbing stairs, running, or skiing can cause a corn on your foot. Common treatments for corns include paring of the lesions, medicated patches, protective pads, and surgery. If your corn becomes inflamed or painful, see a podiatrist.
Say hello to healthy and happy feet! Don't wait another minute- call Family Foot Health Center at (732) 370-1100 right now to schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists in Howell, NJ. Get back on track by receiving the best foot pain treatment available. We want you to live your best life!
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