Any discomfort in the feet can be troublesome. Some foot conditions can even be downright debilitating, as you’d find it more challenging than usual to walk, jog, run, or stand. But some of these issues seem to be more common than others. Continue reading to know four common foot problems you may experience in your daily life.
Common Foot Problems
Do you feel a nagging pain in your heel? That discomfort might be plantar fasciitis.
This common foot problem happens when the thick tissue running across the bottom of the foot to the heel bone becomes inflamed. Perhaps the first sign of this issue is a stabbing pain that runs across the heel to the other parts of the leg. Moreover, this discomfort tends to happen during your first morning steps.
Many people might find that the pain dissipates throughout the day, but it might return after extended periods or come the next morning. Inexperienced runners tend to experience plantar fasciitis more than people who live sedentary lifestyles.
It’s because improper running form causes the heel to “stab” the ground. Conversely, veteran runners who learned and practiced correct running forms have lower risks of contracting plantar fasciitis.
Other risk factors that may put you at a high risk of acquiring this foot problem are:
- Exercises that put a lot of stress on the heel
- Occupations that make people stand and walk for hours
Failure to rectify plantar fasciitis may lead to chronic heel pain. You must use the correct solution to treat this foot concern as soon as possible to avoid aggravating the issue.
Some treatment solutions for plantar fasciitis include:
- Giving the feet ample rest
- Putting ice on the heel
- Doing calf, toe, and towel stretches
- Wearing correct-fitting footwear
Severe conditions might require surgery to correct the damage done to the feet. For more information regarding surgery for plantar fasciitis, check the following link: https://www.tetonfootandankle.com/surgical-option-plantar-fasciitis.
If plantar fasciitis primarily affects the heel, metatarsalgia affects the balls of the foot. It’s a condition that affects the metatarsals, which are bones connecting the ankles from the toes.
If the head of a metatarsal bone puts additional pressure against another, the small nerve caught in between the two components becomes inflamed. Putting more weight to the foot, such as wearing ill-fitting footwear, will cause the symptoms to worsen.
Some risk factors that may produce or worsen metatarsalgia include:
- Overweight or obesity
- High impact exercises (with improper form)
- Stress fractures in the feet
- Stiff ankles
Other health conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may also contribute to the development of metatarsalgia.
At this point, you might think that you shouldn’t do high impact exercises to avoid this foot concern. It doesn’t mean you should avoid high-intensity activities. But you should give your feet ample rest.
Consider temporarily shifting your exercise routine from doing high impact workouts to other activities like cycling or swimming. Also, don’t forget to do proper stretching before and after each workout session to prevent additional stress on the metatarsals.
The onset of metatarsalgia may start from a mild discomfort on the balls of the feet. Failure to remedy this complication may develop into a burning or sharp pain accompanied by tingling or numbness in the toes.
If you think you have metatarsalgia, here are some treatment options you can try at home:
- Ample rest for the feet
- Put ice on the affected area
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Use metatarsal pads
- Use feet arch supports
The pain in the metatarsals may not dissipate or disappear after the continuous application of these remedies. If so, consider consulting the advice of a doctor. The medical expert may require you to undergo surgery to help reshape the bones in your feet.
Blisters are the skin’s defense mechanism to prevent additional damage to underlying layers. Although it protects the skin from further harm, pain may accompany blisters, which can cause difficulty in walking, standing, running, or doing other physical activities.
Also called vesicles, blisters can occur in relatively all age groups. Moreover, the standard type of blister is the “water blister” because the skin traps moisture to help protect the underlying layers.
Another type of blister is the “blood blister.” This time, blood that helps protect the layers of the skin, causing other fluids to collate and form bumps. Blood blisters also tend to be more painful than water blisters.
Some causes of blisters include:
- Physical trauma
- Autoimmune disorders
This concern may appear when you do repetitive actions on a specific part of the foot. For example, creating continuous friction on the soles of the feet will cause the skin to become rough. Fitness-centric individuals, such as martial artists, have blisters on their feet because of repetitive movement, hoping to perfect their crafts.
Aside from the conventional pain, other symptoms that may accompany this foot problem are:
- Burning sensation
- Tingling sensation
- Tenderness around the blister
Blisters may also be signs of more severe health concerns. For example, if the blister comes with high fever or warmth in the affected area, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor immediately. Consult emergency care should be of dire importance in this regard.
Heel spurs appear when calcium deposits grow between the arch and heel of the foot. Also called osteophytes or calcaneal spurs, this problem happens on the underside of the foot. You’ll know if you have this complication with its hooked or pointy appearance.
Some symptoms that may accompany heel spurs are:
- Sharp pains
- Dull, nagging pain that can last throughout the day
- Inflammation and swelling in the affected area
- Uncommon warmth in the heel
- Visible bone-like protrusion
Doctors may suggest you take an X-ray to determine if you have this foot concern. Furthermore, not every case concerning heel spurs will have all the symptoms mentioned above. Some individuals might experience only one or two of these signs. You might not even experience any symptoms at all. Hence, one excellent way to determine if you have heel spurs is to take an X-ray exam.
This foot concern happens because of long-term ligament and muscle stress. Continuous pressure applied to specific areas of the feet will cause additional wear and tear. Failure to care for these locations in the feet will cause calcium deposits to build up over time, causing the protrusions.
Other risk factors that can cause or aggravate heel spurs include:
- High-intensity athletic activities
- Physical trauma to the heel
- Gender (females tend to be more susceptible to heel spurs than males)
- Overweight or obesity
Also, wearing ill-fitting footwear will contribute to the increased risk of acquiring heel spurs. Wearing incorrectly-sized footwear, such as flip-flops, may lead to this foot complication.
Note that you shouldn’t confuse heel spurs with plantar fasciitis. The former happens when the plantar fascia, which is the fibrous tissue at the bottom of the foot connecting the heel to the toes, becomes inflamed, causing heel pain. Conversely, heel spurs are a bony protrusion found in the plantar fascia.
Therefore, you can develop heel spurs if you already have plantar fasciitis. Although the two foot problems have similarities, they’re different complications. Nonetheless, these concerns still need medical attention for proper treatment.
Foot Problem Prevention Tips
Remember, prevention will always be better than cure. You must practice correct foot care to avoid these common problems from surfacing.
Some ways to help prevent chronic foot pain include:
- Wearing comfortable and well-cushioned shoes
- Avoid wearing high-heeled and narrow-toed footwear for extended periods
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Stretch before and after vigorous exercise routines
Moreover, always practice foot hygiene to avoid the development or aggravation of existing foot problems. Clean your shoes frequently, and avoid standing or walking outside without wearing adequate footwear.
Home Remedies to Alleviate Foot Pain
You can use the following home remedies if you think that the foot problem you’re experiencing is relatively mild:
- Soak the Feet
After a stressful day at work, you may need to give your feet (and your mind) ample rest, especially if you’ve been out in the field. Pamper your feet with an essential oil foot bath.
Mix a bowl with hot water, two drops of peppermint oil, and about four drops of eucalyptus oil. The hot water will help relax the feet, whereas the pleasant smell of the essential oils will help relax your mind.
Massage the feet using a unique roller, which you may find in health stores. Otherwise, you may use a rolling pin or tennis ball to help soothe your stressed feet.
- Wear Foot Inserts
You can find foot inserts in shoe stores and health shops. These products help provide comfort and relief for different types of foot pain, particularly those caused by fallen arches or flat feet.
Plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and blisters are few of the many common foot problems you may encounter in life. You can apply home remedies to relieve and treat these concerns, provided that they’re still in relatively mild stages. Talk to your doctor if the discomforts you feel in the feet continue despite the application of some home remedies.