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Posts for: March, 2018

By Family Foot Health Center
March 22, 2018
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Bunions  

According to a study published in Arthritis Care & Research, bunions occur in over a third of the population, making it one of the most bunionscommon 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.

By Family Foot Health Center
March 05, 2018
Category: Foot Condition
Tags: Metatarsalgia  

Heel PainMetatarsalgia 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.