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The Achilles tendon, the body's largest tendon, is susceptible to injury due to its limited blood supply and exposure to various forces. Aging and increased activity, especially in sports involving speed, heighten the risk of Achilles tendon problems. These issues are becoming more common with the active aging population. Injuries can develop suddenly or gradually, often requiring extended healing periods. A thorough history and physical examination are necessary for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment. The primary approach for treatment involves rest and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Additional interventions such as physical therapy, orthotics, or surgery may be necessary in severe cases. If you have Achilles tendon pain or an injury, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment tailored to your situation.
Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Manisha Mehta, DPM of Detroit, Michigan and Toledo, OH. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Is the Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.
What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?
There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.
Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms
Treatment and Prevention
Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:
Hammertoe, claw toe, and mallet toe are related toe deformities that affect the small toes, impacting walking and balance. These deformities result when the pressure on the toes exceeds their joint strength, often due to weak joints, muscle imbalances, or tissue weakness in the lower part of the toe joint. Claw toe involves upward bending of the toe joint at the ball of the foot, with the middle and sometimes end joint curving downward, resembling a claw. It can affect any toes except the big toe. With hammertoe, the toe bends at the middle joint, creating a curled appearance. Hammertoe most commonly affects the second toe, and it often coexists with bunions. Mallet toe is similar to hammertoe but involves the last joint rather than the knuckle joint, resulting in a mallet-like appearance at the end of the toe. Causes of these conditions include wearing ill fitting shoes, high arches, and genetics. Additionally, arthritis, diabetes, tendon imbalances, and neurological conditions can be a cause of developing hammertoe. Treatment options range from padding, orthotic devices, and wearing proper footwear to surgical interventions, including tendon release, joint adjustments, and bone modifications. Surgery is considered when non-operative methods fail to alleviate pain or correct the deformity. If you have toe problems or pain, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment right for you.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Manisha Mehta, DPM from Detroit, Michigan and Toledo, OH. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.
Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible
Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur
Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe
Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe
Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it
Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used
Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option
Your feet are covered most of the day. If you're diabetic, periodic screening is important for good health. Numbness is often a sign of diabetic foot and can mask a sore or wound.
The toes are often overlooked in adulthood, but they play a vital role in our balance and mobility. Each toe, except the big toe, is comprised of three bones each and supports roughly 75% of our body weight during walking, balance, and movement. Proper toe function involves spreading them wide for stability and providing a boost as the foot lifts off the ground, aiding stride length and speed. Toes also serve as information conduits, relaying shifts in body weight to the brain for adjustments. When toes are injured or stiff, it can impact your gait and lead to imbalances in other muscles and joints, potentially causing issues like knee, hip, or lower back pain. Ill-fitting shoes and tight socks can lead to cramped toes, resulting in painful bunions and an increased risk of fungal infections. Treatment for toe pain varies, with anti-inflammatories or pain relief for conditions like gout or arthritis. Mechanical issues in the foot can also cause toe pain, affecting muscles, tendons, and ligaments. If you have toe pain, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to assess your feet and gait to identify the underlying cause and prevent it from affecting other body parts
Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Manisha Mehta, DPM of Detroit, Michigan and Toledo, OH. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
What Causes Toe Pain?
Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.
Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:
When to See a Podiatrist
In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.
Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.
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