Tag Archives: foot pain

All shoes Are Not Created Equal

air-jordan-2011-dominate-another-day-rocket-shoes-video-commercial-600x338The 26.2 with Donna marathon runners had some stiff competition last weekend with Tesfaye Girmafrom Ethiopia finishing the race with a record time of 2:15:40. Most of us can only dream of running a marathon in that time or opt for rocket boosters on our shoes to do so.   When running in these races it is very important to have the right type of shoe.  When buying athletic shoes, may people are more worried about getting a particular brand name, or a style that is “in” or looks “cool”, than they are about whether or not the shoe actually fits their foot and is comfortable.  The truth is that all of these can be accomplished simultaneously if the correct considerations and evaluations are taken prior to shoe shopping.  These considerations are especially important in an active person, or athlete searching for the best athletic shoes.  To many people, shoe styles and materials may look the same, but all shoes are not created equal.

The first thing that anyone shopping for shoes should consider is what size they need, in length and in width.  This can be accomplished with a Brannock foot measuring device,available at many shoe stores.   This device has different measurements for both males and females, and not only measures the overall length and width of the entire foot, but also measures the arch length, the length from the heel to the ball of the foot.  This is important because shoes are designed to flex at the ball of the foot, and properly positioning the ball of the foot in the shoe can prevent toe crowding, pressure, and the general uncomfortable nature of an ill-fitting shoe.

Feet should be measured at the end of the day, after they have endured all of the day’s stresses and impact acting on them.  A proper fitting shoe should leave around a quarter inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.  If one size feels too small and the next size up feels too large, either try a different brand of shoe or choose the larger size.  Shoes that are too small or constricting can cause injury to the toes such as calluses, contractures, bruising, loss of the toenail, bunions, and can predispose toenails to nail fungus, called onychomycosis.

The best way to ensure that you get an athletic shoe that fits properly and is the perfect fit for your foot is to make an appointment with a podiatrist.  Here at First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. Reddy can evaluate your foot type to help you pick the right shoe for your foot.  He can also dispense items that help with shoe fit and function such as orthotics that are worn in shoes. Regardless of whether you decide to make an appointment before purchasing your new shoes, or bring them with you after, we look forward to helping you find that perfect fit.

Pain in the Bunion: Take Two!

tailorsbunionIn the beginning of March I discussed bunions:  the at times uncomfortable, and sometimes unsightly bumps, on the inner sides of your feet next to your big toe. Today I would like to focus to the other side of the foot and discuss, Tailor’s bunion, or Bunionette.  Tailor’s bunion refers to a similar deformity as a bunion but on the outer side of the foot next to the pinky toe.  Both types of bunions are seen frequently at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic.

The Tailor’s bunion got its name centuries ago when tailors would sit cross-legged on hard floors for hours at a time*. The pressure from the hard floor on the side of their foot caused irritation to the spot next to their little toe.

While there is a genetic component to tailor’s bunion there are other contributing factors, such as:

  • The way you walk: This can stretch the ligaments holding your bones together, causing the bone to jut outwards as a result.
  • Wearing High Heels: Compounding the issue, high-heeled shoes will place additional pressure on the toes, accelerating this process of ligament stretching. This progression can give rise to a condition known as splay foot, where the bones on either side of the foot protrude outwards.

Since Tailor’s bunion is usually a natural result of aging, Dr. Vimal Reddy does not find this condition worrisome unless it becomes painful. As always, the goal is to make sure you are comfortable and can go through life easily without being bothered by bunions. We can achieve this with:

  • Padding may help reduce pain in the affected area
  • Measuring your feet to see if your shoe size has changed
  • Icing to reduce pain and inflammation

Surgery is another option to straighten out the bunions but only in severe cases.  Therefore in closing; if sitting cross-legged for hours is causing pain in your pinky toe region, or perhaps you’ve noticed pain in your little toe area while taking a stroll around the Jacksonville, FL St. Johns Town center, consult with Dr. Reddy for appropriate treatment options for your tailor’s bunion.

*Fun fact: The sartorius muscle is the longest muscle in the body, found in the front thigh.  Sartoriusderives from the Latin word for tailor because it functions to position your legs in a tailor’s cross-legged position!

Pain in the Bunion!

X-20110309150712156Ladies, are you having problems fitting into your favorite heels to strut around Downtown? Gentlemen, do your feet feel suffocated in your shoes by the end of the night out in Jax Beach? Do you have bumps on the insides of your feet next to your big toe? If so, you may have… bunions!

Bunions occur when the bones of your foot have changed shape or orientation. Ultimately, the cause is genetic — either your supportive structures are not strong enough to hold your bones in place, or the way your foot strikes the ground causes the bones to shift and protrude. Bunions are a mild problem, but can lead to pain and blisters. Cosmetically, many people just don’t like the way they look and unfortunately can become more pronounced as we age. This is a very common condition seen at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic.

The primary goal for Dr. Vimal Reddy, or any podiatrist, is to improve functionality. If you can walk with little to no pain then we are happy! However, bunions often become painful and the first effort is conservative treatment:

  • Padding: simple pads will take pressure off of the bunion and alleviate the pain and blistering.
  • Shoe sizing: As we advance in age, our feet change. Have Dr. Reddy measure your shoe size to determine if you need a better fitting shoe.
  • Orthotics: If the way your foot hits the ground is the cause of your problems, an orthotic shoe insert will correct the way you walk and work towards taking pressure off of the bunion, thus alleviating the pain.

If these treatments are not enough, we may need to try a more aggressive approach such as surgery. Nevertheless, Dr. Reddy always makes surgery his last resort. In addition to the usual surgical risks, there is no guarantee the end result of bunion surgery is any more cosmetically pleasing than your natural foot and over time your feet may revert back to the way they were. However, a trained and experienced podiatric surgeon will know how to address these risks.