Find Answers to Your Questions About Foot Care and Injury Prevention

Our Palm Desert podiatry team fields questions daily. Do you have a question about how to manage your foot pain? Do you have a question about the safety of a current footwear fad? Do you want to know more about foot and ankle injury prevention? If so, we hope you find the answers you need here.

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  • What are the signs of a pinched nerve?

    A pinched nerve is another term for nerve that has excessive pressure placed on it. When this condition develops in the foot, it can bring a great deal of discomfort. The signs of a pinched nerve include tingling and numbness in the ball of your foot, burning in the ball of your foot, swelling and pain between your toes, and pain in the forefoot or ball of the foot when weight is placed on the foot. Most commonly, we hear our patients complain of pain in their toes while walking.

    Foot pain is a warning sign that something is wrong and should be addressed. If you are experiencing these symptoms, we encourage you to contact our office at the very start. A neuroma can get worse and greatly impact your activity level and quality of life if left untreated. We have several conservative treatment options to help alleviate your discomfort—contact our Palm Desert, CA office today for an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan that will get rid of your pain. Call (760) 568-0108, or request an appointment online.  

  • Can toes get stress fractures?

    A stress fracture is a tiny break in a bone. It is sometimes called a “hairline” break, and it can absolutely occur in any one of your toes. Your toes are an integral part of creating the motion needed in any movement you do. They help propel you forward and provide balance while standing, walking or running.  Prolonged stress or pressure on your toes can lead to a bone breaking. A stress fracture starts as a small crack, and while it may seem as though having one in a toe isn’t particularly serious, it can worsen if left untreated. A stress fracture can lead to a bone breaking apart completely.

    If you have sustained an injury or have pain, tenderness or limited mobility in your toes, please contact Dr. Harvey Danciger for proper diagnosis and treatment. Call our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108. 

  • Are lasers good for treating fractures?

    Certain lasers are beneficial in treating fractures.  The MLS laser from Cutting Edge is such a laser.  The treatments can reduce swelling and promote healing of the fracture site.  There is also a reduction in pain as a result of using this laser.  Patients have seen the positive benefits of this form of treatment along with normal fracture care.  They notice a decrease in pain and quicker healing.

     

    If you have a fracture and are interested in having this laser therapy, make an appointment in our Palm Desert office with Dr. Danciger.

  • What is the difference between a broken and a fractured toe?

    This is a common question we hear and the answer is often misunderstood. When it comes to fractures and breaks, the answer is that there is no difference at all. A fracture is just the medical term for a broken bone. Sometimes a fracture is considered to be a “lesser” injury, often called a hairline break, but the reality is that it is a break, plain and simple. Of course, there can be varying degrees when it comes to broken bones. There are displaced, non-displaced, open, and closed, each requiring a different form of treatment.

    This is important to understand because an injury you may consider to be a “minor fracture” is still a broken bone and needs to be evaluated and treated. If you suspect a broken bone in your toe, foot or ankle, do not wait to call Dr. Danciger for diagnosis and treatment. Call our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108. 

  • Why do my toes look scrunched up?

    There are a couple of conditions that may be occurring. Hammertoe and mallet toe are two common abnormalities that result in toes changing shape. Aside from looking odd and not lying flat, they can also be painful.                                            

    Both deformities can be caused by a muscle imbalance that forces the toe out of its normal position. The most common factor involved is wearing shoes with tight, narrow toe boxes or high heels. Toe muscles and tendons can contract, shorten, and pull on the toes while wearing them, and the “scrunched” up toes may not be able to straighten even when shoes are off.  With hammertoe, the toe curls up at the middle joint, and with mallet toe, the joint nearest the toenail is affected.

    Early treatment is crucial with these types of deformities as they can become fixed and more painful when left alone. Contact Dr. Harvey Danciger for treatment as soon as you see signs of your toes changing in appearance.

  • Does everyone need surgery if you have a Bunion?

    Not every person that has a bunion needs surgery.  There are patients that have the deformity of hallux valgus or a bunion but are being seen for a different problem.  They have no complaints of pain, redness, swelling or problems with the bunion.  They can do all the activities they want to with no restrictions.  If that is the case, surgery is not needed at this time.

     

    If you are suffering from pain in the bunion area, we are here to help.  Come visit us in our Palm Desert office by calling 760-568-0108 or scheduling an appointment online.

  • Why are my toes not lined up properly?

    When toes twist, turn, or bend in different directions, it can be unsightly and painful. If your toes are misaligned, or are lying on top of each other, you may have an overlapping or underlapping problem.

    This condition typically affects the fourth and fifth toes, although there are cases where all five toes are affected.  The exact cause isn’t known, but heredity seems to be a factor. The alignment problem stems from a muscle imbalance that pulls on the ligaments of the toes, causing them to move out of place. Tight-fitting shoes can aggravate this problem too. If your toes are curling up rather than lying on top of or under other toes, it’s possible you have hammertoe or mallet toe.

    Each of these conditions will worsen over time without appropriate treatment. Contact Dr. Harvey Danciger at the first sign of an abnormal development with your feet. Call our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108.

  • Do I need foot surgery for heel pain and a spur?

    It is rare that surgery is needed for pain associated with plantar fasciitis or a heel spur.  95% or more of the people get relief with conservative care which may include night splints, laser treatments, insoles, icing, and change in shoes, stretching, orthotic devices, or rarely an injection.

     

    Heel pain and a spur on the back the calcaneous (heel) may require surgery if conservative care does not afford the patient relief or symptoms.

  • What causes diabetic nerve pain?

    Diabetic nerve pain stems from a condition called neuropathy. This is a common condition with diabetes in which nerves become damaged. High glucose levels can damage the walls of the small blood vessels that nourish the nerves in your body. The result is destroyed nerve cells, which can lead to pain and a variety of other symptoms. Diabetic neuropathy most often impacts the nerves in the legs and the feet. Not controlling your blood glucose levels increases your risk for neuropathy, as well as smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

    Symptoms of neuropathy include burning, tingling, loss of sensation, sharp pain, sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness, loss of coordination, ulcers, and infections. Please contact our office as soon as possible if you have diabetes and are experiencing any one of these symptoms. Make an appointment with Dr. Harvey Danciger by calling our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108.

  • What is Morton’s neuroma?

    This common condition is often discovered when patients report a constant pain in the ball of their foot. Morton’s neuroma is a swelling or thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves that leads to your toes. The most common location for this to develop is the area between your third and fourth toes.

    This foot problem is most commonly caused by repeatedly wearing shoes that squeeze the toes and forefoot. High heels are one style that can cause this condition to occur over time. The inflamed tissue can lead to sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot and numbness that radiates to the toes. Symptoms are often aggravated with walking or activity, and patients often describe feeling as though a pebble were stuck in their shoe.

    We have several conservative treatment options available, and surgery is an option if needed. If you have ball-of-foot pain, contact Dr. Danciger for diagnosis and treatment before it gets worse. Call our office at (760) 568-0108.  

  • Why do my feet smell?

    The odor you smell is caused from bacteria on the feet.  Some people are more susceptible to having smelly feet than others.  People’s feet sweat different amounts and if the shoes are damp, the bacteria and fungus grow causing odor in the shoes and subsequently in the foot. 

     

    There are some things you can do to try and decrease the smell.  Wash your feet daily with a good cleansing solution and water.  Make sure your feet are dry, use powders on them and if needed change your socks during the day if they become wet.  Put antifungal powders in your shoes at night.  Sometimes medication is needed to reduce the amount of sweating that occurs on the feet.

     

    If you are embarrassed to remove your shoes due to smelly feet, call our office, (760) 568-0108, for an appointment and see what can be done to eliminate the odors.

  • Can I avoid diabetic nerve damage?

    Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent nerve damage. The most important is to keep your blood glucose levels in your target range. This involves a daily commitment to maintaining the right eating habits and exercising. There is a lab test called the A1C test that provides you with your average blood glucose level for the past 2-3 months. This helpful tool shows if you are staying on track and should be done a couple of times a year.

    If you have diabetes, carrying extra weight increases your risk for nerve damage. Make a concerted effort to follow a balanced diet and exercise plan if you need to lose weight. It is also important to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol use, as both are serious risk factors for nerve damage as well.

    If you are concerned about nerve damage or need help with foot problems, please contact Dr. Harvey Danciger at our Palm Desert, CA office by calling (760) 568-0108. 

  • What is causing my baby toe to hurt and what can be done?

    Pain can stem from an acute injury such as jamming or stubbing your little toe on something. This type of injury could result in bruising, dislocation, or a fracture. Wearing open-toed shoes, sandals, or flip-flops could leave your feet vulnerable to a small sliver or splinter under your skin. Symptoms might include tenderness and redness. Those same shoes can cause irritation if they are too tight.

    A very common problem with the baby toe is a condition called a tailor’s bunion. It has a characteristic bump; similar to a bunion on the side of the big toe, it is just smaller. This is often called a bunionette.

    We can identify the exact reason for your discomfort and provide the treatment to relieve your symptoms. Contact Dr. Harvey Danciger today and make an appointment at our office in Palm Desert, CA by calling (760) 568-0108.

  • How can I prevent sore feet and legs due to flat feet?

    One of the best ways to prevent pain if you have flat feet is to wear shoes that will stabilize the foot and prevent excessive overpronation. When walking or running, good shoes will promote a healthier movement of the foot with each stride. Look for shoes with good arch support and a width to accommodate your foot size. A tight Achilles tendon can also contribute to overpronation, so exercises to stretch the Achilles will be effective against sore feet and legs. Rest and icing at the end of the day can also help soreness and swelling. Dr. Harvey Danciger can fit you with custom orthotic inserts, which are very effective in providing stability and support for patients with flat feet. Physical therapy may also be helpful.

    Call our office at (760) 568-0108 with any questions or concerns. We provide expert care if you need treatment for painful flat feet. 

  • Can I get a bunion by my little toe?

    Yes you can.  The problem is called a Tailors bunion and is a deformity at the 5th metatarsal phalangeal joint area.  The name came about because of the way Tailors sit with their feet crossed and they ended up with pain in this area.  This is where the little toe meets the ball of the foot on the outside part of the foot.  The bump or enlargement can get larger and more painful over time.  Shoes, activities, pressure can cause increased pain, redness and swelling making walking and normal activities very painful and difficult.  Many patients relate they cannot even put a shoe on because of the pain.

     

    No need to suffer.  If you are having this problem, make an appointment with our office so we can help you resume your activities quickly.  Call (760) 568-0108 now.

     

  • How did I get a sore toe?

    If you have recently stubbed or jammed it, the lingering soreness could be from bruising. If it is really painful when moved, you may have even sprained or fractured it. Redness or swelling near the side of the toenail may be due to an ingrown toenail. A corn on the top of a toe or in between two toes that rubs inside your shoes could cause pain.

    A painful big toe may be due to a condition called hallux limitus, which is a stiffening of the toe joint. Gout—a form of arthritis—can attack the big toe joint. A deformity such as bunions or hammertoes could also cause discomfort. Morton’s neuroma and metatarsalgia are two conditions that cause ball of foot pain that can radiate into the toes.

    With so many possible causes, it is important to see Dr. Harvey Danciger to get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment for toe pain. Contact our office at (760) 568-0108 to make an appointment. 

  • What is causing my foot pain and swelling?

    Swelling is from a build up of fluid and could be caused by a foot or ankle injury such as a sprain. Obesity, pregnancy complications, infection, blood clot and venous insufficiency are other reasons for swelling. Foot pain can stem from poor foot structure, stress on bones, ligament damage, tendon or muscle strain, toenail problems, or nerve damage. Heel pain could be from plantar fasciitis or a heel spur, ball of foot pain could be metatarsalgia or sesamoiditis, and flatfeet or high arches could cause arch pain. Other common causes of foot pain include bunions, hammertoes, arthritis, tendonitis, sprains, and fractures.

    Dr. Harvey Danciger should evaluate any symptoms of pain and swelling that last beyond a day or two. See us at the beginning of your symptoms so we can identify the root of your problem and provide effective treatment. Call our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108 to make an appointment. 

  • What is that hard bump on the bottom of my arch?

    The hard bump, or nodule, may very likely be a plantar fibroma.  Patients will come into the office concerned about a growth or lump on the bottom of their foot. They tell me they did not injure their foot and suddenly felt this growth.  The do not know exactly how long it has been there, only that it is there now. More often than not, they relate that while they were bathing they felt this growth on their foot. Some patients tell me there is no pain involved, but others say it hurts with pressure or when they stand or put shoes on.

     

    An ultrasound exam can help determine what the growth is, the extent and size as well.  It can help determine if the lesion is invasive or well localized.  

     

    If you are concerned about a lump in your foot or arch, see Palm Desert Podiatrist, Harvey Danciger DPM, for further care and evaluation.  (760) 568-0108

  • Is my toe infection healing?

    A toe injury can be caused by dropping something heavy on your foot, jamming your toe, an ingrown toenail, or a cut or puncture wound. It is common for a level of pain or inflammation to develop, but the signs of an infection are specific and should be carefully watched.

    If you are monitoring a toe infection, keep an eye on increased pain, redness, swelling, warmth around the affected area, red streaks, drainage of pus, and fever. If these symptoms continue to be present for any length of time, it is likely that your infection is not healing properly or is getting worse. There are cases where a skin or tissue infection can end up infecting the underlying bone if left untreated. For this reason, we want you to contact Dr. Harvey Danciger if the symptoms described here are present beyond a couple of days or are getting worse. Call our office at (760) 568-0108 to make an appointment.

  • Do bunion splints correct bunions?

    The answer is no.  Bunion splints are worn, at times, after surgery to maintain the alignment post operatively, but they will not correct a bunion deformity.  You cannot use a splint to re-align the bones and joint problems with a bunion, also called hallux abducto valgus.