Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an evolved neurological condition that affects motion. It can affect nearly every part of the body, causing:
- Muscle contractions
Dr. Gurneet Shawney, who provides excellent Parkinson’s Surgery from Mumbai, says there’s another little-known way Parkinson’s can affect the body in addition to these more well-known symptoms. It could be an early sign of the disease if you notice it.
The symptoms manifest in the feet, starting mildly and gradually worsening over time.
Continue reading to learn which podiatric changes may indicate that you should be tested for PD and why this unusual symptom occurs.
Few people associate podiatric symptoms with neurological disease, but Dr. Gurneet Shawney, a renowned Mumbai neurosurgeon, believes the two are linked.
“Curled, clenched toes or a painful cramped foot are tell-tale signs of dystonia,” according to the Parkinson’s Foundation, a common early symptom of PD in which muscles contract involuntarily.
Clawing and related conditions can be caused by various muscles, not just the feet.
The core and back muscles that affect your posture can also cause clawing and related conditions.
Many people with Parkinson’s disease develop a stooped posture over time, affecting their feet.
Because your weight is distributed more to the front of your feet, your body compensates by causing your toes to ‘claw’ as they grip the ground or your footwear.
Your toes become stuck in this position over time and cannot flatten appropriately to assist you in maintaining your balance. Dr. Gurneet Shawney explains the situation.
The first step is to figure out what your exact condition is.
If you notice an unusual curvature in your toes, see a doctor right away.
They can tell you if you have claw toes, hammertoes, or mallet toes, three very similar conditions that are difficult to distinguish between without medical help.
Hammertoes and claw toes are two conditions that cause the toes of the foot to bend unnaturally. Both of these conditions can impair toe movement and result in a foot deformity.
“Hammertoe occurs when the middle toe joint bends downward, making it difficult to flex the foot and move the toes.
The toes of the foot bend upward from the joint at the ball of the foot and bend downward at the middle joint, resembling a claw, “he continues.
According to Dr. Gurneet Shawney, Mallet toes look similar in most patients but are caused by “a bend in just the last joint.”
You may also notice the following signs and symptoms.
If you suspect the following:
- claw toes
- mallet toes
Look for other symptoms that support your theory.
According to Dr. Gurneet Shawney, in addition to your toes looking bent, you may notice that you experience pain in:
- The affected toes
- Loss of flexibility in that area
- Visible deformity of the foot
The flexibility or rigidity of the toes can indicate how serious or far along the condition is.
This is the more relaxed, early-stage if “your toes still flex at the joints, even though they’re stiff.”
You’ve probably progressed to a later stage if they’ve become rigid to the point of little movement.
These treatments and interventions could be beneficial.
Dr. Gurneet Shawney, one of the best neurosurgeons in Mumbai, advises that you should convey your signs to your doctor” as soon as you detect that you’re having problem bending the joints of your toes.”
Several treatment options, in addition to pain management or anti-inflammatory medication, may be available.
Surgery may be recommended as a treatment option for more severe or painful cases that do not respond to conservative treatment. Both hammertoe and claw toe can be surgically repaired and realigned, or the entire toe joint can be replaced.
The patient may also consider wearing the following:
- Different shoes
- Padding their shoes
- Wearing arch support inserts
- Practicing toe-strengthening exercises as a form of physical therapy.
Also, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the underlying cause of your toe changes.
If a neurological disease like Parkinson’s is to blame, promptly treating that condition could significantly improve your quality of life.