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Posts for tag: toe pain

Ingrown toenails walk tenderly into my office on a daily basis.  Treating ingrown toenails is one of the everyday procedures that podiatrists perform on a weekly if not daily basis. 

Ingrown toenails are basically sharp edges of nails that grow into the skin at the edges of the nail.  The edge of the nail normally only grows outward and away from the skin but this can go awry if you're not careful.  So why does this happen?

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Don't wear tight shoes!  Your toes need plenty of space so give yourself a big toe box with space above and in front of your toes.  Tight shoes force the nails downward and can eventually cause your toenails to become rounded.  Believe it or not you can actually predispose yourself or your children to ingrown toenails if the shoes worn are too tight.  When your toes are still developing during childhood, you can cause permanently rounded nails that can dig into the skin with any downward pressure.  There are also some people with naturally rounded nails that are more likely to develop ingrown toenails.

The actual cause of the ingrown nails is almost always tight shoes and improper nail care.  People that don't wear shoes will never (well, I'll say almost never) develop ingrown toenails.  When cutting your nails always cut straight across and be careful not to cut them too short, especially on the sides of the nail. You definitely want to stop cutting before the nail attaches to the skin. 

Another factor that can increase your risk is weight bearing trauma to the toes.  When playing basketball for instance, if you have tight shoes you are constantly slamming your toes into your shoe and the floor which is pushing the skin into the nail.  The more you damage the skin the more inflamed it can become and the skin may actually grow and swell up over the nail (if the nail is cut too short). 

What does this mean for you? If you commonly get ingrown toenails then take a look at your shoes.  They are probably too small.  If you live in warm weather you can wear open toes shoes to stop ingrown nails.  Be more conservative when cutting your nails and don't cut your nails too often. 

Ingrown toenails can develop and get out of control quickly.  They often get infected and swollen and very painful.  In this case you should make your way to your local podiatrist who is equipped with the tools and expertise necessary to return your nails to normal.  Seriously, you can walk in with extreme pain and walk out feeling great.  Actor Mark Wahlberg recently underwent a procedure for an ingrown toenail and showed up at the Critics Choice awards that same night.  Recovery from these simple procedures is quick and the pain relief is instant. 

If you have any questions about your shoe gear, feet, or nails, make an appointment with your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Edison and Monroe NJ today.

By Varun Gujral

 

We’ve all heard about this thing called gout, and I’m sure everyone associates it with their feet. But what exactly is this condition and how do people get it?  Gout is a build-up of uric acid within the joints of the body. Wait, what is uric acid? It is a waste product of metabolism in your body; it is made when the food you make is broken down. When this builds up in the joints it is similar to arthritis.

Certain people are more likely to have this happen than other people. There is a genetic link to it, so if someone in your family develops gout it is more likely that you will develop it compared to someone who has never had someone in their family develop it. Men between the ages of 40 and 60 are more likely to develop it, and a diet including high amount of meat, seafood and beer increase the chances of this developing.

The common symptoms of gout in the foot include pain and swelling of the joints; red, shiny skin around the joint; itchy and flaky skin of the joint. These symptoms will appear very quickly, last for around a week then disappear. The big toe is the most common place for this to occur, however it can also occur in the other toes and heel.

Your local podiatrist Dr. Gujral at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care can diagnose this condition by using the serum uric acid test or by examining the synovial fluid of the joint. The serum uric acid test is done by drawing blood from the arm and checking for raised uric acid levels in the blood. Synovial fluid is the fluid that lines all the joints of your body to make them move, some of this fluid can be taken out of the affected joint and looked at under a microscope to look for the presence of the gout.

Gout is treated with medications and lifestyle changes to prevent future occurrences of the condition. The medications required are urate lowering therapies, these medications reduce urate levels in the body to a point below where crystals can form, and they dissolve existing crystals. Applying ice and taking Tylenol can help relieve the symptoms also. Some lifestyle changes, mostly in diet, will be required so this doesn’t happen again in the future. Cutting down on certain meats like liver, venison, kidney and turkey and other foods like seafood, spinach and asparagus will be recommended.

If you believe you have symptoms of gout, please call our office and make an appointment.  We have two offices and we are conveniently located in Edison and in Monroe, NJ.

 

By Varun Gujral

 

Have you ever heard of something called Hallux Rigidus? No?  Although I am sure you have had or known someone who has the symptoms of this condition. Hallux Rigidus is the fancy medical name for a stiff big toe!  The common symptoms of this are pain and stiffness of the big toe when taking a step. Swelling may also be present at the base of the big toe. There is usually a loss of motion in the big toe, pain even while not walking, tender to touch and a limp when walking.

There are many causes to this condition which include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, stubbing your big toe or rolling your foot. This is commonly seen in athletes who roll their foot or stub their toe while running and don’t seek proper treatment. Soccer is a very common sport to see this injury in, for all you soccer fans I’m sure you’re familiar with Thierry Henry, imagine if he was dribbling the ball down the field and accidently stubbed his toe on the ground when trying to kick the ball; something this simple could cause this injury and bench him for weeks while it healed!

The treatment for this injury includes rest, ice and Tylenol, but an x-ray is needed to diagnose this condition. Your local podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care located in Edison and Monroe, NJ can diagnose and treat this condition if you are experiencing these symptoms! After an x-ray has confirmed “stiff big toe” as the condition causing your pain, your doctor will prescribe the proper treatment depending on how bad it is. In mild to moderate cases a steroid injection may be given to help with pain and in severe cases surgery may be required.

by Varun Gujral

 

This syndrome is pain on the inside part of the third and fourth toes, where they touch each other. So why does a pain that is in such a small area have its own “syndrome”? The pain between these toes is caused by the nerve being pinched that supplies the area between these two toes. It is a very common injury in athletes, and it can keep them from playing their sport. This injury is common in tennis players and golfers; it seems kind of strange that pain in a tiny area between two to toes could keep a professional player benched.   If we talked to Venus or Serena Williams they would probably say that if they had this pain they would be sitting on the sidelines instead of running the court.

So what is the exact cause of this pain? Well a neuroma is defined as a buildup of tissue around a nerve that pinches the nerve, so it can no longer supply the area that it is supposed to. There is a nerve that runs in between the upper long bones of your third and fourth toes, this nerve can become pinched by the bones or it can be pinched by a buildup of tissue and it will no longer supply the area between these two toes, resulting in pain! This is common in golfers and tennis players because they spin on the ball of their foot, which can cause the nerve to become pinched. This is also very common from wearingshoesthat are too small.

So what can your local podiatrist Dr. Shah at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care do for you if you are experiencing these symptoms? The most important thing is REST! Tylenol and ibuprofen would be recommended for the pain, and a custom fit shoe insert would be made to stabilize your foot.

By Nrupa Shah