Your foot is made up of 3 sections. Your forefoot is comprised of 4 smaller toes (phalanges) and 1 big toe (hallux). Each one of your smaller toes has 3 bones, as well as 3 joints, whereas your big toe only has 2 joints.
Your midfoot (metatarsal bones) and hindfoot (tarsal bones) make up your foot arches, instep, heel and ankle; these are responsible for weight bearing and propulsion. Your arches contain bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons of your foot, which require a lot of stability and flexibility.
Your toe bones work with your toe and foot flexor, extensor, lumbrical and interossei muscles to move your joints in 4 directions: dorsiflexion (moving toes upward), plantar flexion (moving toes downward towards sole of foot), abduction (move toes outward, away from each other) and adduction (move toes inward, toward each other). Your lower leg muscles have long tendons that cross your ankle and attach to your toe bones to help move them. The extensor digitorum longus and extensor digitorum brevis tendons attach on the top of your toes; the flexor digitorum longus and flexor digitorum brevis tendons attach on the bottom of your toes.
Flat feet, improper footwear, a major injury, or disease of your toe joints, can create an imbalance in your foot, which results in your smaller foot muscles being overpowered by your larger extensor and flexor muscles. Normally your toes will lie flat, however pressure on your toes or at the front of your foot can cause them to bend and curl. Any toes that stay curled have a toe deformity.
These deformities can affect all of your smaller toes, however most frequently you will notice them in your 2nd toe (as this can be the longest of all your toes; even longer than your big toe). You can also experience a toe deformity in more than one toe at a time.
There are 3 types of toe deformities that are very similar - hammer toe, mallet toe, and claw toe. These conditions can either be flexible (your joint has the ability to move) or rigid (your joint has very limited and/or no ability to move). Each of these conditions has unique characteristics in relation to how the toes bend and the degree of deformity; however they share similar symptoms and treatment methods.
Failure to treat these conditions can lead to the development of serious and disabling ways of walking and carrying your body, which can create alignment issues and problems with your hips or knees. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to a breakdown of tissue and/or infection.
Since your toe is constantly rubbing against your shoes, it makes it difficult to find footwear that fits properly. This friction causes corns, calluses, bunions, and sometimes blisters at the point of rubbing. As a result you have constant foot pain in your toe when moving it or walking. This is generally on the top, tip or base of the toe but it can move to the ball of the foot.
Cramping in your toe(s) makes them bend and take on the shape of a claw, hammer or mallet. These are very similar but occur within different areas of your toe joint, depending on which muscles and tendons contract first. The discomfort from this position can radiate from your toe to your foot to your lower leg.
Other symptoms you may encounter include:
Normally your doctor will take your medical history. He/she will look at your foot and toe flexibility and stability, examine your feet for any inflammation (swelling, redness, heat, location of pain) and unusual sensations, and analyze your gait (the way you walk). Occasionally an x-ray may be requested to check for arthritis or bone and joint inflammation. If unsure of the root cause of your deformity, blood tests might be requested to rule out diseases or infections.
It is always better to prevent toe deformities rather than try to fix them after they happen, however that is not always the situation. Toe deformities can be difficult to prevent as your symptoms often start long after you've had the condition. In any case, there are a number of things you can do to keep yourself healthy and prevent further damage.
Wear comfortable, adjustable, low-heeled and roomy shoes that allow your toes to move freely. If purchasing new shoes leave a 1/2 inch space between your longest toe and the inside of the shoe; remember to buy them in the late afternoon, as your feet swell during the day. Properly sized footwear made out of breathable and flexible materials will also help prevent against corns, calluses and bunions (try to avoid vinyl or plastic).
The way you walk can increase your risk of a toe deformity. If you find you wear out the soles of your shoes on one side, you may be a candidate for corrective footwear, orthotics or other foot devices. Check with a foot specialist to be sure. If you start to feel sensitive areas on your feet or toes or the development of a corn, callus or bunion use protective pads to cushion the area.
Regular endurance activities and specific exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the bottom of your feet will help to keep your muscles balanced and your body healthy. Follow this by gently massaging your feet after activities or long periods of standing to ease any tension in your feet. Pair this with a balanced diet to ensure optimum health.
Toe surgery can often help to straighten your toe joint in severe cases when the soft tissues in your toes tighten, become very stiff and permanently fixed (they don't move). However, surgery is not always effective; it may improve the look of your foot, however there's no guarantee the problem won't come back after surgery. It is really dependent on the type and extent of your deformity. There are a few different surgery options available, most involve minor day surgeries.
A tenotomy or tendon transfer is used for flexible toe deformities; this involves releasing and/or repositioning your toe tendon to help straighten your toe.
Arthroplasty is used for rigid toe deformities; this involves trimming or removing part of your toe bone that is causing the friction, irritation or pain. In more severe cases, your entire joint can be replaced with an implant.
Arthrodesis, also known as a toe fusion, is used for chronic cases of rigid toe deformities. This involves removing the cartilage and some bone on both sides of your toe joint. Your toe is straightened and the toe bones are held in place with a removable pin, with the hope that your bones will fuse together over time.
Most of the surgeries require you to elevate your foot and limit weight bearing activities for a while after surgery. Recovery can range from 4 weeks to 6 months depending on your surgery, your commitment to your treatment plan and rehabilitation.
Swelling, pain, increased stiffness, injury to neurovascular bundle, infection, numbness in toe, failure of procedure (deformity comes back and may require more surgery).
Treatment depends on the severity of your deformity; the goal is to relieve pain, reduce friction and transfer pressure from your sensitive areas. If your deformity is flexible, you may be able to manually straighten your toe. If your deformity is rigid, there is extra stress at the ball of your foot that prevents your toe from straightening, and you may require more extensive treatment. Treating your feet as soon as you notice any pain, discomfort, new growths (corns, calluses or bunions) or shape abnormalities is very helpful in overcoming toe deformities. Failure to see improvements with the recommended treatments may make surgery your only option.
The T•Shellz Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief with no side effects. In our opinion, tt is one of the most helpful tools for a foot/toe related injury.
Note: We recommend the Sesamoid T•Shellz Wrap® for toe treatment areas.
We recommend the use of a T•Shellz Wrap®:
This, in turn, improves immune system function which increases the body's ability to eliminate toxins and other waste by-products resulting from damaged tissue. This allows the body to more easily stimulate the self healing process.
Many injuries are the result of trauma to a tendon or muscle, usually causing the tissue to tear. As a result of the tear, your body triggers a natural healing process resulting in pain, inflammation, and the creation of scar tissue, then eventually reinforcing that band-aid solution with flexible tissue (proliferation). Increased blood flow will make this process more quick and efficient in the majority of cases.
This is a very important point. Many people often experience re-injury due to the fact the damaged muscle or soft tissue is tight and the range of motion in the unused joint (due to the intial injury) is restricted. Even the most minor of activities can cause a recovering joint to strain, sprain, or even tear. Every time this happens, your recovery is delayed. This is why using the T•Shellz Wrap® not only now, but also into the future, is wise. Heat energy emitted from the T•Shellz Wrap® is absorbed by tissue, gently warming it, and thereby increasing the elasticity...all without risk of causing further harm and greatly reducing your chances of re-injury.
Osteoarthritis in the knee is quite common and occurs when the articular cartilage begins to degenerate. Over time, the femur (upper leg bone) rubs against the tibia (lower leg bone) with little or no protection from the articular cartilage. This lead to pain in the knee joint. The space within the joint starts to decrease without the cushioning and stiffness in the knee becomes a problem. The T•Shellz Wrap® excels at emitting a soothing heat, allowing for less stiffness and better range-of-motion. It obviously won't fix arthritis, but it will help alleviate the symptoms and perhaps reduce your risk of secondary strain injuries by improving tissue flexibility in the area.
Use the T•Shellz Wrap® before activity to reduce risk of further injury, before bed to prevent tightness from setting in during the night, and again in the morning to make your tired body come alive.
Believe me when I say this; words alone cannot accurately describe what the T•Shellz Wrap® can do for you. It truly is something you need to experience first-hand.
T•Shellz Wraps® contain a unique Carbon Fiber Energy Pad which is flexible and will shape to conform to your body. This Energy Pad emits a uniform wave of perfectly safe energy over its entire surface. This energy is absorbed by soft tissue in the treatment area, opening blood vessels, resulting in an increase in blood flow. Increased blood circulation is what your body needs to accelerate the healing of soft tissue and this is why we recommend the T•Shellz Wrap®.
The T•Shellz Wrap® is an FDA Registered Medical Device and is suitable for use in therapeutic clinics and FROM HOME. It is completely safe for people and patients to use for themselves.
The technology found in a T•Shellz Wrap® has been used for decades in the worlds of professional and amateur sports - a contributing factor as to why athletes seem to recover from injuries so quickly.
Have you ever wondered by an athlete can return to activity after 3 or 4 weeks following a soft tissue injury - while your average person takes much longer to return back to normal? The secret isn't really that much of a secret - it involves consistent treatments (meaning multiple times a day) using a treatment like the T•Shellz Wrap® to stimulate blood flow to the injured tissues. Most athletes have the luxury of using in-house facilities many times per day.
How many us can afford the time and money to visit a clinic multiple times a day? Very few indeed. This is how you can gain some of the advantages that athletes enjoy in their injury recovery - by using a device like the T•Shellz Wrap® two or three times a day on a consistent basis.
We believe the T•Shellz Wrap® to be one of the most effective home treatments to increase localized blood flow in and around the treatment area.
We can promise that you will receive a product that is designed to be safe and does what it is supposed to do... reduce pain (as stated in "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin) temporarily increase length & flexibility of soft tissue (as stated in "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin) and aid your body in recovering from tendon, muscle and other soft tissue injuries via enhanced blood flow.
The unit plugs into a standard wall outlet to get its power. The nice thing about the power supply is that the same unit can be used in North America and overseas as well. It has the capability to operate between 110v and 230v.
The T•Shellz Wrap® has a special signal controller that can be set for 3 different power levels of application (3=High, 2=Medium, 1=Low). The cord is long enough that you can sit or lie comfortably and watch TV, read or surf the net while you're using it.
Treatments are max 30 minutes in duration and the device can be worn over clothing. This allows you to use the device at work, at home, or really anywhere you have access to an electrical outlet.
The most common question we receive from individuals prior to purchasing is - how many times a day should I be using my wrap and when should I be using them? While treatment plans will differ for each individual and their specific injury, there are general guidelines that should be adhered to.
The T•Shellz Wrap® would then be used:
Dealing with aches and pains affecting the foot, ankle, leg, knee, hamstring, hip, back, arm, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hand? If so, then applying the Arnica Infusion to any of these targeted areas will bring about fast relief from the pain and sore tissues. Simply apply a small amount of cream to the body and moments later, you will experience a soothing and comforting sensation over the area.
Arnica Infusion is specially designed to relieve pain due to sore muscles and joints associated with arthritis, backaches, sprains, strains, and bruises. No matter if you are dealing with an acute injury, chronic pain, or a general "flare-up" - you will experience fast relief from pain and inflammation.
This is a product that many of our current MendMeShop customers asked us to develop. So we focused our time and resources over the past few years and came up, with we believe, will be one of more effective, fast acting, topical pain relief creams on the market.
You are likely familiar with some of the standard topical agents on the market as most of our customers use them. The are mass marketed and even found in most department stores now.
Well, we are here to say that Arnica Infusion goes many steps beyond what they offer.
Made in the USA at an FDA registered manufacturing facility, you can be assured that Arnica Infusion is both safe and effective. We only source top grade ingredients while implementing strict quality control checks during every step of the production process. Expect the same high quality that MendMeShop customers have been accustomed to since we started the company in 2005.
The "Cool Blue" formula is the perfect balance between the smooth application of a cream and the effective absorbing factor of a gel. It is not too thick and not too thin - just the right texture. Best of all, it feels very nice on the skin!
Each application of Arnica Infusion feels so comforting and soothing, we are certain it will become an item you will not want to live without.
The Arnica Infusion formula is based on a combination of scientific research and the use of high quality ingredients. The properties within the formula were chosen for their pain relief, anti-inflammatory, and soothing qualities.
The acting ingredients within the formula include ones many of us are familiar with; along with ones that have not received a lot of publicity (only in research circles). Extensive testing resulted in a blending of ingredients that provides the most synergistic of benefits.
The notable ingredients in the Arnica Infusion formula include:
Extensive quality control procedures during the manufacturing process ensure the ingredients and final product are both safe and effective. We would not stake our reputation on anything but the best.
Apply Arnica Infusion at work to help reduce acute discomfort associated with overuse of muscles and joints. No matter if you are in a physical demanding job or work within an office environment, you will be placing stress on different parts of the body and aches and pains will result.
If you suffer from a sprained ligament, pulled muscle, strained tendon, or even bruising - apply Arnica Infusion for quick relief of the pain.
Application of Arnica Infusion can be done up to a maximum of 4 times per day on a consistent basis to help bring about relief from various pains and aches.
Follow up your T•Shellz and Cold treatments with an application of Arnica Infusion. Combine the pain relieving benefits of Arnica Infusion along with the therapeutic benefits of the wraps to make your recovery go much more smoothly.
Do not apply Arnica Infusion within a 2 hour timespan before a T•Shellz Wrap® treatment.
Whether you decide to use the Arnica Infusion in conjunction with the T-Shell and other treatments - or if you decide to use the cream as a stand-alone product - you will not be disappointed with the results. We guarantee it.
Conservative treatment tools just like these have been used successfully by thousands of tendon injury sufferers - just like you.
We believe the use of T•Shellz Wraps® for boosting blood flow to soft tissue in the area of application is one of the most under-utilized home treatment options available on the market today. We have client after client that have tried many options out there and have been amazed at how effective and fast the TShellz Wrap treatment can relieve pain and increase blood flow in the treatment area.
With regular use of the TShellz Wrap:
We all know that if the injury was healed, the pain would go away but what about the opposite situation? If the pain is gone, does that mean the injury is better? Unfortunately, this is not always true.
Too many people only focus on suppressing pain symptoms while providing less attention to the true healing aspects of the body. Experiencing less pain, while obviously a good short-term goal, does not equate to underlying healing. Scar tissue can remain for months after one gets to a point of being relatively pain-free. However, as long the weak and brittle scar tissue remains, you are susceptible to re-injury or re-aggravation. Certain motions or movements can cause the weaker tissue to easily tear - resulting in some reversal of the recovery up until that point.
This is why we recommend for people to continue with their doctor or therapist recommended exercises and to continue with mild treatments of the T•Shellz Wrap® for a period of time - to better ensure complete recovery.
Ongoing treatments to enhance circulation are intended to soothe, relax and promote healing of damaged soft tissue in the application area. T•Shellz treatment also results in the ability of soft tissue to extend further due to the effect of heat on soft tissue. The more extensible your tissues are, the less likely they are to strain or sprain.
People tell us all the time, "I was told that if I stay off my feet for a few weeks, my pain will disappear for good."
The truth is, tendonitis pain is usually a culmination of numerous factors, such as repetitive stress, poor posture, acute injuries, and overcompensation issues resulting from other muscle and soft tissue ailments.
It may take weeks or months for these pain triggers to surface. When they , however, merely resting will solve the underlying issues. You need to utilize actions and options that actually treat the source of the pain and help reverse the damage that has been done.
Resting has a role to play, but it is only one small factor in a recovery plan.
What you want to do is make your toe and foot muscles and tendons more flexible and strong. This involves strengthening and relieving tension in the muscles and tendons of your toes and foot through exercise and Circulatory Boost treatments (by using an T•Shellz Wrap® which substantially increases blood flow to the injury area and subsequently increasing the healing rate of the injury. Alternate stretching and bending your toes, pull on them with a towel, or try picking things up with your toes like fabric, marbles or a stick (scrunching your toes). Toe and foot exercises will also help to correct any muscle imbalances.
You will want to cushion your toes and give them room to move; shoes such as sandals or running shoes are often the best option for comfort. Properly sized, comfortable footwear that doesn't pinch or rub your toes is helpful. Look for soft shoes with a wide deep toe-box (shoes should be slightly longer than your longest toe to avoid any friction or rubbing). Avoid tight, narrow, high-heeled shoes, and make sure your stockings, nylons and socks aren't too snug.
Soak your toes in alternating warm and cold water baths, this will provide temporary relief of tight tendons and muscles. You can also gently rub your corns or calluses while your feet are in warm water or just afterwards, with a pumice stone or nail file. Do NOT try to cut or remove these on your own, as breaking the skin could cause a serious infection, especially if you have diabetes or a disease. Apply moisturizer to your feet after your bath to keep your skin soft.
Support items, such as straps, cushions, non-medicated felt corn pads, moleskin, toe shields or caps (hold down toe) can reposition your toe and relieve pressure, protect corns, calluses and bunions, and relieve pain, especially if you have flat feet. Splinting or taping your affected toe in place is also effective.
Maintaining a healthy diet is very important, especially if you have diabetes; as you will be more prone to poor circulation and lack of feeling in your feet.
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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
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