6 Common Foot Problems and their Remedies

Considered one of the most complex parts of the human body, the foot consists of 26 bones connected by various muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints.
Sans adequate care, this intricate body part can cause inflammation, pain, or injuries that can result to limitations in both mobility and movement.
Get to know six of the most common foot problems you will likely to encounter so you can effectively remedy probable foot woes before they escalate.

1.    Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar FasciitisImage Credit

What is it?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. This condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a band of connective tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes becomes swollen or irritated secondary to overstretching or bruising.
A classic symptom of plantar fasciitis is the presence of pain when getting out of bed. In some cases, arch pain is also experienced.
How is it treated?
Wearing night splints
Stretching your heel and foot muscles
Getting your feet some rest for at least one week
Wearing shoes that fit properly and contain good arch support
Performing exercises that can strengthen and lengthen your plantar fascia
Taking over-the-counter pain killers, such as ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve) and acetaminophen (Tylenol)

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2.    Ingrown toenail

Ingrown toenailImage Credit

What is it?
Otherwise referred to as onychocryptosis, an ingrown toenail is oftentimes attributed to improper cutting of the nails. While not observed most of the time, cutting right across is deemed the right technique when cutting nails.  In addition, this condition is often observed in the large toes.
Other probable reasons people get onychocryptosis include fungus infection, poor foot structure, and shoe pressure.
How is it treated?
Observing proper nail-cutting technique
Wearing open-toed footwear for comfort
Taking OTC pain relievers for pain management
Soaking the affected area in tepid water few times a day
Undergoing surgical procedure if conservative treatments do not suffice

3.    Metatarsalgia

What is it?
Metatarsalgia is a condition characterized by pain and swelling of the balls of the foot.
Individuals who suffer from metatarsalgia usually experience sharp, aching or burning pain in the part of the sole which is just behind the toes.
The most common factors that trigger this condition include: wearing ill-fitting shoes, being overweight, and performing strenuous training or activity, such as sprinting or jumping, among others.
How is it treated?
Icing the affected area
Taking some pain killers
Wearing comfortable footwear
Allowing your foot to take a rest for a couple of days
Placing metatarsal pads in your shoes to help deflect pressure on the ball of the foot

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4.    Bunion

What is it?
A bunion, otherwise known as hallux valgus is a bony formation on the joint at the base of the big toe.  In most cases, the afflicted experiences walking difficulty secondary to pain and inflammation. Oftentimes, this condition is attributed to wearing of high-heels and overly tight shoes.
How is it treated?
Taking antibiotics might be necessary in some cases, especially if the affected area has become  infected
Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or administering corticosteroid injections is advised to relieve acute inflammatory conditions
Undergoing surgery if the abovementioned interventions do not ease the symptoms

5.    Achilles tendinitis

Achilles tendinitisImage Credit

What is it?
Achilles tendinitis is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon. It is usually caused by intense strain on the band of tissue that connects your calf muscles to the heel bone.
Individuals who engage sports only on the weekends and those who abruptly increase the intensity of their running programs are most susceptible to suffer from this condition.
How is it treated?
Using orthotic devices
Taking over-the-counter pain medications
Performing stretching and strengthening exercises to promote healing

6.    Corns and calluses

What are they?
They are often caused by repeated rubbing of the bony areas of your feet against your shoe. If the pressure is not deflected, you can end up developing calluses and corns that bring about redness, discomfort, inflammation and pain.
The most common areas where corns and calluses are likely to develop include the ball of the foot, tips of toes and under the big toe.
How are they treated?
Wearing comfortable footwear
Seeking professional help from a podiatrist
Soaking the feet and using a pumice stone to remove the tough skin
Placing moleskin or padding around the affected areas to ease the pain

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