Common Foot Problems
The normal human foot has 42 muscles, 33 joints, 26 bones, at least 50 tendons and ligaments made of strong fibrous tissues that keep all moving parts together as well as over 250,000 sweat glands. The foot is such a marvel – it is capable of handling hundreds of tons of force on a daily basis. The stress of having to carry that much puts the feet at high risk of injury as compared to the other parts of the body.
Foot problems such as blisters, hammertoes, corns and calluses, bunions, claw and mallet toes, heel spurs, ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, and toenail fungus can develop due to ill-fitting shoes as well as simple wear and tear. The feet can also indicate if the body is under any threat from a serious disease. So what are the most common foot problems?
Fungal or Bacterial Conditions (Athlete’s Foot)
These conditions occur because our feet spend a lot of time inside shoes – a warm, dark and humid place where fungus thrive. Fungal and bacterial conditions can cause blisters, redness, and dry skin as well as itching, and peeling. If left untreated, an infection might be difficult to cure. If not treated properly, reoccurrence of the infection is not impossible.
Bunions develop when the joints in the big toe no longer fit together and become swollen and tender. If a bunion is not yet severe, wearing cut-wide shoes or wearing pads that cushion the bunion might help relieve the pain. Other treatments include wearing orthotic devices or shoe inserts as well as physical therapy. Surgerymight be needed in some cases to repair the toe joint and relieve the pressure.
Corns and Calluses
These are caused by pressure and friction when the bony parts of the feet rub against the shoes. If you have corns or calluses, you should see a podiatrist. Treating them yourself may be harmful, most especially if you have poor circulation or diabetes.
These occur when a piece of the nail breaks the skin. This can happen if nails are not cut properly. Ingrown toenails are common in the large toes. A podiatrist such as Sheldon H. Nadal, DPM can remove the part of the nail that is cutting into the skin, allowing the area to heal. Ingrown toenails can be avoided by cutting the toenail straight across and level with the end of the toe.
These are caused by a shortening of the tendons which control toe movements. The toe knuckle, which is usually enlarged to draw the toe back, which is totally enlarged and stiffened over time as it rubs against shoes.. Wearing stockings and shoes with plenty of toe room can help relieve the pain. Minimally invasive surgery can be performed if problem persists.