Posts for: February, 2020
Is the inner part of your foot experiencing pain? Do you see a bump at the base of your big toe? If so, your foot doctor at Podiatry Associates of Houston may diagnose it as a bunion, an acquired deformity of the metatarsophalangeal joint. Left untreated, bunions worsen, causing limited mobility, especially in older women. Fortunately, the team of podiatrists at Podiatry Associates of Houston is ready to help.
How Bunions Form
Many factors contribute to bunions. One is genetics—foot structure can be inherited, and if your mom has bunions, you may develop them, as well. Other factors include:
- Being female
- Age over 40
- Wearing tight, high-heel shoes (Harvard Health says women develop more bunions than men by a ratio of 10 to 1 because of footwear choice)
- A job which requires prolonged standing
- Sports involving jumping, bouncing and running
Add time and neglect, and the big toe begins to turn toward the second and even third toes of the foot. Podiatrists call this condition Hallux valgus. It causes additional pain and thick callus formation on the ball of the foot. Arthritis and bursitis may set in.
What to Do About a Bunion
Don't ignore the discomfort—see one of the wonderful foot doctors at Podiatry Associates of Houston. They examine bunions on a regular basis, and often treat the issue with care plans that combine conservative interventions, although in severe cases, surgery does become necessary.
Some of these conservative interventions include:
- Over-the-counter analgesics
- Cortisone injections to reduce inflammation
- A change in footwear to low-heels and wide toe boxes
- Rest, and avoiding standing
- Shoe padding, such as moleskin, to reduce friction and formation of calluses and sores
- Gait correction (how you put your feet on the ground when you walk) with custom-made shoe inserts (i.e. orthotics)
- Ice and elevation
- Night-time splints to re-align the toe
Find out More
At Podiatry Associates of Houston, our foot doctors are experts in their field. They will help you manage your bunion so you walk pain-free and stay mobile. For an appointment, call one of our five Houston area offices. For Chimney Rock, TX, phone 713-666-0287. Call our Memorial City location at 713-467-1299. In Katy, contact us at 281-579-0186. Your friends in Willowbrook can be reached at 832-912-7792. In Woodlands, call 281-849-9891.
Are you a sports enthusiast--runner, tennis player or martial arts expert? If you are, you must protect your feet and ankles from sports injuries. At Podiatry Associates of Houston, our team of four podiatrists can show you how to keep your lower extremities healthy, functional and pain-free. Stay in the game with podiatric care from the experts.
Common sports injuries
One-quarter of sports injuries involve the lower extremities--that is, your feet and ankles. Running, jumping, bouncing and twisting make people more prone to:
- Ankle sprains, painful stretching of the ligaments, particularly on the outer aspect of the ankle
- Shin splints, painful tearing and overstretching of the muscles along the tibia
- Achilles tendinitis, stress on or even rupture of the tendon between the heel and calf muscle
- Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue in the arch of the foot
- Stress fractures in the feet
- Tinea pedis, or Athlete's foot
- Metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot)
- Ingrown toenails
- Bunions, acquired deformities, or bumps, at the base of the big toes
At the first sign of discomfort or deformity (such as a noticeable bump, redness or swelling), call your foot doctor at Podiatry Associates of Houston. Sports injuries cannot be ignored as they can progress, limiting not only your athletic activities but your daily function as well.
Protecting yourself from sports injuries
Keeping your feet and ankles healthy and mobile really is a matter of common sense. The team at Podiatry Associates of Houston recommend the following practices to avoid sports injuries:
- Warm-up and stretch before you go for a run, play tennis or engage in your favorite exercise class.
- Keep in good physical condition, including maintaining a healthy weight.
- Wear proper, quality footwear that fits and gives your feet adequate support.
- If you experience pain, stop whatever you are doing. Pain is never normal.
- If you have an acute injury, such as a suspected ankle sprain, rest, apply ice, put on an elastic bandage, and elevate the limb. This first-aid is called the RICE protocol.
- Make sure you have the proper equipment for your sport, keep it in good condition and wear it!
- See your foot doctor about custom-made shoe inserts, or orthotics. Semi-rigid orthotics correct gait imbalances which put undue stress on your feet and ankles, leading to acute or repetitive motion injuries.
Happy, healthy feet
Podiatric health and function definitely impact your mobility and overall well-being. So, be wise when you play sports or exercise, and stay injury-free. If you have questions or concerns about your active feet, please contact Podiatry Associates of Houston for an appointment. We'll be glad to check them out.
We have five Houston area offices to serve you: in Chimney Rock, phone (281) 845-2039. In Memorial City, reach us at (281) 369-4396. For the Katy office, call (281) 694-4224. In Willowbrook, phone (832) 548-9893. For the Woodlands location, call (281) 849-9891.