Maintaining healthy feet will allow people of all ages to be able to comfortably walk or run, no matter what. Without healthy feet, doing simple tasks like walking to the bathroom can become extremely painful or impossible. Those who work at jobs where they stand up all day may think painful feet are normal, but it’s actually the opposite! While common, it’s not normal and shouldn’t happen super frequently. There are ways to fix painful feet so that no harm is done in the future. A podiatrist is able to take a look at the ankle and foot area to diagnose the full problem with the painful area. This will allow to patient to continue having an active lifestyle without as much or any pain at all.
Let’s Talk about Anatomy
While we have more bones in our feet when we are born, the adult foot contains 26 bones. There are hundreds upon hundreds of muscles and ligaments twisted throughout this complex part of our body. Even though we don’t all weigh over a million pounds, the average adult experiences over a million pounds of pressure per day on his feet. Just like shock absorbers on a car, our feet absorb the impacts of daily life. This is why the type of landing runners have can either hurt them or make their running work better. Because of the amount of stress put on the feet every day for the simplest of tasks, it’s important to take care of them. There are many issues that may come with an unhealthy foot, including skin issues and bone issues.
Types of Conditions Present within Feet
Corns and calluses – Each of these are types of skin deformities that are a result of improper foot care. This could either be from friction from wearing no socks, the wrong socks, or the wrong shoes. They can be found between the toes, as well as underneath and on top of the feet. By choosing shoes that are wide and supportive with a not-so-high heel, calluses and corns can be reduced and completely cured. To remove dead skin and prevent any more from happening, a pumice stone on a rotary brush is extremely helpful. Those with diabetes shouldn’t ever use a pumice stone.
Athlete’s foot – Another extremely common skin condition on the foot, this one is caused by infection rather than friction. Athlete’s foot can appear red, scaly, and even have small blisters. Those who clean their feet often and possess good hygiene may rarely see athlete’s foot. The foot cleaning also takes drying into account and keeping your footwear clean and dry, as well.
Neuromas – This condition is actually caused by improper footwear. While we all like shoes that can razzle and dazzle, high heels and running shoes that aren’t supportive may cause a pinched nerve through a growth or swelling of nerve tissue. While this condition is benign, it can be quite painful and can even cause numbness and a burning sensation. If this condition is found, a physician may inject cortisone into the painful area and possibly perform surgery.
Other foot conditions include heel pain and heel spurs. Heel pain is the inflammation of tissue that starts at the heel and ends on the other side at the ball of the foot. It is worth mentioning that anything in this area is referred to as plantar because of its location. Those with plantar warts may be familiar with this area. Heel pain in this region may be caused by trauma to the area, over-extension, obesity, and other causes. The RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) that is often talked about among runners works well for anyone to reduce inflammation and heel pain. Heel spurs are an overgrowth on a foot bone and can cause pain down the arch. Footwear that features great arch support can help prevent and aid in fighting pain until proper action is set in motion.