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Bunion Treatments Combat Bunion Pain and Discomfort Bunions are a deformity of the bone that occur at the joint of the big toe, causing it to point at an angle. Bunionettes or tailor’s bunions form on the other side of the foot on the little toe bone. They are smaller than normal bunions but still provide the same problem. Though not always painful, bunions can be uncomfortable and a hindrance, especially if they grow large enough to stop you from fitting...
Morton’s Neuroma Treatments... Discover how to treat painful Morton’s Neuroma Morton’s neuroma is a condition that occurs when a nerve between two of the toes, most commonly the third and fourth toes, is compressed. The nerve becomes irritated and inflamed, causing swelling and considerable pain in the toes and the ball of the foot. The condition can be treated in a number of ways; sometimes it can be managed with home remedies and exercises, but more serious cases may call for numbing...
Fungal Nail Infection Causes and Treatments for Fungal Nail Infection What is Fungal Nail Infection? Fungal nail infection occurs when tiny fungi grow on the skin around and under the nail. It causes the nail to become thicker and more likely to break. Fungal nail infection can occur on the finger but it is more likely to be contracted on the toe nails. What are the Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infection? There are a number of symptoms that will show if you...
Swollen Feet What’s Causing Your Foot to Swell? Why Do Feet Swell? Edema, the build up of fluid in the feet, can be caused by a number of factors, including injury, disease or pregnancy. Some of these are perfectly natural and will pass in time. Other times, swelling of the feet is a sign of something wrong with your body. Below is a list of common causes of foot swelling. Pregnancy Swollen feet are a common occurrence in pregnancy; they swell...
Foot Doctor – Podiatrist... All You Need to Know About Foot Health Practitioners What is a podiatrist? A podiatrist is a foot health specialist; a qualified doctor who can diagnose and treat all manner of foot ailments. These can include common foot ailments, such as bunions, hammer toe, claw toe, neuroma and ingrown toenails. Plus, a podiatrist can aid in the recovery of a foot injury such as a sprain or a fracture. What does a podiatrist do? Podiatrists work to diagnose ailments...
Prevent Ingrown Toenails Prevention Techniques to Ensure Toenail Health Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows into the surrounding skin, this causes the area to become red and inflamed. It can sometimes be quite painful and in serious cases the area can become infected and can excrete pus. There are several easy ways to avoid ingrown toenails which can be done in the comfort of your own home. You can apply these if you think you are at risk of developing an...

Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infection

Learn How to Spot Fungal Nail Infection A fungal nail infection occurs when fungi grows around the skin of the toe or finger nails, most often the toes. It is unseemly but often not painful, though, if left, it can spread and become irritating and inflamed. It is often contracted with athlete’s foot, another fungal infection, but can also be caused by damage to the nail and surrounding skin, as well as wearing hot and sweaty trainers. Find out more information on our Fungal Nail Infection page. There are several symptoms that will tell you if you have a fungal nail, they range from mild to quite serious. Most people will only show a few lesser symptoms but, if left to progress, more severe symptoms can arise which can be a hindrance to everyday life. Thickened Nail Perhaps the earliest and most obvious sign that you have contracted a fungal nail infection is a thickening of the toenail. This happens over time and will end with the nail being considerably thicker and less supple than your other toe nails. Though not painful, the thickened nail can get in the way when you walk and wear shoes, plus it is quite unattractive. Nail Discolouration Another common symptom of a fungal nail infection is the nail changing colour. Often it just becomes white, like the tip, but all over the infected part. However, it can also go yellow or green, either all over or just in infected areas. In some extreme cases the nail can turn black. If it is a particularly dark colour then it usually means that the infection is more advanced and you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Brittle Nails If fungal nail infection is not treated and is allowed to progress then you will usually find that the nail becomes much weaker and more brittle. Fungal nails break very easily and often pieces of them will flake off. The edges are also not strong and often crumble away. Despite the thickness they are not stronger than your healthy nails and will be in bad condition. Athlete’s Foot Fungal nail infection is often associated with athlete’s foot; both are caused by a fungal infection and people who have athlete’s foot are more likely to develop fungal nail infection than those that don’t have it. Athlete’s foot is so called because it is most often contracted by sporting people who wear trainers that become hot and sweaty. These conditions are ideal for fungus to grow in and are what causes athlete’s foot to occur. Fungal nail...

Fungal Nail Infection

Causes and Treatments for Fungal Nail Infection What is Fungal Nail Infection? Fungal nail infection occurs when tiny fungi grow on the skin around and under the nail. It causes the nail to become thicker and more likely to break. Fungal nail infection can occur on the finger but it is more likely to be contracted on the toe nails. What are the Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infection? There are a number of symptoms that will show if you have one or more nails infected with fungal nail. The first sign of infection is the nail becoming a lot thicker. It will also become discoloured; most often turning white but sometimes the changing to yellow or, in severe cases, black. If the condition becomes worse other symptoms can appear, these include brittleness of the nail, inflammation of the skin around the nail and pain in the toe. What causes Fungal Nail Infection? The condition is caused by a fungal infection and is most often linked to athlete’s foot. This condition is caused by a fungal infection too and can be itchy and painful. Athlete’s foot is so named because it usually affects sports men and women; this is because they wear trainers and their feet can become hot and sweaty whilst exercising, creating the ideal conditions for fungi to grow. Similarly, people who live in hot and humid countries tend to contract the condition more frequently than those who live in cool areas. This is due to the heat which fungi need to grow. A fungal nail infection can also come about due to damage of the nail or skin around it; this could come from an injury or be due to fake nails, biting nails and trimming cuticles and skin. Treatments for Fungal Nail Infection Sometimes people choose not to treat their fungal nails if they are small, not painful and not a hindrance. However, if not treated there is a possibility that a fungal nail infection will spread to other nails on the foot. The main treatments for the condition are either antifungal tablets or antifungal nail paints. Antifungal tablets Doctors will usually prescribe either terbinafine or itraconazole tablets to treat a fungal nail infection. These will both clear up the condition of the nail, plus, any other fungal infection that you may have, such as athlete’s foot. Both medicines need to be taken over quite a long period of time, often at least three months, and must be taken regularly as prescribed to work. The benefit of antifungal tablets is that they get into the bloodstream...

Top of Foot Pain

Why Does the Top of My Foot Hurt? Pain can arise anywhere in the foot, but a lot of people report that they feel pain in the top area. This can be due to an injury, disease or a number of other reasons which we have outlined below.   Metatarsal Stress Fracture What Is it? A stress fracture is caused by overuse of the area and results in a small crack in the bone. Athletes and dancers often suffer with these as they are constantly on their feet. If you have pain in the top of your foot it could be that you have a metatarsal stress fracture. The metatarsal bones are the five long bones that run along the top of the foot. Symptoms The pain tends to come on gradually. There is also usually swelling and a tenderness, especially when pressed. Treatment Metatarsal Stress fractures are treated using the RICE method, this stands for rest, ice, compression and elevate. This method is used in nearly all fractures and breaks, especially in the feet, and it ensures that the foot is comfortable and there is no pressure on it which could worsen the injury. Depending on the severity of the fracture a doctor may advise you to wear a cast to protect and support the foot, or you may wear a foot brace to keep the foot still so the bone can heel. Eventually, you will start rehabilitation exercises which will help strengthen the foot and increase movement and flexibility. In very rare cases surgery is required, but usually metatarsal stress fractures can be fixed without it. Nerve Entrapment What Is It? Also known as a pinched nerve, nerve entrapment usually occurs at the top of the foot and can be very painful. It is most often caused by pressure in a particular area which usually comes about due to tight shoes which press and pinch the feet. Symptoms Pain is the main symptom of nerve entrapment; it is often a shooting variety and can have a burning sensation. There are occasionally other symptoms that come with a pinched nerve; these include a pins and needles sensation in the foot and sometimes a numbness. Treatment Usually, resting the foot can treat the trapped nerve. As repeated activity aggravates it, staying off your feet and applying ice to the area should help alleviate it. You should also change your shoes if they are the culprit. Get measured by a professional so you can get shoes that fit you perfectly and that won’t pinch. If the pain does not go...

Morton’s Neuroma Treatments

Discover how to treat painful Morton’s Neuroma Morton’s neuroma is a condition that occurs when a nerve between two of the toes, most commonly the third and fourth toes, is compressed. The nerve becomes irritated and inflamed, causing swelling and considerable pain in the toes and the ball of the foot. The condition can be treated in a number of ways; sometimes it can be managed with home remedies and exercises, but more serious cases may call for numbing injections or surgery. The different treatments are detailed below. For more details on the condition in general visit our Morton’s Neuroma page. Footwear It is believed that ill-fitting footwear can cause Morton’s neuroma as it squeeze the metatarsal bones (the long bones in the foot) together, causing the nerve at the base of the toes to become compressed and irritated. Pointed and high heeled shoes are particularly bad for this as the squich the toes and put pressure on them. Therefore, doctors advise that you should wear shoes that fit correctly and that do not rub or squeeze the feet. It is a good idea to get your feet measured properly, you may believe that you are wearing the right sized shoes but feet can change shape over time and you may actually be wearing a size too small or big. Getting measured will ensure you know the exact size and can buy shoes that won’t worsen the condition Also, avoid wearing high heels wherever possible as they put pressure on the toes. Save them for a special occasion! Orthotics Orthotics are cushioned soles that go in the shoes to provide support to the feet and help realign the bones. They can be used to relieve pressure on the nerve and therefore reduce the swelling and pain. They are not just designed for Morton’s neuroma but are used to treat a number of other foot ailments, such as bunions or high arches. Orthotics can be bought from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription but it is best to get a doctor or podiatrist to prescribe you a specific type so that they will work with your feet. Calf Exercises Sometimes exercising the calf muscles can help ease the pressure on the affected nerve in the foot. This should also help alleviative the pain. Only do exercises that a medical professional has suggested, otherwise you may cause more harm to the area. Medication Over-the-counter medicines are usually enough to treat the pain caused by Morton’s neuroma. Anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, are the best as they will help to reduce the swelling...

Morton’s Neuroma

All the information you need on Morton’s Neuroma What is Morton’s Neuroma? The name Morton’s neuroma is a little misleading as a neuroma is a benign tumour that grows on nerve cells. A Morton’s neuroma is not a growth but is does effect the nerves. It occurs when a nerve between two of the toes becomes compressed, causing it to become painful and inflamed. It can happen to a nerve between any toes but it most often affects the ones between the third and fourth toes as the gap between the metatarsals (long foot bones) is naturally smaller. Morton’s Neuroma Symptoms The first sign that you have Morton’s neuroma is a tingling feeling between your toes. This is where the growth is developing. Over time the tingling will become worse until it grows painful. The pain is felt not just between the toes but also in the ball of the foot and has been described as a shooting burning pain. It is often worse when walking and can be quite debilitating. What Causes Morton’s Neuroma? Morton’s Neuroma is caused by compression of the nerve between the toes, but what creates this compression isn’t exactly known. However, there are some factors that seem to increase the likelihood of contracting the condition. Tight Footwear The gap between the metatarsals is narrower between the second and third toes and the third and fourth toes. This is where Morton’s neuroma often arises and it is thought that tight-fitting shoes narrows the gap even more, causing pressure on the nerve. Running It is believed that running can cause Morton’s neuroma as it puts extra pressure on the nerve between the toes, which can cause it to become irritated. Some other sports are believed to increase the likelihood of developing the condition, but they all have running as a base. Foot Conditions If you have an existing foot problem then it is more likely that you will develop Morton’s neuroma than someone with no ailments. Conditions such as bunions, hammer toe and high arches can realign the metatarsal bones, making them rub together. This can aggravate the nerve and lead to Morton’s neuroma. Treatments for Morton’s Neuroma There are a number of treatments for the Morton’s neuroma, both surgical and non-surgical. The severity of the condition will dictate the type of treatment you need; often it can be treated at home without surgical intervention. Non Surgical Morton’s Neuroma Treatments Footwear – We previously mentioned that ill-fitting footwear is thought to be a cause of Morton’s neuroma, so changing the shoes will help relieve the pain...

Venous Insufficiency Treatments

Discover the Various Treatments for Venous Insufficiency Venous insufficiency is a condition where the veins in your legs or feet can’t carry blood back up to the heart. This can be due to valve or wall damage and can cause swelling, pain and in chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) ulcers can develop. For more information on the condition in general please visit our Venous Insufficiency page. There are various treatments for the condition, both non-surgical and surgical with varying levels of effectiveness. Non Surgical Treatments for Venous Insufficiency Compression Stockings This is the most common treatment for venous insufficiency. Compression stockings or socks apply pressure to the lower leg which improves blood flow and reduces swelling. They can be purchased from most pharmacies but it is important if you are dealing with venous insufficiency to get a prescription sock from a doctor so you know you are getting one that is right for your condition. Keep Blood Flowing Doctors suggest several methods to help increase blood flow and get blood pumping back to the heart. Keeping the foot elevated is one of them; you don’t have to do this all the time but if you can raise the leg above the heart for part of the day it should help the blood to flow. Regular exercise also helps; as well as keeping you healthy it will help the blood pump and ensure you are not in a stationary position for too long, which can make the condition worse. Manage Weight Obesity can increase your chances of developing venous insufficiency as well as worsen the condition if you already have it. It is important to manage your weight and keep your body mass index (BMI) at a healthy level so as not to put more pressure on your veins than is necessary. A nutritious diet and regular exercise can help. A doctor or dietician can provide advice on what the best weight for your height is and how to go about losing the weight. Medication Doctors can prescribe medicine to help combat venous insufficiency. This is usually some form of blood thinner which will help the blood to flow through the veins. Sometimes doctors will prescribe diuretics which draw excess body fluid through the kidneys. This should help to reduce the swelling in the foot area. Sclerotherapy If home remedies and compression stockings don’t work then your doctor may suggest sclerotherapy. This process involves injecting a chemical into the vein which will scar it, blocking the vein and sealing it so it can’t pump blood. This is usually done under local...

Venous Insufficiency

What is Venous Insufficiency? Venous insufficiency is the inability of the veins to pump blood from the feet back up to the heart. This is usually due to the wall or the valve of the vein being damaged, causing the blood to pool in the foot. Chronic venous insufficiency or CVI is a long-term version of this condition that can lead to severe symptoms, such as ulcers. Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency The most common symptom of the condition and usually the earliest is a swelling of the foot. This is because the blood is not being pumped back to the heart but is being retained in the foot. There are other symptoms that will signify that you have venous insufficiency; these include cramping, a heavy feeling in the legs and feet, itching, redness and varicose veins. The condition can also be painful. The pain is often worse when standing as the veins have a harder time making the blood reach the heart. The pain can ease when legs are elevated, helping the blood flow to the heart. In more serious cases, or CVI, you may also experience a thickening of the skin on the legs and feet. You can also develop ulcers, these can be painful and if left can become infected. Causes of Venous Insufficiency Venous insufficiency is more common in people who have had previous leg conditions, especially a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis) or varicose veins. This is because the vein has been weakened and it now does not carry blood properly and the blood can leak through the damaged walls. Similarly, if you have recently injured your leg or had surgery there is a possibility that you may develop the condition. This is again due to the vein being weakened or damaged. There are a number of other health factors that, while they may not be the direct cause of the condition, certainly add to the chances of developing it. Weight is one of these; venous insufficiency is more common in people who are obese. Similarly, people who do little exercise or sit or stand for long periods of time are more likely to develop it as they are not helping the blood to move. There is a hereditary link to the condition as well; it has been found that people who have venous insufficiency in their families are more likely to develop it themselves than people who have no history of it. Venous Insufficiency Treatments There are a number of different treatments for the condition which we have outlined below. For more detailed information...

Swollen Feet

What’s Causing Your Foot to Swell? Why Do Feet Swell? Edema, the build up of fluid in the feet, can be caused by a number of factors, including injury, disease or pregnancy. Some of these are perfectly natural and will pass in time. Other times, swelling of the feet is a sign of something wrong with your body. Below is a list of common causes of foot swelling. Pregnancy Swollen feet are a common occurrence in pregnancy; they swell because you hold more water in your body when pregnant. This water usually finds its way to the lowest points in your body, namely the feet. To help ease swelling it is recommended that pregnant women do not stand for long periods of time and that they rest with their feet above their heart for at least an hour a day. There are also some foot exercises that can help alleviate swelling that your doctor or midwife can recommend. Swelling during pregnancy is usually not dangerous, however if you experience sudden swelling then you may have pre-eclampsia and should see a medical professional immediately. Foot Injury A recent injury can cause swelling. Broken bones, sprains and cuts can often be accompanied by swelling. Sometimes you may not know that you have an injury, such as a stress fracture, and the swelling could be the first sign. This is often accompanied with a gradual increase of pain and you should see your doctor if you suspect you have injured your foot. Swelling of an injured foot can be combated with the RICE method; rest, ice compression and elevation. Ensure you keep the weight off the foot and apply ice packs to ease the pain and swelling. Compression bandages can also help as can keeping your foot elevated. Travel Some people develop swollen feet when travelling long distances. This is most often on airplanes as the cabin pressure can affect the feet, however, people can also experience swollen feet in any travel mode where they are sitting still for long periods of time. This is because the blood pools in the leg due to immobility and some fluid passes into the tissue of the foot. The best way to combat swelling when travelling is to keep the feet active; if you are travelling by air or train then ensure you walk along the aisle regularly. If you are in the car then make stops to walk and stretch your legs. Compression stockings can also be worn to help ease the swelling. Blood Clot A swollen foot may be a sign that you...