After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.
Foot Problem Overview
There are a plethora of possible foot problems that we may encounter over our lifetime. Most foot problems are somewhat painful, and they are certainly uncomfortable. Foot disorders of various types affect up to 60% of people.
For instance, plantar fasciitis particularly affects people from ages 45-64. Females are 2.5 more likely to get plantar fasciitis. More than 15% of people have problems with corns or calluses. Bunions affect 36% of people over 65 years of age.
The most common cause of heel pain and inflammation is plantar fasciitis, which occurs when a thick band of tissue across the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. This causes heel pain, which is usually more painful upon taking your first morning steps or after sitting for a long period of time. The fascia supports the muscles and the foot arch, so when it becomes strained plantar fasciitis may occur.
Factors that increase your risk of this problem include:
- From 40-60 years of age
- Having an unusual walk or foot position
- Flat feet or high arches
- Tight Achilles tendons or “heel cords”
- Ingrown toenail
- Spending many hours standing
- Often wearing high-heeled shoes
- Wearing worn-out shoes with thin soles
- Athlete's foot
- Heel spur
- Claw toe
- Mallet or hammer toe
- Ingrown toenail
- Morton’s neuroma
This problem is diagnosed by a physical examination and a history of the pain. An xray or MRI is sometimes ordered. People tend to recover after a few months of treatment. Medications that may help include such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) may ease the pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis.
The physician may order physical therapy or a night splint that stretches your calf and the arch of your foot while you sleep. Orthopedics may be prescribed off-the-shelf or custom-fitted arch supports (orthotics) to help distribute pressure to your feet more evenly. May be
Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in chronic heel pain that hinders your regular activities.
5 Best Plantar Fasciitis Pain Relief Treatments - Ask Doctor Jo
Calluses and Corns
Corns and calluses occur from repeated friction, rubbing or irritation that puts pressure on the skin. They are a buildu[ of thick, hard areas of skin. While they can occur anywhere on your body, the feet, hands or fingers are the most common areas.
This problem can often be prevented on the feet by wearing shoes that fit properly. Some of the other causes of corns and calluses include:
- Women who wear high heels
- Standing, running or walking for long periods
- Physical hobbies and sports
- Going barefoot
- Wearing shoes without socks
- Socks or foot linings that slip and bunch up under your feet while earring shoes
- Improper posture while walking, too heavily on the inner or outer foot
- Structural foot deformities
It is important to wear shoes that give your toes plenty of room. Protective coverings like OTC corn pads or bandages over the corn will help. Putting some lamb’s wool between your toes helps. Use padded gloves when using hand tools.
A bunion (hallux valgus) is a deformity of the joint (metatarsophalangeal (MTP) connecting the big toe to your foot. This is a problem that tends to occur slowly. The big toe often tends to bend toward the other toes, and it becomes painful and reddened. Arthritis or bursitis may complicate this problem. This problem may occur in the little toe and it is called a bunionette.
Bunions were first described in 1870. Archaeologists discovered a high incidence of bunions in skeletons from the 14th and 15th century in England. This is coinciding with a fashion for pointy shoes.
Physicians are not sure about the exact cause of this problem. Some contributing factors may include very tight shoes, high heels, family history and rheumatoid arthritis.
How Do You Get Rid of Bunions?
Bunion Diagnosis and Treatment
This condition is diagnosed by an x-ray, and it affects 23% of adults, women more often than men. Onset occurs between 20 and 50 years of age.
Treatments include properly fitting shoes, orthotics and NSAIDS. If these treatments are not effective, then surgery is the next option.
Problems like these can be quite painful and very uncomfortable when walking. Proper fitting shoes is very important, and not wearing high heels too often is also important. Treat any problem early so it doesn’t get too serious.
Your Feet Problems
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2021 Pamela Oglesby