Most active people know that taking precautions like stretching before and after sports and exercise is necessary to minimize the risk of strains and injuries. There is no shortage of information and data about how maintaining a strong core, and protecting the back and knees are all critical elements to staying physically healthy and enjoying the activities we love. But when it comes to the feet, which contain a network of bones and tendons that help to keep the musculoskeletal system in alignment and bear the weight of the entire body, keeping them healthy and supported is often an afterthought. For many people, style and basic fit are the main criteria for buying a pair of shoes, which often results in common podiatry problems like heel pain, plantar fasciitis and bunions, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Dr. Brian Doerr, a podiatrist in Fort Myers, FL, offers treatment for a range of foot and ankle injuries for people of all ages and activity levels.
Treatment Options for Bunions and Foot and Ankle Injuries in Fort Myers, FL
A bunion is a painful bump that forms at the base of the big toe on the inside of the foot when the Metatarsophalangeal joint becomes deformed or inflamed. They tend to develop slowly, but when left untreated can eventually grow large enough to make walking and wearing shoes quite painful. Bunions also cause the big toe to lean at an angle away from the joint towards the other toes. Although anyone can develop bunions, they tend to be more common in women and are hereditary. According to Harvard Health Publications, the foot's anatomy plays a role in the likelihood of developing bunions. People with low arches or flat feet are at a higher risk.
What to Do if You Develop a Bunion
In most cases, a podiatrist can treat a bunion with conservative options like:
- Supportive footwear (wearing high heels or shoes that crowd the toes can lead to bunions), gel pads to prevent friction between the bone and the shoe and shoe inserts like orthotics to help properly align and position the arches for people with flat feet
- Splinting the toe overnight to realign and relieve pressure on the joint
- Heating and icing
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories)
- Lifestyle modifications like weight loss to relieve pressure on joints
In rare cases, a podiatrist may recommend a bunionectomy, which is a surgical procedure used to shave down and realign the metatarsal bone.
Find a Podiatrist in Fort Myers, FL
Persistent pain and stiffness can be a sign of an orthopedic injury. Don't wait until foot and ankle pain interferes with your lifestyle and daily activities - contact the office of Dr. Doerr by calling (239) 931-3668 to schedule an appointment today.