| Common Foot Conditions
Michael in the exam room
There are many foot problems that affect young and old alike. Here is a list and description of some issues that orthotics can help relieve.
Foot Health and Its Affect On the Body
Have you ever watched a child stack a pile of blocks? When one got out of whack, it affected every block above it, and soon they all came crashing down. Your body’s the same way. So when even one foot has trouble it can throw off your leg, back, shoulder, neck, you name it. That’s why making sure your feet are a solid foundation for your body is important to your health. Take a look at some of the problems that can arise from improper foot care. Whether you need to take preventive or corrective action, the time to care for your feet is right now.
Common Foot Conditions
We Can Help With
Plantar Fascitis (Heel Spur Syndrome)
This occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed and causes pain on the bottom of your foot. The plantar fascia is the connective tissue that runs from the base of your toes, across the arch of your foot, and into your heel.
Hallux Valgus (Bunions)
Bunions are bone deformities that develop on the side of the big toe. There are numerous ways to treat bunions, and orthotics will probably work in concert with the best options you and your doctor choose.
When your tendons, the bands that connect your bones to your muscles, become inflamed, you have tendonitis. Basically, you’ll feel localized pain near a joint. There are plenty of places you could experience this condition all over your feet. Achilles tendonitis is a common example. It’s often a result of sudden changes in exercise habits, or footwear changes such as heel heights. Orthotics are ideal in treating or preventing this condition.
This condition occurs when tissue thickens around the nerves that serve the toes, most commonly affecting the third and fourth toes. It can be closely related to footwear, such as high heel shoes or narrow shoes that squeeze your toes together. Typically, you’ll feel a pain in the ball of your foot that may radiate into your toes.
Shin Splints affect your tibia, the bone in your front, lower leg. The pain comes from too much stress on the bone and connecting muscles, and it’s most common in runners. Orthotics can help relieve stress on your tibia and minimize this problem.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Your tibial nerve is encased in a tunnel called the Tarsal Tunnel. If any of the occupants of this tunnel become inflamed, it can get a little too crowded. People with flat feet are particularly prone to this condition. If you have Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, you’ll experience pain and burning in your feet. Orthotics can help offer relief.
Calluses and Corns
These are thick, hard layers of skin that develop around pressure points on your feet. Many times they can be an indication of a bone spur or other problem. Orthotics can help distribute the pressure on your feet, which will reduce the friction that leads to both corns and calluses.
Your foot has two small, pea-sized bones embedded underneath your big toe called sesamoids. If you run, dance, or do anything that requires a lot of pivoting, you’re at risk for sesamoiditis. Basically, your big toe will ache, especially if you move it up and down. Orthotics can redistribute the pressure on your toe and relieve your sesamoid pain.
This condition gets its name for a good reason. It occurs when the second, third or fourth toe becomes bent, resembling a hammer. Surgery is sometimes needed, but in most cases, the problem is treated with appropriate footwear.
If you have pain around the ball of your foot, this could be metatarsalgia. It occurs due to inflammation of the metatarsal joints, and can usually be relieved with orthotic footwear.
Turf toe occurs when the big toe is hyperextended and tissues surrounding the toe are ruptured or torn. It’s a common injury among people who participate in sports. If you have turf toe, you’ll probably feel some pain that can usually be treated with ice and similar remedies. Orthotics can treat current conditions and prevent them from repeating.
Calcaneal Apophysitis (Sever’s Disease)
This condition affects kids during adolescent growth spurts. It has many of the same symptoms as Achilles tendonitis. Treatments include rest, stretching and orthotics.
This occurs when there’s a blood supply problem or fracture affecting the second metatarsal. It typically results in pain in the ball of your foot. Most often Freiberg’s affects women.
Arthritis can be a very painful condition for a lot of people. It happens when your cartilage becomes inflamed, and with 33 joints in each foot, there’s plenty of cartilage in your feet that is susceptible.
A stress fracture occurs when you develop a crack in one of the bones that extends from your toes to the middle of your foot. Typically you’ll notice pain and swelling associated with a stress fracture.
Ulcers are skin wounds that do not heal very quickly and are subject to infection. They can particularly be a problem for diabetics. Click here to learn more about diabetes and your feet.
Toe/Partial Foot Amputations
When you have a toe or part of your foot amputated, you need support in your shoes to help balance. In this case, your custom orthotic with include a carbon shank. This will help compensate for any part of your foot that has been amputated. It will also protect and accommodate the remaining portion of your foot.
If you have diabetes, it’s critically important that you take care of your feet. Many of the problems that commonly affect diabetic feet can lead to serious medical issues, or even death. But these problems can be managed and avoided. Click here to learn more caring for diabetic feet.
If you have diabetes then you know you have to be diligent about your daily healthcare. That includes regular foot inspections. Why? Because you may have insufficient blood circulation in your feet, and that makes it easy for sores to open up and become infected without your even realizing it. This can lead to amputations or even death. At Pedorthic Care, a special part of our practice and inventory is specifically catered to protecting patients with diabetes. But remember, don’t count on your shoes to do all the work. Take a look at your feet at least once a day. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts to help you keep your feet as healthy as possible.
- Inspect your feet daily for blisters, bleeding and lesions between the toes. Use a mirror to examine the bottom of your feet as well.
- Wear high and wide toe box shoes.
- Wear footwear that fits well and protects your feet.
- Wear conforming removable insoles in your footwear.
- Wear diabetic non-binding socks and stockings to keep moisture away.
- Use only creams that are made for diabetic feet.
- Use bed cradles to reduce the weight of heavy bedding on your diabetic foot.
- Wash your feet daily with warm, soapy water and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
- Let your doctor trim your toenails.
- Don’t excessively soak your diabetic feet.
- Don’t use hot water bottles or heating pads on your feet.
- Don’t use acids or chemical corn removers on diabetic feet.
- Don’t perform "bathroom surgery" on corns, calluses or ingrown toenails.
- Don’t smoke.
If you notice a problem with your feet, contact your doctor immediately.