Posts for: October, 2017
Could your scrunched up toes actually be the result of this foot deformity?
Foot deformities are actually more common than you may imagine. From arthritis and sports-related injuries to wearing the wrong shoes over the years, there are many reasons hammertoes develop. If you are currently dealing with painful bent toes, our Williamsburg and Hampton, VA, podiatrists, Dr. Sara Bouraee and Dr. Mahmoud Salem, are here to tell you whether you may be suffering from hammertoes and what you should do about it.
If you aren’t experiencing pain or any other symptoms as a result of your hammertoes then you may be more likely to just ignore the issue, but it’s important that you don’t. After all, many foot deformities like this one can become worse if you don’t give your feet the proper care they deserve.
A hammertoe is the result of a muscular imbalance within the foot. When the muscles of the feet are weak or overworked this, in turn, affects the health and length of the tendons. As these tendons become stretched it pulls the toes downward at the joint, causing the toes to look claw-like. If you notice that your toes are naturally bent rather than straight then you could very well be dealing with hammertoes.
Again, not all foot problems in the early stages will present with symptoms. Maybe you hadn’t even thought twice about your bent toes until you read this; however, if you suspect that something isn’t right it’s the perfect time to address the issue with our Williamsburg and Hampton foot doctors before the problem progresses. Getting the proper care and treatment early on is crucial to healthy feet for the long term.
Plus, treating the issue is pretty easy if you catch it soon enough. Most of the time people can get away with taking simple day-to-day precautions to make sure their hammertoes don’t get worse. Some lifestyle changes include:
- Wearing shoes that don’t put pressure on your toes or cause them to bunch up. Also, tossing out shoes that don’t provide enough support or cushioning, and avoiding high heels.
- Icing the toe or taking pain relievers if you do experience any discomfort.
- Splinting the toe in order to improve its alignment and the structure of the foot.
- Applying a protective moleskin padding over the hammertoe (particularly where the joint bents) to prevent a corn from forming and to take pressure off the joint when wearing shoes.
Most of the time these simple measures can work wonders for preventing the hammertoe from getting worse. Of course, in rare cases, you may require surgery if the joint is inflexible.
Don’t let a hammertoe alter your life. We can help create the proper treatment plan that will reduce pain and other symptoms. If you have questions about caring for your hammertoe in Williamsburg or Hampton, VA, call Hampton Roads Foot and Ankle Specialists today.
Your feet are the foundation of your entire body—complex structures consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints and 126 muscles and ligaments. They support your weight, act as a shock absorber, serve as a lever to propel the leg forward and help maintain balance.
Since your entire body is interrelated, any mechanical issues with the feet can lead to chronic musculoskeletal problems in other parts of the body, including your back.
One common foot disorder affecting the back is excessive pronation. Also known as flat feet, this condition causes the foot’s arch to flatten and collapse under the body’s weight. While a normal arch promotes stability and alignment of the entire body, the ability to cushion and absorb forces is greatly reduced when the arch collapses. As a result, increased stress is placed on the joints of the body. This continued stress can cause deformities of the foot over time, such as misaligned bones, hammertoes and bunions, eventually making its way to the legs, knees and lower back.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, visit our practice for an evaluation. Your feet may be the source of your pain. If your back pain is caused by poor mechanics of the feet, orthotics may be an effective treatment option. These custom devices are designed to support and restore the arch of your foot. Restoring the alignment of your foot helps normalize posture and alignment of the lower body. This can reduce unnecessary stress to areas of your back.
Choose the Right Shoes!
The shoes you are wearing may also be contributing to your back pain. Good, proper fitting footwear will provide your feet with the support they need to stabilize your body’s weight and relieve the stress on the rest of your body.
If you suffer from back pain, visit your podiatrist for an evaluation. Your feet may be causing your pain. With proper treatment, you can achieve proper foot biomechanics and eliminate your back pain once and for all.
Following an ankle injury or ankle surgery, you’ll inevitably lose some strength and range of motion from being immobilized for an extended period of time. A weak ankle can hinder normal mobility, and even lead to another injury. So what can you do to strengthen your ankle and get back to your old self again?
Strengthening Your Ankle
Your ankle or leg may feel stiff, especially if your treatment required wearing a cast or a walking boot. Stiffness and instability are common symptoms following an ankle injury that will need to be addressed in order to get you back to your normal range of motion and activity level.
Your podiatrist may recommend post-injury physical therapy or home exercises that will help you strengthen weak muscles surrounding the ankle joint and restore mobility to lower your risk of reinjury. These include range of motion exercises for the injured ankle, which help loosen stiff ankles, and stretching exercises for the calf muscles, which help decrease your risk of hurting your ankle again. As with all exercises, progress slowly and discontinue if painful. Pain is most certainly not gain when it comes to physical therapy!
Choosing the Right Shoes
The shoes you wear will also play an important role in protecting your injured ankle and restoring your mobility. Supportive shoes will provide more comfort, better balance and help stabilize the weak ankle to prevent re-injury. Stay off high heels or flats and flip flops without support until your ankle is completely mended.
Proper care and rehabilitation following an ankle injury is critical to ensure your ankle fully heals. Always consult your podiatrist if ankle pain or stiffness persists or worsens and before starting any new exercise program.