Posts for: December, 2020
Bunions are bony protrusions that form at the big toe’s base portion. In some individuals, they could cause extreme discomfort and pain, particularly when walking. Failing to manage a bunion will cause it to worsen over time. This means that prompt diagnosis and proper treatment from our podiatrists here at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists in Reading, MA, is important. Until then, the following at-home care tips could help minimize your symptoms.
Do Proper Foot Exercises
Done frequently and properly, foot exercises can help in easing pain. Since bunions usually worsen due to a lack of stability in the tendons, ligaments, and joints, exercising the affected foot could aid in making it more secure and structurally sound. Ask your podiatrist in Reading, MA, for specific exercises that can help with your bunions.
Proper Pain Relief and General Foot Care Guidelines
- Lose excess weight, if you’re obese or overweight, to take off undue pressure on the feet.
- For more severe pain, consider taking over-the-counter analgesics.
- If your bunion is inflamed, raise your foot to ease pain and swelling. Keep it elevated for at least 15 minutes every hour or two.
- Only wear shoes that have significant toe box space to accommodate your bunion and a properly fitted heel counter to support your foot at the back.
- Consider wearing a splint at night to keep your big toe correctly aligned as you sleep.
- Wear to spacers to separate your deformed big toe from your second toe. This will likewise help realign the structure of your foot while keeping pressure off your big toe when moving around.
It is also very crucial to point out that these at-home bunion care tips will only be useful for managing your symptoms to a certain degree. This means that they don’t get rid of the actual bunion, but make the symptoms more manageable.
Talk to Us For More Information, Questions, or Advice on Bunions
Book a consultation with your podiatrists in Reading, MA of New England Foot & Ankle Specialists by dialing (781) 944-4044.
- You experience pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints of the foot, particularly the toes
- You experience aching feet, particularly after activity or long periods of standing
- Some parts of your foot may feel oddly warm to the touch or may emanate heat while the rest of the foot feels normal
- The joints of the toes and ankles may swell
What does RA do to the feet and ankles?
Along with painful joints and stiffness, you may also notice other changes to your feet over time. Some of these changes include,
- Hammertoes and claw toes
- Circulation issues (e.g. atherosclerosis; Raynaud’s phenomena)
Since RA is not curable, your podiatrist will focus on crafting a treatment plan that will help to alleviate your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease to prevent severe and irreparable joint damage. Prescription medications known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are biologics that can reduce inflammation and prevent the progression of the disease.
Of course, there are also lifestyle changes you can make along with taking prescription medication that can also ease symptoms,
- Warm soaks
- Custom insoles or orthotics
- Pain relievers
- Stretching exercises for the feet
- Steroid injections (for targeting severe inflammation)
Most people with RA will eventually develop foot and ankle problems, which is why it’s important to have a podiatrist on your team that can help you manage your RA effectively.
If you have high arches, you may notice them but not experience any problems; however, those with high arches bear more weight on the balls and heels of the feet. Over time, you may develop corns, calluses, hammertoes, painful calf muscles, or foot pain. If you have high arches, a podiatrist can provide you with a variety of ways to support your feet to prevent these problems.
Consider wearing custom orthotics
Orthotics are special devices that are placed inside the shoes to improve stability and to cushion the foot. These devices can reduce shock absorption while standing, walking, or running. While there are over-the-counter orthotics that you can buy, they aren’t specifically designed to fit your feet or treat the issues you’re dealing with.
A podiatrist can provide you with custom-fitted orthotics that can help to support the arches of your feet and distribute weight more evenly among the foot to prevent heel pain and pain in the ball of the foot.
Wear shoes that support your feet
You must be also wearing shoes that can accommodate your high arches, especially if you are on your feet most of the day or participate in physical activities. Those with high arches are prone to stress fractures and ankle sprains, and you must consider shoes that have,
- A high top that can cushion and support the ankles
- A spacious toe box that won’t put pressure on the toes or cause irritation to preexisting deformities such as hammertoes or bunions
- A midsole that has added cushioning to reduce pressure
- A high-abrasion rubber outsole that will provide more durability (especially important for running shoes and athletic footwear)
Talk to your podiatrist about bracing
In some cases, your podiatrist may also recommend bracing the feet and ankles to help stabilize them and provide additional support. If your podiatrist has told you that you also have a drop foot, which means that you have trouble lifting the front of your foot, then bracing may also be a great way to manage this problem and provide a more natural and comfortable gait when walking.
While high arches alone aren’t a cause for concern it can be good to know about potential issues that it can cause along the way so you can take the necessary precautions now to protect your feet. If you are dealing with foot pain or other problems, a podiatrist can help.