Experiencing painful sensations in the feet can prove to be a big annoyance and something that might hinder your normal activities. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the many different types of pain you could experience—toe pain is one important kind. Toe pain has a variety of causes. One of the most common sources of toe pain is simply wearing ill-fitting footwear that is too tight around the toes. If you notice pain, swelling, and discoloration in one particular toe, this pain may be caused by a broken toe. Alternatively, if you are experiencing pain around the toenail (particularly at the sides of the nail), it is possible that this is due to an ingrown toenail. Lastly, if you have some kind of pain around the joint of a toe, and the skin around this area has become red in color or hot in temperature, this could be caused by gout. If you are unsure what is causing your toe pain, a podiatrist can help you identify and treat the problem.
Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatristsThe Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Causes Toe Pain?
Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.
Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:
- Sports injury
- Wearing shoes that are too tight
- Corns and calluses
- Ingrown toenails
- Fractures (broken bones)
When to See a Podiatrist
- Severe pain
- Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
- Signs of infection
- Continued swelling
- Pain that prevents walking
In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.
Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.
The feet carry the weight of the body, and it can help the overall body to keep them as healthy as possible. Stretching the feet is simple to do, and the benefits outweigh the time it takes to practice effective foot stretches. Specific stretches can improve range of motion, and may maintain strength and flexibility. An effective foot stretch is done sitting in a chair, with the feet flat on the floor. While keeping the toes on the ground, the heels are lifted until only the balls of the feet and toes can touch the ground. Also, the toes can become stronger when the foot is kept on the floor, while spreading the toes as wide as possible. Additionally, a good stretch for the toes involves crossing one leg over the other, and moving the toes with the hand back and forth. There are various stretches that can be done for different parts of the foot. If you would like more information about how to perform these, please consult a podiatrist.
Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with one of our podiatristsThe Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC will assess your condition and provide you with quality podiatric treatment.
Stretching the Feet
Being the backbone of the body, the feet carry your entire weight and can easily become overexerted, causing cramps and pain. As with any body part, stretching your feet can serve many benefits. From increasing flexibility to even providing some pain relief, be sure to give your feet a stretch from time to time. This is especially important for athletes or anyone performing aerobic exercises, but anyone experiencing foot pain or is on their feet constantly should also engage in this practice.
Great ways to stretch your feet:
- Crossing one leg over the others and carefully pull your toes back. Do 10-20 repetitions and repeat the process for each foot
- Face a wall with your arms out and hands flat against the wall. Step back with one foot and keep it flat on the floor while moving the other leg forward. Lean towards the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 10 repetitions for each foot
- Be sure not to overextend or push your limbs too hard or you could risk pulling or straining your muscle
Individuals who tend to their feet by regular stretching every day should be able to minimize foot pain and prevent new problems from arising.
By nature of a restaurant worker’s job, most of the workday is spent walking or putting weight on the feet. Restaurant workers are certainly not alone – in fact, many workers across the country (including hairdressers, nurses, and schoolteachers) spend the majority of the workday on their feet. While there are many different techniques you might consider trying to mitigate the toll your job might be taking on your feet, wearing compression socks could be a very useful trick. Compression socks are meant to facilitate blood circulation in the feet and legs, effectively reducing swelling in these areas. This might be particularly beneficial for workers who have developed varicose or spider veins. Compression socks are also now produced in a wide variety of different colors and designs, making them fun and fashionable, in addition to being useful. Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today if you spend your day on your feet and want to learn more about compression socks.
While working on the feet, it is important to take the proper care of them. For more information about working on your feet, contact one of our podiatristsThe Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC will treat your podiatric needs.
Working on Your Feet
Standing on your feet for long periods of time can cause stress and pain in your feet. Your whole body may experience change in terms of posture, back pain, bunions, callouses and or plantar warts. There are ways to avoid these conditions with proper foot care, smart choices and correct posture.
Negative heeled shoe – Choosing this shoe type places the heel slightly lower than the ball of the foot. These are great for overall foot health. Find shoes that fit you correctly.
Go barefoot – Our feet were not designed to be enclosed for all hours of the day. Try to periodically expose your feet to air.
Foot Exercises – Performing simple exercises, incorporating yoga and doing stretches are beneficial. This will allow increased blood flow to the area and muscles of the foot.
One stretch that can be performed almost anywhere begins with standing with your feet flat together. Focus on one foot at a time, and slowly raise your heel while curling your toes towards the floor. Make sure you add these exercises to your daily regimen.
With a little bit of this information and knowing more about foot health, you will notice changes. Foot stretches and proper footwear will help with pain and prevent further issues.
Orthotics are defined as insoles that go into the shoes. They are also known as orthoses and can help to improve foot structure. There are specific foot deformities that may benefit from wearing orthotics. These include flat feet, arch conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, and certain types of arthritis. There are three categories of orthotics, including rigid, soft, and semi-rigid. Foot function is typically controlled by wearing rigid orthotics, and they may help to eliminate existing foot pain. They generally fit snugly to correct any abnormalities. Shock and pressure can be reduced when soft orthotics are worn, and walking may be more comfortable. The orthotics that are known as semi-rigid are often worn by athletes, and they can provide the support that is necessary as their chosen sport is practiced. If you would like to know more information about orthotics, their different forms, and if you are a candidate, please schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can answer any questions you may have. Podiatrists can also guide you in the direction that is right for you.
If you are having discomfort in your feet and would like to try orthotics, contact one of our podiatristsThe Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Are Orthotics?
Orthotics are inserts you can place into your shoes to help with a variety of foot problems such as flat feet or foot pain. Orthotics provide relief and comfort for minor foot and heel pain but can’t correct serious biomechanical problems in your feet.
Orthotics come in a wide variety of over-the-counter inserts that are used to treat foot pain, heel pain, and minor problems. For example, arch supports can be inserted into your shoes to help correct overarched or flat feet, while gel insoles are often used because they provide comfort and relief from foot and heel pain by alleviating pressure.
If over-the-counter inserts don’t work for you or if you have a more severe foot concern, it is possible to have your podiatrist prescribe custom orthotics. These high-quality inserts are designed to treat problems such as abnormal motion, plantar fasciitis, and severe forms of heel pain. They can even be used to help patients suffering from diabetes by treating foot ulcers and painful calluses and are usually molded to your feet individually, which allows them to provide full support and comfort.
If you are experiencing minor to severe foot or heel pain, it’s recommended to speak with your podiatrist about the possibilities of using orthotics. A podiatrist can determine which type of orthotic is right for you and allow you to take the first steps towards being pain-free.
Poor circulation in the feet is common among diabetic patients. Acrocyanosis, which is a condition that can affect the extremities, and arteriosclerosis which can be triggered by high blood pressure are other reasons why this condition can develop. Poor circulation in the feet is the result of closed or narrow blood vessels, and patients who have this may be at risk for other health issues. Some of the symptoms that are associated with this condition include hair loss on the feet and legs, and dry or cracked skin. Additionally, people who have poor circulation may have weak toenails, and their feet may feel cold and have a bluish tint. The medical condition known as Raynaud’s disease syndrome may cause the blood vessels in the feet to become narrow, and this can limit the amount of blood that circulates. Additionally, peripheral artery disease (PAD) may contribute to poor circulation. This can cause the inability to feel existing cuts and scrapes that may have developed on the feet as a result of excessive plaque build up in the arteries. If you have poor circulation in your feet for any reason, please contact a podiatrist who can properly diagnose and treat this ailment.
Poor circulation is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any concerns with poor circulation in your feet contact one of our podiatristsThe Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC will treat all of your podiatric needs.
Poor Circulation in the Feet
Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs is can be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the result of a buildup of plaque in the arteries.
Plaque buildup or atherosclerosis results from excess calcium and cholesterol in the bloodstream. This can restrict the amount of blood which can flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.
Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development. It can also cause:
- Muscle pain, stiffness, or weakness
- Numbness or cramping in the legs
- Skin discoloration
- Slower nail & hair growth
- Erectile dysfunction
Those who have diabetes or smoke are at greatest risk for poor circulation, as are those who are over 50. If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions.
As always, see a podiatrist as he or she will assist in finding a regimen that suits you. A podiatrist can also prescribe you any needed medication.
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