Foot pain can affect your overall health

Most of us will experience some form of foot pain in our lifetime. There are many foot problems that can cause pain or discomfort in the feet. Foot pain will generally cause a restriction in walking and this can then affect your overall health and wellbeing.

There are also many problems higher up in the body that will be the result of poor foot function. The human body is like a long interconnected a chain. Movement at one end of the chain will cause some movement part way along or at the other end. Hence poor foot function can often be factor in knee, hip and back pain.

See a podiatrist if you suffer from foot pain

If you suffer from any pain or have any foot concern it is important that you see one of our Melbourne podiatrists for initial assessment and diagnosis. Our podiatrists are experts in foot, ankle and lower leg problems and their treatment. Our treatment focuses on the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms, helping you get back on your feet faster.

foot pain podiatrist in Camberwell, Melbourne

Some common other foot problems our podiatrists treat

Some common other foot problems encountered at our Camberwell podiatry clinic are outlined below:

bunion treatment

What is a bunion?

A bunion or hallux valgus is a bony deformity affecting the big toe, where there is deviation of the big toe towards the second toe. The first metatarsal joint partially dislocates and often there is a noticeable enlargement or bony prominence around the joint. A poor functioning bunion joint can then lead to arthritic changes within the joint.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

Symptoms of bunions can include pain, swelling and inflammation within the metatarsal joint as the joint becomes arthritic. Another source of pain can be rubbing and skin irritation from footwear around the bony prominence.  Some bunions can be asymptomatic but this shouldn’t be ignored as bunions generally occur as the result of poor foot function. Bunions can make walking difficult and purchasing good fitting shoes can be a real issue.

What causes bunions?

Bunions are primarily caused by poor foot function or excess pronation. Other factors which can cause bunions include genetics (inherited poor foot structure) and poor fitting footwear.

How can podiatrists treat bunions?

Our Melbourne podiatrists can help relieve bunion symptoms by improving foot mechanics with custom orthotics. If the bunion is treated early then it is often possible to slow down progression of the deformity and help slow down or prevent arthritic destruction of the joint. Bunions that are severe and cause ongoing problems or are unable to fit into the patients preferred footwear may need surgery. In these cases our podiatrists can give you advice and help refer you to a good foot surgeon if required.

neuroma treatmentWhat is a neuroma?

A neuroma is a painful condition whereby the nerve passing between the toes becomes entrapped, thickened and irritated. It is most common between the third or fourth toes (known as a Morton’s neuroma), however they can also occur between other toes.

What are the symptoms of neuromas?

Neuroma symptoms can vary from a mild burning or tingling pain to a sharp shooting pain into the toe. Often a clicking sound is evident when the toes are squeezed together. One theory is that the clicking noise is a bursa (fluid filled sac) that the body develops when two joints rub against each other. This bursa then entraps the nerve causing a sharp radiating pain into the toes.

What causes a neuroma in the foot?

Neuromas are caused by compression of the toes. This can be caused by previous injuries to the toes leading to instability and compression such as a plantar plate injury. Other causes include wearing shoes that are too tight, poor foot mechanics and excess pronation.

What is the podiatry treatment for neuromas?

Our Melbourne podiatrists are experts in diagnosing and treating neuromas. Treatment is aimed at stabilising the toes and preventing compression of the toes and nerve. This may involve supportive padding and orthotics to help stabilise the foot and metatarsals. Outcomes are best if treated early by one of our podiatrists. In chronic neuroma cases surgery may be the only effective solution and our podiatrists can help steer you in the right direction.

Plantar plate treatment

What is a plantar plate injury in the foot?

A plantar plate injury is an injury to the thick ligament structure that inserts into the base of the toes or proximal phalanges. The ligament is responsible for stabilising the toe. A tear or rupture to the plantar plate ligament structure results in pain and ultimately an unstable toe. Plantar plate injuries are commonly seen at our Melbourne podiatry clinic, especially in middle aged patients, and it is often a problem that gets misdiagnosed by other health professionals.

What are the symptoms of plantar plate injuries?

Symptoms of a plantar plate injury includes swelling, inflammation and pain on the ball of the foot making walking difficult. A tear of the plantar plate will often result in the toes splaying, whilst a full rupture of the plantar plate will result in toe hyperextension. Symptoms of plantar plate tears and ruptures can often last for months. If the toe remains chronically unstable then this can cause other problems in future like arthritis or neuromas.

What can cause a plantar plate injury in the foot?

Plantar plate tears and ruptures can be caused by acute or chronic injury to the toe. Acute trauma to the toe such as stubbing the toe can result in a plantar plate injury. They can also occur from chronic overloading forces and excess movement of the toes. Poor foot function or excess pronation can lead to instability of the toes leading to excess pressure on the plantar plate, ultimately resulting in a tear or rupture.

How can podiatrists treat plantar plate injuries?

Our podiatrists know how to diagnose plantar plate injuries and how to differentiate them from similar foot problems like neuroma and metatarsalgia. Treatment at our Melbourne foot clinic focuses on reducing symptoms in the initial phase and this may involve padding and strapping. Once symptoms have settled treatment is aimed at strengthening the joint and stabilising the toe. Our podiatrists can prescribe custom orthotics to help stabilise the foot and toes following a plantar plate injury. Orthotics along with strengthening exercises and good footwear will often be an effective long term management for this problem.

back pain treatment Melbourne

How can the feet cause back pain?

Back pain can be very debilitating. The cause of back pain is often complex and the combination of many factors making treatment difficult. One factor that often gets overlooked in back pain is the feet.

Flat feet or feet that function poorly could be a causative factor in your back pain. Poor foot mechanics and excess pronation causes pelvic instability during gait and this in turn can lead to an unstable spine and lower back pain.

How can podiatrists help diagnose the cause of back pain?

Our podiatrists can assess your feet and gait using computer gait analysis to see if your feet are contributing to your back pain. Poor foot function or flat feet, limb length discrepancies or tight muscles are all biomechanical faults that can contribute to back pain.

How can podiatrists help treat back pain?

Treatment by our podiatrists at our Camberwell foot clinic usually involves custom orthotics to help realign the feet and improve lower leg function. This assists in stabilising your posture by stabilising the pelvis and enhancing the normal function of the spine. Many of our patients have had their chronic back symptoms resolved following successful treatment with custom orthotics.

foot problems podiatrist in Camberwell, Melbourne
Contact a podiatrist in Camberwell, Melbourne

Do you suffer from foot pain?

If you suffer from any form of foot pain then we recommend you make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists for initial diagnosis. There are many associated problems where the function of the foot often gets overlooked so a podiatrists opinion is often worth seeking in chronic knee, hip and back complaints.

Make an appointment today with one of our friendly podiatrists for diagnosis and successful treatment of your foot problem.