Toes – what are they good for? Well, for one thing, they help us keep our balance. To prove it, try this brief, toe-less experiment:
-Stand on one foot and lift your toes off the ground.
-Hang out for a bit.
-Now, place your toes back on the ground.
-Hang out some more.
-Admit: it was easier to balance on one leg when your toes were involved, right?
Toes also make walking efficient because we use them to push off and keep moving forward. So, walking, running, balancing – toes are essential to these basic functions.
When your toes are not in tip-top shape, you’re going to notice. Here are some common ailments of the toes and how they affect your daily living.
- Bunions. These bony bumps at the base of your big toe can make wearing shoes difficult or impossible, they can lead to arthritis and damage to your other toes, and make walking painful. And if you accidentally bump that bump – you will see many stars.
- Hammertoes. These are toes that don’t lie flat; they point upward in the middle, causing pain and instability, as well as corns and calluses.
- Arthritis. Inflammation of the toe joints can be painful and really limit your ability to move around.
- Hallux rigidus. This form of arthritis makes your big toe stiff and inflexible. An inflexible big toe doesn’t do a great job of pushing off and moving you forward. Plus, it hurts – sometimes a lot.
- Ingrown toenails. When the edge of your toenail – often the big toe – curves around and starts growing into the skin, it can become red, painful, even infected, and make walking extremely painful. (We’ve heard women comment that the pain from their ingrown toenail was worse than childbirth!).
Any of these toe anomalies can interfere with your ability to live life to the fullest. That’s why Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland exists. Our podiatrists – Megan L. Oltmann, DPM and Craig B. Frey, DPM -welcome you to our office, conveniently located in the great community of Solon, Ohio, where we can offer you a full range of treatments to keep you balanced and moving forward! Give us a call at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online.