A bunion is a fairly common foot deformity, with 23% of those in the U.S. ages 18-65 and 35% of those over age 65 having at least one bunion (National Institutes of Health).
Bunions are painful deformities caused by an enlarged big toe joint. Often the big toe is also moved out of place and pushes against the smaller toes. As the bunion grows, it causes pain because of the inflammation and also irritation where the protuberance results in friction against shoes.
A variety of causes results in bunions, ranging from heredity, your gait and wearing narrow shoes as well as a foot injury or congenital deformity. Individuals with flat feet, inflammatory joint disease or arthritis may be more susceptible to this problem.
Left untreated, a bunion will worsen and become even more painful. It may be difficult to find shoes that are comfortable and bursitis or arthritis may set in, causing chronic pain.
Bunions do not get better on their own because they are actually bone deformities. If you have bunion pain, please come see us at Foot Care Specialists, PC. We'll work to ease the pressure and pain that you are experiencing:
- Shoe padding can reduce friction and relieve inflammation.
- Custom-fitted orthotics can help stabilize the joint and reposition the foot correctly.
- Wearing a nighttime splint can also help realign the toes and the joint.
- Exercises to maintain mobility and prevent stiffness can keep the joint flexible and reduce the risk of arthritis.
If the deformity has progressed too far and you are in severe pain, we'll discuss bunion surgery to remove the bunion and realign the toe.
Tips To Prevent Bunions from Getting Worse
- Invest in your feet with high quality, well-fitting shoes. Footwear should not crowd the toes and put excess pressure on the joints.
- Shop carefully to find shoes that have deep and wide toe boxes. Other desirable features are flatter heels, good arch support and soles that are flexible. Avoid ballet shoe styles that cause your feet to pronate, or roll in, when you walk. Athletic shoes and supportive sandals - not flip-flops - are good choices.
- Buy the right size shoe. Remember, our feet grow as we age so have your feet measured when you shop. You should be able to put a finger-width between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
- Don't wear shoes in which your feet slide forward with each step. This can cause tiny but accumulative trauma to your toes each time they hit the front of the shoe.
Get Help for Bunion Pain
Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff, DPM, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to relieve your bunion pain and address all other types of foot and ankle problems. Please call us at 855-FIT-FEET (855-348-3338) to make an appointment at our Quincy or Dedham offices . You can also request an appointment at the website. Foot Care Specialists PC, the Laser Nail and Heel Pain Center, treating patients from Boston, Metro West and the South Shore for over 30 years.
Did you know that you could get skin cancer on your feet? Well, feet are vulnerable to skin cancer just like the rest of your body - even on the soles!
You see, while skin cancers are most often caused by sun exposure and cumulative ultraviolet damage, other factors come into play too:
Genetics. Those with fair skin and light hair and eyes burn more easily from the sun because they have less melanin, a pigment that absorbs UV (ultraviolet) radiation so it doesn't damage skin cells.
Environmental factors. Chemical burns and pollutants like car exhaust can cause skin damage no matter what skin type or sun exposure you have received.
Immune protection problems. Viral infections like human papillomavirus (HPV) or HIV, as well as an organ transplant or an immune deficiency can reduce your body's ability to deal with damaged skin cells as well as its defenses against malignancies.
Acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) is a relatively uncommon type of skin cancer that is not caused by sun exposure. This type of melanoma is most often found on the soles of the feet as well as the palms and under the nails.
Signs of Melanoma
Melanoma is an often deadly skin cancer that can appear on the soles of the feet as well as the tops and under a toenail. The danger of melanoma is that, instead of spreading across the skin, the cancer digs deeper, eventually reaching the blood vessels and lymph system which can spread it further in the body.
Also known as "The Great Masquerader," melanoma can take many forms and appearances. While it usually begins as a small black-brown bump or spot, many cases don't have brown pigment and so appear red or pink. You may be fooled into thinking that they are common moles, but look closer and you will find irregularities like uneven borders, color changes and size greater than 6 mm (about a quarter of an inch).
Preventing Skin Cancers
While all skin cancers and melanomas can't be prevented, early detection may save your life. Careful and frequent skin inspections can help detect an irregularity in its early stages. Foot Care Specialists, PC urges you to inspect your skin once a month. Use a mirror for those hard to see areas like your back and the soles of your feet.
Always do everything you can to prevent damaging UV rays from hitting your skin:
- Protect your skin - including your feet and toes - when out of doors with a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
- Reapply sunscreen after swimming or sweating.
- Cover up with tightly woven clothing and a wide-brimmed hat.
- Wear UV-absorbent sunglasses.
- Avoid sun exposure when it is most intense - between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Let Us Help with Any Foot and Ankle Problem
Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff, DPM, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience with all types of foot and ankle injuries and conditions. Please call us at 855-FIT-FEET (855-348-3338) to make an appointment at our Quincy or Dedham offices . You can also request an appointment at the website. Foot Care Specialists PC, the Laser Nail and Heel Pain Center, treating patients from Boston, Metro West and the South Shore for over 30 years.
Falls for our elderly population are far too common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 2.8 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms every year for injuries suffered in falls, including 300,000 hip fractures.
Although broken hips may be the most debilitating injury from a fall, other injuries can inflict severe damage as well to the feet and ankles including:
Why Are the Elderly at Increased Risk of Falling?
There are many factors that increase the risk of falling for seniors. One of these is just the aging process itself. Some of the following factors can be addressed to reduce the risk of a fall with injuries:
- Lower body weakness
- Worsening vision
- Balance problems
- Difficulty walking
- Neuropathy - nerve damage - often caused by diabetes that reduces sensation in the feet
- Worn or improperly fitting footwear
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies - for example, lack of vitamin D can cause muscle weakness
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications that can negatively affect balance
Tips To Reduce Your Risk of Falling
It's impossible to eliminate all the factors that can cause a fall with injuries, but you can tackle a few to lower your risk of a fall. Foot Care Specialists, PC suggests trying these steps that can help lessen the effects of aging:
- With your doctor's permission, stay as active as you can. Tai chi is a great way to work on your balance along with exercises that strengthen the legs.
- Keep on top of your vision with regular eye exams.
- Ask your doctor for suggestions on improving your balance and how it may be affected by your medications.
Improve the safety of your home to reduce tripping hazards. 50% of dangerous falls that result in injuries happen at home!
- Eliminate throw rugs.
- Improve stairway safety with good lighting and strong handrails. Clear away all clutter.
- Add grab bars to bathrooms, showers and tubs.
- Consolidate and tie up wires from electronic devices and keep them away from walkways.
Contact Us if You Have Been Injured in a Fall
Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff, DPM, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience with all types of foot and ankle injuries. Please call us at 855-FIT-FEET (855-348-3338) to make an appointment at our Quincy or Dedham offices . You can also request an appointment at the website. Foot Care Specialists PC, the Laser Nail and Heel Pain Center, treating patients from Boston, Metro West and the South Shore for over 30 years.
Are you digging through your closet and pulling out your favorite sandals? Now that spring is here, it's time to switch up our footwear to something freer and barer.
But have you taken a good look at your feet? Does your skin show signs of having been in winter's drying environment? Do you see any calluses or fungal infections from wearing heavy boots and socks? You may need some professional help to clear up your feet for summer fashion.
First, inspect your feet and give them a little TLC at home to get them looking - and feeling - their best:
- Give your feet a good cleaning. Soak in warm, soapy water or a solution made with a small amount of Epsom salts. Then use a pumice stone or foot file to thin calluses and smooth over any rough spots. Dry feet carefully.
- Smooth on an emollient foot care moisturizer. Applying this at night and wearing cotton socks to bed allows for maximum absorption.
- Trim your nails carefully - straight across the top. Rounding the edges can cause ingrown toenails.
- Scrub under your toenails with a soapy nailbrush and pat on cuticle oil after drying.
- Use a base coat of nail polish to protect the nail. Apply your favorite nail polish shade, and then finish with a protective clear coat.
- Take off any unwanted hair with a waxing strip.
When you checked your feet, did you notice that any toenail looked odd? Was it discolored, thickening, brittle or coming loose? These are signs of toenail fungus. Using an over-the-counter product won't kill the underlying fungus.
Visit us at Foot Care Specialists, P.C. for professional fungal nail care using a combination of oral and topical medications. For stubborn cases, surgical debridement or nail removal may be necessary.
One last thought - if last year's sandals are looking tired and worn, especially if they've worn unevenly, it's time to treat yourself to a new pair! Invest in your feet by selecting a fashionable yet sturdy sandal with good support for months of warm weather walking.
We Can Relieve Chronic Toenail Fungus
Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff, DPM, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to address any foot and ankle problems including fungal nail. Please call us at 855-FIT-FEET (855-348-3338) to make an appointment at our Quincy or Dedham offices . You can also request an appointment at the website. Foot Care Specialists PC, the Laser Nail and Heel Pain Center, treating patients from Boston, Metro West and the South Shore for over 30 years.
Your foot is an amazing and complicated structure. One of the most fascinating parts of the foot is its arch.
You see, each foot actually has 3 arches. There is one "transverse" arch that runs from the inside to the outside across the midfoot. Then there are 2 "longitudinal" arches on each side of the foot that run from front to back.
The arch isn't just one thing by itself, but a complex structure formed by bones, ligaments and tendons. Your arches are essential to bear your weight and help you propel yourself in all types of movement. The arches bring much needed flexibility as well as stability to the feet.
- Low arches are also called flat feet. This abnormality happens when the arches don't form properly during childhood. Your arches may also collapse from other conditions or from trauma in an accident.
- High arches, or pes cavus, are often hereditary. They may not absorb the shock of walking or running as well as a neutral arch.
- Medium or neutral arches are the most common and naturally support your body weight.
What Can Cause Arch Pain?
- Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed from overuse such as walking or standing on hard surfaces, wearing non-supportive footwear or being overweight, it can cause arch pain.
- Overuse can cause the arches to be strained from excessive running, jumping or even standing. An overuse injury can be caused by starting an exercise program too vigorously or not properly warming up.
- Stress fractures are tiny breaks in the bone caused either by a single jolt or repetitive trauma. They may make your arch painful along with other spots in the foot.
- Injuries like ligament and muscle strains, for example when someone steps on your foot, can cause arch pain because of a biomechanical problem.
- Footwear that is flimsy like flip-flops or has inadequate support will put too much stress on the arch. Walking barefoot can have the same effect.
This is not a complete list of potential arch pain causes, so please call Foot Care Specialists, PC right away if you have persistent arch pain. The cause of arch pain can be elusive so let a professional foot doctor help! Many times our patients with arch pain are helped with something as simple as custom-fitted orthotics to help redistribute the pressure on sensitive areas.
Let Us Help Relieve Your Arch Pain
Dr. Marshall L. Lukoff, DPM, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating arch pain as well as any other foot or ankle condition. Please call us at 855-FIT-FEET (855-348-3338) to make an appointment at our Quincy or Dedham offices . You can also request an appointment at the website. Foot Care Specialists PC, the Laser Nail and Heel Pain Center, treating patients from Boston, Metro West and the South Shore for over 30 years.
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