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5 Most Common Foot Disorders & How to Deal With Them

The human foot comprises of many bones, joints, ligaments and tendons made of strong fibrous tissues. Since the feet supports you, there is a high risk of injury, more so than other parts of your body. A little pain in the foot region is not uncommon, but you should consult a podiatrist for symptoms like ongoing soreness or signs of an infection. North Hill Foot & Ankle Clinic is your family foot clinic as we offer a wide range of services to help you. Some of the most common foot disorders that people suffer from include:

Athlete’s Foot

It is also called tinea pedis, caused by a fungus which thrives in a warm, dark and moist environment (the soles and the areas between the toes).


What Causes This?
You are mostly exposed to this fungus in a gym, shower or pool. Wearing damp shoes can spread it to other places on the feet.

Symptoms

This condition is highly contagious, causing inflammation in the affected areas. People suffering from it may also experience itching and burning sensations, along with the skin peeling off.

Treatment
You should keep your feet clean and dry. Antifungal treatments are available in most drugstores such as sprays, powders and lotions.

Bunions
Also known as hallux valgus, they are bony bumps formed on the base of the joint of your big toe. Women are most likely to have them, due to increased pressure from narrow footwear.


What Causes This?
If you use a tight shoe, it pressurizes the metatarsophalangeal joint, resulting in bunions. Health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis may also increase the likelihood of developing it.

Symptoms
If you are suffering this, you may notice the following symptoms:
  • A noticeable bump on the side of the foot
  • Tenderness on or around the big toe
  • Callus on the bone below the big toe
  • Difficulty in moving the big toe

Treatment
Wear properly fitting shoes without high heels and also buy a bunion pad which protects the bunion from extra pressure. If you notice inflammation, apply ice for 10 minutes with a cloth-covered ice pack. Your podiatrist might prescribe you custom-made shoe inserts or a splint which can straighten the big toe. In cases where the bunion does not subside, surgery might be needed to correct it.

Diabetic Neuropathy
People with diabetes are more prone to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, leading to diabetic neuropathy. It is a group of conditions which damage the feet.

What Causes This?
High blood sugar, a history of smoking and alcoholism damages the feet nerves.

Symptoms
The indications include numbness, tingling and pain in the feet. A lack of sensation means you may suffer cuts or injuries to the feet and not realize it.


Treatment
Maintaining your health and controlling your blood sugar levels can help you treat this disorder. If you are diabetic, you must go for regular foot exams. You can get your toe nails trimmed by the professionals and seek medical attention for any foot wounds.

Plantar Fasciitis

This occurs when the plantar fascia which supports the arch of your foot is inflamed.

What Causes This?
It is an inflammatory condition which does not have a clear cause. The foot doctors refer to it as idiopathic plantar fasciitis. The risk factors include obesity, having a very high arch, tight calf muscles and doing activities which put pressure on the heel.

Symptoms
You may experience pain on the bottom of the heel when getting out of bed.

Treatment
Most people try home remedies to cure it. You can apply ice to reduce inflammation and take medicines such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium for pain management. Thoroughly stretching the foot before and after physical activity may also reduce your discomfort. If the problem persists, you can try physical therapy or see a podiatrist for further treatments.

Ingrown Toenails
They occur when the toenails start to grow into the nail groove, causing significant pain and distress.

What Causes This?
Wearing ill-fitting shoes and toenails which are not trimmed properly causes this problem. Having a history of ingrown toenails in the family can also increase the risk.

Symptoms
You may notice redness, swelling, pain and even drainage from the toenail indicating an infection.


Treatment
The ways to treat ingrown toenails include:
  • Wash your feet with antibacterial soap. Keep them clean and dry.
  • Cut the nails straight across after bath when they are soft.
  • Avoid cutting nails in a rounded pattern, to reduce the risk of inward growth.
  • Wear shoes that fit well. 
Get in touch with us to learn more about the other foot disorders and their treatments. We are proud to offer other services such as custom orthotics and diabetic foot assessments. Fill out our online form for further questions about our foot clinic. Our team will get back to you.
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