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Arthritis in Toes; Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Arthritis in Toes; Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Arthritis is a health condition that affects the joints, knees, and hips. It can also occur in almost any part of the body where there are joints, such as the toes.

There are a number of different types of arthritis that can lead to pain in the toes. Let’s read on to learn what toe arthritis is, its causes, and how it can be treated.

 

What is Toe Arthritis and What Causes It?

Arthritis that affects the toes is caused by an inflammation that occurs in the joints of the toes. This condition most notably harms the big toe, but other toes might be involved as well.

There are several reasons that can cause toe arthritis, such as previous traumas or injuries, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

Women that enjoy wearing tight, high-heeled shoes are also at risk of developing toe arthritis.

 

The Symptoms of Arthritis in Toes

Typically, the symptoms of toe arthritis result in chronic inflammation surrounding the small joints in this area. The following are the most prevalent conditions that one can expect.

 

Toe Pain

The most tell-tale sign of arthritis in the toes is pain. Usually, this pain gets worse when a person starts to become more active or carries heavy weight, and can be relieved by resting. It can take hours, or sometimes days, for the pain to subscribe when it gets exacerbated due to activity.

 

Swelling

A person that experiences swelling around the joints of their toes, with a feeling of fullness and difficulty when bending, may have toe arthritis.

 

Restricted Movement

The range of motion of toe joints with arthritis can become severely limited due to the swelling and damage caused by the disease.

 

How Can Toe Arthritis Be Treated?

When treating arthritis in the toes, the standard approach would be to start with simple steps. People don’t often jump to get invasive treatments right away, as doctors will also have to assess their condition before doing so.

 

Footwear Changes

Doctors often recommend people with toe arthritis to try making changes to their footwear. Changing the shoes that are usually worn to something that is more comfortable may release pressure off the toe joints and relieve stress.

 

Ice and Heat Application

Applying ice can benefit toe joints that are inflamed and ease the symptoms of arthritis in this location. Putting heat packs or hot towels is also an alternative for those that do not prefer cold toes.

 

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Oral anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed by doctors to help relieve swelling and discomfort that comes with toe arthritis.

 

Cortisone Injection

Injecting cortisone is simply applying anti-inflammatory medications directly at the area of the inflammation. Doctors can inject the cortisone straight to the site to cause rapid relief from pain.

 

Why Trust The Foot Pod?

At The Foot Pod, we have an experienced doctor that can help provide you with the right solution for arthritis in your toes. Dr. Rachel Timmins is our principal podiatrist and has been operating the clinic since 2008.

Contact us at (08) 9246 7292 or send Dr. Rachel an email directly at drtimmins@thefootpod.com.au. See you and your feet soon!

Common Foot Problems in Kids

Common Foot Problems in Kids

Any parent would want their children to grow up healthy and strong. However, there is always the possibility that a child can develop foot problems or deformities.

Although most of these conditions can be fixed without any direct help, it is important that parents seek professional help so they are aware of what they can do to correct these issues.

Below are the most common types of foot problems kids can have as they grow up.

 

Flat Feet

Flat feet is a condition that most babies are born in, with their feet eventually developing arches as they grow up. However, some children do not experience this development.

There are usually no problems involved with flat feet, but doctors will start to consider treatment if it starts to become painful. Wearing special footwear, such as high-top shoes, are not recommended since they do not affect the development of the arch.

 

Pigeon Toes

Also known as in-toeing, a child with this condition walk with their feet turned inward. Kids with pigeon toes will often trip way more compared to normal children. Children that do so often have internal tibial torsion, which is when the lower part of the leg is rotated inwards.

Children ages 3 or 4 with in-toeing may develop femoral anteversion, a condition wherein there is a more significant bend in the upper part of their leg. Pigeon toes usually end once the child grows older and as they develop better muscle coordination and control.

 

Heel Pain

A child that experiences pain in their heel could be a result of plantar fasciitis. This condition happens when there is an inflammation in the thick band of tissue located in the heel bone.

Sever’s disease may also be the culprit for heel pain. With this condition, a child may experience pain, which is linked to a growth plate located at the back of their heel. This pain might also be because of the tightness of their calf muscles and the Achilles tendon when they have growth spurts.

 

Bow Legs

Being bow-legged, also known as genu varum, is when a person has an exaggerated bending outward of their legs. The bending starts from the knees all the way down and is common in infants. In most cases, the bow legs condition fixes itself as the child grows older.

It can be a sign of a bigger problem if a child still has bow legs when they reach the age of two years and above. Rickets or Blount disease is a common cause for this, which is a bone growth problem due to a lack of vitamin D or calcium.

Rickets can usually be corrected by fulfilling the necessary vitamin deficiency with the proper diet.

 

Why Trust The Foot Pod?

At The Foot Pod, we have a state-of-the-art clinic together with an experienced doctor who can provide you with the solutions for your child’s foot problem. Dr. Rachel Timmins is a reputable podiatrist that specialises in working with children that have issues with their feet.

If you’d like to know more, book an appointment now by giving us a call at (08) 9246 7292 or send Dr. Rachel an email at drtimmins@thefootpod.com.au. See you soon!

Common Foot Problems

Common Foot Problems

Our feet work hard every day as we walk, run, dance, jump and tap our toes. It’s no wonder there are a long list of common foot problems that bring people into The Foot Pod. Some result from injury or incorrect shoes. Others turn up as time – and aging – do their work on the body.

Topping the list of common complaints are corns on feet, Morton’s neuroma and tailor’s bunions. Let’s look closer at the causes, symptoms and treatments for the most prolific podiatry problems.

 

Corns on feet: Causes, symptoms and treatments

A corn (clavus or heloma) is a thickened, hardened layer of inflamed skin normally round in shape. Hard corns are common on the toes or sole of the foot, whereas soft corns (heloma molle) occur in the soft tissue between toes. Although they are a sign the body is protecting itself, corns can be very painful.

What causes corns on feet?

  • Pressure or friction
  • Ill-fitting shoes
  • Enlarged joints pressing on shoes
  • A crooked toe moving under the adjacent toe

Common symptoms

  • Pain when walking
  • Hard, round bumps on the foot
  • Painful when pressed

Calluses and corns look similar, but a callus will not be painful to touch. If you develop calluses, rest up and pay The Foot Pod a visit to prevent corns.

Treatment options

  • Debridement (removal of damaged tissue) by a podiatrist
  • Custom toe separators
  • Wearing correct fitting shoes

Be careful using over-the-counter corn pads. Most contain salicylic acid which, improperly applied, can cause chemical burns and ulceration to the skin.

When conservative treatments fail to alleviate painful corns on feet, your podiatrist may recommend a surgical solution. Surgery to remove corns is quick and simple, usually taking 30 minutes or less to remove the offending corn and address any underlying issues such as a bursa or protruding bone.

 

Morton’s Neuroma: What is it and how do you treat it?

Morton’s neuroma is a thickening in the tissue around a nerve leading to your toe. It most commonly shows up in the nerve between the second and third toes and, besides being painful to walk on, can feel like you have a rock in your shoe.

What causes Morton’s neuroma?

  • High heeled shoes
  • Tight shoes
  • Pressure on the ball of the foot

Common symptoms

  • Feeling like you have a pebble in your shoe, or a fold in your sock
  • Burning pain radiating out from the ball of your foot to your toes
  • Numbness and tingling after pain

Treatment options

  • Correct fitting, flatter shoes
  • Padding to support the metatarsal arch
  • Icing to reduce swelling
  • Custom orthotic devices to relieve pressure on the nerve
  • Reduced activity
  • Ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories

Similar to corns, there are surgical options available for chronic or stubborn neuromas. Your podiatrist may inject small amounts of cortisone with local anaesthetic or sclerosing agent. Alternatively a short surgery can be performed to remove the neuroma via an incision on the top of the foot, over the neuroma.

 

Tailor’s Bunion: More common than you think

Tailor’s bunions, also called bunionettes, are hard bony bumps that develop on the toe joint causing the toe to turn inward. Tailor’s bunions occur on the 5th metatarsophalangeal joint, better known as the pinky toe (regular bunions occur on the big toe).

What causes Tailor’s bunions?

  • Tight footwear
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Misalignment of the foot
  • Arthritis

Common symptoms

  • Redness and swelling
  • Localised pain
  • Increased swelling and pain over time

Treatment options

  • Wear correct fitting shoes
  • Padding over the bunionette
  • Orthotic devices
  • Icing the area
  • Orthoses to correct the biomechanics
  • Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen

Once again, a short surgery can alleviate the pain of tailor’s bunions. Ostectomy surgery removes the painful bump, and osteotomy realigns the metatarsal bone to correct biomechanics.

 

Solving Foot Problems with The Foot Pod

Corns on feet, Morton’s neuroma, and Tailor’s bunions are among the prevalent problems affecting Australian adults. If you are experiencing any signs of these common foot problems, even if they are not yet painful, make an appointment with The Foot Pod to get the help you need. Our friendly team will have you dancing out of the clinic in no time!

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Heel Pain

Heel Pain

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis (plantar heel pain) is an inflammation of plantar fascia which is a ligament connecting the heel to the toes. The plantar fascia plays an important role in supporting the medial longitudinal arch of our feet. Repetitive stress and overload on the plantar fascia may reduce its capacity, causing it to be easily irritated and inflamed.

The above image shows an inflamed (red) plantar fascia.

 

Clinical presentation

Typical symptoms of plantar fasciitis include heel pain radiating to the toes, severe pain and stiffness for the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning or after a long period of rest and weight bearing activities.

 

Other possible causes of heel pain

  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome. This is a neurologic condition in which the posterior tibial nerve is compressed as it travels through the tarsal tunnel.
  • Baxter’s nerve entrapment. This is a compression of the medial calcaneal nerve which causes pain at the plantar and posterior regions.
  • Heal spur syndrome (Huglund’s deformity). This is a tiny bone formation which will irritate and weaken the muscles and ligaments.
  • Calcaneal stress fracture is a fracture at the calcaneus due to repetitive stress and overload.
  • Posterior tibial tendonitis which is an inflammation condition occurring in the posterior tibial tendon.
  • Achilles tendonitis – degenerative Achilles tendon which usually presents with pain at the posterior heel.

 

As there are many other possible causes for heel pain, it is important to see your podiatrist for a thorough examination. to identify the underlying cause for your heel pain. Your podiatrist will assess the best treatment options for you once the exact cause has been identified.

 

Treatment strategies for plantar fasciitis

  • RICE (Rest, ice, compression and elevation) – Reducing activity level and applying ice pack on the affected heel for 15-20 minutes helps reduce inflammation and subsequent pain.
  • Stretching exercises – Stretching and strengthening exercises such as calf muscle stretches and plantar fascia stretches will increase the capacity. of the muscles and ligament.
  • Electrical therapy – Such as ultrasound and shockwave therapy. Ultrasound therapy exerts waves which can penetrate through deeper tissues to stimulate an increase in oxygenated blood flow in the area. Compared to ultrasound, shockwave therapy is more aggressive and effective treatment for recalcitrant soft tissues pathologies, including chronic plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinosis. Recent research showed that it has a high success rate of 82%.
  • Orthotics  – Custom made orthotics alleviate the effects of faculty foot biomechanics and reduce the biomechanical stress acting on the plantar fascia.
  • Footwear modifications – Wearing supportive shoes with good arch support reduces stress on the plantar fascia.
  • NSAIDs – Such Ibuprofen and Naproxen may be recommended to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Strapping – It helps to support the foot and reduce tension on the fascia.
What is Morton’s Neuroma Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is Morton’s Neuroma Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Have you experienced stepping on a marble? Painful, isn’t it? There is a condition of the feet called Morton’s Neuroma, which feels almost the same.

Read on to learn more about it.

 

What is Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s Neuroma is a painful health condition affecting the ball of your foot, commonly around the area between the third and fourth toes. This condition happens when the tissue surrounding the nerves that leads to the toes begin to thicken, causing a sharp and burning pain in the area.

 

What Causes Morton’s Neuroma?

Anything that compresses or irritates this nerve on the foot can develop into Morton’s Neuroma. One of the most common causes for it is when a person constantly wears shoes that have a tapered toe box. Wearing high-heeled shoes can also result in this condition.

Meanwhile, people with foot deformities, like flat feet, hammertoes, and bunions, also have a higher risk of developing Morton’s Neuroma.

 

What Are the Symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma?

People that have Morton’s Neuroma may have the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Numbing, tingling, or burning sensation
  • The feeling that there is something in the ball of the foot
  • That feeling where something in one’s sock or shoe is bunched together

 

How Can Morton’s Neuroma Be Treated?

The initial therapies to relieve a person of this condition often begins with relatively simple steps.

 

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Changing one’s footwear by avoiding tight shoes or stop wearing high heels can result in a more comfortable feeling. The reason for this is because the foot bones can be more spread out, reducing the pressure on the nerves present there.

Putting an icepack on the affected area may also help reduce pain and swelling while using custom orthotic devices may also provide the support needed to minimize pressure.

Using oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, is often recommended to reduce the pain and inflammation in the foot for Morton’s Neuroma. Injecting cortisone or local anesthetics are also two possible options for patients here.

 

Surgical Treatment

Doctors may choose to recommend surgery to patients that have not responded well to the non-surgical treatments. The foot and ankle surgeon will be the one who determines the best approach for your condition.

The length of recovery is going to depend on the type of procedure that is performed. Seek advice from a medical expert now to find out the right approach for your condition.

 

Why Trust The Foot Pod?

If you are experiencing the symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma, don’t wait for your situation to get worse. We at The Foot Pod can help provide you with the appropriate treatment solution for your needs.

Our expert, Dr. Rachel Timmins, has an experienced team of practitioners that can provide relief for your foot pain. The Foot Pod clinic has been in operation since 2008 and has been serving satisfied clients throughout the years.

For more information or if you are looking to book an appointment, contact us at (08) 9246 7292 or send Dr. Rachel an email at drtimmins@thefootpod.com.au. See you soon!

Are You In Need Of Orthotics?

Are You In Need Of Orthotics?

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are a shoe insert used to treat a variety of foot and musculoskeletal issues. There are two types of orthotics:

  • Off-the-shelf orthotics, usually no more than a rubber or neoprene insole, that is pre-moulded for common complaints like flat feet and RSI pain.
  • Custom orthotics that are made specially to suit your feet, and used to correct biomechanical issues in feet, lower limbs and the lower back.

Why would you need custom orthotics?

Contrary to popular belief, orthotics do much more than provide arch support – however this is about the limit of what off-the-shelf orthotics can do for you. Custom orthotics on the other hand are designed to lift, cup, cushion and realign the pressures in your feet. In this way form orthotics are conservative treatment for many common feet problems:

 

1. Orthotics can help with feet deformities

Genetic and biomechanical deformities can cause acute pain, ongoing discomfort, and problems playing sport. Even a minor misalignment can lead to heel pain (plantar fasciitis), to weak ankles, knee injuries and stamina problems due to foot pain.

Orthotics are specially made to address these issues by realigning and rebalancing feet to minimise stress points and correct foot function.

2. Orthotics can help during pregnancy

Sudden, prolonged pressure on your feet from weight gained during pregnancy can lead to poor circulation and joint pain. Custom orthotics account for the extra weight by supporting and cushioning feet. This means:

  • Better blood circulation
  • Less strain on knees
  • Lower back pain minimised
  • Increased comfort when walking
  • No need for special shoes

 

3. Orthotics for Back Pain

Orthotics are often prescribed for back pain – but for the wrong reasons. Here at The Foot Pod we look at how your feet roll, how the ankles and knees move, and your hip alignment, to determine the root cause of back pain.

Using a highly accurate 3D laser scanning technique we then create custom orthotics that realign foot pressure/movement. In time this lengthens out contracted muscles to evenly distribute the weight load whilst wearing them and reduce pressure at the back.

Orthotics also provide cushioning during high-intensity activity like sport, reducing the burden on your back and minimising the risk of injury or chronic pain.

Are orthotics worth the money? 

Think of custom form orthotics as a piece of equipment to help with support or sports performance. Many people are advised to get orthotics for arch support and choose the off-the-shelf option, bypassing a podiatrist appointment. This can ease cases of mild flat-footedness in the short term, but without a custom solution any major biomechanical issues are going to keep getting worse.

 

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