Ems: Electrical Muscle Stimulation
So far, we talked about treatment options outside of the clinic. Now lets talk about in-clinic treatment for bunions.
We have to be able to treat the imbalance of muscles. Electrical Muscle Stimulation is one way we can do this by strengthening weak muscles with electrical stimulation.
EMS is used primarily for two reasons: to reduce pain and for muscle re-training. The machine used in this treatment provides an electrical current through wiring from the machine to adhesive patches that are placed on the skin of the affected area.
You can also use EMS with a portable unit that can be taken home to help strengthen it when you’re not in the clinic.
What Is Big Toe Arthritis
Big Toe Arthritis occurs when the joint between the first bone segment of the big toe and the first metatarsal bone begins to degenerate. This leads to the destruction of the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones, the formation of bone spurs as the bone attempts to regenerate, and decreased range of motion at the toe joint.
Big Toe Arthritis results in stiffness, progressive pain, joint swelling, and tenderness. At this point, physical therapy and conservative treatments will be of little help. When arthritis becomes severe, a joint replacement or a joint fusion might be recommended.
Some people may be predisposed to arthritis of the big toe because of the biomechanical design of their toe joints. In others, osteoarthritis can become much worse as the result of an injury or from repetitive micro-trauma due to walking in high-heeled shoes or engaging in certain sports, for instance.
How Can An Attack Of Gout Be Treated
The management of an acute attack of gout is very different from the prevention of subsequent attacks.
Treatments used for prevention, such as allopurinol can actually make things worse if given during an attack, and so need to be held back until the attack has resolved for several weeks.
There are a number of measures that can help resolve an attack of gout. See Table 2 for summary of treatment strategies for acute gout. One principle is that treatment for an attack of gout should be instituted quickly, since quick treatment can often be rewarded with a quick improvement.
If an attack of gout is allowed to last more than a day or so before treatment is started, the response to treatment may be much slower.
Table 2: Medications to treat acute attacks of gout
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What Are The Risks Of Bunion Surgery
As with any surgical procedure, complications can happen. Some possiblecomplications may include:
Other complications may include recurrence of the bunion, nerve damage, andcontinued pain. The surgery may also result in overcorrection of theproblem, in which the big toe extends away from the other toes.
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Besure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before theprocedure.
What Does Bunion Pain Feel Like
Also known as hallux valgus , bunions appear as bony bumps at the base of the big toe.Sometimes they dont hurt, but when they do youll feel pain and inflammationon the inside of the foot, where the big toe meets the front of your foot. Youmight also notice redness and inflammation in the area. Your toe may feelstiff, and you may have difficulty walking, especially if youre wearing tightshoes.
If these symptoms sound fairly generalasidefrom the location of the painthats because they are. Thats why bunions canbe easily mistaken for other foot conditions . Here are somecommon conditions that are sometimes mistaken for bunions.
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Difference Between Gout And Bunion
Gout and bunion are two extremely different medical conditions that have a set of similar symptoms that might be misleading.
DefinitionGout is a medical condition characterized by excess of uric acid levels in the blood leading to deposition of crystals of uric acid in the joints. It starts with depositions in the great toe followed by other tissues and joints. Gout is also called as podagra when it affects the great toe only. Gout is considered as a part of crystal-induced arthritis. Bunions, in contrast, are bony disfigurements of the great toe which can be seen as a mal-alignment of the bone of the great toe. Bunion is seen as outward displacement of the great toe due to genetic causes. Bunions are more commonly seen in femaleswhereas gout is more commonly seen in males.
Gout in X-ray of left foot
Difference in causesGout occurs due to an excess of uric acid in the body that fails to be excreted by the kidneys. The exact cause of bunion formation is not known but is strongly linked genetically and ill-fitting footwear and flat feet are known to worsen it.
What Happens During Bunion Surgery
Bunion surgery may be done on an outpatient basis or rarely as part of yourstay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition andyour healthcare providerâs practices.
Most bunion surgery is performed under ankle block anesthesia, in whichyour foot is numb, but you are awake. Occasionally, general or spinalanesthesia is used.
Generally, bunion surgery follows this process:
You will be asked to remove clothing and will be given a gown to wear.
An intravenous line may be started in your arm or hand.
The skin over the bunion will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution.
If a local anesthetic is used, you will feel a needle stick when the anesthetic is injected. This may cause a brief stinging sensation. If general anesthesia is used, you will be put to sleep using intravenous medicine.
The healthcare provider will cut, realign, and possibly remove portions of bone, ligaments, and tendons of the affected foot based upon the severity of the bunion.
The healthcare provider will close the opening with stitches and apply a sterile bandage or dressing.
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How Can A Gout Attack Be Prevented
Diet plays a key role diet in gout prevention: Since foods can directly set off gout attacks, patients with gout should receive counseling as to which foods are more likely to induce attacks. Losing weight is often also helpful. However, as important as diet is in gout, for most people with gout diet, and even weight loss, are not enough, and medications will be needed to get to their uric acid goal.
Main Differences Between Gout And Bunion
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What Causes Gout In The Foot
For most people, 50% of all Gout cases begin with an initial attack in the bunion joints of the big toes. But why is this?
One hypothesis is that it may simply be a result of gravity, with the acids naturally flowing down and then settling into the farthest joints of the lowest extremities: the big toes.Another hypothesis is that because the feet and toes are farthest body appendages away form the heart, it is therefore a cooler part of the body due to circulation, making their joints more conducive to the formation of acid crystals. This correlates to gout being more prevalent in many colder climates.Over time gout may also attack other joints in the body, though generally one joint at a time, including the metatarsals, which are the long bones on the tops of the feet, the tarsals, which are the seven bones within the ankle, and in rare occasions, the heels
Above: Gout presenting with redness and inflammation in the ankle joint
What Exactly Is A Bunion
A bunion is a lump of bony tissue on the outside of the joint between your big toe and the rest of your foot. Its caused by the misalignment of your toe and the metatarsal bone in your foot.
The bump causes excess friction on the side of your foot, leading to calluses and corns. It can also cause foot pain, especially when you walk and put pressure on the misaligned bones, tendons, and muscles.
There are a variety of treatments available for bunions, depending on the severity of your foot problem. Mild bunions often resolve with a change of footwear, orthotics, and physical therapy to gently realign your toe. In more severe cases, you may need surgery to realign your bones or to remove an excess bony tissue that has formed on your joint.
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Can I Do Anything At Home To Relieve Gout Pain
Besides seeing your podiatrist, there are things you can do to ease the pain and swelling caused by gout. Raise and rest the affected limb, and use a splint to immobilize the joint. Also, do not exercise vigorously. Try keeping the joint cool by applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Remember, dont apply cold items directly onto the skin. Lastly, do not cover the joint.
How Is Gout Treated
Gout is typically treated with medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help stop the inflammation and pain. Examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen. If you take NSAIDs, there is an increased risk of ulcers, bleeding and stomach pain. Colchicine can also be an effective drug for treating gout. However, complications include vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. Colchicine is usually given to patients who cannot take NSAIDs.
Steroids are commonly used to battle the painful form or arthritis. Just like the medications described above, steroids help combat pain and inflammation. Steroids can either be taken orally or be injected directly into the joint. Common symptoms include bone thinning, weaker immune systems and poor wound healing. Steroids are typically given to patients who cannot take NSAIDs or colchicines.
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Treatment Options For Gout
NSAIDs, such as celecoxib, indomethacin, meloxicam, or sulindac, may be prescribed by your doctor, or you may be advised to use over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as naproxen or ibuprofen.
Based on your medical history, your doctor may prescribe steroids or other anti-inflammatory medications, such as colchicine .
Your doctor may also advise you to make lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly and decreasing weight. Additionally, you may be advised to adopt dietary changes, such as lowering your intake of red meat, shellfish, alcoholic beverages and fructose-sweetened beverages.
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Why You May Not Want To Assume Its A Bunion
Yes, bunions are as painful as they sound. The big toe joint is tasked with carrying much of our weight as we move around, which is why it becomes so painful when a bunion is left untreated. The joint eventually gets stiff and tender and makes wearing shoes painful and even unbearable.
The problem with bunions being such a common foot condition is that people will automatically assume they have a bunion. The reality is that bunions share many of the same symptoms found in other foot conditions like osteoarthritis, bursitis and our main nemesis gout.
Despite their similarities, different causes of foot pain may require different treatments and medical responses. Assuming you have one condition may stop you from getting treatment you need.
Unfortunately, serious conditions like gout only get worse over time without the proper treatment. So, while bunions are in fact a common condition, they are commonly misunderstood. The good news is that we are here to clear up the misconceptions about gout vs. bunion. Well also emphasize the importance of seeking treatment as early as possible. Lets go!
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Why Might I Need Bunion Surgery
You may need bunion surgery if you have severe foot pain that happens even when walking or wearing flat, comfortable shoes. Surgery may also be needed when chronic big toe inflammation and swelling isn’t relieved with rest or medicines.
Other reasons for surgery include toe deformity, a drifting in of the big toe toward the small toe, and an inability to bend and straighten the big toe.
There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend bunion surgery.
Signs And Symptoms Of Bunions
Bunions develop when pressure on the big toe joint causes the big toe to lean toward the second toe.
Eventually the structure of the bone in the big toe changes and gives rise to a bunion. This deformity will gradually worsen and may make it painful to wear shoes or walk.
Although bunions usually start out small, wearing tight, narrow shoes can cause them to grow. They tend to grow slowly. The bigger a bunion gets, the more painful and difficult walking can become.
Symptoms of bunions include the following:
- Pain in the joint of the big toe, which gets worse while wearing tight-fitting shoes
- Trouble walking normally or moving the big toe normally
- Inflamed skin along the outside edge of the big toe
- Numbness of the big toe
- A burning feeling
As bunions worsen, they can greatly alter the appearance of your foot. With severe bunions, your big toe may angle all the way under or over the second toe.
Pressure from the big toe may force the second toe out of alignment and cause it to angle toward the third toe. Calluses can develop where the toes rub against each other, causing additional discomfort and problems with walking.
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Munch On Bananas Cherries And Celery
Instead of opting for meats and yeasty carbs when youre hungry, consider eating bananas, cherries, and celery. Bananas are rich in vitamin K, which liquifies uric acid crystals and flushes them from your body. As part of their antioxidant makeup, cherries contain a pigment called anthocyanin that reduces gout pain and inflammation. Celery works to lower uric acid levels, as well as alleviate pain and swelling.
Is It Possible To Prevent Bunions
If the diagnosis is made early on, such as in preadolescence, bunion development can be slowed and, in some cases, arrested with the proper supportive shoe gear and custom functional shoe inserts . Physical therapy involving stretch can also be beneficial. Avoidance of certain athletic activities with improper shoe fit and toe pressure can prevent the symptoms that occur with bunions. Early examination by a podiatrist is recommended.
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Foot Care For Pregnant Women
The natural weight that pregnant women gain causes their center of gravity to be completely altered. This causes them to have a new weight-bearing stance which adds pressure to the knees and feet. As a result, pregnant women often experience severe foot pain. The two most common foot issues experienced by women in their pregnancies are edema and over-pronation. It is important for all pregnant women to learn more about how to take care of their feet so they are more comfortable during their pregnancy.
Over-pronation, which is commonly referred to as flat feet, is caused when a persons arch flattens out upon weight bearing. This causes the persons feet to roll inward while walking. Pregnant women often experience this due to the sudden weight they gain.
Edema, also referred as swelling in the feet, typically occurs in the later part of the pregnancy. It is the result of the extra blood accumulated in the pregnant womans body. The enlarged uterus puts more pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis which causes leg circulation to slow down. This causes blood to pool in the lower extremities.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat both edema and over-pronation. Edema can be treated by elevating the foot as often as possible. Wearing proper fitting footwear will also be helpful for those with edema. A treatment method for over-pronation could be orthotics. Orthotic inserts should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rear foot for your foot.
The Dangers Of Wearing Flip Flops
Research has indicated that many flip-flops do not provide adequate support nor shock absorption that the feet need for comfort. The function of flip-flops is to cover the bottom of the feet, but arch support is not present in many of these types of shoes. While flip-flops are being worn, the muscles and ligaments in the feet may change slightly, and this can negatively affect the joints next to them. This can produce a chain effect that may be harmful to the rest of the body. It is suggested to wear flip flops in moderation, or if you are going to be sitting for the majority of the day. If you would like additional information about how flip-flops can affect the feet, it is advised that you schedule a consultation with a podiatrist.
Flip-flops can cause a lot of problems for your feet. If you have any concerns about your feet or ankles, contact one of our podiatrists from Foot Care Centers. Our doctors will assist you with all of your foot and ankle needs.
Flip-Flops and Feet
Flip-flops have managed to become a summer essential for a lot of people. While the shoes may be stylish and easy to slip on and off, they can be dangerous to those who wear them too often. These shoes might protect you from fungal infections such as athletes foot, but they can also give you foot pain and sprained ankles if you trip while wearing them.
When Are They Okay to Wear?
Why Are They Bad for My Feet?
More Reasons Why They Are Bad for Your Feet
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