We wash, exfoliate, moisturize, and sunscreen our faces. We invest in specialty anti-aging serums and pamper ourselves with facials at the spa. So why don’t we give our feet the same TLC? After all, summer sandal weather puts them on display—at picnics, the beach, and while out shopping. If you’ve neglected your feet all winter long, here are some NYC podiatrist recommended products to help you look and feel better.
More than 200,000 people are professionally treated for hammer toe pain each year. Like bunions, hammer toes are a progressive foot problem that worsens over time without treatment. Usually the deformity is obvious because the toes appear visibly bent, but other symptoms include pain at the top of the toes, corns forming on the middle toe joints, redness, swelling, and pain on top and in the ball of the foot at the base of the toe. Some hammer toes are flexible and others are semi-rigid or rigid. Patients may experience no pain unless they are walking.
Here are some of the best ways to treat hammer toe pain at home, in addition to having your condition professionally addressed by our NYC podiatrists.
Foot pain can be due to all sorts of reasons, including footwear that does not fit properly. Ill-fitting shoes are a big problem in America. A recent study from the Institute for Preventive Foot Health found that 78% of adults have encountered foot pain at some point — usually due to shoes that are too tight, too small, too large, too high, or too floppy. Consumer Reports notes that a shoe size problem is actually quite easy to fix.
Have you looked at your feet lately? We tend to stick our feet into shoes and put them “out of sight, out of mind.” However, our foot type can hold valuable clues to our total body health that we should not ignore. “Feet, like everything else, come in all shapes and sizes,” explains Dr. Ryan Minara, a foot care specialist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York City. He adds, “There are also distinct types of feet that are commonly associated with specific issues.”
A hammertoe is a structural deformity that causes the toes to permanently bend downward. According to the Mayo Clinic, causes may include: wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe box, a traumatic injury, arthritis, stroke, or diabetes. The Framington Foot Study recently revealed that one’s propensity to develop hammertoe may have a hereditary component as well, reports the Huffington Post. Many people mistakenly believe that the only way to correct hammertoe is with surgery, but that is simply not the case.
“The paradigm is shifting in surgical correction for painful hammertoes,” says Dr. Ryan Minara, one of the surgeons at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. “New, sleek implants offer stable, reliable hammertoe correction, without the need for wires sticking out of your toes! The doctors at the Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine specialize in using these implants to reduce painful deformities, leaving you with healthy, happy, pretty feet.”
If you hear someone complaining, “Oh, my bursitis hurts so much today!” you may expect them to be talking about a shoulder, elbow, or knee problem (unless you don’t know what bursitis is at all, in which case you may be expecting nothing but more confusion in the conversation–don’t worry, we’ll explain it all in a moment). Don’t settle for the ordinary, though–you can have bursitis in your foot, too. Yes, nothing is sacred.
So let’s dive into the wonderful world of bursitis!
If someone said, “Oh, my bursitis hurts so much today! I’d have no idea what they meant.” What is bursitis? I am so glad you asked. Throughout the human body, there are small, fluid filled sacs called bursa. These act almost like cushions or ball bearings–they allow the joints and bones to roll and move without rubbing against each other and creating painful wear and friction.
However, overuse of a joint or an injury can cause inflammation in a bursa. The sac fills with excess fluid, and that puts pressure on the surrounding tissues. Suddenly movement becomes painful and more difficult.
How on Earth does this affect my foot? As always, bursitis in the foot occurs in a particularly exciting way. The foot starts out with only one bursa, located between the heel bone and Achilles tendon. The bursa acts keeps the tendon from rubbing against the bone as you walk.
However, all the steps we take all day puts our feet through quite an ordeal. As little traumas occur, the body will produce bursa in these spots to try to protect damaged areas. If the damage gets to be too much, though, the bursa can become inflamed and painful as well.
Here are some places on the foot where bursa can form and bursitis can follow:
Hammertoes – If you have a hammertoe, bursa can form as the bent toe rubs against the top of a shoes, which can then lead to inflammation and bursitis.
Bunion– It’s the same as hammer toes. The bunion, or protrusion that has formed below your big toe, will rub against shoes, causing bursitis.
“Pump Bump” – Blisters on the back of your heel from rigid shoes are bad enough, but bursa can also form if there’s enough irritation. It gets its catchy little name from women’s pumps, where there aren’t any straps or supports, so her heel rises in and out of the shoe with each step. Irritation=bursa=bursitis.
Forefoot bursitis – This covers pretty much the whole area of the ball of your foot and occurs if you do a lot of high-impact activity that pounds your forefoot–running, dancing, jumping. If you have a lot of pain on the ball of your foot, though, bursitis is only one possible answer–it could also be a neuroma, sesamoiditis, or metatarsalgia. To get a correct diagnosis, see a podiatrist at the Center for…
Achilles Tendon Bursitis (Retrocalcaneal Bursitis) – Just like forefoot bursitis, this can also affect runners (read one runner’s story here). This is another tricky one to diagnose, as people often think this pain on the back of the heel is Achilles tendonitis. Sportsinjuryclinic.net suggests you can tell it’s bursitis if you squeeze both sides of your heel and feel a kind of “spongy resistance.” The best way to know for sure, though is to have a podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900) diagnose it so you can figure out the best way to deal with it.
So what DO I do if I have bursitis on my foot? Ice will help immediately with the pain and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories will help with the, well, inflammation. If the bursitis is related to wearing bad shoes–those pointy toed stilettos that cause hammertoes and bunions, the pumps that cause “pump bump”–then stop wearing them! If it is on the ball of your foot and comes from high impact activities, take a break and try different activities. A podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900) can also fit you with orthotics or metatarsal pads that will take some of the pressure off your foot. A podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900) may choose to drain fluid from the bursa in question or give a cortisone injection to relieve pain. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.
“I am so grateful for having had Dr. Geldwert perform bunion surgery on both of my feet. I have complete confidence in him and continue to see him for other sports related injuries. I was cautious about having surgery for the first time, but his knowledge, patience, and skill made me completely comfortable in trusting him. And I couldn’t be any happier with the results!! When anything else feels wrong with my feet, I love that I now know to go immediately to him. He is my top choice for anyone searching for the best foot fixer/surgeon/sports doctor in NYC! Thank you, Dr. Geldwert!!!”
– J. M., Manhattan, NY
Manhattan Office 111 East 88th Street New York, NY 10128 (212) 996-1900 See map here
Westchester Office 10 Mitchell Place Suite 105 White Plains, NY 10601 See map here
Manhattan Orthopedic and Sports Medicine 57 West 57th Street New York, NY 10019 (212) 996-1900 See map here
Dr. Josef J. Geldwert DPM, Dr. Katherine Lai DPM, Dr. Ryan Minara, DPM, and Dr. Mariola Rivera DPM serving Westchester County, White Plains, Ardsley, Bronxville, Harrison NY, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye, Scarsdale, Rye Brook, Chappaqua, and the surrounding area.
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