Posts for category: Foot Condition
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!
How your podiatrists in Howell can help
If you are dealing with hammertoes, you already know how difficult it can be to put on shoes. You may be having difficulty walking, and may be experiencing foot pain. The good news is there are effective treatments to eliminate the discomfort and disfigurement of hammertoes. Dr. Richard Lesser and Dr. William Hoffman at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ, want to share the facts about hammertoes and how you can get relief.
A hammertoe results from muscles holding your toe at an angle. Over time, the muscles and tendons lose their ability to relax and you will be unable to straighten out your toe. This imbalance results in your toe bending outward at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. You will typically see a hammertoe in the second, third, or fourth toe.
There are a few reasons your toe might be bending in the wrong position. You can develop a hammertoe if you:
- Wear shoes that don’t fit well, without enough toe room
- Have a muscle or tendon imbalance in your foot
- Have a degenerative joint condition like arthritis
- Have experienced a traumatic injury to your toe
- Experience pressure from a callus or bunion
- Have a high arch in your foot, causing your foot to press forward
If you notice you are developing a hammertoe, you can try:
- Changing to wider shoes that won’t cramp your toes
- Wearing open shoes or sandals
- Stretching out each of your toes with your fingers
- Doing toe exercises by trying to grab objects off of the floor
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen
- Using pads or cushions to support your feet
For stubborn cases of hammertoe, your best option is to see the experts, your podiatrists at Family Foot Health Center. They offer several effective treatments including:
- Splints and other devices to straighten and realign your toe
- Custom orthotics or footwear to correct muscle/tendon imbalance
- Prescription strength anti-inflammatory medication
- Surgical realignment in severe cases
If you are dealing with hammertoes, it’s time to get relief by calling Dr. Lesser and Dr. Hoffman at Family Foot Health Center in Howell, NJ. Don’t wait to get relief, call today!
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.
The arch structure of our feet determines how we walk, which means our arches need to be both sturdy and flexible in order to adjust to different walking surfaces. For most people, their feet have a curve or an arch at the bottom that provides flexibility and shock absorption. But for the five percent of adults in the U.S. with flat feet, also known as fallen arches, the arches of their feet are either partially or completely collapsed.
One common type of flatfoot is adult-acquired flatfoot. It is caused by overstretching the tendon that supports the arch. Flexible flatfoot is also common and occurs when the foot is flat when standing, but returns to a normal arch in non-weight-bearing positions.
Factors that increase your risk of flat feet include:
- Excess weight
- Injury to your foot or ankle
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
When to See Your Podiatrist
Most adults with a fallen arch experience little to no pain. For these patients, treatment is rarely necessary. Painful flatfoot, however, may be the sign of a congenital abnormality or an injury to the muscles and tendons of the foot. Pain can be severe, making it difficult to walk, wear shoes and perform simple everyday tasks. More than achy feet, flatfoot can also lead to other, more serious problems and pain for your ankles, knees, back and hips.
Common symptoms associated with flat feet Include:
- Swelling along the inside of the ankle
- Feet that tire easily or ache after standing for an extended period of time
- A lack of mobility in your foot and difficulty standing on your toes
- Sore, swollen feet; especially in the heel or arch of your foot
Steps Away from Flat Foot Pain Relief
If you are experiencing pain caused by flat feet, visit our practice for an evaluation. We can identify the cause of your pain and recommend the best treatments for your type of arch.
Talk with your podiatrist about the following treatment options:
- Shoe inserts/ Orthotics
- Shoe modifications
- Rest and ice
- Stretching exercises
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
Whether you were born with flat feet or you acquired fallen arches over time, if your flat feet are causing you pain or interfering with your day to day activities, visit our practice. We can work with you to determine the best treatment options to eliminate the pain, improve your mobility and get you back to the activities you love.
Corns and calluses are thick, hardened areas of skin that develop in response to your body's natural defense to repeated pressure or friction. While neither condition presents a long-term or serious health risk, they can be painful, irritating and unattractive.
Identifying a Corn or Callus
Corns and calluses are similar in nature, but differ in size and location. Corns are smaller than calluses and usually have a hard, thickened center surrounded by red, inflamed skin. They typically develop on the tops and sides of your toes and can be painful when touched. Calluses generally develop on your heels and balls of your feet. They vary in size and shape, although almost always larger than corns.
For most people who develop calluses or corns, eliminating the source of pressure is usually enough to make the thickened skin disappear. We recommend the following for treating corns and calluses:
- Wear comfortable shoes and socks. When footwear fits properly, there is less opportunity for friction and rubbing to occur.
- Soak your feet in warm, soapy water to help remove corns and calluses. Rub the thickened skin with a pumice stone to remove toughened layers more easily.
- Keeping your feet moisturized with foot cream or lotion will help improve the quality of your skin and rid your feet from calluses or corns.
When to Seek Care
When corns and calluses don't respond to conservative care, contact our office for a careful evaluation. We can investigate the possible causes of your corn or callus, safely remove the thick, hardened area of skin, and recommend appropriate footwear and treatment, including padding and inserts. Never attempt to cut away a corn or callus on your own, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation. Instead, seek advice for careful removal and proper care.