View this post on Instagram
🦶Feet pain? Need more support? Get your feet scanned and try our Aetrex, Superfeet, Spenco, Kneed, Red Wing, or Powerstep orthotics on for size. They make a big difference! . . . . . #shoes #boots #shoestore #Jacksonville #JacksonvilleIL #Springfield #SpringfieldIL #Illinois #CentralIllinois #shoesforsale #orthotics #insoles #support #aetrex #superfeet #powerstep #kneed #spenco
It could be one of these common foot issues, which all can be helped or even prevented by wearing more supportive and comfortable footwear.
Improper footwear, diabetes, and aging are some of the chief contributors to foot problems. This article will highlight some of the most common foot concerns, their causes, and when to seek treatment.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. The condition occurs when the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. This ligament is responsible for supporting the foot’s arch.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition that usually does not have a clear cause. Doctors refer to this condition, as idiopathic plantar fasciitis.
Risk factors include being obese, having a very high arch, having tight calf muscles, and participating in activities that repetitively stress the heel, such as running.
Plantar fasciitis causes a person to experience pain on the bottom of the heel. This pain is usually worse first thing in the morning when getting out of bed. The pain also worsens with activity.
Most people can manage plantar fasciitis with at-home treatment. Resting the foot and applying ice can reduce inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium, can help with pain management.
Stretching the foot thoroughly before and after physical activity, as well as throughout the day, may help to reduce heel pain. Wearing supportive shoes can also help.
If an individual’s plantar fasciitis does not get better with these treatments, they can try physical therapy, or see a podiatrist or an orthopedic surgeon for further treatments.
Steroid injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation, or a doctor may prescribe custom-made orthotics to provide extra support to the heel.
Particularly tight or narrow footwear may cause bunions.
Bunions are abnormalities of the feet that cause a bump to develop on the large toe joint. This can cause the big toe to turn slightly inward. Women are more likely to have bunions due to increased pressures from narrow footwear.
Wearing tight or narrow shoes can cause bunions to develop. Tight shoes put pressure on the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP), which is where the bone of the foot meets the bone of the big toe.
Having a family history of bunions is also a risk factor. Additionally, some conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis or polio, increase the likelihood of developing a bunion.
An individual with a bunion may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- visible bump on the side of the foot
- tenderness on or around the big toe
- callus or corn on the bone below the big toe
- difficulty moving the big toe
- pain in the big toe when walking
Conservative treatment measures will usually improve the symptoms of a bunion. A person should wear properly fitting shoes without high heels. They can also buy a bunion pad or shoe inserts that protects the bunion from extra pressure, both of which Brown’s carries in-stock.
Applying ice for 10-minute increments with a cloth-covered ice pack can also reduce inflammation.
People with diabetes are more prone to fluctuations in blood sugar. Diabetic neuropathy is not one condition, but a group of conditions that causes damage to the feet due to diabetes.
Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the nerves, especially those in the feet. Other factors can make this nerve damage worse, such as a history of smoking, alcoholism, or history of diabetic neuropathy in the family.
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include numbness, tingling, and pain in the feet. This can contribute to a greater risk of a person experiencing cuts or injuries to the feet due to lack of feeling.
Maintaining good health and blood sugar control can help a person treat their diabetic neuropathy. While a doctor cannot reverse nerve damage, they can recommend treatments to prevent it worsening.
A person with diabetes should also go for regular foot exams. They may wish to have their toenails professionally trimmed and seek medical attention if they identify any foot wounds. Also, it is very important to wear supportive footwear in order to help alleviate further pain.
Ingrown toenails occur when the toenail starts to grow into the nail groove, which can cause significant pain and discomfort.
Wearing badly-fitting shoes usually causes ingrown toenails. The pressure from shoes that are too narrow at the top or too tight can put extra pressure on the toes.
Other causes include toenails that are not trimmed properly, such as cutting the toenails too short or trauma to the feet due to activity including running. Having a family history of ingrown toenails can also increase a person’s risk.
Ingrown toenails will cause redness, swelling, pain, or even drainage from the toenail, which can indicate that an infection is present.
There are several ways to treat and prevent ingrown toenails, including:
- Washing the feet with antibacterial soap and keeping them clean and dry.
- Cutting the toenails straight across after a bath when the nails are soft.
- Avoiding cutting the nails in a rounded pattern, as it can increase the risk of inward growth.
- Wearing shoes that fit well and do not have a pointy tip.
A heel spur is an outgrowth of calcium that develops between the heel bone and the arch of the foot. For many individuals, there are no symptoms but, for others, it can be painful and cause inflammation. This is not a condition that can be easily diagnosed and requires medical imaging to confirm.
Heel spurs are caused by long-term strain on muscles and ligaments. They can also be caused by arthritis, excess body weight, and by wearing badly fitted or worn out shoes.
This can appear after high-impact exercises or because of wearing poor-fitting shoes. Symptoms include the area between the toes and the arch of the foot feeling numb with occasional sharp pains as if there is a stone in your shoe. Symptoms can worsen over time.
Treatments generally include rest, applying an ice pack, and getting better-fitted shoes. If the pain does not improve or gets worse, it is important to visit a doctor.
Sweaty feet make blisters more likely.
Blisters are a common occurrence, and most people will experience them at some point in their life. They often appear after walking or running for long periods of time, especially if the feet have become sweaty or when wearing shoes that do not fit correctly. Blisters are raised fluid-filled pockets and not generally a serious concern. It is best not to burst blisters, letting them heal on their own.
Corns are patches of thickened skin, often found on the soles of the feet or toes. They are normally painless to start with. These areas form to protect the skin and stop the body from developing blisters.
Corns can be caused by bunions, hammer toe, or ill-fitting shoes. Over time, they may become painful and should be treated. Corn plasters are available at Brown’s, as they relieve pressure on the corn and allow it time to heal.
If you are experiencing any of these issues, please come in to Brown’s and let our staff help put you in the right shoes! Your feet will thank you.
*Information given by Rachel Nall RN BSN CCRN of Medical News Today.