Top 10 Foot Problems

Top 10 Foot Problems
June 6, 2014

10. ACHILLES TENDONITIS

Achilles tendonitis may occur in athletes who over train or don't do warm-up exercises as well as in individuals who may have had a sprain or strain while working or just going for a walk. As a result of this condition one may experience an irritation and inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the back of the heel bone. Initially it can be treated with ice, rest, aspirin and anti-inflammatory medication. When the pain becomes chronic it should be professionally evaluated.

Your foot health specialist can provide treatment options that include one or a combination of treatments such as: stretching programs, ultrasound and laser therapies, cortisone injections, prescription anti-inflammatories, heel lifts and /or orthotics and extracorporeal shockwave therapy. In the United States an added option includes a mixture of stem cells and plasma enriched proteins which is injected into the area. 

9. PLANTAR WARTS

Definition:
Warts are one of several soft tissue condition of the foot that can be quite painful. They are caused by a virus, which generally invades the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions. They can appear anywhere on the skin, but, technically, only those on the sole are properly called plantar warts. Children, especially teenagers, are often more susceptible to warts than adults; some people seem to be immune. Identification


Problems
Most warts are harmless, even though they may be painful. They are often mistaken for corns or calluses â which are layers of dead skin that build up to protect an area which is being continuously irritated. The wart, however, is a viral infection. It is also possible for a variety of more serious lesions to appear on the foot, including melanomas. Although rare, these conditions can sometime be misidentified as a wart. It is wise to consult a podiatrist when any suspicious growth or eruption is detected on the skin of the foot in order to ensure a correct diagnosis. Plantar warts tend to be hard and flat with a rough surface and well-defined boundaries; warts are generally raised and fleshier when they appear on the top of the foot or on the toes. Plantar warts are often gray or brown (but the color may vary), with a center that appears as one or more pinpoints of black. It is important to note that warts can be very resistant to treatment and have tendency to reoccur.

What Can You Do?
Avoid walking barefoot, except on the sandy beaches.
Change shoes and socks daily.
Keep feet clean and dry.
Check childrenâs feet periodically.
Avoid direct contact with warts â from other persons or from
other parts of the body.
Do not ignore growths on, or changes in, your skin.
Visit your podiatric physician as part of your annual health checkup.

8. HAMMER TOE

Definition:
A hammer toe is a contraction deformity, resulting in a boney prominence on top of or in between the toes of the feet.

Causes
Hammer toe can be caused by: improper, ill-fitting or high heel shoes, trauma or heredity.

What Can You Do?
Change to shoes with lower heels, wear supportive shoes with a roomy toe box and soak and ice your toe.


7. FLAT FOOT / FALLEN ARCHES

Definition:
A flat foot is a structural deformity resulting in the lowering of the arch of the foot. This is usually due to hyperpronation. In laymanâs terms we refer to this as fallen arches. A person with a flat foot or a highly arched foot that is fairly painful is in need of treatment. People with flat feet may have other foot related problems such as ankle, knee, hip or lower back pain.

Causes
The main causes of flat feet or fallen arches are, heredity, arthritis, trauma, musculoskeletal disorders.

What Can You Do?
Wear supportive shoes.


6. ATHLETE'S FOOT

Definition:
Athlete's foot is a common infection of the skin characterized by itching, scaling, redness, and the formation of small blisters. In general these lesions start between the toes and can extend to the borders and bottom of the foot. The fungus has the potential to spread to the toenails, causing them to become thickened, discolored and painful. In this case the infection is called onychomycosis. While this infection is common among athletes, keep in mind that can affect athletes and non-athletes alike.

Causes
The feet are vulnerable because shoes commonly create a warm, dark and humid environment that encourages fungal growth. Athletes foot can also be contracted in dressing rooms, hotel and locker room showers and swimming pool locker rooms where bare feet may come in contact with the fungus.

What Can You Do?
Keep shoes and socks dry as a preventive measure. Practice good foot hygiene including daily washing of the feet with soap and water; drying feet carefully, especially between the toes. Change shoes regularly and wear acrylic or cotton soaks.


5. FUNGAL NAIL

Definition:
Nail Fungus is a chronic condition with implications for patients that go beyond the nail. When left untreated a fungal nail condition may affect physical and psychological wellbeing for many years. While not life threatening, the overall affects of this infection elevate its status to that of an important medical disorder.

Fungal nail is an infection: patients with a fungal nail condition may present nail discoloration, nail thickening, scaling, and/or detachment of the nail plate from the nail bed. Although, the cosmetic aspect of a fungal nail may be a concern, the problems induced may go much deeper.

More than 50% of patients with fungal nail experience pain and discomfort
A study on quality of life found significantly poorer ratings for general health and body pain in patients with fungal nail than in healthy subjects.



4.PLANTAR FASCIITIS / HEEL PAIN

Definition:
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the long band of connective tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot, heel spur syndrome is a boney overgrowth on the heel bone, Plantar fasciitis and heel spur syndrome affect women more than men, The bottom of the foot and arch can become more painful.

Causes:
Stretching the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot, muscle imbalance, bone deformity, obesity, trauma, tightness of the muscles on the back of the leg.


3.NEUROMA

Definition:
A neuroma is a painful condition often referred to as a pinched nerve, swollen nerve, or nerve tumor. It is defined more specifically as a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. This may result in pain, burning, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot.

Causes:
Improper or ill-fitting shoes, trauma, high heeled shoes, heredity.



2.CORNS OR CALLUSES

Definition:
A callus or corn is a build up of skin that forms at points of pressure or over boney prominences. Calluses from on the bottom side of the foot, corns form on the top of the foot and between the toes.

Causes:
Repeated friction and pressure from skin rubbing against boney areas or against an irregularity in a shoe, as well as hereditary disorders.


1.BUNION

Definition:
A bunion is an enlargement at the base of the big toe caused by misalignment of the joint. It may be swollen, tender and painful with the wearing of footwear.

Causes:
Heredity, biomechanical abnormalities, neuromuscular disorders, inflammatory joint disease (arthritis), trauma, congenital deformities.

What might a podiatrist do?
Perform a physical exam of the foot, perform X-ray evaluation, padding or taping, prescribe orthotics, perform surgery as indicated.

Further questions contact Annapolis Foot and Ankle Center. Please call to schedule an appointment with either Dr. Eric S. Harmelin or Dr. John G. DeLeonibus.

Annapolis 410-266-7666
Washington 301-262-8558