A painful big toe that is swollen and reddened on one side is often indicative of onychocryptosis, better known as an ingrown toenail. This common condition is one that Dr. Steven Vines, your foot doctor in Oxnard, CA, diagnoses and treats regularly. Dr. Steven Vines has provided some information about ingrown toenails and how they're treated.
What causes ingrown toenails?
For most of our patients, an ingrown toenail starts with trimming the nail of the big toe improperly: either too short or rounded on the sides instead of straight across. This can cause the edges of the toenail to grown into the skin next to it, which can be quite painful and even lead to an infection. Frequently wearing shoes or socks that are too small, in both length and width, may also lead to or exacerbate an ingrown toenail. People who have had an ingrown toenail in the past are prone to developing them again.
Treating ingrown toenails at home
Many ingrown toenails can be successfully managed with at-home care. Dr. Vines suggests soaking your foot in warm water a couple times a day, drying it thoroughly, and then carefully lifting the edge of the affected toenail and placing a small, clean piece of cotton underneath it to keep it away from the skin. This routine should be repeated every day until your toenail is back to normal. In the meantime, wearing open-toed shoes is a good way to help the nail heal and keep moisture from developing. If your toe is too painful to treat yourself, or your symptoms don't improve within a few days, it's time to contact your Oxnard foot doctor.
Seeking medical treatment for ingrown toenails
Ingrown toenails that are infected or don't respond to at-home treatment should be evaluated by your Oxnard foot doctor. A brief, in-office procedure to numb the toe and remove a small portion of the toenail may be necessary, and antibiotics may be prescribed. If you have diabetes or another medical condition that affects your circulation or complicates healing, seeing a podiatrist at the first sign of an ingrown toenail is essential.
Early intervention is key to successful treatment of ingrown toenails. If you think you may be developing one, contact your foot doctor in Oxnard, Dr. Steven Vines. We have a location in Ventura, CA, as well.
Pain, numbness, corns, and calluses all characterize the progressive foot deformity known as bunions. Located as prominent bumps on the side of the foot by the big toe, bunions affect how people walk and frequently lead to other podiatric problems such as hammertoes. Fortunately, your Oxnard foot doctor, Dr. Steven M. Vines, can help—read on to learn how!
The story of bunions
Bunions are a common foot deformity of the metatarsophalangeal joint at the bottom of the big toe. Also called Hallux valgus, bunions:
- Run in families because of inherited foot structure characteristics
- Happen most frequently when people wear tight, narrow, high-heeled shoes
- Usually, feature an inward turning of the big toe or even the second toe
If you are experiencing the pain and swelling characteristic of bunions, your Oxnard foot doctor can help with a simple, in-office examination. During this consultation, digital X-rays will be taken and a care plan to lessen symptoms and stop the condition's progress will be crafted. In most cases, the surgical removal of the bunion proves to be unnecessary.
Your bunion care plan
Your diligence, combined with Dr. Vines' recommendations, will help your feet feel and function better. Common bunion treatments include:
- Shoe padding, such as moleskin, to limit friction inside the shoe
- Weight loss and maintaining an ideal weight
- Analgesics such as ibuprofen for pain relief
- Cortisone injections to limit inflammation and pain
- Warm soaks
- Elevation of the foot
- Change in footwear to shoes which accommodate the toes with ample room side to side and top to sole (quality athletic shoes work well)
- Night time splints to straighten the joint
- Shoe orthotics, custom-made inserts which correct gait issues and keep pressure off the side of the foot
- Removal of corns and calluses which form at the point of friction between the shoe and the bunion
Happy feet again
Even with bunions, your feet can feel better and function well. For the best in podiatric care, please contact Dr. Steven Vines at either one of his offices. In Oxnard, call (805) 485-3151, or for the Ventura location, phone (805) 648-3222.
Does your foot pain keep you from doing the things you want to do? Determining the cause of your pain and finding an effective treatment can help you get back on your feet. Dr. Steven Vines, your foot doctor in Oxnard and Ventura, CA, diagnoses painful foot conditions and offers treatments that will ease your pain.
Why does my foot hurt?
Foot pain can be caused by:
- Old Shoes: Your shoes may look perfectly fine, but that doesn't mean that they're still supporting and cushioning your foot adequately. Failure to replace worn out shoes can increase your risk of developing Achilles tendinitis, retrocalcaneal bursitis or painful stone bruises on the bottom of your foot.
- Thinning Fat Pads: Fat pads underneath your foot help cushion and protect it. Unfortunately, as you get older, the fat pads under your heel and on the ball of your foot become thinner, which can lead to pain. Orthotics can provide a little extra cushioning if your pain is due to thinning fat pads.
- Ingrown Toenails: Has the edge of your toenail grown into the skin surrounding your nail? Ingrown toenails can occur if you round your nails instead of cutting them straight across or wear tight shoes or socks. Your Oxnard or Loma Vista podiatrist will remove the trapped edge of the nail during a minor procedure.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. The condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of connective tissue on the bottom of your foot, becomes inflamed. Night splints, physical therapy and pain medication can reduce plantar fasciitis pain.
- Bunions: A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of your big toe when the joint moves out of alignment. The condition is common in women who wear high heels but can affect anyone. Buying roomier shoes and wearing orthotics can be helpful, although surgery may be needed in some cases.
- Fractures: Did your pain start after you dropped a can on your foot or jumped from a significant height? You may have a fractured bone. Stress fractures can also cause foot pain. The fractures, which cause cracks in bones, occur due to overuse activities. Crutches and walking boots or casts may be used to relieve stress on your foot while you recover from your injury.
Not sure why you have foot pain? Schedule an appointment with foot doctor Dr. Steven Vines by calling (805) 485-3151 for the Oxnard, CA, office or (805) 648-3222 for the Ventura office.
You might be able to tackle your heel pain from the comfort of your own home.
Don’t let heel pain keep you from what you love doing most, whether that’s going for your daily run each morning or just walking to your favorite coffee shop every day before work. If you are dealing with heel pain the most obvious question would be, “What’s going on?” Our Oxnard and Ventura, CA, podiatrist, Dr. Steven Vines, has the answers.
The most common cause of heel pain is a condition known as plantar fasciitis. While this condition is usually minor, the goal of treatment is to reduce your symptoms and give your feet the care they need to heal properly.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects the thick band of tissue that runs along the soles of the feet from the toes to the heel. When this tissue has been overused or abused, microtears develop within the fascia, leading to swelling and pain when standing or walking.
How does plantar fasciitis happen?
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is if you suddenly change up your workout routine without building up to a longer or more intense workout over time. For example, if you find yourself going from a 2-mile run and then suddenly increasing your run to 4 miles or more all at once, then you may end up dealing with a nasty bout of plantar fasciitis. This condition is most commonly found in runners.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain. The pain is usually concentrated on the bottom of the heel and the pain can radiate to the arches (this is because the plantar fascia are responsible for supporting the arches of the feet). Pain may be worse first thing in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time. You may also experience stiffness and difficulty walking or putting weight on the foot.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
Luckily, it’s not that difficult to treat your symptoms and provide your feet with the TLC they need to heal quickly. The best approach you can take is to just rest. We know that’s challenging for someone with an active lifestyle but if you don’t avoid certain exercises and activities this could just make your foot pain worse or last longer. Here are some of the best ways to ease symptoms until the plantar fascia heal:
- Rest your feet as much as possible (avoid high-impact activities)
- Ice the heel and the arches of your feet up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever when necessary
- Splint or brace the foot to provide the arches and heel with support
- Wear supportive, properly cushioned footwear
- Consider getting custom orthotics (ask our Oxnard and Ventura foot doctor)
- Perform stretching and strengthening foot exercises
- Consider corticosteroid injections (for severe pain)
- Receive shockwave therapy (for persistent or severe plantar fasciitis)
If you are dealing with heel pain or other foot problems in Oxnard and Ventura, CA, and at-home care isn’t giving you the relief you need, then it’s time to turn to the foot care specialists. Call our office today to schedule a visit with Dr. Vines.
Your second toe is bent at the middle joint so much that it rubs against the inside of your shoe. You have a callus, and frankly, your foot hurts with the simple activities of daily living. Should you seek treatment for what likely is a hammertoe? The answer is yes. Your Ventura and Oxnard, CA, podiatrist, Dr. Steven Vines, expertly treats hammertoes, a common podiatric deformity which affects thousands of Americans just like you. Learn the details here.
What is a hammertoe?
Medically termed Hallux abductovalgus, a hammertoe is a deformed middle joint on the second or even third toe of either foot. Often resulting from pressure from a bunion, or bony bump, at the base of the big toe, a hammertoe actually resembles a hammer or mallet. Muscular imbalance accompanies and drives the problem, says the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, and typical symptoms include:
- Immobility of the joint
People who wear tight shoes and high heels (women are at risk) develop bunions as do individuals with arthritis or diabetes. Advancing age and hereditary play roles, and individuals with second toes which are longer than their big toes easily develop hammertoes, too.
How Dr. Vines can help
Dr. Vines will inspect your foot and confirm the diagnosis of hammertoe with digital X-ray imaging in his Ventura and Oxnard office. Then, he'll formulate a treatment plan based on your physical health, lifestyle, and level of discomfort. While surgery is an option for correction of hammertoe, most people respond well to conservative measures such as:
- Relief of pain with over-the-counter ibuprofen or in-office cortisone injections
- Shoe padding
- Removal of corns and calluses
- Stretching exercises
- Change of footwear to something with a wider toe box and lower heel
- Customized orthotics, or shoe inserts, to correct gait and relieve pressure
Find relief for hammertoes
You can with treatment from Dr. Vines. This deformity will become progressively worse if ignored. So, if you're in pain and see something happening to the shape and size of your toe, call our office right away for a consultation. We have two offices for your convenience. In Oxnard, call (805) 485-3151, or for the Ventura location, phone (805) 648-3222.
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