Your feet may not be high on your priority list when it comes to self-care, but they really should be! They bear the weight of your whole body, day after day, and as such, some natural wear and tear can be expected. There are a lot of common foot problems that we see every day at The Foot Hub, but here are 6 of the most common foot problems and how to treat them.
1. Corns & Calluses
Repeated rubbing against shoes or other parts of your feet may lead to corns and calluses forming on your feet. The difference between them is that corns are formed on the top or sides of your feet and toes, and calluses appear on the soles of your feet. They are the same thing but because of the weight on the soles of your feet, calluses grow into your feet instead of on the outside of your skin.
There are lots of over the counter solutions for this common foot problem. These include medicated pads and plasters which are applied to the area to treat the corn or callus. Sometimes this is not completely effective, so seeing a podiatrist is recommended. They have access to other forms of treatment which may prove more successful than over the counter options.
Bunions can be extremely painful and debilitating. Often hereditary, many patients live with them for years. If you have a bunion on just one foot, or one that is more pronounced than the other, you may struggle to find a pair of shoes that fits well, due to the uneven nature of your feet.
The only really effective treatment for bunions is surgery. Pain management and footwear choices can help to relieve the symptoms but won’t fix the cause of the pain.
3. Fallen Arches
Fallen arches are where your entire foot is almost entirely level with the ground. Often referred to as flat feet for this very reason, common causes of fallen arches include stretched or torn tendons, arthritis, nerve issues or birth abnormalities. Sometimes they can be a side effect of pregnancy too.
Depending on the cause of your fallen arches, there could be different options recommended to treat them. This could include anything from rest and ice packs to reduce the swelling and relieve any pain through to physical exercises or custom orthotics.
4. Ingrown Toenails
One of the most common foot problems that our podiatrists see here at The Foot Hub is ingrown toenails. These can be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight as well as not trimming your toenail correctly.
If you’re experiencing pain from your toenails becoming ingrown, we highly recommend a visit to a qualified podiatrist.
Treatment options can include trimming the nail back, treating any infection or ingrown toenail surgery. It’s a minor surgical procedure called partial nail avulsion which removes a portion of the nail and the underlying tissue.
5. Fungal Toenail Infections
Fungal toenail infections are quite common, and should be treated as soon as you notice them. They are usually present in warm, moist conditions – so feet that spend all day in socks and shoes are the perfect breeding ground.
Often picked up in public wet areas like showers and swimming pools, fungal nail infections can be treated in a variety of ways. This will depend on the individual patient as well as the severity of the infection.
Two effective treatment options we use here at The Foot Hub are photodynamic antimicrobial therapy (PACT ®) and Keryflex nail restoration. Read more about our fungal nail treatment options here.
6. Plantar Fasciitis
If you’ve experienced heel pain before, you know just how unpleasant it can be. This common foot problem is often a result of inflammation or tearing of the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs along the underside of the foot from the heel bone to the toes.
It’s a foot problem that’s often seen in pregnant women (if they have experienced rapid weight gain), long distance runners, and people who work on their feet for long hours.
Treatment options will vary according to the severity of the injury and each individual patient. They could include simple home remedies like rest and ice packs for 20 minutes, anti-inflammatories, or even custom orthotics to raise the arch of your foot and stretch your calf muscles.
If you’ve experienced any of these common foot problems and want to get them seen to by a professional, contact The Foot Hub.
Our Sydney podiatrists see these common foot problems regularly and can recommend the right course of treatment for you.