Around 60 percent of older men and women suffer from a foot disorder that makes it difficult for them to stand or walk. One of the most common of these disorders is bunions. Despite the prevalence of this condition, there are fortunately ways that you can protect yourself against it.
Dr. Charlotte A. Reisinger and Dr. Dusky R. Farmer are podiatrists at Reisinger Farmer Podiatry in Evansville, IN, that specialize in the treatment of bunion—read on to learn how they can help you avoid this problem.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion (hallux valgus) is a swelling that appears on the side of the big toe below the middle joint. This progressive disorder gradually changes the bony structure of the foot causing the big toe to bend towards the second toe instead of pointing forward. If left untreated over the years, a bunion can cause pain, movement difficulties, and general discomfort when wearing shoes.
How to Avoid Bunions
- Wear properly fitting shoes: Keeping your feet healthy is all about wearing the right footwear. That means wearing shoes that are a little loose on your foot and don’t compress your toes. The most comfortable shoes have good arch support and heels lower than two inches.
- Make sure your shoes have a proper alignment: If you have flat feet, or your feet are misaligned, you should wear orthotic inserts in your shoes to provide the best support. Visiting your Evansville podiatrist will help you find the best shoes and inserts for your feet.
- Maintain a healthy weight: If you are overweight, this puts unnecessary pressure on your feet as you stand or walk and particularly on the joint of your big toe. The higher pressure increases your chances of developing foot problems such as bunions.
If you’re looking for a podiatrist in Evansville, call Reisinger Farmer Podiatry today at (812) 421-8555.
- Trauma or injury to the foot, damaging the nerve and resulting in swelling.
- Improper footwear, like shoes that squeeze the foot together. High heels also increase pressure on the vulnerable areas.
- Recurring stress to the feet through repeated physical activities or exercise. This is common with patients who are constantly on their feet due to their job.
- Deformities of the foot, like a high arch or flat foot. These lead to instability throughout the foot.
- Taping and padding: This is a special type of tape and bandages that you place on the bottom of the foot. This helps with your symptoms.
- Orthotics: These are the custom shoes that your podiatrist can create for you.
- Medication: Cortisone injections reduce the pain and inflammation in the foot. Anti-inflammatory drugs also reduce your swelling.
- Surgery is the last resort for treatment. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis. The injured nerve is removed and recovery takes a few weeks.
- Running requires shoes with shock absorption. Your feet take on a lot of pressure and friction. Cushioning your shoes in the correct areas keeps you from feeling the pain.
- Traction is important in sports that need quick changes in direction and sprinting, like basketball. Traction should never be too high or low. The right shoes keep you from slipping on the floor while letting you move and pivot.
- Ankle support is a must. It limits the side-to-side movement that knocks your ankle out of alignment. This kind of support keeps ankle sprains at bay. For sports like basketball, hockey, skiing, and skating, make sure that your shoes aren’t too high. Otherwise, they will dig into your Achilles tendon. You can also wear soft ankle braces.
- Arch support varies for everyone. Your podiatrist can test your foot to determine your gait. Depending on the results, your podiatrist can recommend orthotics or special shoe inserts.
The arches of the feet play a role in supporting your body’s weight when standing or in motion. The tarsal and metatarsal bones make up the arches of the feet, also receiving additional support and stability from tendons and ligaments; however, our feet, like the rest of our body, can be affected by infections, disorders, and structural changes that can impact not only the health of our feet but also our mobility. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of arch problems so you know when you to see a podiatrist.
Arch Pain Causes
If you are dealing with arch pain it is most likely caused by an injury or by structural abnormalities in the foot. For example, those with very high arches as well as those with flat feet may experience arch problems due to these common structural issues.
As a result, there are other factors that could also lead to further arch problems including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Plantar fasciitis
- Cavus foot
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
It’s important to understand a little bit more about these common foot disorders and how they could affect the arches of your feet.
This condition that causes inflammation and microtears in the plantar fascia is also the most common cause of heel pain. Of course, because the plantar fascia (a ligament that connects the toes to the heel bone) also supports the arches of the feet this can also lead to arch pain. This condition is usually the result of overuse and is seen most often in runners. If you have plantar fasciitis it’s important to avoid physical activities until the fascia has fully healed.
This condition, which affects the structure of the foot, leads to excessively high arches. People who’ve had a stroke, as well as people with certain conditions such as cerebral palsy may be more likely to develop cavus foot. This problem causes arch pain when standing or walking and can increase the risk for ankle injuries. Your podiatrist may choose to treat cavus foot through custom-made orthotics (shoe inserts), bracing, or by recommending specialized and supportive footwear.
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
The posterior tibial tendon runs from the calf muscles to the inner portion of the foot. This condition leads to changes in the tendon, which in turn affects its ability to support the arches of the foot. Flat feet can be caused by posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, and this is often the cause of flat feet that develop in adulthood. Like the other conditions above, treatment for PTTD usually involves bracing, orthotics, or providing custom devices that provide additional support to the arches of the feet.
If you are experiencing foot pain, swelling or other problems that affect mobility then it’s time that you turned to a podiatrist for care. Conditions and injuries that don’t respond to rest and at-home care may require more advanced treatments and therapies.
Are you embarrassed by cracked, yellowish nails? Are your nails thick and difficult to trim? If you answered yes, you may have a fungal nail infection. You may be surprised to know that fungus is the cause of up to 50 percent of all nail infections. Dr. Charlotte A. Reisinger and Dr. Dusky R. Farmer are board-certified podiatrists located in Evansville, IN. They are experts at treating nail fungus.
What You Should Know about Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is most common on toenails, but it is possible to get it on your fingernails as well. While it seldom affects young people, nail fungus is common in people who are over the age of 60. If you suffer from type 2 diabetes and you begin to see signs of nail fungus, you should talk to a podiatrist immediately as it could lead to more serious complications. If left untreated, in combination with diabetes, nail fungus could lead to amputation.
Nail Fungus Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of nail fungus include:
- White spots on the nail’s surface
- Nails that turn yellow or brown
- Nails that grow thicker than normal
- Brittle nails
- Nails that curl up or down
- Nails that lift from the nail bed
- A bad smell from your nails
- Pain from the nailbed
You should see a podiatrist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. The sooner you receive treatment, the easier the issue will be to alleviate.
Preventing Nail Fungus
To reduce your risk of contracting nail fungus, you can:
- Make sure your hands and feet are dry after you have bathed
- Trim your nails regularly
- Avoid walking barefoot on pool decks or in locker rooms
- Change your socks regularly
- If your feet sweat, use foot powder
- Keep a spare pair of sneakers so sweaty ones can dry out.
If you have nail fungus, your podiatrist can treat often the issue with cream or with oral medication.
Living in or around Evansville, IN and have fungal nails? Don’t suffer in silence—contact Dr. Reisinger or Dr. Farmer at (812) 421 8555 and take the first step on the road to healthy nails.
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