The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Looking for an Alternative to Foot Surgery? Solve Foot Pain with These Non-Invasive Fixes

Posted by on Friday, April 1st, 2016


Many people put off a trip to the podiatrist because they don’t want to be told they need surgery to fix their big foot problems. However, in most cases, we offer nonsurgical solutions that improve pain by 60 to 80% right away and completely eliminate it by eight weeks. Read on to learn about some surprising remedies to common sources of foot pain.

men's shoes foot pain
What foot woe can this fashionable men’s shoe treat? (Image Source:

Do You Have One of These Big Foot Problems?

How do I treat Morton’s neuroma?

Patients with Morton’s Neuroma come in complaining that it “feels like walking on marbles all the time.” This type of nerve irritation is caused by a benign tumor on a nerve, but it’s exacerbated by age, shoe type, flat feet, or high arches. If ice, anti-inflammatory drugs, and cortisone injections do not provide relief, surgery can be an option.

Alternative Solution: The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC also offers radiofrequency treatment, which uses a thin needle attached to a device which generates a mild electrical signal that stuns and shrinks aggravated nerves. A 2012 analysis of 29 patients found that 83% reported complete relief of Morton’s Neuroma pain following radiofrequency thermoneurolysis.

How do I treat plantar fasciitis?

If you have stabbing pain in your heel like you’ve just stepped on a tack, particularly when you wake up in the morning or following a period of rest, then you may have plantar fasciitis. When the ligament running along the bottom of your foot is continually inflamed or torn  due to flat feet, high arches, obesity, overuse, or wearing shoes with poor shock absorption  then podiatrists will often recommend a change in footwear, replacing shoes every six months, icing for 15 minutes 3-4 times a day, wearing a night splint, and taking some time off high-intensity workouts.

Alternative Solution: In our office, we can fit you with an affordable pair of custom orthotic footbeds that go inside your shoes and offload pressure. In addition to your pair of SOLs, we’ll also show you exercises that will effectively strengthen your calf muscles, which will help take some of the burden off your aggravated fascia.

How do I treat bunions?

Worried about that bony bump at the base of your big toe? Bunions are one of the more common foot problems we treat. We now believe they are largely caused by genetic factors, but they can also be worsened by wearing too-tight shoes or high heels. Orthotics and ice can help relieve pain and steroid injections can lessen inflammation.

Alternative Solution:  As you may have noted, most bunion treatments are aimed at addressing the acute symptoms, rather than the root cause. Surgery is the only way to truly resolve the bony protrusion. However, shoe choice can go a long way in making life more bearable and preventing worsening of the condition. Loosening your laces or buying shoes a half to one size larger can provide the room you need to avoid compressing the nerves or rubbing the skin. There are also several brands that provide great support and extra room in the toe box:

  • Rockport Dressports (men)
  • Ecco (men)
  • Allen Edmonds (men)
  • Munro (women)
  • Ariat (women)
  • BeautiFeel (women)

How do I treat plantar warts?

Plantar warts are skin growths caused by direct skin contact with the human papillomavirus. The most common methods of transmission are walking barefoot in a public shower or locker room. Warts can be difficult to get rid of. Salicylic acid doesn’t always work, cryotherapy is only suitable for very small growths, and surgical excision can lead to scarring and lifelong discomfort.

Alternative Solution: A new treatment includes a diluted injection of the chemotherapy drug bleomycin sulfate. Following treatment, a hemorrhagic blister will form that must be debrided a few weeks after the injection, but studies have reported success rates up to 99% following one to three injections into over 1,000 warts. Side effects like fatigue or hair loss do not occur, since the dose is small and the injection localized. Best of all, most insurers will cover the treatment.

If you have any questions about non-invasive treatments for foot pain in NYC, contact our Manhattan or Westchester podiatry office.



If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.