10 Common Foot Problems
Why Are My Feet Hurting?
An average person may walk up to 116,000 kilometers in their lifetime – that’s a lot of walking! So there’s no dispute on how important it is to take care of your feet as they are a crucial part of our everyday lives. Whether you’re a football player or someone with preexisting health issues, routine foot care with a specialist is key. It’s also important to maintain a healthy, at-home foot care regimen, especially if you have diabetes. To learn more about diabetic foot care, click here.
Because we’re constantly on our feet, serious foot issues can develop over the course of our lives. If left untreated, these problems can lead to other serious health issues that can affect the function of our bodies. Continue reading to learn more about common foot problems.
10 Common Foot Problems
These foot ailments can be painful. They’re usually caused by friction; wearing shoes that don’t fit, sweaty feet, or constant standing. Blisters usually heal on their own, however, it’s best to avoid irritating them and instead protect them by wearing a bandage. DO NOT drain a blister yourself. It’s wise to talk with a foot care specialist before removing a blister on your own. Bursting a blister with unsterile equipment could make it even worse and lead to infection. To learn more about Foot Blisters, click here.
If you notice elevated, thickened, round circles on your feet that feel as if there is a stone or piece of glass digging in, these may be corns. Your body may naturally begin to form corns to prevent blisters. Some people are more prone to getting corns than others, and most times these foot problems are associated with friction caused by bunions, ill-fitting shoes, or hammer toes.
Corns can be very painful, so If walking becomes a problem, it’s best to see a foot care nurse or chiropodist to safely remove them. If you think you have corns or need advice, send me a message below
Poorly trimmed nails, curved nail beds, compressed toes, or even injury can cause the nail to grow beyond the nail bed into the skin. There are many factors that can contribute to having ingrown toenails and sometimes it can even be genetic. Ingrown toenails can be treated with simple solutions like soaking your feet, topical antibiotics, or pain relievers. However, if your ingrown toenail results in your inability to walk, it’s important to reach out to your health care professional immediately. Do not try to remove it on your own or wait until it becomes infected. Signs of an infection can include: bleeding, pussing, pain, warm to touch, redness and swelling. Ingrowns can be safely removed and maintained by your foot care specialist with sterile equipment. In some cases, surgery may be required.
There are various types of warts that can affect the nails, hands and feet. These include common warts, flat warts, periungual warts and plantar warts just to name a few. Caused by human papillomavirus, warts are contagious and thrive in wet environments like swimming pools, spas, and locker rooms. They are commonly associated with children, as their immune systems may not yet be built up enough to fight the virus. Warts can become painful and spread if left untreated. Over the counter treatments are available, along with liquid nitrogen, surgical or laser treatments that may be recommended by your doctor or foot care specialist.
Nerve damage is common with low blood circulation and diabetes. If you have diabetes, you’re at a much greater risk for neuropathy if blood sugar levels aren’t controlled. Monitoring your foot health and identifying any changes including loss of sensation, deformity or discolouration is critical. Neuropathy can cause tingling, burning sensations, sensitivity issues and even difficulties with walking. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, speak with your doctor right away. You could avoid serious risks for injury, infection or amputation.
To avoid diabetic neuropathy, be certain to regulate your blood sugar. Avoid blood sugar spikes by monitoring your diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Learn more about diabetic neuropathy.
Flat foot, also referred to as pes planus, is a structural deformity in the foot where the arch in between the heel and ball of your foot is diminished. Flat feet are typically genetic and are not commonly painful. For dancers or avid gym goers, however, flat feet can hinder the ability to function and can create discomfort. If so, reducing the amount of physical activity or stress to your feet can help, but If you feel that you are experiencing constant pain or difficulty walking, consult with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis. They may assess the way you walk, the structure of the foot and also inspect the soles of your regular footwear to determine if you require Orthotics, physiotherapy or other treatments.
Fungal Nail Infection
Flaking, crumbling, yellow and thick toenails may all be signs of a fungal nail infection. Fungal nail infections are often caused by moist environments which are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Once the fungus spores get under the nail bed, infections occur and can be extremely difficult to eradicate. If you’re exposed to unsterile nail equipment, dirty foot bath basins, or improper nail care, fungal infections may ensue. It’s not uncommon for people with diabetes or foot and nail injury to experience fungal nail infections also. Symptoms may slowly develop over time and if left untreated can become a serious and sometimes permanent issue.
Speak with your doctor if you have a fungal nail infection. Make sure you get the proper foot and nail care, as well as the right anti-fungal prescriptions. You can also consult with a foot care specialist about laser treatments that are available
This common foot problem is highly contagious. Athlete’s foot will cause your feet to ich, sting, tingle, sweat, smell, and sometimes burn. If you contract athlete’s foot, it’s likely because you’ve been in an environment with high humidity, such as public showers or locker rooms. For those who are unable to clean and dry properly between the toes, wear dirty socks or footwear, athlete’s foot can also become a serious issue. Signs and symptoms of this foot ailment can vary, some people experience white film between the toes, crumbly toenails, blisters, or cracked and dry skin. This condition isn’t an easy one to treat – you can try over the counter remedies or your doctor can prescribe an anti-fungal cream. If you have a mild case of athlete’s foot or are looking for a preventative treatment, a product like Gehwol Foot Powder can help tremendously.
When the plantar fascia ligament becomes inflamed due to poor arch support or footwear, plantar fasciitis can start to form. This foot health problem causes pain between the middle of your foot that can pull at the heel, creating a sharp pain with each step.The pain level of this condition can vary from mild to severe. If you are a runner, dancer, or tend to stand for long periods of time, you may be more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis. If you think you may have this painful condition, consult your doctor. You may need some orthotic support products to help alleviate pain.
Like many common foot problems, gout is generally genetic, but can also be exacerbated by diet and certain medications. The cause is a build up of uric crystals in the joints that can affect your feet, mainly the big toes. These areas can become very painful, causing sharp pains and burning sensations, sometimes resembling an infection. To help prevent this condition, It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially if you’re between the ages of 30 and 50. Learn more about Gout.
When should I see a Foot Care Specialist?
Depending on the severity, symptoms, and the type of foot condition you have, it’s important to make an appointment with a foot care specialist if your symptoms prevent you from doing your daily activities. If you’re not sure what foot problem(s) you may be experiencing, we’re happy to help! Please give us a call at 613-704-3307 for assistance.