Health | Tuesday, 26 November 2008

Foot problems

The Question: I have had pain on the joint of the right large toe since some time, especially if I wear shoes. The joint has also thickened. Is this ganglion?

The Problem: This is certainly possible that you have ganglion. The overload forms a benign ulcer in the area of the joint capsule and can thereby cause pain. However ganglion is often pain free for a long time and tends to occur more on the hands.
It is more likely that you have early hallux valgus (bunion-when your big toe is angled towards your second toe causing a bump on the side at the base of the big toe.) This very frequent occurring change in the area of the large toe joint is connected with severe pain. In most cases hallux valgus develops as a consequence of spread foot. Here in the longitudinal arch of the frontal foot drops, and the metatarsal bones (the bones that travel out to each toe) move outwards.

The consequence: The pad area is widened and the stability of the frontal foot is reduced. In a normal shoe, the foot is compressed. To avoid the lateral pressure the large toe in particular moves out to the centre. This causes point pressure on the joint, with the consequence that the bursa ( a fluid filled sac developed over the joint due to the inflammation of skin tissues) becomes inflamed. Such an inflammation is very painful, and on the other hand it leads to swelling in the joint area. If this malposition is not counteracted in a timely manner, the ligaments and the muscles of the large toe shorten, and the malposition stiffens.

The Solutions: In the early stages, targeted physiotherapy helps in strengthening the holding apparatus of the foot. Selecting the right shoes, also helps to provide relief.
Cushions between the toes gently correct the malpositions of the toes and pressure relief cushions provide protection against excessive pressure on the large toe joint. You should definitely discuss the problem with your physician and foot care specialist.

For your personal advice contact our Podiatry Clinic on 21 42 44 01/2/3 Freephone : 800 74 100 or email on



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26 November 2008

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