TOP ten FOOT PROBLEMS
AND Their TREATMENTS
Below is a list of the most common foot ailments and what your podiatrist and chiropodists can do to treat them. Click on a specific problem or scroll to see them all.
Definition: A bunion is an enlargement at the base of the big toe caused by misalignment of the joint. It may be swollen, tender and painful with the wearing of footwear.
Causes: Heredity, biomechanical abnormalities, neuromuscular disorders, inflammatory joint disease (arthritis), trauma, congenital deformities.
What might a podiatrist do? Perform a physical exam of the foot, perform X-ray evaluation, padding or taping, prescribe orthotics, perform surgery as indicated.
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Definition: A callus or corn is a build up of skin that forms at points of pressure or over boney prominences. Calluses from on the bottom side of the foot, corns form on the top of the foot and between the toes.
Causes: Repeated friction and pressure from skin rubbing against boney areas or against an irregularity in a shoe, as well as hereditary disorders.
What might a podiatrist do? Perform a physical exam of the foot, perform X-ray evaluatioPerform a physical examination, perform X-ray evaluation if needed, perform trimming or padding of the lesions, surgery as needed.
Corns and Calluses
Definition: A neuroma is a painful condition often referred to as a pinched nerve, swollen nerve, or nerve tumor. It is defined more specifically as a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. This may result in pain, burning, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.
Causes: Improper or ill-fitting shoes, trauma, high heeled shoes, heredity.
What might a podiatrist do? A physical examination, X-ray evaluation to rule out other causes, padding and taping, custom orthotics, and inflammatory medication, administer cortisone injections or perform surgery as needed.
Plantar Fasciitis - Heel Pain
Definition: Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the long band of connective tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot, heel spur syndrome is a boney overgrowth on the heel bone, Plantar fasciitis and heel spur syndrome affect women more than men, The bottom of the foot and arch can become more painful.
Causes: Stretching the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot, muscle imbalance, bone deformity, obesity, trauma, tightness of the muscles on the back of the leg.
What might a podiatrist do?Perform a physical examination, X-ray evaluation, recommend taping, prescribe orthotic devices, prescribe appropriate medication, administer injections or perform surgery as needed.
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Definition: Nail Fungus is a chronic condition with implications for patients that go beyond the nail. When left untreated a fungal nail condition may affect physical and psychological well being for many years. While not life threatening, the overall affects of this infection elevate its status to that of an important medical disorder.
Causes: Fungal nail is an infection: patients with a fungal nail condition may present pain, nail discoloration, nail thickening, scaling, and/or detachment of the nail plate from the nail bed. Although, the cosmetic htmect of a fungal nail may be a concern, the problems induced may go much deeper.
What might a podiatrist do? vWhen a fungal nail is diagnosed it should be treated with appropriate drug regimens to achieve a cure whether topically (cream, soaks, or nail lacquer) for the mild to moderate conditions and orally for moderate to severe nail conditions. Your podiatrist will choose the proper treatment for you.
Definition: Athlete's foot is a common infection of the skin characterized by itching, scaling, redness, and the formation of small blisters. In general these lesions start between the toes and can extend to the borders and bottom of the foot. The fungus has the potential to spread to the toenails, causing them to become thickened, discolored and painful. In this case the infection is called onychomycosis. While this infection is common among athletes, keep in mind that can affect athletes and non-athletes alike.
Causes: The feet are vulnerable because shoes commonly create a warm, dark and humid environment that encourages fungal growth. Athletes foot can also be contracted in dressing rooms, hotel and locker room showers and swimming pool locker rooms where bare feet may come in contact with the fungus.
What Can You Do? Keep shoes and socks dry as a preventive measure. Practice good foot hygiene including daily washing of the feet with soap and water; drying feet carefully, especially between the toes. Change shoes regularly and wear acrylic or cotton soaks.
What might a podiatrist do? The podiatrist might prescribe topical or oral anti-fungal medication,
Flat Feet - Fallen Arches
Definition: A flat foot is a structural deformity resulting in the lowering of the arch of the foot. This is usually due to hyperpronation. In layman’s terms we refer to this as fallen arches. A person with a flat foot or a highly arched foot that is fairly painful is in need of treatment. People with flat feet may have other foot related problems such as ankle, knee, hip or lower back pain.
Causes: The main causes of flat feet or fallen arches are, heredity, arthritis, trauma, musculoskeletal disorders.
What Can You Do? Wear supportive shoes.
What might a podiatrist do? The podiatrist will perform a physical examination and gait analysis, take X-rays and prescribe custom orthotics. Surgical options include an extensive flat foot reconstruction procedure or the use of a sinus tarsi titanium implant ie: HyProCure.
Definition: A hammer toe is a contraction deformity, resulting in a boney prominence on top of or in between the toes of the feet.
Causes: Hammer toe can be caused by: improper, ill-fitting or high heel shoes, trauma or heredity.
What Can You Do? Change to shoes with lower heels, wear supportive shoes with a roomy toe box and soak and ice your toe.
What might a podiatrist do? A podiatrist will perform a physical examination, take X-rays and evaluate. Recommend padding and taping, prescribe orthotics and anti-inflammatory medication. The podiatrist may also administer cortisone injections, perform surgery if needed or inject a collagen filler.
Definition: Warts are one of several soft tissue condition of the foot that can be quite painful. They are caused by a virus, which generally invades the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions.
Causes: The plantar wart is often contracted by walking barefoot on dirty surfaces or littered ground where the virus is lurking. The causative virus thrives in warm, moist environments, making infection a common occurrence in communal bathing facilities.
What Can You Do? Avoid walking barefoot, except on the sandy beaches.• Change shoes and socks daily.• Keep feet clean and dry.
What might a podiatrist do? It is possible they will prescribe and supervise your use of a wart-removal preparation. More likely, however, removal of warts by a simple surgical procedure, performed under local anesthetics, may be indicated. Lasers have become a common and effective treatment.
Achilles tendonitis may occur in athletes who over train or don't do warm-up exercises as well as in individuals who may have had a sprain or strain while working or just going for a walk. As a result of this condition one may experience an irritation and inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the back of the heel bone. Initially it can be treated with ice, rest,.htmirin and anti-inflammatory medication. When the pain becomes chronic it should be professionally evaluated.
Your foot health specialist can provide treatment options that include one or a combination of treatments such as: stretching programs, ultrasound and laser therapies, cortisone injections, prescription anti-inflammatories, heel lifts and /or orthotics and extracorporeal shockwave therapy. In the United States an added option includes a mixture of stem cells and plasma enriched proteins which is injected into the area.