Your feet are part of your everyday life. They help you to get from one place to another, take part in certain activities, and keep you balanced, so it’s our job to look after them.
Over time, our feet experience a lot of wear and tear, and it’s not uncommon for some people to suffer several issues with their feet – especially as it is estimated that we will walk the equivalent of six times around the world in our lifetime.
At Kin Body and Sole, we’re here to help you identify and manage some of the most common foot problems, with some at-home remedies and other remedies provided by our professional team.
The most common foot problems are found in those that play a lot of sports as the impact and continual strain on our feet during physical exercise speeds up the ageing process and general wear and tear.
However, a good podiatrist can help your feet go the distance.
The foot is exceptionally complex, with 28 different bones, 14 ligaments, and 38 muscles all working together to help us, well, move!
However, stress and strain on your feet put them at high risk of injury, with wear and tear caused by walking, running, jumping, climbing, and even wearing the wrong footwear all having an effect over time.
So, what are the most common foot problems people suffer, and how can podiatry help?
Podiatry and chiropodyTheme Builder
Athlete’s foot – a fungal infection of the skin, athlete’s foot causes itching, cracked, blistered, or peeling feet, redness, and scaling. Athlete’s foot is contagious, so it’s vital that you seek treatment immediately. Often over the counter products will help to clear up athletes’ feet within a couple of days. Remember to change your socks and shoes regularly, dry your feet thoroughly and even pop a powder or spray into your shoe to keep the fungal infection at bay.
Blisters – fluid-filled lesions caused by friction or pressure. Blisters can be painful and uncomfortable once they appear, making walking hard as footwear becomes uncomfortable. To avoid blisters from popping up, wear appropriate footwear that is the correct size and comfortable socks. Leave blisters alone, do not be tempted to pop them, as this will only make them more painful.
Bunions – are caused by a big toe deformity leading to a bony lump on the side of the foot. Bunions can cause considerable foot pain and often come from wearing narrow or tight shoes that place pressure on the foot and big toe joint (metatarsophalangeal joint). Treatments can include wearing appropriate footwear, bunion pads to help protect the bunion from additional pressure, ice packs to reduce inflammation, or in some cases; your podiatrist may prescribe shoe inserts or a splint to help straighten the big toe.
Chilblains – small, itchy, red/purple lumps on the skin; chilblains can be extremely painful if they reach a stage where they ulcerate. To help with chilblains, it’s advised that you keep warm to help with circulation, wear warm socks and slippers, eat a healthy diet, and depending on the severity, your podiatrist may recommend chilblain cream for use in colder/damper weather conditions.
Corns and calluses – formed when your skin rubs against your shoes, ground, or even bone. Corns prevent blisters from forming and aren’t typically painful…at first. However, corns will become more irritating and uncomfortable over time, and the best treatment is over-the-counter options such as corn plasters. In extreme cases, your podiatrist may suggest removing the corn via surgery.
Gout – is a type of inflammatory arthritis of the joints. Gout is typically found in the big toe and appears hot and sore to touch, red, and swollen. Changes to your diet can help to reduce the chances of gout occurring, as well as reducing alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy body weight. If you are suffering from gout, drinking lots of water may help, and specific medications are available to help reduce the pain and manage the condition.
Ingrown toenail – occurs when the nail pierces the flesh of the toe. Improper shoes are often the cause of this foot ailment, and shoes that are too narrow or tight. Running can also impact ingrown toenails, as well as cutting toenails too short. If you have an ingrown toenail (redness, swelling, or pain at the side of the toe), wash your feet with antibacterial soap and cut the toenail straight rather than in a rounded formation. Make sure to wear appropriate footwear, and if the toe looks infected, seek medical attention immediately. Treatment can include partial or full nail removal by a podiatrist to solve the problem longer term.
Plantar Fasciitis – an extremely painful foot problem where the ligament connecting the heel and the ball of the foot becomes inflamed. Pain and a lack of movement in the foot are the most common signs of plantar fasciitis. This injury is typically found when the foot has been overworked, and in most cases, your podiatrist will offer physical therapy to alleviate the pain. An icepack can also help to reduce inflammation, and a splint may be recommended at night to help stretch the affected area.
Sweaty feet – an extremely uncomfortable condition; sweaty feet can soon start to smell as protein in the skin breaks down due to the constant damp conditions the feet are exposed to. Often, and especially in sports, sweaty feet can’t be avoided, but there are ways you can help control and manage them. Firstly, always ensure you wear clean and ideally cotton socks, wash your feet regularly, especially after exercise, and wear different types of shoes. You can also buy over-the-counter sprays for your shoes which help to eliminate bad smells.
Verrucae – plantar warts found on the soles of the feet and toe area are contagious and can spread quickly. Over-the-counter medications may help clear up verrucae, however for those stubborn verrucae that have not responded to these treatments then Swift microwave therapy is a good option. This is a specialist podiatry treatment that heats the verrucae tissue and stimulates the bodies own immune response.
Podiatry clinic in York
At Kin Body and Sole, we’re trained in all aspects of foot care; supporting you with your foot ailments, we delve deep to find out the root cause of the problem so that we can provide the optimum solution for you.
If you’re experiencing any type of problem with your feet, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us today.
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