Your foot is made up of 26 bones, which connect tendons, ligaments, and muscles that experience significant pressure and stress every single day. It’s important to make sure they remain healthy and be aware of symptoms that may cause common foot pains.
A bunion is a bony bump on the joint at the base of your big toe. They develop slowly when your big toe pushes against your second toe, ultimately leading to the joint getting larger and protruding from your foot. Some of the symptoms may include pain, soreness, numbness, burning, swelling, and redness.
There are several options for bunion treatment. Some patients find pain relief with treatments that reduces pressure on the big toe, such as padding, splinting, medication, wearing wider shoes, or using pads in shoes. If these measures do not help, your podiatrist may recommend surgical correction.
Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are painful hard areas found on your feet. They happen from wearing poorly fitted shoes that cause friction and pressure. A callus is an area typically found on the bottom of your foot that thickens after friction. A corn is a type of callus that is found on top of and between the toes.
Some common symptoms of corns and calluses include bumps or patches on the skin, tenderness, burning, and pain with touch and pressure. You should not try to cut corns or calluses at home to avoid a potential infection. Most corns and calluses will go away when the friction or pressure that is causing them stops, along with doing some home treatments.
Plantar Fasciitis is caused by an inflammation in the band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. This tissue is found in the area that connects your heel bone to your toes. The pain is usually found near the heel, but it can actually be felt anywhere along the plantar fascia ligament.
There are many reasons why one might develop plantar fasciitis. Some of these factors include being overweight, being on your feet for extended periods, wearing shoes with inadequate support, and high-impact sporting activities. Also, flat feet or high arches, excessive pronation (when the foot rolls severely inward when walking), or wearing high heels regularly can be aggravating factors.
Stretching is the single most important thing to do to eliminate and prevent pain. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and the use of ice and massage can be used to reduce inflammation and pain. If pain continues, it is important to see a podiatrist for a more comprehensive treatment plan.
A bone spur is an abnormal bone growth that can develop in any bone, but most frequently they occur in high-impact areas such as your feet. Bone spurs develop over long periods of time, usually near joints. Heel spurs are found at the back of the heel or under the heel, beneath the arch of the foot, and described as a bony, pointed growth. While there are many causes, they often do occur from plantar fasciitis.
Heels spurs may cause the most pain early in the morning after rest. It can appear as a sharp pain on the bottom of your foot, but may also be a mild and dull pain throughout the day. If it’s from plantar fasciitis, there may be symptoms of inflammation and tenderness on the bottom of the foot too. Keep in mind that not all heel spurs cause any pain or discomfort.
If you have heel spurs, talk with your doctor about treatment and you may find recommendations for comfortable shoes, orthotic devices, anti-inflammatories, exercises, injections, or surgical procedures for more severe cases.
A hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third, or fourth toes where the toe is bent at its middle joint and looks like a hammer. The causes of hammertoe can include arthritis, tight shoes, high heels, pointy shoes, toe injuries, high foot arch, and bunion pressure. Some of the mild symptoms of hammertoe include the toe bending downward, pain, corns, calluses, inability to straighten your toe, claw-like toes, difficulty walking, swelling, redness, or burning.
Treating hammertoes early on during mild symptoms involves simple treatments such as changing the type of shoes you wear, exercises, and using cushions to help relieve pain. You should not pop any blisters on your toes, as it could cause additional pain and infection. If mild treatments do not work, surgery may need to be considered.