6 Common Foot Problems and Ways You Can Manage Them
Your feet are your primary source of support and motion while standing or walking. They also play a crucial role in maintaining balance, agility, and flexibility. However, the constant pressure they're subjected to on an almost daily basis can cause many common foot problems. Left untreated, these conditions can lead to long-term pain and disability. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to keep your feet healthy and happy.
Read on to learn more about the most common foot problems, how they're caused, and how you can treat them.
1. Plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is an injury of the plantar fascia, which is a ligament on the bottom of your foot. The plantar fascia helps support and stabilize your foot while you walk, run, or stand. Plantar fasciitis can occur at any time in life, but it's prevalent in those who are over 40 years old or who have been involved in professional sports for over 10 years. It can also occur when there is too much pressure on the plantar fascia due to wearing high heels all day or if you pronate (roll) your feet toward the inside, causing micro-tears within the ligament.
Plantar fasciitis usually affects one foot, but sometimes it occurs in both. This condition is characterized by pain in your heel, numbness, and tingling sensations in your toes and/or feet. There are many treatment options for plantar fasciitis including rest, ice packs, stretching exercises for the calf muscle, and medications that reduce inflammation, such as ibuprofen.
2. Heel spurs
Heel spurs are bony growths developing on the underside of your feet. Most heel spurs are harmless, but if they're painful or interfere with your ability to walk, then you should see a doctor. The most common treatment is the RICE method: Rest (avoid anything strenuous), Ice Compression (wrap ice in a compression bandage and apply it to the affected area), Elevation (keep the foot elevated while resting).
Corns are hardened layers of skin that are unsightly and can even be painful. Hence, it's important to take care of them as soon as you notice one. First, soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salts for 20 to 30 minutes. This will open up the pores in your skin and help release any built-up oils or dirt that might be on your foot. Then, use a pumice stone to gently exfoliate your foot to remove excess dead skin cells. After the pumice stone treatment, apply an antiperspirant cream to the corn area before wrapping it up with a bandage. If you're having trouble removing painful corns with conservative solutions, deep corn removal performed by an experienced podiatrist may be necessary.
4. Ingrown toenails
If you've ever noticed a hard toenail that's growing into the side of your toe, you may have an ingrown toenail. This problem can be caused by a number of factors, including improper foot care and ill-fitting shoes. The best way to treat this painful condition is with warm soaks, regular trimming, and topical treatments like healing salves and ointments.
One of the most common foot problems is bunions, which are bony bumps on the outside of your feet. They cause pain when you wear high-heeled shoes and can cause a deformity as well. Bunions are usually treated with a cast or a splint. You can also use an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and relief some of the pain associated with this problem.
Bursitis is a condition where the bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs in your body, become inflamed and irritated. This can cause pain that starts on one side of the foot and spreads up to the other. Bursitis is most often caused by repetitive activities that cause excessive friction or pressure on the foot, such as running, jumping, or kicking. As this condition worsens over time, it may lead to more severe symptoms like loss of motion in your toes.
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