How Podiatrists Address a Wide Range of Foot Issues

Day after day, our feet take a beating. Whether you’re a runner, a mom chasing after kids, or an office professional walking to and from meetings, your feet need special care.

The best way to address foot ailments is through preventative care. This means visiting a podiatrist regularly to ensure your feet stay healthy.

Heel Pain

When you experience pain or inflammation in your heel, a podiatrist Birtinya will perform a physical exam to assess the condition. They may also use X-rays to check for fractures, joint damage, or other abnormalities. In some cases, they will recommend an MRI or ultrasound to view soft tissue in the foot that X-rays cannot reveal.

Heel pain is a common problem that can interfere with your daily life activities, especially if you are an athlete. A podiatrist can help you manage this condition by teaching you stretching exercises and providing you with shoe inserts to support your feet and prevent overuse of the muscles and tendons that attach to the heel bone. They can also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to ease the pain and swelling.

Podiatrist Sunshine Coast can help you with a number of other issues as well, such as athlete’s foot or nail fungus. They can prescribe topical and oral medications to treat these conditions so that you can enjoy clear, healthy skin and nails. They can also teach you self-care techniques to help you avoid recurrence of these conditions.

Bunions

Bunions are a painful bony bump that forms at the base of your big toe, often causing it to stick out beyond the other toes. This enlargement of bone and tissue typically occurs as the result of pressure from tight shoes, which can lead to the toe joint becoming squashed, forcing your toes into an awkward position.

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Podiatrists are experts at treating bunion symptoms, and they start with a physical examination of your feet and medical history. They also take a series of X-rays to better understand the cause of your bunions.

Once they identify the root cause, your podiatrist may suggest conservative methods of treatment. This usually includes wearing shoes with a wider sole to give the foot more room, padding the bunion with tape or medicated pads to minimize pain and taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories to help control the pain and swelling.

In more severe cases, surgery to remove the bunion and realign your big toe joint can improve comfort and reduce the risk of recurrence. This is known as a first metatarsal osteotomy or bunionectomy.

Ingrown Toenails

A common problem, ingrown toenails can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. They are caused by the edge of a toenail digging into or piercing the skin around it, which can be due to improper trimming techniques, ill-fitting shoes, or genetics.

If left untreated, ingrown toenails can lead to a severe infection. A podiatrist can treat this by numbing the area and using tools to remove the part of the nail that is ingrown. They can also recommend a special gutter splint that helps the nail grow freely.

If the toenail is causing severe pain, swelling, redness, or pus, it may need to be removed entirely. This is done in the office, and can be a painless procedure. A podiatrist can also recommend laser or chemical treatments to prevent the toenail from growing back, if needed.

Metatarsalgia

Usually located on the ball of your foot, pain from metatarsalgia can be sharp, dull, or burning. It can also feel like a pebble is in your shoe, and it often worsens when you walk, run, or stand for extended periods of time.

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Metatarsalgia can be caused by a variety of factors, including: improper footwear (like high heels), being over-weight, participating in high impact sports, tight calf muscles, or medical conditions such as arthritis. Your podiatrist will diagnose the problem by taking a thorough history and examination.

The most effective treatment for this issue is often an over-the-counter pain reliever and ice packs. Keeping the ice pack on your feet for 10-20 minutes throughout the day will help reduce inflammation and swelling. If the pain becomes severe, or you are experiencing symptoms such as numbness or tingling, you should seek medical attention immediately. Your podiatrist will assess the condition and determine the best course of treatment for your feet. Depending on the injury or condition, your podiatrist may recommend an orthotic to help you correct any abnormal biomechanics and address the pain.

Neuromas

If you feel like there’s a pebble in your shoe or are experiencing pain and tingling in the ball of your foot, you may have a neuroma. This noncancerous swelling is caused by pressure or compression on the nerves in the ball of the foot and typically occurs between the third and fourth toes.

Podiatrists can diagnose neuromas by performing a simple test called Mulder’s sign, where they press on the sides of your foot and feel for an enlarged area of the nerve sheath. They can also order diagnostic imaging or perform an ultrasound to further evaluate the area.

Oftentimes, podiatrists can alleviate neuroma symptoms with conservative treatment methods. They can provide custom orthotics or shoe inserts that redistribute the weight of your feet and decrease stress on the nerve sheath. They can also recommend avoiding activities that place constant pressure on the area, provide ice packs to reduce swelling, and advise patients on proper footwear with a roomy toe box and adequate arch support.

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If conservative treatments fail to relieve your symptoms, a podiatrist can perform a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove the portion of the nerve that is enlarged and permanently end your pain. Schedule an evaluation at City Podiatry in Midtown Manhattan today to see how a podiatrist can help you get back on your feet.