Posts for category: Foot Care
What is that "lump" on the joint at the base of your big toe? It may well be a bunion, a bothersome and sometimes painful malformation of the foot. Causing a twisting of the big toe inward toward, and sometimes over, the second and third toe, bunions comprise one of the most common reasons people see a foot doctor at the Reston, Manassas and Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers.
Symptoms of Bunions
The Mayo Clinic says bunions exhibit symptoms such as:
- big toe malformation (specified above)
- redness and swelling of the joint at the base of the big toe
- soreness related to friction between the foot and shoe
- corns and calluses
- arthritis and bursitis
- foot pain extending up the legs to the knees, hips and back
Treatment of Bunions
One of the podiatrists at the Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers can evaluate your feet and determine the best course of treatment for bunions. While he or she cannot change the heredity that may contribute to bunions, the foot doctor can help your feet function and feel better.
Many times, simple rest and icing help tremendously, as do pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen and various bunion pads and splints. Wearing wider and more supportive shoe and losing weight to take pressure off the foot helps too. Custom orthotics and supportive shoe inserts can be helpful in slowing down the progression bunions.
Additionally, surgery, called a bunionectomy , may be needed to remove the bunion and help straighten the toe. There are various bunionectomy procedures that may involve cutting and repositioning of bone, removal of part of the first metatarsal joint, fusing the joints of the toe and/or removing excess soft tissue or bone.
But the best treatment option for bunions in Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg, Virginia may be prevention.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons maintains that while a full 50 percent of women in the U.S. suffer from bunions of one level of severity or other, men have this podiatric issue, too. Many of these bunions can be avoided or made less painful and debilitating if pointy-toed shoes and high heels were avoided. As fashion trends change, males are also wearing shoes with narrower toe boxes to the detriment of the big toe joint.
So, people need to wear shoes that are:
- made of quality, supportive materials
- have good arch supports and ample room for toes, especially the tip of the big toe
- have heels no higher than two inches
Beyond that, store bought over-the-counter shoe inserts can provide some cushioning and support for walking, athletic activities and occupations where people stand or walk for a good portion of the day. Quality orthotics, custom-fitted and fabricated by a podiatrist, are the best choice for correcting a walking pattern that may encourage bunion formation and for providing adequate support for the flat arches that are related to bunions.
Don't be in pain! Call Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers. If you think you have a bunion, don't wait to seek treatment. Your Reston, Manasses and Leesburg area podiatrists, Steven A. Gordon, DPM, FACFAS, Shaun C. Hafner, DPM, FACFAS, Nancy M. Han, DPM, AACFAS, Lisa G. Beckinella, DPM will examine your foot, listen to your symptoms and individualize your treatment plan. Call Reston, Manassas, and Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers today for a consultation!
A common foot problem that the doctors at the Reston, Manassas and Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers treat is bunions. Many of the patients who come in with this problem are women and that’s because of the shoes they choose to wear. Even though they are very attractive on the feet and some women find them more comfortable than flats, high heels often lead to pain from bunions. If you love heels and wear them often, learn how bunions develop and how you can prevent or slow them down from forming on your feet.
A bunion is an inherited deformity of the foot that happens when the bone begins to protrude. Over time a large bump appears on the inside of the foot and the great toe begins to move outward. As this condition progresses, it becomes painful to walk, stand and wear normal shoes. Bunions cause the entire foot to become ill-shaped, making it difficult to find a pair of shoes that fit comfortably.
Risk of High Heels
Female patients of the Reston Foot and Ankle Center are often at risk of painful bunions when (not because) they choose to wear high heeled shoes. Painful bunions usually develop from wearing poorly designed shoes—the taller the heel and the smaller the “toe box” the more likely there will be a problem over time as the bunion gets progressively larger. Women who wear these types of high heels on a regular basis, to work or while dancing for hours, are most at risk.
The best way to prevent painful bunions is to take a break from high heels and wear more “sensible” shoes. But if you love your heels, there are a few things that you can do to prevent or slow down the development of bunions. First, reevaluate your shoe choices—it is worthwhile to invest in a very good pair of heels that are no more than 1-2 inches high, and provide you with sufficient support, width and cushioning on all sides. Next, consider custom orthotics, to help address the flatfoot that is often related to and the cause of the bunion, and help reduce pressure to the bunion bump and prevent it from getting worse. (eliminate other sentence that was here)
A Preventative Podiatrist Appointment
If you think you have the beginnings of what appear (not appeared) to be bunions and wear high heels, it is important that you see your local Reston podiatrist and foot surgeon as soon as possible. Bunions can often be successfully treated with custom orthotics and in more serious cases, corrective surgery. Call the office at 703-437-6333 to schedule an appointment or consult today.
Ingrown toenails occur when the toenails physically start to grow into your skin. This can cause pain and discomfort, especially each time you put on your shoes. These toenails occur if you trim your toenails by tapering the corners, which can cause them to grow into your toe. Wearing shoes that are too tight can also contribute to an ingrown toenail. Also, some people simply have toenails that are too large for their toes.
Ingrown toenails should be avoided whenever possible because they cause pain and can contribute to chronic skin infections.
To protect yourself against ingrown toenails, cut your toenails straight across instead of curving the toenail’s shape. Doing so can prevent the toenail from growing into the nail bed. If you have a medical condition that affects your foot’s circulation, such as diabetes, you may wish to come to our Reston podiatrist’s office to have your toenails professionally trimmed.
In addition to avoiding trimming your toenails in a curved fashion, you should also avoid cutting your toenails too short. Doing so can prevent your growing toenails from embedding into the nail bed.
Avoid wearing highly pointed shoes or shoes that are too tight. Ill-fitting shoes will squeeze your feet and can lead to ingrown toenails. You can also tell the salesperson at the shoe store you frequent that you have a foot problem to ensure you are buying the right shoes to prevent ingrown toenails.
Note that if you do experience an ingrown toenail, don’t try to remove the ingrown portion from the nail bed by yourself. Doing so could do more harm than good. Instead, rely on professionals like our Reston podiatrists to remove the ingrown toenail portion.
If you have an ingrown toenail causing you pain and discomfort, make an appointment at our Reston podiatrist’s office by calling (703) 437-6333.
Practice Routine Foot Care
- Wash your feet daily with warm water. Whenever you get your feet wet, make sure to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
- Keep skin soft and smooth with foot cream (ask your podiatrist at Reston, Manassas & Leesburg Foot and Ankle Centers for suggestions) applied to the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not put lotion between the toes to avoid causing an infection.
- Scrub your feet, especially the heels, with a foot scrubber or pumice stone on a regular basis to remove the dead cells.
- Trim toenails once a week, cutting the nails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails.
- In the sun, apply sunscreen to protect your exposed feet.
- To keep you feet dry and odor free, make use of products like foot powders and sprays.