Women tend to experience the pain and disfigurement associated with bunions more often than men. Here we explain why:
It's been said that women often suffer for the sake of fashion. That seems to be especially true when it comes to their feet years of wearing narrow, highheeled, pointed shoes can wreak havoc on the structure of women's feet, particularly in the form of bunions. These deformities have become one of the most common afflictions podiatrists treat in their offices. But why does this problem tend to affect women over men, and what can be done to prevent it?
First, it's important to know what bunions are and how they develop. Bunions gradually develop on the outside of the big toes from pressure on their joints. As the big toe is constantly pushed inward toward the other toes, the bunion becomes more pronounced. They are not actually new growths; the deformity of the foot bones makes it appear that there is a lump under the skin. The results of this irregularity can be pain, swelling and limited range of motion, and its appearance can make people selfconscious about going barefoot or wearing opentoed shoes.
The cause of bunions is not completely known: they may be an inherited abnormality, or they may be caused by many years of wearing illfitting footwear. Either way, it is generally accepted that cheaply-made or tight-fitting shoes can worsen bunions over time. Given that women's shoes often require the foot to contort into an unnatural position, it is no wonder that more women suffer from bunions than men. Women also tend to be more arthritic, a condition that can exacerbate bunions as well.
Low-maintenance, non-surgical options are usually the first line of treatment for bunions. Shoes should be highquality and fitted by an expert to ensure proper sizing. Speciallydesigned foot pads or arch supports can be worn to alleviate some of the pressure and mild pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can ease the pain. Surgeries involve removing some of the affected bone or surrounding tissue to correct the foot's position.
If you think your feet might be fashion victims, kick your shoes off and call your podiatrist to ask about your options.
The condition called “trench foot” was first officially diagnosed in 1812 by a doctor who treated French soldiers who spent a lot of time in cold, wet trenches. Though it is relatively rare in patients, trench foot is a very concerning foot problem that you should be aware of. If you have any potential symptoms, schedule an urgent appointment with your podiatrist to have it properly diagnosed and treated.
What Is Trench Foot?
Trench foot is a foot condition that develops because the feet have been exposed to very cold water or dampness for a very long time. Proper circulation to the feet stops as blood vessels constrict due to the cold. The feet are vulnerable to bacteria and the elements, causing a number of undesirable symptoms. Common symptoms of trench foot include:
- Discolored feet (turning red, blue or black)
- Tingling, itching or burning
- Numbness in the feet
- Red blisters
In severe cases, parts of the feet, like toes, can begin to fall off. If the foot already has some type of infection or wound, the progression of trench foot can be more aggressive. In untreated cases, gangrene can develop and amputation may be necessary.
Who Is at Risk for Trench Foot?
Trench foot was first noticed in soldiers who were forced to spend days, weeks or months in wet trenches. Wearing poorly designed shoes or boots allows the feet to become damp and cold. Any patient who lives in an outdoor environment that is very cold and gets long periods of rain could be at risk for trench foot—especially if proper boots aren’t worn at all times.
Getting Help with Trench Foot Symptoms
It’s important to have any symptom of trench foot looked at by a podiatrist as soon as possible. There are a few common ways that doctors treat trench foot:
- Warming the feet with heated pads or warm water.
- Physical therapy to bring circulation back to the feet.
- Cleaning and disinfecting the feet with antifungal agents.
- Removing bad tissue so that good tissue has a chance to regenerate on the feet.
Schedule an urgent appointment with your podiatrist if your feet have been exposed to cold, damp or dirty conditions for an extended period of time and you’re experiencing symptoms of trench foot. The sooner it is treated, the better the chance of returning the feet to a normal and healthy condition.
Find out how AFO devices could offer your foot and ankle some much needed support.
Are you suffering from a severe fracture or sprain in your foot or ankle? Has a stroke or orthopedic disorder affected your ankle strength? If so, there is an easy way to improve your balance and offer some muchneeded stability and support to weak muscles in both the foot and ankle.
AFO, also known as an ankle foot orthosis, is a podiatric device often made from plastic that is worn to provide additional support to both the ankle and foot. AFOs account for about 26 percent of all orthotics in America. This plastic frame runs from the knee down to the foot and helps maintain better alignment and movement.
This orthotic is customdesigned to provide optimal ankle support and to promote proper motion and gait. AFOs can be worn under shoes, but may require the wearer to purchase larger shoes to accommodate the bulk of the orthotic.
Who Wears AFOs
A number of people can benefit from wearing these plastic devices, including those who are dealing with either orthopedic or neurological problems that affect their joints, movement and posture. Those who have suffered a stroke or have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis could find significant improvements to their posture, alignment and motion by wearing an AFO. AFOs can also help with muscular imbalance.
Orthopedic conditions that can benefit from AFOs include fractures, drop foot, sprains and arthritis. If you suffer from foot pain or weakened muscles due to an injury, then you may also want to consider how AFO could help you.
Both children and adults can benefit from wearing AFOs. In fact, about 80 percent of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy currently use an orthotic to improve their coordination and movement.
To find out whether an AFO is right for you or your child, talk to your podiatrist today. We would be happy to customdesign an AFO to accommodate your podiatric needs.
Orthotics are used to treat a variety of foot problems and medical issues. Orthotic devices are molded pieces of leather, rubber or other material that are inserted into a shoe. They correct the alignment of your foot and cushion your foot from excessive pounding. Kenneth R. Meisler & Associates is located in New York, NY, and offers custom orthotics to patients. Here are some reasons to consider orthotics.
1. You have diabetes.
Diabetes often results in nerve damage in the feet. This can lead to sensation loss, leaving a diabetic patient unable to feel cold, heat, or pain – which can also lead to strain and stress on other areas of the body. Millions of diabetic patients use orthotic devices to reduce the strain.
2. You have arthritis.
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints. Arthritis can cause swelling, pain, and stiffness in and around the joints. When you have arthritis, movement becomes very difficult and painful. Foot orthotics can be employed to alleviate your pain and help you retain and enhance mobility.
3. You are an active person.
In an effort to improve physical performance, many fitness enthusiasts rely on custom-fit orthotic devices to keep their feet in their most efficient alignment, allowing the ligaments, bones, tendons and muscles to work at a higher efficiency and prevent injuries.
4. You have back pain.
Orthotic devices are sometimes used to treat back pain in individuals who have some type of foot imbalance or dysfunction. Walking and standing with the feet, legs, spine and hips out of alignment can contribute to back pain. The use of orthotic devices that correct the alignment of the feet helps to stop this domino effect from occurring.
5. You have foot pain.
Want relief from foot pain? Orthotic devices are designed to correct structural issues and ease foot pain. Making good shoe decisions can go a long way toward preventing foot pain, but for those who are already suffering, orthotic devices may provide much-needed relief.
6. You have a bunion.
Bunions are painful, bony bumps that form on the joint connecting the big toe. Orthotic devices are placed inside your shoes to help realign the bones of your foot. This will relieve the pressure on your bunion and alleviate your pain. Orthotic devices will not take away the bunion deformity, but they can help to control the pain and the progression of the deformity.
So, what are you waiting for? Call Kenneth R. Meisler & Associates at 212-628-4444 today to schedule an appointment in New York. We offer state-of-the-art treatments for problems of the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Your feet will be in expert hands with one of our world-class New York, NY, podiatrists!Orthotics are used to treat a variety of foot problems and medical issues.
Learn how to properly care for your foot cast to promote faster healing.
If you’ve broken a bone in your foot, then chances are pretty good that your podiatrist has told you that you have to wear a cast to protect and support it until the break heals.
However, there are certain things you need to do to properly care for your foot cast, so it can be most effective in helping your injury heal. It’s important to understand the basic elements that go into caring for your cast, so you are back to your old self in no time.
Handling Foot Swelling
Sometimes your foot may swell while it’s in the case, making the cast feel uncomfortable and restrictive. Here are some ways to reduce your foot swelling, so you cast doesn’t feel so unpleasant:
- Elevate your foot above your heart for the first three days after your cast has been put on. If you can, also try to sleep with your foot propped up on a pillow.
- Wiggle and move your toes around to keep blood flow circulating throughout your injured foot.
- You can also apply an ice pack, covered with a towel, around your cast for the first two to three days after getting your cast. Ice the cast for about 20 minutes every couple of hours throughout the day.
Handling an Itchy Cast
Sometimes the skin underneath the cast can get a bit itchy, which is enough to drive anyone a little mad. Here are some ways to relieve that itch without damaging your cast:
- Turn your hair dryer on cool and target under your cast to reach the itchy spots
- Apply a towelwrapped ice pack to the cast where the itchy area is
- Consider taking an overthecounter antihistamine to help relieve itching
Whatever you do, do not try to place utensils or objects under your cast to scratch your skin, as this could cause an open wound and potential infection.
Keeping Your Cast Dry
Most of the time, your podiatrist will recommend that you avoid getting your cast wet. If your cast is made from plaster then you will need to keep it dry at all times. Apply a plastic bag or waterproof wrapping over your cast when bathing or showering.
If you have a fiberglass cast, however, it’s typically okay if it does get wet. This is because the cast is usually lined with a waterrepellent layer; however, find out from your podiatrist whether or not your fiberglass cast can be wet. Anytime your fiberglass cast gets wet, just let it air dry.
If you have any questions about your foot cast, call your podiatrist today!
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