5 Most Common Foot Problems in Adults

“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art” Leonardo Da Vinci

 He might have lived hundreds of years ago, but old Leo was right: the simple act of walking depends upon the foot’s 26 bones, 33 joints and 100+ muscles and tendons all working together in harmony.

Foot pain is a sure sign something is wrong. Don’t ignore it, hoping it will go away; prompt treatment is the best way to ease pain and prevent chronic problems.

Your local podiatrist is a highly trained professional in foot care problems and should be your first port of call when experiencing pain or other issues in your toes, feet, heels or ankles – such as the following five common foot problems.

  1. Corns & Calluses

Alice pulled off her favourite stilettos and rubbed a lump on one of her toes. She loved wearing heels even though her feet always ached afterwards. This was different.

She didn’t realise it, but her heels were too small for her feet, resulting in a painful corn on the bony part of her toe.

The best way to treat the corn is to fill a bucket with warm water and soak the foot for 10 minutes. Once the skin softens, use a wet pumicestone or emery board to remove the build-up of dead skin. If the corn bleeds or becomes infected, consult your local podiatrist.

  1. Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

 Scott began jogging in preparation for an upcoming 10-kilometre fun run. One morning, he got out of bed and winced as his feet touched the floor; he was suffering from heel pain.

Scott had developed plantar fasciitis, a painful condition where the ligament connecting the ball of the foot to the heel (the fascia) becomes inflamed or torn.

Often caused by standing for long periods, in this case it was the result of overuse from jogging.

To relieve pain, try applying a cold compress; physical therapy may also help stretch the tightened area.

Other possible options include reducing strenuous activity for 6 weeks and use orthotic insoles to realign the foot.

  1. Bunions

 Retiree Mary has a hard lump/deformity on the joint at the base of her big toe- a bunion.

Constant rubbing from ill-fitting shoes is usually responsible for the inflammation that thickens the skin and surrounding areas, resulting in swelling and pain.

In the short-term, you could try regularly stretching and massaging the toe joint, or applying ice at the end of each day.

It’s important to wear shoes that fit correctly, with a wide and high toe area – so steer clear of any shoes with narrow, pointy toes, no matter how fashionable they are!

  1. Athlete’s foot

James often showers at the gym, and developed an annoying itch – athlete’s foot, a fungus that affects the areas between the toes and bottoms of the feet.

Athletes’ foot thrives in moist environments and can be easily passed from person to person.

Simple measures like wearing thongs in the shower at gym, and being careful to dry between toes, help to prevent athlete’s foot. However should you develop the condition, you could try an over-the-counter anti-fungal spray or cream to treat the foot and the inside of your shoes, and relieve the itch.

If the problem persists, see your GP for prescription-strength oral medication.

  1. Fungal nail infection

 Tiffany treated herself to a pedicure on her birthday. The nail technician accidentally damaged the nail, resulting in a fungal nail infection.

While there are over-the-counter treatments, often this will require professional medical treatment such as a prescription anti-fungal medication.

Of course as the saying goes, if pain persists, please see your medical professional – whether that’s your local GP or a podiatrist!

 

Cover Image Photo by Jan Romero on Unsplash

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Janet Camilleri
Janet Camillerihttps://frontpageseo.com.au
After stints as a primary school teacher, check out chick, and debt collection officer, Janet Camilleri began freelance writing for magazines when her children were small. Since then, her work has appeared in hundreds of magazines, anthologies and websites, including the Huffington Post and Flying Solo. A multi-award winning business woman, in her “spare” time Janet enjoys blogging for fun at https://janettispaghetti.com

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