When you spend all day working on your feet, foot pain seems like an everyday part of life. However, foot pain is not normal. Your feet take on lots of stress throughout the day, which is why you must take good care of them.
The foot may be small, but it’s complex. It contains 5 nerves, 4 veins, 3 arteries, 35 joints, and 28 bones. With so many bones, joints, arteries, veins, and nerves all in a small place, problems can easily arise. Dr. Melissa Wawrzynek is a skilled foot and ankle specialist who specializes in a number of different foot procedures and treatments, including pain-free laser therapy for treating inflammation and chronic pain.
Bunions are deformities that occur at the joint at the base of the big toe. When they form, the first metatarsal (the first long bone in the foot) shifts outward at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. This creates a protruding bump on the side of the foot, causing the big toe to shift toward the second toe, throwing the bones out of alignment.
If left untreated, bunions can worsen over time, as they are a progressive disorder. As bunions get larger, they become more painful and may lead to additional problems, such as bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joint) or hammertoes (misalignment of the second toes as the big toes angle further inward).
Flat feet are a condition where you don’t have a normal arch in your foot when you are standing. Instead, you have what is referred to as fallen arches. Flat feet are a complex disorder with various symptoms, deformities, and disabilities. Sometimes it can result in pain when you are physically active.
Morton’s Neuroma is the most common neuroma in the foot. Frequently, it occurs between the third and fourth toes and less often in the second through fourth toes. Sometimes it is referred to as an intermetatarsal neuroma because it is located in the ball of the foot between the metatarsal bones.
Morton’s neuroma occurs when the tissues around the nerves thicken. It is often the result of compression and irritation of the nerve, and this compression enlarges the nerve. Symptoms usually include burning pain in the ball of your foot. You may also feel numbness and stinging in your third and fourth toes.
Treatment options vary according to the severity of the problem. Conservative treatment options may include putting ice on the foot to reduce swelling, using custom orthotic devices, modifying activity level, making shoe modifications, and taking oral medications (e.g., nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen) to reduce pain and inflammation.
Diabetes is a systemic disease that can affect the entire body. When diabetes impacts your feet, it can limit your blood flow, decrease your nerve sensation and cause delayed healing of cuts and blisters, resulting in foot wounds. If foot wounds are left untreated, they can lead to serious infections.
At Advanced Foot & Ankle Wellness Center, Dr. Melissa Wawrzynek can help patients with the prevention and treatment of foot problems associated with diabetes.