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I have Morton’s Foot and bunions – by using simple orthotics and spacers between my big and second toe – AND YOGA, I have totally transformed my feet and built up arches in my flat feet. YOU can make the difference – do the work and do your research!  mortonsfoot.com is a great site too (I LOVE their orthotics – reasonably priced and VERY effective).

Bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammertoes and pain in the ball of the foot, among others, can be treated, before a patient goes under the knife, podiatrists say.

When Floria Antell, 76, developed a bunion on her left foot two years ago, her podiatrist suggested a surgical procedure that involved cutting out part of a bone in her foot and resting for eight weeks. But Ms. Antell, who does Pilates three times a week and walks her dog 2 miles a day, didn’t want to spend months on the couch.

Another physician referred her to the Nonsurgical Foot and Ankle Service at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery. Rock Positano, the director of the clinic, told Ms. Antell to wear wider shoes. He prescribed custom foot insoles intended to relieve the pressure on her bunion and help correct her flat feet, which he says were making the bunion worse. Dr. Positano also gave her anti-inflammatory medicine and shock wave therapy. Ms. Antell says she didn’t have to give up her daily walks and exercise regimen and after six months of treatment considered herself “fully healed.”

“It was so important to me that I didn’t have to be in bed for months, but I also learned how to take care of my feet better,” Ms. Antell says.

Doctors say foot ailments are becoming more common, especially as the population ages and people remain physically active for more years. “Just compare what people in their 60s and 70s

do today with what our grandparents did when they were that age,” says Dr. Turner, of the Mayo Clinic. Walking on hard surfaces, such as concrete, is hard on the joints, and the growing incidence of obesity creates more wear and tear, he adds.

I think people come in wanting surgery because they want a quick fix and want to be back to normal. Unfortunately, in most cases surgery isn’t a quick fix because it can take just as long, or longer, to get back on your feet.

—Norman Turner, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic

All surgeries carry risks of complications, such as infection, Dr. Turner says. And even when nonsurgical treatments don’t fully fix a problem, they often delay the need for surgery, which is helpful because some surgical procedures don’t last forever, he adds.

Artificial ankle replacements, for example, can wear out. And problems like bunions can reappear years later if the cause, which is often linked to poor walking patterns, isn’t corrected.

Read the full article: http://www.wsj.com/articles/cures-for-common-foot-problems-without-surgery-1441036678

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