COMFORT OVER FASHION: TAKING CARE OF YOUR FEET

Today’s guest poster is Michelle Tyler. Michelle is a qualified medical writer who writes informative articles related to back pain and spine surgery alternatives that offer new insights into the ever advancing field of medicine. She writes these articles on behalf of EmpoweredDoctor.com. These articles help patients understand the latest treatment options that are available to them.

In order to look our best and to keep up with the changing fashion trends, most of us harm our feet in the worst possible ways. One must always remember that rather than following fashion trends senselessly, it is advisable to wear shoes and sandals that are right for the feet. I bet you didn’t even realise the damage that constant wearing of high heels and other ill fitting footwear can do to your whole posture, not just your feet!

If you ignore the needs of your feet, you will end up hurting and harming it. The entire weight of your body is carried by your legs in general and feet in particular, therefore you need to take extra care; especially as you age. If you abuse your feet, you can end up having sever problems not only related to the feet and legs but also spinal and back problems for which physical therapy maybe sought. Following are the common problems faced when the feet are mistreated.

Hammertoes
When women wear shoes that are too narrow, it causes the small toe to bunch up and form a claw where the toe tip assumes the position as of a hammer. If the hammertoe keeps rubbing to the shoe, it results in painful corns. Hammertoes may also be caused due to age related reasons such as arthritis.

Once a hammertoe is formed, you cannot realign it yourself, you would require a small surgery that will snip a tendon or remove a piece of bone, after which you will require a month’s recovery time.

Bunions
When there is a bony protrusion at the base of the toe, it causes the toe to realign and protrude towards the other toes. It is commonly caused by pointy footwear which cause the toe to squeeze or even due to high heels which causes the toes to push forward in the shoes. In many cases it may also be hereditary.

Bunions are extremely painful; therefore you should wear shoes with wide toe box and also use a bunion cushion which is available at most medical stores. In case of an inflamed bunion, ice and anti-inflammatory ointments can be applied. If the pain persists, surgery may be required. The surgery involves repositioning of the foot bones and a long recovery period.

Hallux Limitus
It is more common in men than in women and causes limited movement of the first toe joint, making it painful to walk. The common cause of this condition is arthritis and trauma. Treatments include use of extended foot orthotic for supporting the joint or applying a toe bar on the sole of the shoe. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs too can help relieve pain.

Mortan’s Neuroma
This causes the nerve to get enlarged and is common amongst women. It causes pain, tingling, burning and numbness on the ball of the foot. It is usually caused by wearing shoes that are too tight. Treatment includes orthotics, protective pads and anti- inflammatory drugs. Corticosteroid and ethyl alcohol or vitamin B12 injections are also helpful in bringing relief to the feet. In case the pain yet persists, surgery might be required.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Due to entrapment of a nerve in the feet you might feel numbness or a burning sensation. Apart from overuse and abuse of tight and narrow shoes, deformities of the leg and lesions pressing the nerve of the feet are also causes of this condition. Anti-inflammatory drugs and injections of corticosteroid will help relieve the pain.

Plantar Fasciitis
In this condition, there is an inflammation in the bottom of the foot. The common symptom associated with this condition is pain in the heel, especially after awakening in the morning. This condition is usually caused due to the gait of an individual which puts pressure on the heels. It is also common for those individuals who have a history of excessive walking or running over hard surfaces. It may also be caused due to arthritis as well as inadequate cushioning in the heel area of the shoes. It is important to treat plantar fasciitis soon as it can cause heel spur if untreated. Treatment includes wearing night splints and modifying the gait. A physical therapist will also recommend exercises to stretch leg muscles and treat the ailment.

It is thus obvious that it is extremely important to wear comfortable footwear which gives the feet room to breathe, therefore avoiding foot problems.

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