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5 Effective Solutions for Bunions


Image: WebMD


A bunion is a painful bony bump that develops on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint.

Bunions develop overtime and pressure on the big toe joint causes the big toe to lean toward the second toe. “Over time, the normal structure of the bone changes, resulting in the bunion bump. This deformity will gradually increase and may make it painful to wear shoes or walk.”


Practical Shoes

Although bunions are mostly genetic from inherited flat feet that are over pronate ( roll inward more than usual); shoes with pointy toes can also cause these unwanted terrors. High heels also force the toes to the front of the shoes which increase the chance of bunions as well. Wearing comfortable shoes that fit properly is a great way to prevent bunions. Now, if it’s too late and you already have bunions try these solutions below:



Apply ice wrapped in a thin cloth or paper towel to the toe joint for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Ice constricts blood vessels, which numbs pain and relieves swelling.


Protective Pads

Whether you have a bunion or are worried you may get one, gel or moleskin pads are a great idea. If you have enough room in your shoe simply apply the protective pad to your feet and enjoy your day free of pain.



These are molded shoe inserts. These guys work against the mechanics that cause a bunion to form in the first place. They not only minimize pain but they also keep bunions from getting worse. These are usually for people with a more severe bunion problem. You can always try the over the counter gels before this step.


Foot Exercises

Okay, foot exercises aren’t going to cure bunions, of course but strengthening your toe and foot muscles can definitely relieve pain and discomfort from bunions. You can pick up small safe objects with your toes like marbles or write out the alphabet with your toes like ballerinas do to strengthen your toes. You can also practice pointing and flexing your feet and holding each stance for 5-10 seconds. Try these exercises 2-3 times a day to notice a difference.

We hope these options help you to stay sane while dealing with bunions as we know they are no fun at all! Good luck and feel free to reach out to us with us if you need further assistance with your bunion pain.


August 22, 2017
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Plantar Fasciitis

If you’ve ever had plantar fasciitis pain you know why you would want to try and avoid it. If you’ve never experienced it, there's a chance you could so make sure and follow these steps either way to try to avoid the pain all together.

Firstly, let’s break it down: Where is the plantar fascia and what does it do?

The plantar fascia runs the length of the bottom of your foot, spanning the area from the base of the toes to the front of your heel. The two ends of the fascia/ligament attach at the base of the toes and at the front of the heel bone by means of fascia, a strong fibrous membrane. The plantar fascia keeps the arch of the foot from flattening completely when the foot bears weight, thus providing cushioning and shock absorption when you're walking, running or standing. This structure also allows you to point your toes.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is most commonly caused by repetitive strain injury to the ligament of the sole of the foot. Such strain injury can be from excessive running, walking and poor foot gear. Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by certain diseases, including reactive arthritis.

Sounds like fun right? Okay, we know.. It’s not fun at all. So, here comes the good stuff:

How to prevent plantar fasciitis:

           1. Calf Raises: Calf raises strengthen the tendons in your heels and calf muscles, which support your arches.

         To- Do:

-         Lift as high as you can onto your toes and lower your heels down as much as your ankle flexibility allows.

-        Push evenly through the entire width of your foot. Don't push off from your big toe or the outside edge of your feet.

     2. Step Stretches: This exercise improves flexibility in your achilles tendon and calf 


      -Stand on the floor in front of a small step or thick book.

       -Lift the toes up to be on the step, keeping the heel on the floor and the knee straight.

      -Shift your bodyweight forwards until a stretch can be felt in the calf muscles

    3. Towel Curls: Towel curls work the toe- flexor muscles that run along your arch. This increases overall foot strength.

     To-Do: Lay a small cloth towel on the floor and using your toes grasp the towel, hold and then release.

4. Wear Proper Cushioning Insoles: Wearing a great insole in your shoe will help you to stay comfortable all day and also to help prevent the awful pain that comes along with plantar fasciitis. Here’s a pretty great list of some truly helpful insoles.


So, have you tried any of these preventative tips before? Have they helped you?

By drmereau
July 18, 2012
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Sock technology has really advanced and can be an important part of protecting your feet.  The challenge is when your feet sweat, where does the moisture go?  For some of us it is the triple digit temperatures and for others it may be the required work boots they wear for work or the long work out down on the trail...either way your feet are sweating in your socks.  

We recommend moisture wicking socks (also called Coolmax, Drymax) which wick the moisture away from your feet and keep them dry.

Keeping your feet dry is an important part of preventing tinea pedis (atletes feet) and onycomycosis funal toenails).

By drmereau
July 18, 2012
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A flatfoot deformity is where the arch on the inside border of the foot is more flat than normal. Flatfoot deformities can occur in all age groups, but appear most commonly in children. Some of these children grow up into adults who have feet with normal arches, but many of these children have pain related to their flatfoot deformity throughout their lives. It is very important that children with flatfoot deformity be evaluated by a podiatrist to determine if they need treatment to prevent future pain or deformity in their feet.

When the young child starts to first walk at about the age of 9-15 months of age, the foot has a fat or chubby appearance where there is a less bony architecture apparent in the foot. At this point in the development of the foot, it is very difficult to evaluate whether the child will have future problems with a flatfoot deformity.

At the ages of two and three, the child's foot starts to show more of its characteristic shape since the foot is less fat and the bones are more prominent. If the child has a flatfoot deformity at the ages of two to three, then it is wise to have the foot examined by a foot specialist such as a podiatrist. The reason that it is important to have the feet examined at this age is because the young foot is still largely made of cartilage, with less bone than would be present in the adult foot. Since cartilage is relatively soft, the abnormal forces caused by a flatfoot deformity may cause permanent structural alterations to the bones and joints of the foot that will persist into adulthood.

The flatfoot deformity in children causes a number of changes to the structure of the foot which is easily recognizable by the trained podiatrist. Flatfoot deformity causes the inside arch to be flattened, causes the heel bone to be turned outward, and causes the inside aspect of the foot to appear more bowed outward than normal. Most cases of flatfoot deformity in children are also associated with excessive flexibility in the joints of the foot which is commonly caused by ligamentous laxity.

Since the flatfoot deformity causes some instability of the foot during gait, children with flatfoot deformity may have complaints in the foot such as arch, heel or ankle pain which is generally associated with increased standing, walking or running activities. However, since the excessive rolling inward of the arches of the foot also make the leg and knee more turned inwards, children with flatfeet may also complain of pain in the low back, hip, knee, or leg due to the abnormal mechanics of the foot which is created by the flatfoot deformity.


As mentioned above, the pediatric flatfoot deformity can be diagnosed at a very early age, but is unlikely to be properly diagnosed unless the doctor is a foot specialist, like a podiatrist, and is familiar with the intricacies of the structure and biomechanics of the foot. After speaking with the parent and child, the podiatrist will examine the foot both while the child is not bearing weight but also while the child is standing, walking or running. Often, the family history is also taken since the foot should be examined closely if the child has a close relative who had a painful flatfoot deformity as a child or adult.

During the examination of the child, the podiatrist is looking for abnormal structure or function of the foot and lower extremity, which could lead to either problems during childhood or adulthood. X-rays may be taken of the foot if a significant pathology is noted or suspected. The more severe the flatfoot deformity and the more significant the complaints in the foot or lower extremity, then the more likely the podiatrist will recommend specific treatment for the flatfoot deformity.


If the child has a mild flatfoot deformity and no symptoms, then generally no treatment is recommended other than possibly yearly check-ups by the podiatrist. If, however, the child has a moderate to severe flatfoot deformity and does have significant symptoms in the foot or lower extremity, then treatment is indicated.

Treatment generally starts with both supportive shoes, such as high tops, and some form of in-shoe insert such as arch padding for the milder cases of flatfoot deformity. More significant cases of flatfoot deformity may require more exacting control of the abnormal motion of the foot such as that offered by functional foot orthotics. Functional foot orthotics limit the abnormal flat arch shape and rolling in of the heel bone during standing, walking and running activities which helps not only improve the appearance and function of the foot, but also greatly reduces the symptoms in the foot or lower extremities. Calf muscle stretching exercises are also commonly prescribed for children with tight calf muscles since the tight calf muscles can worsen the flatfoot deformity with time and make the child's symptoms worse.

If the child has a severe flatfoot deformity and disabling symptoms which does not respond to foot orthotics, shoes and/or stretching, then foot surgery to correct the flatfoot deformity may be indicated. Flatfoot surgery is done only rarely for those children with the most severe deformities. Of course, the benefits of the surgery should be considered along with the risks associated with the surgery and a second surgical opinion is always recommended when considering flatfoot surgery on your child.


By drmereau
June 22, 2012
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Protect Your Feet From Skin Cancer

Skin cancer on your feet? Yes, it definitely does occur. In fact, melanoma of the
foot is particularly fatal because people rarely think to look for the disease. (Did you know that Bob Marley died of malignant melanoma of the toe?)
Early detection is important, so be sure to check your feet regularly. If you find
suspicious spots on the soles of your feet, between your toes, or under your
toenails, call our office right away for an appointment.
Think “ABCD” to detect melanoma:
Asymmetry - The shape of the one half does not match the other.
Border - The edges are often ragged, notched, blurred or irregular.
Color - The color is uneven or varies from one area to the other.
Diameter - Melanomas grow in diameter, whereas moles remain small.
A spot larger than the size of a pencil eraser (about 5 millimeters) may
be cause for concern.

What’s the best way to prevent skin cancer? Wear SUN SCREEN!

Go local.... with your sun screen.  Texas based comapny Supergoop.

Contact Us

Capital Foot & Ankle Surgeons of Austin, PLLC

2911 Medical Arts Street Bldg. 17 Austin, TX 78705
11614 FM 2244 Suite 130 Austin, TX 78738 (Located within Bee Cave Urgent Care)