Keep Your Feet Young, Healthy, Beautiful and Active

Calm Your Nerves: Non-Surgical Treatments For Morton’s Neuroma

Posted by on June 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Calm Your Nerves: Non-Surgical Treatments For Morton’s Neuroma

Human feet are wonders of natural design and are able to take all kinds of punishment without complaint. However, they are not invulnerable, and incremental damage suffered over time can cause a range of chronic conditions. One of these nasty foot conditions is known as Morton’s neuroma, and many patients who suffer from this illness choose to accept the risks and pain of corrective surgery to cure it. However, podiatrists can offer a range of non-surgical treatments that can reduce or even eliminate symptoms without going under the knife. What is Morton’s neuroma? A neuroma occurs when part of a nerve becomes thickened and inflamed, generally as a result of long-term irritation or compression. Morton’s neuroma occurs when a neuroma appears on one of the nerves that provide sensation to the ends of the feet, which lie between the metatarsals (the bones that connect your toes to the main body of the foot). This neuroma often appears on the nerve between the third and fourth toes but can also occur between the second and third toes. What are the symptoms of Morton’s neuroma? The nerve swelling that characterises a case of Morton’s neuroma can cause the following symptoms: Strange sensations: In the early stages of the condition, the swollen nerve often produces tingling and/or burning sensations around the affected area. You may also experience temporary numbness, particularly after exercise. Many sufferers feel like there is something stuck under the sole of their foot, such as a small stone. Pain: Pain caused by Morton’s neuroma is centred around the swollen section of nerve, and tends to become more intense during and immediately after exercise. This pain becomes more frequent and intense if the condition is not treated. Weakness: You may notice that the toes close to the affected nerve are weaker than they should be, and your balance during standing and walking may be impaired. How can podiatrists treat Morton’s neuroma non-surgically? Surgical treatments for Morton’s neuroma often involve removal of the affected nerve, and while this is a very effective approach (particularly for chronic sufferers), it permanently diminishes nervous sensation in the affected foot. As an alternative, podiatrists can offer the following non-invasive treatments: Conventional pain relief: Your podiatrist may supply you with oral painkillers, generally non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. Ice packs and compression bandages can also help relieve pain. Intravenous pain relief: In more severe cases, you may be given corticosteroid injections directly into the affected area, but these are only a short-term solution due to the risk of unpleasant side effects. Alcohol injections can also help to reduce swelling and are supplied by some podiatrists. Orthotic devices: Taking pressure off the affected nerve can help it return to its normal state, and you may be supplied with cushioned sole pads to reduce pressure during physical activity. Padded and shaped insoles can also help. Gait correction: Morton’s neuroma can be caused or exacerbated by improper gait, and a number of issues such as fallen arches, overpronation and hammer toe can place undue pressure on the nerves of the feet. Your podiatrist will analyse your gait and help you to correct any problems that may be affecting your...

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Heel pain in runners – what can be done?

Posted by on April 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Heel pain in runners – what can be done?

Running is a high impact exercise which can cause a number of different physical problems, most of which relate to the knee and the foot. Perhaps one of the most common issues affecting runners is heel pain; this is often the result of inflammation of the fascia, a band of tissue connecting the toes to the heel bone. This tissue helps the foot to absorb shock, and also provides supports for the arch. Inflammation of this tissue is referred to as plantar fasciitis. In runners, this condition usually occurs after a sudden spike in mileage, or a surface change (for instance, switching from the treadmill to the road). According to Runners’ World, those with excessively low or high arches are more likely than most to suffer from heel problems. What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis? Stiffness, along with either a sharp or dull pain in the heel are the main warning signs that you may be experiencing this condition. The pain is often exacerbated by intense physical activity, prolonged periods of standing, and walking up and down stairs. What should I do if I think I might have this injury? If you believe you may have Plantar Fasciitis, it is best to go your local podiatrist, or your GP as soon as possible. In the meantime however, there are some measures you can take to lessen the pain and reduce the chance of further inflammation occurring. Try to keep your foot elevated and apply ice to the heel up to three times a day, for no more than 20 minutes at a time; this should reduce swelling. Until the injury is treated by a medical professional, it is  best to avoid any exercise which may worsen it. Taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, and wearing arch-band supports, can also be helpful. What can a podiatrist do for me if I have plantar fasciitis? A podiatrist will use their own medical expertise, along with a range of diagnostic equipment, to determine the exact nature of the injury. Podiatry Today explains that they may use MRI, ultrasound and radiograph technology when assessing the problem. Based on their findings, they will then recommend a treatment plan, which might include the runner wearing custom-made orthotic insoles, receiving corticosteroid injections, or purchasing footwear better suited to those with this condition. Additionally, the podiatrist may refer their patient to a physiotherapist. Rarely, in cases of very severe and persistent heel pain, one of two types of surgery may be recommended; detachment of the fascia, or lengthening of the calf muscle. However, in most instances, less aggressive forms of treatment can be used to manage or eliminate this kind of heel pain. For more information, contact offices like McLean &...

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