A bunion, a common foot deformity, is characterized by the gradual misalignment of the big toe joint, causing a bony protrusion on the side of the foot. This condition develops when the big toe consistently pushes against the next toe, gradually altering the joint's structure. Wearing ill-fitting footwear, particularly tight shoes or high heels, is a primary culprit, as they force the toes into unnatural positions. Genetic factors also play a role, with some individuals inheriting a predisposition to bunions. Foot mechanics, such as overpronation or flat feet, contribute to the misalignment, increasing the risk. Arthritis, particularly inflammatory types, may exacerbate bunion formation. Additionally, trauma or injury to the foot can accelerate the development of bunions. Recognizing the multifaceted causes of bunions is important for preventive measures. If you have developed a bunion, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer you effective relief techniques.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why Do Bunions Form?
Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions
How Are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How Are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts
If you are over the age of 50, you are likely familiar with foot pain. Studies indicate that 20 percent of older adults regularly experience foot pain, often attributed to factors like excess weight or poorly fitting footwear. However, foot pain also can be a sign of more significant health concerns that affect balance and foot function, and increase the risk of falls. Persistent foot pain may signal underlying health issues, such as stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, neuropathy, and gout. Stress fractures, common in older adults due to thinning bone tissue, may require rest, special shoe inserts, or braces. Plantar fasciitis, involving inflammation of the ligament connecting the heel to the front of the foot, should be examined if it persists. Neuropathy, common in individuals with diabetes, causes tingling, burning, and foot numbness. Prompt investigation is essential, as neuropathy can stem from various causes, including alcohol overuse or infections like Lyme disease and cancer. Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, is often misdiagnosed and overlooked. It typically begins in the big toe, causing severe pain, especially at night. Diagnosis involves blood work to check uric acid levels, fluid sample analysis for urate crystals, and ultrasound. If you are feeling foot pain on a continued basis, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a complete examination and proper diagnosis. Treatment options will follow.
Proper foot care is something many older adults forget to consider. If you have any concerns about your feet and ankles, contact Nrup Tolat, DPM from Atlanta Total Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
The Elderly and Their Feet
As we age we start to notice many changes in our body, but the elder population may not notice them right away. Medical conditions may prevent the elderly to take notice of their foot health right away. Poor vision is a lead contributor to not taking action for the elderly.
- Neuropathy – can reduce feeling in the feet and can hide many life-threatening medical conditions.
- Reduced flexibility – prevents the ability of proper toenail trimming, and foot cleaning. If left untreated, it may lead to further medical issues.
- Foot sores – amongst the older population can be serious before they are discovered. Some of the problematic conditions they may face are:
- Gouging toenails affecting nearby toe
- Shoes that don’t fit properly
- Pressure sores
- Loss of circulation in legs & feet
- Edema & swelling of feet and ankles
Diabetes and poor circulation can cause general loss of sensitivity over the years, turning a simple cut into a serious issue.
Have your child's feet been examined lately? Healthy feet are happy feet. If your child is complaining of foot pain, it may be a sign of underlying problems.
Gout, a form of arthritis, paints a distinctive portrait of discomfort that individuals must learn to decipher. Recognizing the signs is pivotal, and sudden, intense joint pain, often in the big toe, signifies the onset. Swelling and redness can accompany these flares, underscoring the need for early identification. The causes of gout reside in an excess of uric acid, leading to the formation of sharp crystals in the joints. Factors such as diet, genetics, and underlying health conditions contribute to the heightened uric acid levels. Living with gout necessitates a multidimensional approach. Adopting a gout-friendly diet, staying hydrated, and managing weight are fundamental steps. Navigating life with gout demands an understanding of one's body and a commitment to a holistic lifestyle that fosters joint health and overall well-being. If you are afflicted with gout, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can help you to manage this condition.
Gout is a foot condition that requires certain treatment and care. If you are seeking treatment, contact Nrup Tolat, DPM from Atlanta Total Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctor will treat your foot and ankle needs.
What Is Gout?
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. It often develops in the foot, especially the big toe area, although it can manifest in other parts of the body as well. Gout can make walking and standing very painful and is especially common in diabetics and the obese.
People typically get gout because of a poor diet. Genetic predisposition is also a factor. The children of parents who have had gout frequently have a chance of developing it themselves.
Gout can easily be identified by redness and inflammation of the big toe and the surrounding areas of the foot. Other symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, and running high fevers. Sometimes corticosteroid drugs can be prescribed to treat gout, but the best way to combat this disease is to get more exercise and eat a better diet.