Listen to Your Feet!
Listen carefully, your feet may be trying to tell you something. When our feet hurt, or develop problems, it’s their way of sending us a message about our lifestyle choices. According to a recent survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), even though the majority of women stated that they suffered from some type of foot ailment, only twenty-six percent (26%) of woman ages 18-49 have ever visited a podiatrist.
Reason: Excessive weight gain resulting in pain on the bottom of the heel or in the arch. May also be caused by bony overgrowth on the heel, muscle imbalance, high or low arched feet, improper shoe gear, excessive activity or trauma.
Response: Exercise and stretch feet daily and wear strong and supportive shoes that don’t put undue stress on the ball or heel. Visit a podiatrist who can examine and see if medications or orthotics are necessary.
Reason: Improper trimming or too much pressure on feet in tight-fitting shoes, resulting in redness, pain or swelling around the nail. Can also result from poor foot structure, heredity, trauma or foot deformities.
Response: Do not use nail polish to cover discoloration. Instead, visit a podiatrist at the first sign of a problem to see what treatment may be necessary. Avoid tight-fitting shoes and socks and inspect nails daily. Be sure to trim nails straight across using toenail clipper, making sure not to round edges.
Reason: Overuse due to increase in physical activity, such as an increase in walking time or distance. This may also be caused by wearing worn out or improperly-fitted shoes.
Response: Rest and ice provide relief, however in some cases, over-the-counter supports and anti-inflammatories may need to be prescribed.
Blisters, Callus & Corns
Reason: Friction from shoes that don’t fit right or are too stiff. Also from bony prominences that have developed over time.
Response: Keep feet dry and wear socks with properly-fitted shoes. If painful, carefully open a corner of the blister closest to the bottom of the foot with a sterilized instrument, like a sewing needle. Drain and immediately apply antibiotic cream and a bandage. Calluses can be smoothed with a pummus stone and lotion.
Reason: Trauma or infection to the nail that makes it thickened, discolored, loose or deformed. Often caused by the spread of athlete’s foot, but may also be an indication of conditions such as diabetes or arthritis.
Response: Consult a podiatrist to prescribe the medication and treatment that will safely and effectively treat the problem. Both oral and topical medications are available and can be either prescribed or dispensed in our offices.
Reason: A bump at the base of the big toe that is swollen, tender or painful when in the shoe, often caused by misalignment of the joints. Ill-fitting shoes, heredity, trauma, biomedical abnormalities, arthritis, neuromuscular disorders, inflammatory joint disease, congenital deformities can all be culprits.
Response: Avoid pointy and narrow shoes or shoes with stitching or seams that rub bony areas of the foot. If painful, bunions can be surgically removed by a podiatrist.