General podiatry is the treatment of skin and nail deformities of the feet. These deformities occur predominantly as a result of altered foot shape, such as a deformed toe, resulting in increased pressure and friction against footwear. This results in increased pain, pressure and friction leading to the development of corns and callous.
These skin and nail deformities can become painful and in some instances infected, especially when associated with other medical conditions such as diabetes and peripheral vascular disease.
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Sharp shooting or burning pain on the ball of the foot and at the base of the toes is commonly caused by a Morton’s neuroma. It usually affects the nerve that runs between the 3rd and 4th toes, but all toes can become affected. You may also experience numbness and tingling of the affected toes, which gets worse over time.
Morton’s neuroma occurs when the nerve becomes irritated or compressed, and fibrous tissue develops around this nerve. The exact cause of the irritation is unknown, but it may be the metatarsal bones pressing against the nerve when the gap between the bones is narrow. This causes the nerve and surrounding tissue to thicken.
A number of other foot problems, including flat feet, high foot arches, bunions and hammer toes, may also play a role in Morton’s neuroma.
Treatment of Morton’s neuroma may include:
- Shoes with a wider toe area
- Orthoses to address biomechanical anomalies and to reduce pressure on the nerve
- In very persistent cases cortisone injections may be recommended and surgery may be needed if it is still unresolved.
Corns and calluses are areas of hard, thickened skin that develop when the skin is exposed to excessive pressure or friction. They commonly occur on the feet and can cause pain and discomfort when you walk.
At Glengarry Podiatry your Podiatrist will remove corns and calluses painlessly for immediate relief. This is significantly more effective than corn plasters. Corn plasters contain acid and can be particularly problematic in those with diabetes, circulation problems or fragile skin and should be avoided due to the potential of complications, including infections and ulcers in diabetics.
The information on this page is of a general nature only and should not replace the advice of a qualified health professional.