Foot Problems We Treat
Common Foot Problems
You have one pair of feet to last a lifetime…
No matter what your age or lifestyle, healthy feet are an important part of your overall good health.
It is possible to manage the symptoms of many common foot problems.
If you have any on-going concerns or issues about your feet or footwear seek advice from CBD Podiatry – Melbourne.
Click on any problem below for more information:
Ankle sprains are a common accidental injury that can happen to the fittest athlete or to a person who moves very little at all. Ankle sprains often occur after losing balance, where the unstable ankle experiences a sharp twist.
The ankle can be either strained or sprained.
A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon overstretches. A sprain is a more serious condition and occurs when a ligament (connects one bone to another) becomes overstretched.
If you suffer an ankle sprain pain can be mild aching to intense, expect swelling of the ankle, bruising and ankle stiffness.
A sprain requires early attention; treat an acute sprain as soon as you can!
Follow standard management, rest the injured ankle as much as possible, apply an ice pack for 20 minutes on the hour as long as swelling persists, compress the ankle and foot firmly (not tightly) with a wrapped elastic bandage, elevate the foot to minimise bruising and swelling.
Consult a podiatrist or GP if you are worried about the injury, or the pain or swelling has not gone down significantly within 48 hours.
An accurate diagnosis is essential for proper rehabilitation of moderate to severe injuries.
Have you sprained your Ankle?
If there is a tendency to roll over on you ankle, or you have sprained your ankle and require assessment and ankle rehabilitation, CBD Podiatry – Melbourne can help you with this and give you advice on appropriate footwear, shoe-lacing techniques, stretching and strengthening of the ankle and surrounding muscles and advise if orthotic therapy may help to provide greater ankle stability as a preventative measure. BOOK NOW
Arthritis is a disabling disease
There are about 200 forms of arthritis that are characterised by inflammation of the cartilage and the lining of the body’s joints.
Arthritis affects many parts of the body. However, feet are especially vulnerable as there are 33 joints that bear weight and pressure of the body, making standing and movement uncomfortable when effected.
Your joints may be stiff early in the morning, have limited movement, inflammation, pain, bony swelling and deformity around the joint
There are many factors that increase the likelihood of arthritis, they include – age, gender, increased weight, injury, genetics and infection in the joint.
Joint deformity caused by arthritis may create increased pressure and lead to skin lesions such as corns and callus over the area. It is important not to let the hard skin build up as it often causes pressure and discomfort.
We can take care and provide management of arthritic feet!
CBD Podiatry – Melbourne have a comprehensive understanding of the effects of inflammation and degeneration of the joints in the feet. We can reduce the amount of discomfort associated with arthritis.
We can provide information on supportive footwear that will increase cushioning and shock absorption of the joints in your feet.
Prescription of customised orthotics may be recommended as they can direct pressure from the more sensitive areas of your feet and make walking easier.
Painless reduction of corns and calluses can be performed by your podiatrist on the day of your appointment. BOOK NOW
Athlete’s foot or tinea is a common persistent infection do you have it?
Athletes foot, commonly known as “tinea” is a microscopic fungus that lives on dead tissue of the hair, toenails, and outer skin layers (dermatophyte).
This fungus thrives in warm, dark, moist environments. It usually occurs in warmer weather and more often affects people who experience excessive sweating or in footwear made from synthetic materials. You don’t have to be an athlete to have tinea.
Tinea is characterised by itching of the skin on the sole of the foot or between the toes, scaling, peeling, redness. It sometimes has formation of small blisters and occasionally has an unpleasant odour. This fungus also has the potential to spread to the toenails.
Prevention is better than cure, especially with tinea!
CBD Podiatry – Melbourne will be able provide you with a diagnosis and the right advice. Athletes foot can be persistent, but should not be ignored as it can be easily treated.
The usual treatment is an over the counter antifungal agent and advice on appropriate footwear. Best results are usually obtained with early treatment before the fungal infection establishes itself firmly.
Blisters are a small swelling or pocket of fluid in the upper skin layers
Blisters are one of the body’s responses to protect itself.
Blisters occur when the feet get hot and sweaty, with friction, rubbing or increased pressure against the skin, a blister is formed.
The result is a raised lump filled with clear fluid. It may or may not contain blood, often the surrounding skin will be red and tender.
If a blister breaks or if they are severe or occur in people at risk of foot problems such as those with diabetes or PVD (Peripheral Vascular Disease), they require protection and appropriate treatment as there is often risk of infection.
CBD Podiatry – Melbourne will be able to provide treatment, protective dressings and advice on blister management, recommending appropriate preventative measures.
If you are having trouble with a blister or have reoccurring blisters we can help. BOOK NOW
A bunion is the term used for a deviated position of the big toe and enlargement of the big toe joint.
Bunions are most often caused by poor foot mechanics, they can be hereditary and exacerbated by footwear and activities that put extra pressure on the big toe joint. As the big toe begins to deviate from the midline of the body, the joint can become painful as bony changes and stiffness develop around the big toe joint.
Secondary issues such as corns and calluses can develop under the ball of the foot and around the big toe area. A bunion may also affect the big toe nail and cause in-growing or pain around the nail.
A foot with a bunion is a more unstable foot.
CBD Podiatry – Melbourne will be able to assess the severity of the bunion and advise you on the best possible treatment. Unfortunately you will never be able to get rid of a bunion without surgery, but if you require treatment for the secondary issues or would like to know more about slowing the progression of your bunion and stabilising your feet CBD Podiatry – Melbourne are more than happy to assist. BOOK NOW
Corns and calluses can be easily and painlessly removed by a skilled Podiatrist, CBD Podiatry – Melbourne will be able help you with this! BOOK NOW
Corns and calluses occur as a result of pressure and friction on the skin of your foot, the skin will thicken up to protect itself where there are areas of high pressure.
Build up of a corn or callus usually occurs when footwear is too tight, if you have a toe deformity, bony prominence or biomechanical abnormality.
calluses are generally a larger area of thickened skin and is often found around the ball of the big toe and back of the heels and can sometimes be painful.
A corn is a smaller area of hardened skin usually round and deeper than a callus; it does not have a root but a deep focal point of skin and is usually found over a bony area. Corns can be more uncomfortable than a callus, if left untreated corns can cause underlying infection, especially in clients with Diabetes or reduced blood flow to the feet (PVD). This can be a serious problem and the start of an ulcer that can be difficult to heal.
There are also other types of corns called soft corns they are found between the toes are a result of too much squeezing of the toes together usually from tight footwear or not drying between the toes.
Removal of a callus or corn is a painless procedure
CBD Podiatry – Melbourne treats corns and callus by removing the hard skin; this is painless and will give immediate relief and can be performed on the day of your appointment.
We will also provide advice on how to prevent reoccurrence of corns and callus – if you don’t take away the pressure or friction then your corn or callus will return.
Our treatment may include:
- Assessment of the feet and footwear to determine the cause of the corn or callus
- Footwear advice
- Biomechanical assessment and the use of customised orthotics to prevent pressure and friction in the foot
- Regular appointments to maintain reduction of the corn or callus
- Padding to prevent pressure
- Surgical referral for correction of bony prominences, if they cannot be managed conservatively
Avoid remedies such as corn paint, cure or plasters as these will only treat the symptom of the corn, not the problem that causes it. In some cases, particularly for people with Diabetes and reduced blood flow (PVD) can make the problem worse.
People with diabetes may suffer foot problems, yet with regular assessment, appropriate advice and a simple daily foot care, issues can be significantly reduced.
The Podiatrist at CBD Podiatry – Melbourne has 21 Years of experience dealing with diabetes and Diabetic foot complications and can give you simple advice on how to prevent issues associated with diabetes.
It is essential that a person with diabetes has annual assessments and regular foot care.
CBD Podiatry – Melbourne will assist you by:
- Conducting an examination to look for signs of decreased circulation, decreased nerve sensation, bone and joint changes
- Providing advice on suitable footwear, socks, insoles and devices to relieve pressure and pain to abnormal sensitive sites on the feet
- Trimming nails to prevent them becoming thickened and ingrown
- Reducing calluses and corns
- Treating blisters, cuts and sores so they do not become ulcers or infected
- Making sure any infection or wound or signs of a foreign object in the foot is treated promptly and properly
We will also provide you with advice if you have any issues OR any of the following issues; arch pain, cracked heels, dry skin, fungal nails and tinea – all common issues associated with diabetes and the feet.
A person with diabetes should seek advice when they notice anything abnormal with their feet, prevention is simple.
First Aid Management for Diabetics
If you experience a new cut or sore be sure to manage this properly, do not ignore it!
Clean the effected area with saline solution, apply an iodine based antiseptic* and cover with a hypoallergenic dressing. Repeat this daily until healed, if there are no signs of healing with in 48 hours seek professional advice. *Some people have allergy to iodine based products
If the cut or sore becomes red, inflamed or is infected seek advice immediately.
If you have had a cut or sore for a while and you have ignored it, seek professional advice immediately as the above instructions may not be the appropriate management for you.
A flat foot or “pronated” foot type is the absence or structural lowering of the arch of the foot when standing…. Sound like you?
A flat or pronated foot type can cause pain in the foot, ankle, lower leg, knee and lower back. Sometimes weakness in the lower legs or swelling on the inside of the ankle and often, uneven shoe wear.
Symptoms associated with pronated feet can be for a variety of reasons generally related to lifestyle factors, such as physical activities, occupation, shoe selection, and factors associated with weight.
CBD Podiatry – Melbourne are able to prevent and manage foot complications among people with flat feet by discussing symptoms, perform biomechanical examination and gait analysis, assessing footwear and possibly fitting custom, or off-the-shelf orthotics. In some instances we may refer you for a surgical opinion, if required.
Flat arches in young children are normal and they will develop arches while growing.
If a child begins to walk oddly, trip often, limps while walking, or complains about calf muscle pain or any other pains around the foot area they should be examined for any issues. This may prevent more serious issues occurring.
If you are unsure or concerned about your child it is recommended that you get a professional opinion. BOOK NOW
Nail fungus infections are caused when fungi infects the nail plate and the soft tissue beneath the nail. This is called onycomycosis and is caused primarily by organisms called dermatophytes, this is extremely common. Yeasts and moulds can also be responsible
Fungal nail infection has little to do with personal cleanliness, a trauma as simple as banging a toe or finger, trimming your nails too closely or wearing tight shoes are reasons to weaken the nail and expose the underlying nail bed to infection.
Toenails are most vulnerable to fungal infection, as they spend much of their day surrounded by dark, warm, and often moist, shoes and socks.
An infection may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. As the nail fungus spreads, it may cause your nail to discolour, thicken and develop crumbling edges. You may feel pain in your toes and detect a slightly unpleasant odour.
Thick toenails, in particular, may cause discomfort in shoes and may even make standing and walking uncomfortable for some people.
The fungal infection can spread to other nails, and possibly to other people, that’s why it is important to seek treatment as soon as you think you may be affected.
CBD Podiatry – Melbourne can diagnose and identify the fungus, treat the toenail(s) to manage thickness and shape. We will discuss footwear and offer advice on treatment solutions to get rid of, and prevent further spread of, the fungus.
There are no overnight solutions to getting rid of nail fungus and it will not go away by itself, but with persistence and the right treatment and it can be resolved.
Some people are more susceptible to nail fungus. Ageing and diabetes are common risk factors for several reasons, including decreased circulation, more years of exposure to fungi and nails may grow more slowly and thicken with age making them more susceptible.
Other factors that can increase your risk of developing nail fungus include tinea on the feet, heavy perspiration, synthetic footwear and frequent exposure to damp places such as pools, gyms and shower rooms.
A Hammer-toe is a painful deformity where the toe bends unnaturally. Do you have one?
The most obvious sign of a hammer-toe is a bent toe that can be painful and become stiff during movement.
A Hammer-toe is caused when muscles fail to work in a balanced manner and the toe joints bend to form the hammer shape. If they remain in this position the muscles and tendons supporting them tighten and stay that way. This is can happen over a period of years.
A Hammer-toe can develop on any of the toes, but generally affects the middle three and, most often, the second toe.
Arthritis and nerve and muscle damage from diabetes and footwear choices can all contribute to the development of hammer-toes. Hammer-toes can also be genetic.
A hammer-toe commonly develops painful corns on the tops of the toes from rubbing on footwear and painful calluses under the ends of the toes from pressure.
CBD Podiatry – Melbourne can assist you by slowing the progression of your Hammer-toe, corn or callus removal, footwear advice, providing the right type of support to balance and show you ways to strengthen your toes. Orthotic therapy may be required or, in some instances we may refer for surgical opinion, where necessary.
Common conditions associated with heel pain are plantar faciitis or bursitis although there are many different reasons for heel pain depending on your foot type, footwear and your activities this could also include your occupation. Read more about plantar fasciitis
How do we treat heel pain?
At CBD Podiatry – Melbourne our treatment will generally require a biomechanical examination of the foot and lower limb and we may recommend or apply some of the following treatments depending on the diagnosis of your problem.
- Activity modification
- Appropriate footwear
- Application of Ice packs
- Massaging the foot
- Muscle Strengthening
- Oral Anti-inflammatory tablets
- Orthotic therapy
- Referral for XRay, Ultra sound or MRI
- Stretching exercises
- Surgical referral if required
An ingrown toenail happens when part of the nail pierces the skin, it is often painful and often leads to an infection.
The appearance of an ingrown toenail will vary with severity. Usually the corner or a small spike of nail penetrates into the skin. The toe may not necessarily be infected, but this can develop if the nail penetrates deeper into the skin, the area will then be red, inflamed, painful and pus also maybe present.
Pain is often the main symptom of an ingrown toenail, usually starting as minor discomfort and increases.
What contributes to an ingrown toenail?
- Cutting your toenails too short, this encourages the skin next to the nail to fold over the nail.
- Incorrectly fitted shoes that are tight or short.
- Trauma, such as stubbing your toe, having an object fall on your toe.
- Repeated pressure on the toes during activities such as bushwalking or running.
- Certain other conditions may create greater risk, e.g. a toenail fungal infection or loss of a nail through trauma.
Treating ingrown toenails
CBD Podiatry – Melbourne will determine the most appropriate procedure for you and explain why.
- Painless removal of the nail spike may be possible in early cases.
- Regular treatment is often required as a conservative approach to prevent further ingrown nails, this is recommended for those with diabetes and circulation issues.
- Oral antibiotics. If an infection is present, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed on referral to your doctor.
- Surgery – part of the nail. Surgery may involve numbing the toe and removing a corner of the nail or a larger portion of the nail. A simple procedure performed in the clinic, is commonly needed to ease the pain and remove the offending nail.
- Surgery – the whole nail. This involves numbing the toe and removing the entire nail. Permanent removal prevents the recurrence of an ingrown toenail.
Following nail surgery, a light bandage will be applied. Most people experience very little pain after surgery and may resume normal activity in the next day or two.
Do you have a sharp pain, burning, tingling or numbness between the toes and the ball of the foot, this could be a neuroma?
Anything that causes compression or irritation of the nerve can lead to inflammation and the development of a neuroma. The most common neuroma in the foot is called a Morton’s neuroma, they most often occur between the base of either the second, third and fourth toes.
The most common cause of a neuroma is footwear that is too narrow for the forefoot, or on too much of an angle for the foot to remain stable, often people with certain foot deformities, such as a bunion or hammer-toes are at greater risk of developing a neuroma. Foot type, injury or other types of trauma to the area may also lead to the development of a neuroma.
Early diagnosis of a neuroma greatly lessens the need for more invasive treatments and may avoid surgery.
The symptoms begin gradually and may go away temporarily by massaging the foot or by avoiding the aggravating shoes.
Over time the symptoms progressively worsen and may persist for several days or weeks. The symptoms become more intense as the neuroma enlarges and the temporary changes in the nerve become permanent. Symptoms may include:
- Dull aching
- Sharp pains shooting into your toes
- Pain every time you put on shoes
Prevention is better than cure
Change to shoes with lower heels
Wear supportive shoes with a roomy toe box
Use shoe inserts/orthotics prescribed by a Podiatrist
When to see a Podiatrist
Treatment approaches vary according to the severity of the problem. A Podiatrist will be able to provide advice and an effective treatment depending on the severity of the condition. Surgery may be considered in patients who have not received adequate relief from other treatments. Generally, there are two surgical approaches to treating a neuroma—the affected nerve is either removed or released.
Foot Orthotics are made to support the feet and to prevent reoccurrence of foot, ankle, lower limb and other skeletal pains and conditions.
Foot Orthotics are not just “arch supports” that fill under the arch of the foot, they are designed to stabilise the whole foot.
Each orthotic is designed and customised for you individually to guide the mechanics of the foot to a precise degree. The individual design of each orthotic will help the bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons and plantar fascia of your feet perform in a more efficient manner.
Good design of orthotics will make a strong foundation to support your body and in most cases relief of symptoms.
At CBD Podiatry – Melbourne, customised orthotics will only be prescribed after a comprehensive biomechanical assessment.
There are different types of orthotics that we use at CBD Podiatry – Melbourne; customised orthotics are made by accurate prescription to fit you individually as explained above.
Other types of Orthotics are prefabricated, they are soft foam or semi-flexible plastic Orthotics, these are off-the-shelf devices, meaning that they have been designed and manufactured by professionals to fit most feet and are packaged, ready in stock at CBD Podiatry – Melbourne.
The Podiatrist at CBD Podiatry – Melbourne may have to change or adjust the orthotic to best fit your feet and your footwear to achieve the therapeutic effect the Podiatrist has diagnosed as necessary.
The Podiatrist at CBD Podiatry – Melbourne can assess your feet for Orthotics as Orthotics can help and prevent potential future problems occurring.
Orthotics can help if you have:
- Ankle sprains
- Arch pain
- callus Formation
- Flat feet
- Heel Pain
- Knee pain
- Lower back pain
- Shin pain
- Plantar fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common painful problems we treat as podiatrists, people often say;
“it’s a sharp stabbing pain right through the bottom of my foot”
“I get the stabbing pain first thing in the morning when I get out of bed – it gets better as I take a few steps”
Is this you? At CBD Podiatry – Melbourne we can assist you with this.
Plantar Fasciitis or pain under the heel is an inflammation of the connective tissue or fascia that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot, this can be caused by many different reasons from foot type, footwear or a trauma such as jumping and landing too hard on the heel.
Without early treatment plantar fasciitis can become chronic and take a very long time to heal. A bony spur may be present under the heel, but this may or may not be painful.
At CBD Podiatry – Melbourne our treatment will generally require a biomechanical examination of the foot and recommending one or more of the following treatments:
- Application of ice packs
- Massaging the foot
- Anti-inflammatory tablets
- Stretching exercises
- Muscle strengthening
- Appropriate footwear
- Orthotic therapy – the most effective treatment for this type of condition
- Referral for X-Ray, Ultrasound or MRI
- Surgical referral if required
During pregnancy a woman’s body will change, feet will often become swollen and your centre of gravity will be altered.
In the later stages of pregnancy for better stability the feet may turn out this can put greater pressure on the lower back, knees and feet. With a change in gait or walking pattern the big toenails also experience extra pressure and can often grow in if they are not managed properly.
It is common for pregnant women to experience pain in the feet, as the tendons, muscles and ligaments of the feet are under more stress than usual. It is common to have to change to better fitting footwear with greater support during your pregnancy.
If you are at all unsure about the changes in your feet come along to CBD Podiatry for a consultation and advice.
Sever’s Disease is a heel pain injury that occurs in children usually between the ages of 8 – 14.
Sever’s Disease is a condition of growth, where rapidly growing bones of the lower leg pull on the muscles and tendons down the back of the calf to where the Achilles tendon inserts onto the heel bone.
Pain occurs at the back of the heel bone or under the heel bone.
This is common overuse injury in active children who are also having a rapid growth spurt.
Complaints of pain or discomfort will often be heard following participation in sporting activities usually after running or jumping. Limping off the court or sporting field is commonly seen.
Does this sound like your child? CBD Podiatry – Melbourne is here to assist!
We can provide a biomechanical assessment of your child’s feet and lower legs and recommend a treatment plan and footwear advice to suit. Occasionally, Orthotic therapy maybe required.
This condition usually settles down within 6 – 12 months. However, it is important to address the presenting issues, as long-term damage to the can occur to the growth plate of the heel bone.
Stress fractures are injuries to the bones, common especially among athletes and the elderly.
They are caused by excessive stress on the bones and may develop over days, weeks or months.
This stress could be because of biomechanical imbalance, medical conditions affecting the bones (eg: osteoporosis), or steroid medications.
Other factors that usually contribute to stress fractures are low body weight, poor nutrition, physical stress and high training intensity. Younger athletic children involved in multiple sports can also be more prone to stress fractures.
Common signs of a stress fracture are usually gradual and hardly noticeable at first, the onset of pain and swelling gets worse with activity and improves with rest. It is important to manage these symptoms to avoid a broken bone.
Follow standard management, rest the injured area as much as possible, apply an ice pack for 20 minutes every hour as long as swelling persists, compress the ankle and foot firmly (not tightly) wrapped elastic bandage, elevate the foot to minimise swelling.
Consult a podiatrist or GP if you are worried about the injury, or the pain or swelling has not gone down significantly within 48 hours.
An accurate diagnosis is essential for proper rehabilitation of moderate to severe injuries
CBD Podiatry – Melbourne can assist you with diagnosis, management of symptoms and rehabilitation for gradual return to your activities. BOOK NOW
(commonly known as planter wart, verruca, papilloma or HPV)
The exact cause of a wart is not clearly understood!
Warts are a viral infection (Human Papilloma Virus, HPV) and over time, develop into a hard, rough growth with tiny red, brown or black spots on the plantar surface of the skin. They also can appear spongy and are often confused as corns or calluses.
A wart is most commonly seen on the bottom of the foot but can also appear on the top, they are mostly harmless, but can often be painful and annoying and if left untreated can increase in size and form clusters called mosaic warts.
Warts can spread by touching, scratching and bleeding and can persist for years and occasionally spontaneously disappear then reoccur in the same area. Children, teens, and people with allergies or weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to the wart (HPV) virus. It is also believed that the HPV virus may be spread easily in public places like showers, gyms and locker rooms.
At CBD Podiatry – Melbourne we have to latest in technology Cryopen B to treat warts or HPV virus.
We will assess your feet to make sure you definitely have a wart and depending on the size and location we will recommend the most appropriate treatment.
Often over the counter wart preparations can be messy and take a long time to treat a wart, they can also be dangerous if you have diabetes or peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Although in some circumstances they can be useful. There are more efficient treatments these include cryotherapy with Cryopen B or in more extreme circumstances surgical removal, all of these treatments can be performed in the clinic at CBD Podiatry – Melbourne.
If you think that you have a wart and would like to do something about it or to seek professional advice, warts and all we are able to help!
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