My toes

I have always worked at a job where I was on my feet. I retired and then went back to work and now all the sudden it seems as if my toes are too close together and I get blisters from them rubbing together. They itch and burn and I have tried foot creams, no shoes, shoes and nothing is helping.

I put gauge between my toes to sperate them but it goesn't help much. It was just on qne foot but now its both. I don't have diabeties and I'm not overweight. I am 67 years old and this started just about a year ago. I have used ice that helps some but i was wondering if toe seperators would help. I had to quit my job because I thought it was from being on my feet again so now I have been off work almost a year. But now there still giving me fits.
I rub them but if I scratch them from the itching they get hot and turn red and make blisters. Please help me. Thank you

I'd start by seeing a podiatrist. It's possible you have an infection, fungal for example.

Then what's needed is a careful examination to see if you have metatarsalgia, or a Morton's neuroma, fixated joints in the midfoot or ankle.

Honestly, there are many possibilities; see someone experienced with treating feet.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Burning pain in bottom of feet

by Sandra Hardin
(Newburgh, In)

On Jan 14, 2015, I was getting into the back seat of the car. The car began rolling, stretching my legs apart like the splits. The next day, I was walking up and down a lot of steps looking at Motor Homes. At around 2 that day both feet began to have pain in the balls of both feet.

I have seen many doctors, had x-rays of both feet, showed nothing broken.

The Foot Doctor just by listening where the pain is said it was Metatarsalgia. I agree that the bones were injured, however, but they seem to have healed. I had an MRI Of the Lumbar and it showed bulging disk at L2-L3, after a year and 3 months I have constant burning on bottom of feet unless I am laying down. Walking is very painful.

The only other pain I have is both big toes have pain when I bend them. Most doctors I have saw agree the pain is coming from my spine. I have been going to Therapy for several months. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do.

Dear Sandra,
Obviously since I haven't had the opportunity to examine you, I am unable to be certain about this, so you consider what follows in that light.

I have a pretty strong feeling that the bulge seen at L2-L3 is what is known as an "incidental finding". True, but irrelevant. That level doesn't supply the bottom of the feet.

I think your Foot Doctor is probably spot on. This sounds very like metatarsalgia; more usually it affects the second and third metatarsals but in your case probably the great toes.

Diabetes and a peripheral neuralgia should be considered too.

Look for a chiropractor who specialises in treating feet.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Jan 29, 2018
Continued feet problem
by: Sandi Hardin

After thee years with the problem getting to the point of no walking without extreme pain on the bottom of my feet, and discovery of a pinched nerve at L5, had back surgery to remove bolts and screws from a Back Fusion in 2004.

This dis stopped the Pins and Needles in the tops of all 10 toes. Stopped other pains also but did not stop the pain in the bottom of feet that goes from toes to pads. It can be tingling or numbness. Have no ideal how to find a Chiropractor who does feet. Any help on that? Thanks.

Hello Sandi,
Clearly this is complex with some symptoms related to spinal stenosis, and others to a diabetic neuropathy.

Interesting research that diabetics who walk every day have far less neuropathy; the exercises lowers your blood sugar.

But you probably have great difficulty walking, so I would recommend you go and swim every day. That too will lower your blood glucose.

And the best you can do for your back is some gentle lower back exercises done every morning before getting out of bed.

Have a look at our heart stroke diabetes page; research shows that nearly half the deaths are caused by dietary factors. Too much of some, like salt, and too little of others like nuts and seeds; all things that you can change.

How is your weight? Is this Type II diabetes? If so, get it off or you will be miserable for the rest of your life, and die long before your time.

In short, it seems to me that you have to help yourself; these are things that no doctor can do for you; you have to do them yourself.

Read up on the term 'glycemic index' of starches. It's key for diabetics.

Dr Barrie Lewis

Heart stroke diabetes

Jun 19, 2016
by: Sandi

Thanks for your response. Tested for peripheral neuropathy; negative.

I have just recently been told I have DIABETES. I am going for therapy once again starting Monday. I had MRI of left foot showed cyst and Spurs.

Hello Sandi,
Well done on having the diabetes test; sorry it's positive. If you need to lose weight, they do it. Diabetes is an awful disease if you don't follow the rules, and right now you can't walk, the important part of the regimen. Get it off.

It means a complete change of lifestyle, and a move to low GI foods; white flour products, sugar, white rice and potatoes are for high and holy days only.

You may also have plantar myofascitis.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Drain girl

by Thelma
(Gauteng, South Africa)

Swollen ankle

Swollen ankle

My name is Thelma. It's now 3 weeks back I fell in a drain; the drain was not so big, cause u can't actually see the drain because it's covered with grass.

Anyway my right foot did get worse sore; I went to the hospital immediately, but they took xrays and said nothing is broken.

because it was really swelled up badly that time, and they gave me pain tablets and an injection;that was the friday,

The next friday passed and I stil have a lot of pain an my foot is swelled, so the next tuesday my husband take me to a general doctor just to check why it's swelled and still so painful; the doctor checked my foot an said he is worried why its still swelled and so blue.

Ok he gave me also pain tablets and wintergreen to rub my foot,then he said I must come back the next tuesday if it's still swelled; I was supposed to go but I don't have the money to pay the doctor, so now its the 3rd week and I can't still tramp on my foot an my ankle is still swelled.

Hello Thelma,

The rule is: if it's still swollen and blue after a week, retake the x-rays. Often the crack can't be seen if the picture is taken immediately. There may be a fracture lurking there, unseen. Ankle fracture ...

Start to ice your ankle daily and whilst sitting wriggle the foot and ankle. It helps to disperse the swelling.

An ankle guard would help. It needs to be tight.

You have at least torn some ligaments and most likely displaced a bone in the ankle. When you turn your ankle like that, the talus or calcaneus are often subluxated. That needs to be checked and the displacement reduced otherwise your foot and ankle will just go on being sore.

Keep the weight off it. Use a crutch.

More at Ankle sprain treatment ...

Start with a new x-ray. Sorry, but this is going to cost you money.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Subtalar joint damage causing 20 years of pain

by Chris
(Florida USA)

Diagram of ankle anatomy

Diagram of ankle anatomy

I have had subtalar joint pain for 20 years. I am age 61.

When I was 41 I had a very bad sprain. It seemed to heal quickly but the damage was lurking underneath. A year after the sprain it began to hurt again and has hurt ever since.

Health care here is very fragmented. It is impossible to have one person follow your condition. With the sprain I took care of it myself basically. I was only seen one time. Now I cannot walk on my heel for 20 years.

I was a very active hiker and loved the outdoors. I miss that. I believe my life will end sooner than it should from missing the hiking that I loved so much. All I can do is ride a bike, and I do that very well. I am healthy everywhere except in my ankle.

I miss walking and being free to walk where and when I please. Every doctor I see tells me I am not a surgical case. "Wear an orthotic" they say, which does nothing to help the condition. I feel like my foot is swollen deep inside, not on the surface. That's all.

Hello Chris,
The best I have to offer is to recommend you start hunting for someone with a FICS qualification; sports chiropractic specialisation. Phone your local state association.

We work with feet all the time and I think it likely you can get at least some relief; how much is difficult to assess after twenty years; don't expect miracles.

You might also start our ankle exercises; they are simple.

You are right; the family practitioner whom you consult for decades is a rare breed today.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Bilateral Paraethesia in feet

by Angela
(Somerset. UK)

Good morning.... please help. Following a period of 4 weeks in bed due to an infection in September 2014 I now have CONSTANT bilateral nerve pain in my feet and generalised pain in my toes, arches of my feet and calf muscles.

I've had an MRI which showed the following : moderate disk degeneration at L3/L4 and L4/L5. Also mild circumferential disk bulging at the same point. No sign of any obvious nerve impingement.

The spinal surgeon I saw felt that my condition would not warrant any type of invasive treatment and has discharged me. I've seen a private physio who gave me some stretches and some ultrasound .... with no effect.

I've seen a Chiropractor who gave me 6 treatments and Acupuncture with little effect ....

Medication wise I'm taking Pregabalin 100mg BD and Naproxen BD ....

I am a Staff Nurse and am finding it extremely difficult to continue working due to the constant and very distressing pain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hello Angela,
There are lots of ifs and buts and maybes. There are really lots of possibilities.

Start by pressing quite hard on the metatarsal-phalangeal joints, especially the third and second toes. Is it inordinately tender? Do you have callus formation under the ball of the foot?

Ask a friend to apply a little oil to the soles of the feet, and then run the heel of her hand down your foot from the toes towards the heel. Again is it very tender?

Let me know and we'll take it further from there. Keep to this thread.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Apr 26, 2016
metatarsal-phalangeal joints
by: Anonymous

thank for your comment .... metatarsal-phalangeal joints don't seem particularly tender/painful .... sole of foot from toes to heel is a little tender.... feels tight.

That could be a symptom of something else like a peripheral neuralgia, or it cause be the cause of all your problems.

Does this feel like sore feet, or a referral from elsewhere?

Have a test for diabetes. Are you significantly overweight?

At our metatarsalgia page you'll find some stretches for the plantar fascia, putting your toes on the plinth, and the calf muscles; then ask a friend to do some deep massage of the underside of your feet and the soleus muscles, stretching the achilles tender.

What's needed here is a diagnosis, and I'm just throwing out ideas.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Achilles issue for roughly a year.

by Thomas
(Los Angeles)

Achilles issue for roughly a year; did you rupture the tendon, sprain the ankle or did this start spontaneously?

I'm starting to have spasms and twitching in my extremities. Is it possible this is a result of the untreated achilles issue? IS there a muscle or nerve toxin released from having it untreated that could cause such?

What's needed here is a diagnosis and that means a consult with a neurologist. I doubt that these spasms are related to your achilles tendon.

Don't leave it; see your doctor.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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