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Common toe problems: 10 Common Foot Problems and How to Manage Them

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10 Common Foot Problems and How to Manage Them

Your feet take a pounding every day. Help them go the distance by identifying and correcting issues ranging from corns and calluses to athlete’s foot and hammertoes.

By Brian P. DunleavyMedically Reviewed by Justin Laube, MD

Reviewed:

Medically Reviewed

Take good care of your feet, and they’ll take good care of you.

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The human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons made of strong fibrous tissues to keep all the moving parts together — not to mention more sweat glands than any other part of the body, according to research.

Indeed, the foot is an evolutionary marvel, capable of handling hundreds of tons of force — your weight in motion — every day. The foot’s myriad parts, including the toes, heel, and ball, work together to get you from one place to another.

But the stress of carrying you around puts your feet at high risk of injury, higher than any other body part. And many foot and toe problems, including hammertoes, blisters, bunions, corns and calluses, claw and mallet toes, ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, and athlete’s foot, can develop from neglect, ill-fitting shoes, or simple wear and tear.

Foot pain may even be the first sign of a systemic problem. Gout, for example, often affects the foot joints first.

So what can you do to identify and manage some common foot-health issues?

195

Athlete’s Foot

Caused by a fungus that likes warm, dark, moist environments, athlete’s foot commonly affects the areas between the toes and the bottoms of the feet. It can inflame the skin and cause a white, scaly rash with a red base. Other symptoms of athlete’s foot include itching, burning, peeling, and sometimes a slight odor.

You can lower your risk of athlete’s foot (also called tinea pedis) by keeping your feet and toes clean and dry, changing your shoes and socks regularly, and never walking barefoot in public locker rooms and showers. Over-the-counter antifungal creams or sprays can be used to treat athlete’s foot, and sprays and powders can also be used inside your shoes to destroy any lingering fungus, according to Penn Medicine.

If these remedies do not work, you may need to see a doctor and ask about prescription-strength medication. It’s also worth knowing that the infection can migrate to other parts of the body if left untreated, Penn Medicine says. It can also be transmitted to other people via shared floors, gym mats, towels, and other surfaces.

196

Hammertoes

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If your second, third, or fourth toe is crossed, bent in the middle of the toe joint, or just pointing at an odd angle, you may have what’s called a hammertoe. Ill-fitting shoes contribute to the formation of hammertoes, and your genetics may put you at greater risk, as well, according to Cleveland Clinic.

If your toe is still flexible, your doctor may suggest that you wear roomier, more comfortable footwear. In addition, wearing inserts or foot pads can help reposition your toe.

But if your toe becomes fixed in the bent position, pain will set in, and you may need surgery, according to the Mayo Clinic. When hammertoes press against the insides of your shoes, corns and calluses may form on them.

197

Blisters

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“Most blisters are caused by friction between the skin on the foot and the inside of your shoes,” says Allan M. Boike, the dean of the College of Podiatric Medicine at Kent State University in Ohio.

You can prevent blisters — soft pockets of raised skin filled with clear fluid — on your feet by wearing comfortable, appropriate-size shoes and socks. If blisters do develop, it’s best to let them break naturally rather than burst them on your own, even when they are painful and make walking difficult, Dr. Boike says.

“If you develop a blister, simply cover it with a bandage and allow it to burst naturally,” Boike says. “If it bursts, you can apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment with a bandage to help it heal and prevent infection, but you should keep the area covered to reduce friction and keep it from reforming.

Most foot blisters don’t require medical attention. But if you have diabetes or another health condition that makes you prone to infections, you should consult a physician before treating any blisters yourself, Boike advises.

198

Bunions

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A bunion is a bony bump at the base of the big-toe joint. The changes within the foot that cause the bump also cause the big toe to turn inward, toward the smaller toes, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Bunions can result from congenital deformities, arthritis, trauma, heredity, or habitually wearing shoes that are too narrow in the toe. Regardless of what caused them in the first place, bunions can be made worse by high heels and constrictive shoes.

Conservative treatment for bunions includes wider shoes, padded shoe inserts, and over-the-counter pain relievers. If those methods fail to relieve pain and allow for normal walking, the Mayo Clinic says, surgery may be recommended to help return the big toe to its normal position.

199

Corns and Calluses

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Corns and calluses form after repeated rubbing against a bony area of the foot, usually by shoes that don’t fit well, the Cleveland Clinic says.

Corns can appear on the tops and sides of your toes, as well as between your toes, while calluses tend to form on the bottoms of the feet, especially under the heels or balls of the feet, and on the sides of the toes. These compressed patches of dead skin cells can be hard and painful to walk on.

With many corns or calluses, you can treat them yourself by removing the buildup of skin. The Cleveland Clinic recommends soaking the affected area in warm water until the skin softens and using a wet pumice stone or emery board to remove the dead skin. Be gentle, though: Removing too much skin can cause bleeding and infection. You can also apply a moisturizing cream or lotion to the corn or callus and surrounding dead skin to soften the skin over time.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to consult a podiatrist, who may recommend placing moleskin or padding around corns and calluses to relieve pain.

200

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a painful disorder in which the ligament — the fascia — that connects the ball of the foot to the heel becomes inflamed or even torn. Plantar fasciitis has no visual signs or symptoms, just pain and stiffness in the foot, says Tracey C. Vlahovic, DPM, a podiatrist and a clinical professor at the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia.

Research suggests the condition is common among runners and other athletes of all levels, but it’s generally seen as an overuse injury for which nearly everyone is at risk, Dr. Vlahovic notes.

“Most of the time, we’ll refer people to physical therapy, where they can learn stretches to reduce the tightness in the medial band of the foot,” Boike says. Fewer than 10 percent of the people with plantar fasciitis Boike sees require surgery to treat the condition.

Applying a cold compress can help relieve the pain. Your podiatrist may also recommend that you wear a splint at night to stretch the affected foot, Boike says.

201

Claw Toes and Mallet Toes

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A claw toe curls upward at the joint where the toes and the foot meet, and downward at the middle and end joints of the toe, making the toe look curved, or clawlike.

Claw toes often develop calluses and corns where they rub against shoes. While tight shoes can be blamed for claw toes, so can nerve damage to the feet (from diabetes or other conditions), which weakens foot muscles.

With mallet toes, the toe bends downward at the joint at the tip of the toe, and a painful corn often grows at the tip of the toe where it presses against the ground. Generally, the second toe is affected because it’s the longest. Injuries and arthritis are among the causes of mallet toe, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

202

Gout

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Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in joint tissues and joint fluid, which happens when the body is unable to keep uric acid levels in check, according to Boike. Although gout isn’t a foot condition per se, one of the first places this buildup typically occurs is in the big toe joint. This is because, temperature-wise, the toes are the body’s coolest parts, and uric acid crystallizes with temperature changes, Boike says.

You’ll probably know a gout attack when it happens: The joint where the big toe connects to the foot will get hot, red, and swollen and will be painful even to the slightest touch.

You can help reduce your risk of gout attacks by making changes to your diet to avoid foods known to cause a rise in uric acid, like red meat, seafood, and alcohol, particularly beer, Boike says. Significant consumption of beer or liquor (more than one drink per day) has been linked to an increased risk of an attack of gout, he says. Other risk factors include obesity and chronic kidney disease, according to research published in American Family Physician.

Maintaining a normal body weight also appears to have a significant effect on preventing gout attacks.

Once you are in the midst of a gout attack, drinking water to keep hydrated and staying in bed may help, but if you have frequent attacks, your doctor will likely refer you to a rheumatologist to manage the condition, according to Boike.

Medications for gout are designed to reduce pain during acute attacks or control the body’s production of uric acid to limit the frequency of attacks, he says.

Although gout most often starts in the foot, it can spread to other joints, where uric acid can accumulate and crystallize, limiting range of motion — which is why it’s important to treat the condition, not just the symptoms, Boike says.

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203

Ingrown Toenails

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Proper toenail clipping — straight across and not too short — is key to preventing ingrown toenails. If you don’t cut them straight, the corners or sides of the nail can dig into the skin, causing pain and sometimes an infection (called paronychia).

Other causes of ingrown toenails include shoes that press your toes together and unusually curved toenails, according to the Mayo Clinic.

If you develop an ingrown toenail, you can try soaking the toe in warm water for 15 or 20 minutes several times a day and tucking a small piece of cotton or dental floss under the ingrown edge of the nail to encourage it to grow up and away from the skin

If home remedies aren’t working or you have diabetes or another cause of reduced blood flow to the toes, you should see a doctor, who may lift or remove the affected nail and recommend the use of a topical antibiotic to prevent infection, the Mayo Clinic says.

204

Toenail Fungus

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Toenail fungus can give nails an unattractive, deformed appearance. It can also spread to other nails, including fingernails.

Toenail fungus often forms after damage to the nail that causes the nail-skin junction, where the nail meets the skin of the toe, to be disrupted. This can occur after a pedicure, from ill-fitting shoes, or after repetitive trauma from running or hiking that causes the nail to lift or get pressed on.

“Toenail fungus is caused by a skin-, hair-, and nail-loving fungus,” Vlahovic says. “The fungus is attracted to the protein in the nail bed, and the toenail is perfect because it’s in a moist and warm environment — inside your shoes — most of the day.”

Treating toenail fungus can be difficult, as it often comes back even after successful treatment. You should talk to your doctor about taking a prescription antifungal medication because over-the-counter treatments likely won’t work.

If medication doesn’t work, you may need surgery to correct the trauma that caused the fungus to take hold, the Mayo Clinic says.

Is It Toenail Fungus or Something Else?

Odd-looking toenail? It may be a fungal infection, but there’s a good chance that another condition could be to blame.

By Jennifer Acosta ScottMedically Reviewed by Ross Radusky, MD

Reviewed:

Medically Reviewed

Discolored, thickened toenails could be caused by fungus, but you should get it checked out to be sure.iStock

If you notice an odd spot on your toenail, you might assume it’s a fungal infection. However, there’s a good chance that it’s not.

Spots or discolorations on or under a toenail could be bruises resulting from trauma to the nail, blood blisters, warts, or even subungual melanoma, a type of skin cancer, says Ami Sheth, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Los Gatos, California, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Since nail irregularities can be caused by diseases besides these as well, it’s best to get it looked at, says Dr. Sheth.

Richard Goad, a doctor of podiatric medicine at Baylor Scott & White Health in Waco, Texas, concurs. “Sometimes the nail will be the first place to show another underlying problem,” Dr. Goad says.

So is it a fungus, a false alarm, or another condition entirely?

Types of Toenail Fungal Infections

Toenail infections (onychomycosis) affect about 14 percent of the population at any given time, according to a study published in June 2014 in PloS Pathogens. The most common symptoms of a toenail fungal infection include discoloration of the nail, debris under the nail, irregularity of the white part of the nail, nail thickening, and pain, says Sheth.

Toenail fungal infections can usually be categorized into one of the following five subtypes:

Distal Subungual Onychomycosis This is the most common form of toenail fungal infection, usually occurring in the portion of the nail closer to the tip and on the underside of the nail. The nail may become thick, yellow, or brittle.

Endonyx Onychomycosis People who have endonyx onychomycosis have fungus growing between the layers of the toenails. With this type of fungus, toenails usually have a milky white color and may be pitted or split. They usually don’t thicken or separate from the nail bed.

Proximal White Subungual Onychomycosis This is a relatively uncommon form of toenail fungus, seen most often in people with weakened immune systems due to conditions such as HIV. The fungus enters the toenail through the cuticle and affects the part of the nail closer to the base, turning it a whitish color.

White Superficial Onychomycosis This is also a rare form of toenail fungus that can occur in people who are otherwise healthy. It’s caused by a specific fungus that grows on the superficial, or top, layers of the toenail. Symptoms include opaque, white areas on the toenail that may eventually spread to cover the entire nail. The nail becomes soft and crumbly in texture.

Candida Infection of the Nail Candida is probably best known for causing vaginal yeast infections, but the fungus also lives on the skin. When there’s a break in the skin around the nail, called the nail folds, candida may enter and cause inflammation and infection. The nail itself may thicken and separate from the nail bed if the infection persists. “This type of fungal infection tends to affect fingernails more than toenails,” Goad says.

Conditions That May Look Like Toenail Fungus

Several health conditions can affect the appearance of your toenails and may be mistaken for toenail fungus.

Psoriasis Psoriasis can cause red, scaly patches on the skin. More than half of people with skin psoriasis also have it on their nails. Toenails and fingernails affected by psoriasis may be thick, discolored, crumbly, or loose. “Some people will have nail changes with psoriasis, and if it affects the matrix (the growth plate), then these changes are permanent,” says Sheth.

Skin Cancer A discolored spot underneath a toenail may be a sign of melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer. Melanoma under a toenail usually looks like a brown or black streak or may appear similar to a bruise. Although this isn’t common, it’s also not rare, says Sheth. Her advice: “It’s always good to check it out.”

Darier Disease This genetic disorder typically causes yellowish, wartlike blemishes on the body. However, some people with Darier disease also have fingernail or toenail irregularities, such as nails that are marked with red and white streaks, according to Genetics Home Reference. Sheth notes, however, that she’s never had a biopsy come back with a diagnosis of Darier disease.

Yellow Nail Syndrome This rare condition has been known to cause slow-growing, thickened, yellow nails, along with abnormalities affecting the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract and swelling in various parts of the body, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. The exact cause of the syndrome is unknown.

Alopecia Areata This autoimmune disorder most commonly causes round patches of hair loss from the scalp, although it can affect other areas of the body as well, according to Genetics Home Reference. Alopecia areata can also affect nails, which may become rough or pitted or develop white spots. Although rare, people with alopecia areata can notice nail changes before they start seeing hair loss.

Diagnosing and Treating Toenail Changes

If you notice changes in the appearance of your toenails, see a doctor promptly. If a fungal infection is suspected, a sample of the nail can be taken and analyzed by a lab to make a diagnosis. If the test comes back positive, an oral or topical antifungal medication may be prescribed to treat the fungus. Most antifungal medications are effective against most forms of toenail fungus, although treatment can take some time, in part because it’s hard to deliver any type of medication through the nail plate to the skin under the nail.

“Most of the time, the treatment requires the whole nail to grow out, which can take up to a year,” says Sheth. “Treatment needs to be consistent and long-term if it has any chance of working.

If the test comes back negative for fungus, your doctor may begin investigating other causes for the abnormal appearance of your toenails. Sometimes symptoms involving other parts of the body help point to a diagnosis.

People with yellow nail syndrome, for example, may experience leg swelling or breathing problems. Those with alopecia could see their hair begin to fall out.

And, according to Goad, “With psoriasis, patches of red, scaly skin may be seen on the knees, elbows, and face, too. It’s usually not limited to just the toenails.”

Additional reporting by Susan Jara

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Crooked Toes – Causes, Which Doctor Treats, Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment

Description

Crooked Toes means that the toes have an abnormal shape or position that is different from the typical alignment. This can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including downward or sideways toes, curvature, twisting, or twisting. Crooked toes can result from a variety of conditions and diseases, such as hallux valgus or varus deformity, hernias, flat feet, arthritis, or other medical problems. These changes can cause discomfort, pain when walking, and trouble fitting shoes. In some cases, a consultation with a doctor or podiatrist may be required to evaluate the cause of the curvature of the toes and recommend treatment or correction for the problem.

The dangers of crooked toes

Curved toes can cause a number of problems and are potentially dangerous in the following ways:

  1. Pain and Discomfort: Crooked toes can cause pain and discomfort when walking and wearing shoes. This can interfere with daily activities and impair quality of life.

  2. Impaired support and stability: Curvature of the toes can lead to a violation of the anatomical structure of the foot and a change in the distribution of weight when walking. This can reduce the support and stability of the foot, increasing the risk of falls and injury.

  3. Shoe Problems: Curved toes can make fitting shoes difficult, especially if the toes are significantly bent or deformed. Inappropriate shoes can rub and press on your toes, causing irritation, calluses, and sores.

  4. Possible complications: In some cases, curvature of the toes may be associated with certain medical conditions, such as arthritis or neurological disorders. These conditions can progress and cause further problems, including inflammation, joint deformity, and limited movement.

  5. Psychological Discomfort: Crooked toes can cause aesthetic discomfort and a negative perception of one’s appearance. This can affect a person’s self-esteem and psychological well-being.

Physiological causes of curvature of the toes

Curvature of the toes can be caused by various physiological causes. Here are some common reasons:

  1. Genetics: Some people may be predisposed to curvature of the toes due to hereditary factors. For example, hallux valgus or varus deformity of the foot can be an inherited condition that results in curvature of the toes.

  2. Muscle or ligament weakness: Lack of strength in the muscles and ligaments around the foot and toes can cause them to become twisted. Weak muscles cannot support the correct structure of the foot and toes, which can cause them to become deformed.

  3. Obesity: Being overweight and obese can put extra pressure on the foot and toes, which can lead to deformities and deformities.

  4. Injuries: Injuries, such as fractures, sprains, or ligament injuries in the foot and toe area, can cause them to twist as a result of improper healing or disruption of normal structure.

  5. Arthritis: Various forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause inflammation of the joints in the foot and lead to toe deformity and curvature.

  6. Other Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions, such as neurological disorders or muscle diseases, can interfere with nerve signals or muscle function, causing the toes to curl.

Pathological causes of curvature of the toes

Curvature of the toes can also be caused by various pathological causes associated with certain diseases or conditions. Here are some of them:

  1. Flatfoot: Flatfoot is a condition in which the arches of the foot droop, which can lead to curvature of the toes. With flat feet, the foot does not provide proper support and stability, and this can lead to toe deformity.

  2. Arthritis: Various forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and gout, can cause joint inflammation in the foot. This can lead to toe deformities such as hallux valgus (valgus deformity of the big toe).

  3. Foot fungus: A fungal infection of the foot can cause changes in the skin and nails, which can lead to twisted toes. In addition, advanced fungus can cause rough skin and deformation of the fingers.

  4. Paralysis of the leg: Neurological disorders or damage to the nervous system can lead to paralysis of the leg. With paralysis, the muscles in the foot may be uneven or improperly controlled, which can cause the toes to curl.

  5. Injury or Fracture: Serious injuries or fractures in the area of ​​the foot can cause damage to the bones and ligaments, resulting in toe deformities.

  6. Genetic Disorders: Rare genetic disorders such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome and erythromelia can cause curvature of the toes as a result of bone and tissue abnormalities.

  7. Other diseases: A number of other diseases, such as diabetic neuropathy, erosive osteoarthritis, Morgan motion sickness, can also cause deformity and curvature of the toes.

Accompanying symptoms

Curvature of the toes may be accompanied by various symptoms, which may vary depending on the specific cause of the curvature. Here are some common accompanying symptoms:

  1. Pain and Discomfort: Crooked toes can cause pain and discomfort when walking, especially with prolonged use of the foot. The pain may be sharp, dull, or aching.

  2. Swelling and inflammation: Some people with crooked toes may notice swelling and inflammation in the toes or joints. This may be due to inflammation or tissue damage.

  3. Changes in appearance: Curvature of the toes can lead to a change in their appearance. The fingers may be bent down, sideways, or otherwise abnormally shaped. Aesthetic changes can cause psychological discomfort.

  4. Difficulty choosing shoes: Crooked toes can make it difficult to choose shoes. Shoes may be tight or uncomfortable due to unusually shaped toes.

  5. Calluses and ulcers: Crooked toes can cause friction and pressure in shoes, which can lead to calluses, calluses and ulcers on the skin of the toes.

  6. Restriction of movement: In some cases, the curvature of the toes can lead to limited mobility in the joints of the fingers. This can make it difficult to perform certain movements or activities, such as flexing or extending the fingers.

What are the scenarios

The scenarios of curvature of the toes can vary depending on the cause and degree of deformity. Here are some of the possible scenarios:

  1. Progression of deformity: In some cases, the curvature of the toes may progress over time. This may be due to an increase in the underlying disease, such as arthritis, or to a deterioration in the structure and function of the fingers.

  2. Worsening of symptoms: Symptoms associated with curvature of the toes, such as pain, discomfort, or limitation of movement, may worsen over time. This can be caused by further damage or inflammation.

  3. Development of complications: Curvature of the toes can lead to various complications. For example, calluses, sores, or skin infections around the fingers may occur. Other complications may include joint deformity, decreased mobility, or even impaired normal walking.

  4. Correction and treatment: Depending on the cause of the curvature of the toes, various treatment and correction options are available. This may include wearing orthopedic shoes or insoles, physical therapy, stretching and strengthening muscles and ligaments, using orthoses or special devices to correct deformities, and in some cases, surgery may be required.

  5. Improvement of symptoms: With proper treatment and management of curvature of the toes, improvement in symptoms can be achieved. This may include reducing pain, improving mobility, preventing complications, and improving walking and shoe comfort.

What diseases cause curvature of the toes

Curvature of the toes can be associated with various diseases and conditions. Some of them include:

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis: This is a chronic inflammatory disease that can cause curvature of the toes, including hallux valgus (valgus deformity of the big toe) and other deformities of the joints of the foot.

  2. Osteoarthritis: This is a form of arthritis characterized by wear and tear of the articular cartilage. In the case of osteoarthritis, the toes may be subject to deformities such as protrusions (osteophytes) and changes in the shape of the joints.

  3. Gout: This is a form of inflammatory arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid in the joints. Gout can lead to curvature of the toes, especially the big toe, and the formation of arthritic nodules.

  4. Flat feet: Flat feet, characterized by decreased arches, can cause toe curvature as a result of foot instability and load redistribution.

  5. Diabetic Neuropathy: Diabetic neuropathy is a weakening of the nervous system that can lead to loss of sensation and muscle weakness in the foot. This can lead to twisted toes and the development of ulcers and other complications.

  6. Fungal infections of the foot: Common fungal infections of the foot, such as onychomycosis (fungal nail infection) and athlete’s foot, can cause deformities of the toes and changes in the shape of the nails.

  7. Neurological Disorders: Some neurological disorders, such as cerebral palsy, can cause muscle imbalances and twisted toes.

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What examinations to undergo

In case of toe curvature, it is recommended to consult a doctor or an orthopedist who will be able to assess your condition and recommend the necessary examinations. Here are some of the common tests that may be ordered:

  1. Physical examination: The doctor will perform a physical examination, including examination of the foot and toes. He will evaluate deformities, symptoms, functionality, and areas of tenderness.

  2. X-Ray: An X-ray may be taken to evaluate the structure and condition of the bones and joints of the foot and toes. This can help in identifying deformities, arthritis, osteoarthritis or other pathologies.

  3. Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): In some cases, CT or MRI may be required to examine the structure and tissues of the foot and toes in more detail.

  4. Blood tests: Blood tests may be done to check for possible inflammation (eg, rheumatoid arthritis or gout) or to check blood sugar levels (if diabetic neuropathy is suspected).

  5. Specialist Consultation: Depending on your particular situation, your doctor may recommend that you consult with other specialists, such as a rheumatologist, endocrinologist, or neurologist, for a more detailed evaluation and diagnosis.

Remedies

Remedies for crooked toes depend on the specific cause and degree of deformity. Here are some general methods that can be applied:

  1. Physical Therapy and Exercise: A physical therapist can offer a range of exercises and stretching techniques to help strengthen the muscles in your foot and toes, as well as improve mobility and deformity.

  2. Use of Orthotics: Depending on the specific deformity, your doctor may recommend the use of orthotics, heels, or other special shoe aids to help align your toes and improve foot structure.

  3. Massage and stretching: Massage and stretching of the muscles and ligaments in the foot and toes can help relieve tension and improve mobility. Perform these treatments under the guidance of a qualified massage therapist or physiotherapist.

  4. Use of orthoses or special devices: In some cases, the use of orthoses or special devices to help correct the deformity and maintain the correct position of the toes may be required to correct the deformity of the toes.

  5. Surgery: In more severe cases, and when conservative treatments fail, surgery may be recommended to correct deviated toes. Surgery may involve bone resection, tendon transfer, ligament strengthening, or other procedures to restore normal anatomy and function.

Where to see a doctor

If you have crooked toes, you are advised to see an orthopedist or a plantar surgeon. Orthopedists specialize in the treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system, including the foot and toes. They are experienced in diagnosing and treating various foot deformities, including curvature of the toes.

When choosing a doctor, pay attention to his specialization and experience in the treatment of foot deformities. It may be helpful to consult with an orthopedist who specializes in the foot and lower extremities or has experience in treating a specific cause of toe curvature, if the cause is known.

If you already have a primary care physician, such as a family doctor or general practitioner, you can also contact them for an initial consultation and advice on whether to see a specialist.

Remember that only a qualified medical professional can accurately diagnose the cause of toe curvature and suggest appropriate treatments.

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Zhitnikov Gleb Valerievich

Experience 21 years

Candidate of Medical Sciences

Tue, 18

Tue, 18 at
13:30

Moscow time

Anna Vladimirovna Kurchavina

Experience 8 years

Mon, 17

Mon, 17 at
14:15

Moscow time

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Diseases

Sore and swollen toe

In addition, the appearance of edema may also indicate the presence of fungal or infectious diseases. When blood flow is disturbed in the lower extremities, blood begins to accumulate, which leads to swelling of the toe and pain. Sometimes such problems can arise due to an ingrown nail, but then the whole foot begins to swell along with the fingers. Only the attending physician can eradicate the focus of the disease. By removing part of the ingrown nail, the symptoms will immediately disappear.

A splinter or thorn in the toe can also cause swollen and painful toes. After all, the infectious process can begin with the ingress of a foreign body into the finger. First of all, you need to figure out what caused the swelling of the fingers, and begin to immediately take measures to eliminate them.

What diseases cause swelling on the toes

Various diseases can also cause pain and swelling. Among them are pathologies such as:0005

1. Arthritis. An increase in size and limited mobility of one or more fingers may indicate the appearance of this disease, which causes degenerative-dystrophic disorders in the cartilage tissue. The development of arthritis is provoked by the presence in people of excess weight, flat feet, as well as heavy physical work. It is not surprising that athletes often have swollen lower limbs, as they regularly receive injuries, bruises and sprains. At the second stage of the development of the pathology, the joints of the fingers are affected, so any delay entails great consequences. Without proper treatment, the patient’s condition will worsen, eventually leading to disability. You should immediately consult a doctor and undergo a complete physical examination if swelling and pain of the big toe is observed.

2. Arthrosis. One of the most common symptoms of this disease is swelling of the toe near the nail. This pathology of the joints is characterized by a destructive effect on the cartilage. At the beginning of the disease, the pain is intermittent, but eventually becomes chronic. Osteoarthritis often begins with pain in the thumb, which disappears with rest. In the morning, patients experience a certain degree of stiffness, difficult functioning of the joints, as well as crunching. Signs of arthrosis such as limited mobility and chronic pain overlap with symptoms of subchondral sclerosis and epicondylitis. If an infection appears in the joints, then arthrosis becomes infectious.

3. Osteoporosis. With the development of this disease, the bones lose strength and mass, which is due to pathological processes that make the bone tissue fragile and cause swelling. Patients with osteoporosis should carefully and carefully treat their fingers, because any inaccurate movement can lead to a fracture. At the beginning of the development of pathology, the toe swells and begins to hurt, and after a while the deformation occurs with the foot.

4. Symptoms of the development of such a disease as bursitis may be symptoms when the joint of the big toe is swollen and hurts, and also reddened. Severe bruises and an advanced stage of arthrosis can cause its appearance. When the joint is affected, the space between the bones and muscles becomes inflamed and filled with fluid. If the pathology is not treated, the disease becomes chronic and the pain becomes permanent. To confirm the diagnosis, the patient is given a fluid puncture, an MRI, and an X-ray, in addition to a visual examination.

5. The development of gout can be caused by a malfunction of metabolic processes in the body. This pathology is more common among men than women. At the initial stage of the pathology, the toes swell, and later the phalanges of the fingers can completely collapse. Swelling and pain are paroxysmal

6. Ankle injury. With a heavy load on the legs, the little finger is the most vulnerable spot. For example, it can be damaged by hitting a furniture leg or a door frame, or by wearing tight shoes. After a blow, the little finger begins to swell and hurt. In general, bruises do not pose any danger to humans. However, the negative impact can manifest itself in the form of chronic pain or the development of not the most pleasant diseases. If after a blow the finger is swollen and sore, then it is necessary to undergo a medical examination.

7. Finger swelling can also be caused by an allergic reaction. If the legs constantly itch, itch and discomfort appears, then the human immune system begins to react to irritating factors and produce chemicals that cause swelling. All symptoms will pass only if the external irritant is neutralized.

8. Diabetes mellitus. Swelling of the legs in this disease is provoked by a violation of metabolic processes. Usually, patients have pain and blue toes. In addition, the sensitivity of the lower extremities decreases, numbness of the fingers and a burning sensation in the feet are observed. If such symptoms are observed, then you should immediately contact an endocrinologist so that the doctor can examine and prescribe the most appropriate treatment.

9. Panaritium. This pathology appears with an infectious infection. You can clearly see the symptoms that begin with suppuration of the nail, are characterized by painful sensations and swelling of the finger, cysts with purulent contents are formed. A blister and swelling can be seen on the phalanx. In addition, there is a violation of sensitivity and blockage of capillaries. In this case, herbal baths can help, but the disease can be completely cured only after opening the cysts and completely removing the purulent contents.

Where to see a doctor

To determine the cause of toe pain and swelling, as well as to treat this problem, you need to see a doctor. The first step is to visit a therapist who can prescribe treatment or refer you to a more narrowly qualified specialist. Swelling of the extremities can also be caused by diseases with the heart, therefore, in order to exclude this cause, the patient must be examined by a surgeon or rheumatologist. An orthopedist will help solve the problem with foot deformity, and an endocrinologist will prescribe treatment for hormonal disruptions. If the condition was the result of an injury, then you should visit a traumatologist who will reveal the essence of the problem. Accurate diagnosis and treatment are possible only after studying the symptoms of the disease and analyzing the patient’s condition.

Before a consultation with a doctor is scheduled, pain can be relieved on your own. To keep your toes from hurting, you can apply heat or cold to them (when they burn and turn red). At home, you can use both drugs and traditional medicine.

Priority drugs

The treatment consists of applying special ointments or creams to the injured area and rubbing the bruises on the toes with gels. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs help with severe pain and fever. The active ingredients in the preparations directly affect the cause of inflammation, without harming the kidneys and stomach. To renew cartilage tissue, strengthen it and slow down the destruction process, a group of drugs such as chondoprotectors can be used.

Drug therapy should be carried out under medical supervision.

How to prevent disease

Elementary preventive measures help to prevent swelling in the toes. You just need to take care of your body and try to avoid the possibility of injury. The key to good foot health will be personal hygiene, which should be part of everyone’s life on an ongoing basis.

A special place should be given to the choice of comfortable, high-quality shoes, which should be made of natural materials, as well as have not very high heels and comfortable soles. In addition, special orthopedic shoes or insoles can be used. If fungal or other diseases are detected, they should be treated immediately.

You should also monitor your diet so that it is complete and includes all the necessary trace elements obtained from food. It is necessary to reduce the amount of salt consumed, as it does not allow excess water to leave the body, which causes edema. It is also better to refrain from drinking alcohol or reduce it to a minimum.

Finger swelling is easily treated and often resolves completely, but only if treated promptly. Following the elementary rules, you can prevent the formation of edema, as well as maintain health.