Common Foot Problems (Infographic)

Not a lot of people know, or even think about this, but foot problem can actually affect your entire body! Think of feet as the foundation of your body – if the foundation is not solid, the house might collapse.

Despite their small size, they carry a huge load, day in and day out. It is estimated that people spend in excess of 10 hours per day on their feet… So, it is not surprising to know that around 75% of adult population today has some sort of problem related to their feet.

And, rather than writing about these problems and conditions, I`ve decided to share with you an infographic with a short list of the most common foot problems! Infographic is nothing more than a fun, visual representation of otherwise boring or tedious facts…

So here goes:

Common Foot Problems & What to do About Them Infographic

Created by Dr. Comfort.

 

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Foot Pain And Related Conditions

Foot pain

Woman with foot pain (source: Sheknows.com)

Foot pain comes in many shapes and sizes. There are literally hundred`s of possible causes of the foot pain, so we can`t even hope to cover all of them. We will, however, make an attempt to cover some of the most common foot conditions that are known to cause pain and discomfort.

Most Common Foot Pain Causes And Symptoms

As we already mentioned, there are numerous causes of pain and foot injuries, but we can categorize them into few groups:

  • Trauma – certainly one of the most common causes of pain – not just in the foot. The trauma doesn`t even have to be intense or severe, repetitive motion can cause microtraumas to the bones of the foot (known as microfractures) and lead to painful conditions. Dropping a heavy load onto your foot is also a common type or trauma.
  • Health conditions – various health conditions can be the cause of pain in the foot. We will be covering some of these conditions in this article.

And the most common symptoms are:

  1. Pain
  2. Stiffness in the muscles and joints of the foot
  3. Tightness and, in some cases, limited range of motion

Foot Conditions

Broken Toes

This condition is one of the most common causes of foot pain among all ages and genders. Stubbing is the common way people break it, by running into a piece of furniture at night.

It is also important to note that, even though the toe will hurt like hell (specially if you stub your little toe), not all injuries will cause the cone to break. Our bones are quite strong and a great deal of force is required to be able to break it.

So, you might want to wait for a couple days, and if the pain starts to intensify, then you should definitely visit your doctor.

Hammer Toe

Stop! Hammer time! Well, not really…

Hammer toe usually starts out as a mild deformity, and then progresses over time. In the beginning the toes are flexible and symptoms can often be quite manageable. But, if left untreated, toes will become rigid and won`t respond to anything but surgical treatment.

Luckily, the toes will respond to early therapy well; there are also a wide range of gel pads you can use to relieve the pain and symptoms of hammer toes.

Overlapping Toes

Overlapping toes are relatively common in older age and can affect any of the toes. This is also a problem which could be corrected if acted in a timely manner. Patients who change shoes (get shoes with bigger toe boxes) or use gel toe straighteners can prevent and treat this condition.

However, if the condition is not treated in time, irritation can turn into degeneration of joints in the toes that could vary in its severity.

Plantar Fasciitis And Foot Pain

Heel Pain

Heel Pain – Plantar Fasciitis

Heel pain is a common condition in which weight bearing on the heel causing extreme pain and discomfort. One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis.

The plantar fascia is a band of fibrous tissue along the bottom of the foot. Excessive stretching of the plantar fascia, usually due to excessive- pronation (flat feet) is the main cause for plantar fasciitis. Other risk factors include working on hard surfaces, thongs or other ill fitting sandals and work boots. Pregnancy, being overweight and age are also contributing factors. A large number of women over 40 tend to experience plantar fasciitis as one theory suggests that the biochemistry in tendons and ligaments change around this age.

The inflammation caused by the plantar fascia being stretched away from the heel often leads to pain in the heel and area of the arch. The pain is often extreme in the morning when an individual first gets out of bed or after a prolonged period of rest. Pain is also often felt at the end of the day. Weight bearing can be made difficult.

If this condition is left untreated a bony protrusion may develop, known as a heel spur. It is important to treat the condition promptly before it worsens.

Treatment and Prevention

If you suffer from heel pain avoid high-heeled shoes whenever possible. Try to choose footwear with a reasonable heel, soft leather uppers and wear training shoes as much as possible. Stay away from thongs and flip flops and avoid bare foot walking as much as possible, particularly on hard surfaces.

Stepping into training shoes first thing in the morning (have these next to your bed) is one of the best ways to prevent micro tears in the Plantar Fascia as when we are asleep our feet are relaxed and when we get out of bed we put all our body weight onto the affected area and this begins the Inflammatory process all over again.

Stretching the calf muscle will also help along with R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Please note that ice is one of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation. Try putting a bottle of water in the freezer, once frozen roll it along the entire foot, 10 mins at a time. An arch support is also invaluable as it holds the foot in a neutral position. Strapping techniques are also helpful in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.