Thursday, 25 July 2013

Follow simple measures to get rid of overlapping toes

There are foot conditions which are not only painful but look really awkward too. You can’t wear fashionable footwear fearing the deformity may show off. Overlapping toes is one such disorder which can cause pain, skin irritation and disrupt normal functioning of the foot. Often other problems arise like blister and calluses on the top of toes. 

Definition of overlapping toes:-

This is one affliction that mainly affects joints in the toes. Though any of your toes may face this disorder but the 2nd and 5th toes are more likely to get affected. Sometimes overlapping toes may happen as a result of other foot conditions. 

What causes overlapping toes:-

Your grandmother or great grandmother may have suffered from this foot condition. Then there remain the risk of next generation getting affected. Yes, this is sad indeed! Then, the problem sometimes has its root in high or low arches. Many children having high arches and flat feet end up distributing their body weight unevenly on their feet. These types of foot affect the biomechanics thus causing toes to shift and overlap each other. Women suffering from Bunions are most likely to get affected with overlapping toes. It happens more with older women. 

Ill-fitting shoes are to be blamed too. If you have this habit of wearing shoes with too narrow toe boxes, then this result in toes getting squeezed together and overlap on one another. Very pointed shoes, with little room to properly accommodate all the five toes comfortably, can certainly contribute to development of overlaps. After some time, the foot condition becomes permanent. So, even while going barefoot you will feel frozenness of toes which is not at all natural.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a common problem from which many are suffering these days. Because of Arthritis, joints may become twisted thus resulting in malfunctioning of toes. 

Complications related to overlapping toes:-

For fashion conscious women such toe is definitely a stumbling block to wearing stylish footwear. While the problem may appear insignificant at the beginning but if left unattended for long it may result in some other afflictions. You may observe thickening of skin and tissues in the toe region. Many having such toes suffer from extreme pain caused by the abnormality that happens with bone structures of adjacent toes. If the overlapping turns severe, then it may result in athlete’s foot and/or cuts on the underside of toes, and sometimes inflammation too. Such situations can be real challenge for elders and those who can’t take proper care of their feet. Because of toe overlapping soft calluses start appearing between toes which if untreated become hard and turn into corns on top, where the shoe gets rubbed. Wearing shoes then become quite a painful affair. 

Treatment course

Mostly podiatrists suggest non-surgical course of treatments. The first step is to take care of the deformity which in turn means opting for shoes with wide and deep toe boxes. This helps reduce pressure and friction on the toe portion. For children the treatment should be started at an early stage. This ensures faster and accurate recovery while the child is still at a stage of development. 

Simple and specially designed orthotics can offer great relief from pain, irritation and also help restore normal position of overlapping toes. You need to consult a podiatrist physician to know which kind of orthotics best suits you. Besides, a detailed checkup is also advisable from time to time so as to prevent any severe foot condition. 

Proper functioning of your feet is the key to sound health. So, don’t ignore foot problems and don’t take any measure based on presumptions only. Get in touch with an expert to know what is ailing your feet.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

How to deal with foot conditions arising out of diabetes

Diabetes, also called the silent killer is one serious disease which affects health in a serious manner. The blood glucose commonly known as blood sugar level rises to an extreme extent either because of inadequate insulin production or because body cells don’t respond to insulin. Sometimes both may happen thus worsening the condition. The end result: several complications related to heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves and skin. 

When an individual is affected with diabetes certain foot problems can take serious turn. Even ordinary problems become severe. This happens because of nerve damage when your feet loose sensation. 

Alarming foot conditions related to diabetes
  • Neuropathy How does it feel when your feet can’t sense anything! No pain, heat nor cold, even if you get injured. A stone or a pin may get tucked inside your shoes and you wear it the whole day without realizing anything. Your foot may get injured but you fail to notice it till the skin breaks down and gets infected. You don’t sense any painful blisters. Yes, this sounds really creepy and dangerous! This is what diabetic neuropathy can cause to your foot – serious nerve damage. Because of neuropathy, you may notice sudden changes in the shape of feet and toes, commonly called hammer toes, Charcot feet or Bunions.
    While for some these symptoms remain mild and unnoticeable for many the neuropathy can turn out to be painful, grave and even fatal too.
  • Skin changes
  • Your foot skin may turn dry, start to crack or peel. This is because nerves which control oil and moisture fail to work properly.
  • Calluses
  • Development of callus happens more often and the growth is quite alarming. If not treated in time, these can turn into open sores or ulcers.
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Your foot loses the ability to fight infection and heal fast. Because of diabetes blood vessels of the foot and leg become narrow and hard. Poor circulation results in inadequate supply of oxygen and nutrition to skin and other tissues.
Foot care for diabetes affected patients 

As mentioned in the very beginning, diabetes being a silent killer, often gets detected at a later stage. However by leading a healthy lifestyle and consulting a physician on regular basis, it is possible to keep this killer disease under control. For particular foot conditions arising out of diabetes, it is better to get in touch with a podiatrist. Since foot care and diabetes are closely related only an expert “foot doctor” will be able to guide you about the right course of treatment. 

Many podiatrists recommend specially designed orthotics with Plastazote foam, for diabetic foot. Plastazote, also referred as soft tissue supplementation, are available in two densities. The softest density is used for cushion on top while the firmer density offers bottom support. The best thing is that after 2 to 6 weeks of usage they mold perfectly with the curves of your feet thus providing the right comfort and protection for diabetic foot. Many diabetic patients have benefited by wearing footwear containing Plastazote foam. However, make sure that the footwear has removable insoles, high & wide toe box, rocker soles and firm heel contours. 

By following a healthy routine and keeping close watch of your foot conditions you can avert severe outcomes. To ensure protection from cuts and bruises, try to wear shoes with socks most of the time. Using heating pads to keep the foot warm can be risky since you may not feel the rising temperature. If any cut or bruise takes time to heal then get in touch with your doctor. For appropriate foot care tips, do consult an expert podiatrist.