You would never think of driving your car on a flat tire, or in the snow if your tires were bald. Like your car’s tires, your feet are where your rubber soles meet the road, so why would you not seek out treatment for your feet if you are feeling pain or have suffered an injury? Here are some pain management options for your feet to make sure can keep moving forward.
Low or fallen arches, foot deformities and misalignments can throw your entire musculoskeletal system off balance, making it uncomfortable to walk and adding extra strain on your ankles, knees and hip joints. Orthotics, which are shoe inserts that are customized to each patient, are crafted to support the unique shape of each foot. This not only will help reduce foot pain, but also can help you avoid injury to other parts of your body. Orthotics can put your stride and posture back in alignment; that’s why athletes – especially runners – and those who stand on their feet all day have developed an affinity for orthotics. Over time, wearing orthotics can even help you avoid surgery for the damage that misalignment can cause.
Bunions are common foot injuries that most often occur when wearing shoes that are too small, or high heels. Bunions occur when the bones in the big toe and foot move out of position, resulting in the familiar large and often very painful bump on the side of the foot by the big toe. Bunionettes are the same as bunions except they occur on the pinkie toe. With bunions and bunionettes, your orthopedist will first recommend you find – and commit to wearing – properly fitting shoes that allow the foot to sit comfortably and naturally. If over time this simple and practical option does not work, your doctor will discuss surgical options to remove the bunions and correct the feet.
Diabetic Foot Care
Those with diabetes are at extremely high risk for foot wounds and infection; that’s because elevated blood sugar levels can cause loss of sensation in the feet that prevent pain from being sensed. As such, a simple scrape or blister can develop into any number of critical situations – from ulcerations to infection to (worse case) amputation. Your orthopedist can help those with diabetes determine the right footwear (which may be covered by your insurance plan), how to care for your feet and how to avoid injury.
Like bunions, Morton’s Neuroma is a painful foot condition, but instead of affecting the bones, it is the nerves that become compressed and inflamed. And while the cause of Morton’s Neuroma is unknown, the symptoms are consistent and include numbness, tingling and sharp pain between the third and fourth toes and the ball of the foot. Many people describe the pain as though they have stepped on a rock, and the condition is quite common in those who already have bunions, flat feet or hammertoe; as well as those who play high-impact sports such as basketball or tennis. If you are diagnosed with Morton’s Neuroma, your orthopedist will first work recommend conservative options such as icing, fitting you with orthotics, recommending better fitting footwear and prescribing over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. If these treatments don’t work, he may prescribe a corticosteroid or administer an alcohol sclerosing injection. Surgical release procedures will serve as a last resort.
If the first step you take in the morning causes excruciating pain in your feet, you just may have plantar fasciitis, a condition that occurs when the plantar fascial band located on the bottom of your foot becomes stretched or strained. Plantar fasciitis is quite common in people who go barefoot or wear shoes with no support, as well as those who stand for long periods of time. Conservative treatments include stretching, deep icing, and anti-inflammatory medications. Doctors will also recommend orthotics and may show you how to wrap your feet for comfort. Many also report finding comfort wearing compression bands when sleeping.
Our goal at Advanced Bone & Joint is to keep you on your feet without pain or risk of injury. If your feet, bones, or joints are causing you pain, give us a call; we want to help. And if you need orthopedic urgent care, look no further than our QUICK CARE services. We’re open Monday – Friday to help you get back to LIVING YOUR LIFE. Don’t waste time somewhere else, call us today at (636) 229-4222 to be seen and get care.