What is a Bunion?
A specific deformity in the bones of your foot is called a bunion. When your big toe pushes against the toe next to it for an extended period of time, forcing the joint of your big to grow and protrude, a bunion forms. Smaller bunions (called bunionettes or “tailors’ bunions”) are those that develop on the joint of your little toe. Women develop bunions more often than men, do, but the exact reason for this is unclear.
The exact cause of bunions is unknown; however, there are many theories and some factors can be pinpointed:
- Frequent wearing of poorly-fitting shoes that are too tight, too narrow or too pointed invites the exact dynamic that leads to the development of bunions. There are mixed opinions about the relationship between high heels and bunions. recommends saving those stilettos for special occasions.
- Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis make people more susceptible to bunions.
- Some people are born with inherited foot defects and deformities that lead to bunions.
Symptoms of Bunions
If you get a bunion, you’ll probably notice some obvious changes in your foot. Here are seven bunion symptoms that are pretty easy to spot. You’ll see most of them in the area around your big toe.
- Noticeable changes in your foot shape
- A bulge or bump on the outside of the base of the toe
- Redness, swelling or tenderness at the joint
- The development of corns or calluses where the first and second toes overlap
- Persistent or periodic discomfort
- Decreased movement of your toe or foot
- Difficulty finding shoes that fit your feet comfortably
Can a Bunion Be Treated?
Yes! There is help for your bunion. You’ll need to begin with a visit to a podiatrist like Craig Wexler, DPM to have your feet examined and your problem diagnosed. If you have a bunion, conservative treatment including icing, over the counter medication, and padding or splinting may be possible. Surgical intervention might be necessary.
Dr. Craig Wexler sees patients with bunions every week. Are you experiencing pain around your big toe? Dr. Wexler can diagnosis your condition and work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. Call Wexler Foot Center at (973) 383-3115 or click here to make a convenient appointment at our Newton office today.
Most people lead busy lives with work, family, and social events to keep track of. Finding time to get to the gym is not only difficult, it’s also something that many need motivation to do. So when you do get to the gym, it’s important that you have the right gear to get the best workout.
In particular, you should be wearing shoes that are appropriate for the workout that you do. Each of the following shoes have specific features to provide you with the proper support and cushioning for your exercises:
- Running Shoes – Many running sneakers are designed for typical cardiovascular exercises. Running and jumping exercises require a snug fit with a good amount of cushion on the sole of the shoes to absorb impact on the bones of the ankles, knees, and hip joints. Many are made with mesh material so that your feet can breathe for long distance runs, but snug enough so that your feet are still stabilized.
- Cross-trainers – These shoes are made for many uses in the gym. Crossfit, calisthenics, running, and even dancing (think dancerobics) can be performed with these shoes. If you vary your exercise routine each time you go to the gym, these shoes may be the best choice for you. They tend to have grip on the outer soles, but are flexible for lateral motion too.
- Weightlifting shoes – A big feature of weightlifting shoes is a raised heel. The angle of the feet on a raised heel gives wider range of motion for most people, allowing for a deeper squat or other position. The structure of the shoes are usually more stable than minimalist shoes so that you have more stability in the base of your weightlifting position and motion.
Additionally, there are other activity-specific shoes like ballet shoes, rock climbing shoes, sports cleats, and hiking boots. Each of these also have unique features that assist athletes in their respective sports and provide safety features to prevent injury.
Finally, in all activities in indoor or outdoor gyms, remember to stay on top of foot hygiene. Locker rooms are a high traffic area for bare feet, making you more susceptible to bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Wear your flip-flops in the locker room to reduce your risk of things like plantar warts!
If you have further questions about the right shoes for your feet, make an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group. Our podiatrists, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can assist you with your gym routine needs at our Jonesboro, AR office.
Numerous factors can lead to a fall. People stumble, slip, trip over obstacles, and get knocked down accidentally. Health issues such as inner ear infections and vertigo can affect your sense of balance, increasing your chance of falling. However, current research is finding that foot health and strength plays a much larger role in preventing falls than previously thought. Older people with frequent or chronic foot pain have a higher chance of falling than their peers who enjoy good podiatric health.
One third of the United States population over 65 experiences a fall annually, and that percentage increases proportionally with age. The facts are frightening:
- Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions
- 40% of all nursing home admissions
- 40% of patients admitted after a fall never fully return to their formerly independent lives.
While most falls lead to fairly simple and complete recoveries, a few do lead to serious complications.
- One fall leads to another. More than half of seniors who fall will experience another fall within six months.
- One out of every 200 falls in people aged 65 to 69 results in a hip fracture.
- Hospital stays for elderly patients who have fallen are almost twice longer than those of seniors who are admitted for any other reason. These hospital stays can be dangerous, leading to opportunistic infections by hospital-based bacteria.
- Approximately 9,500 deaths in older Americans are associated with falls annually. Sadly, this is the leading cause of injury-related deaths among people 65 and older.
- For many seniors, a fall has a profound negative effect on independent living.
Following are some simple recommendations from Craig Wexler, DPM to lower your risk of falls:
- Prevent slipping by wearing rubber-soled slippers or shoes, especially on stairs.
- Wear sensible shoes. Those stilettos might look great, but they’re a real health risk! The best shoes for your feet are comfortable with wide, low heels. Trade in those high heels for shoes that fit well and provide good arch support and cushioning.
- Try some exercises for your feet or gentle yoga to improve balance.
- Carrying excess weight stresses the feet. Think about dropping a few pounds to reduce your risk of falling.
- Clean up! Keep your living space tidy and uncluttered and the floor free from potential tripping hazards.
- Visit the podiatrist often if you have diabetes, so that changes to your feet are noticed and treated promptly.
Maintain the good health of your feet with regular visits to Wexler Foot Center. Dr. Craig Wexler will examine your feet and diagnose any issues, then help you with appropriate recommendations and treatment. Call our friendly and professional staff at (973) 383-3115 or click here for an appointment in our convenient Newton office.
What Is Gout?
One known as the “disease of kings,” gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis. It develops in people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. This acid can form needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, intense episodes of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth and swelling.
Gout typically affects one joint at a time, but may affect a few or even many. Symptoms most commonly occur in the big toe, but it can also affect other joints in the leg (knee, ankle, foot) and occasionally in the arms (hand, wrist, and elbow) as well. The spine is rarely affected.
Stages of Gout
happens when uric acid levels spike or crystals that have previously formed in a joint are jostled, triggering a “gout attack.” Gout attacks usually happen at night and get worse over the next eight to 12 hours. The symptoms typically ease on their own after a few days and tend to go away within about a week. Attacks can be triggered by eating red meat or seafood, by drinking beer, liquor, or sweetened beverages, and by dehydration or surgery.
is the time between attacks. Although there’s no pain, the gout isn’t gone. Low-level inflammation may be damaging joints. To prevent future attacks or chronic gout, Craig Wexler, DPM recommends lifestyle changes at this point, possibly accompanied by medication.
develops in patients whose uric acid levels remain high over a long period time. Attacks become more frequent and the pain may not go away as easily as it once did. Permanent joint damage may occur, which can lead to a loss of mobility. With proper management and treatment by Dr. Craig Wexler, this stage is preventable.
Your Risk of Gout
Gout occurs in about 4% of American adults. Risk factors include:
- : Obese people are at a higher risk for gout, and they tend to develop it at a younger age than people of normal weight.
- : Consuming too much red meat and shellfish increases your risk.
- : For most people, consumption of more than two liquor drinks or two beers a day can increase the risk of gout.
- : Drinks sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup have recently been linked to increased gout risk.
- : You’re more likely to develop gout if a close relative has it.
- such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
- : Until age 60, gout is more common in men than women. It is believed that naturally occurring estrogen protects women up to that point.
Symptoms of Gout
Gout causes sudden, severe attacks of pain, tenderness, redness, warmth, and swelling in some joints. The signs and symptoms of gout almost always occur suddenly — often at night — and without warning. They include:
- Intense joint pain, typically in the big toe
- Lingering discomfort
- Inflammation and redness
- Limited range of motion
Do you suspect that you might have gout? Have you recently experienced a gout attack? Dr. Craig Wexler is experienced at diagnosing your symptoms and treating your pain. Call (973) 383-3115 or click here and schedule an appointment in Wexler Foot Center’s convenient Newton office today.