Over the course of an average lifetime, our feet help us walk 110,000 miles, which is more than four times around the Earth. They do this because they are a true anatomical marvel: they have an impressive 28 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments.
It should come as no surprise that they sometimes hurt, and even more so as we age. So, what exactly is the cause of these pains, and should you consult a doctor to request an MRI for foot pain?
The most common foot problems, regardless of age, are usually a result of overuse and the shape and structure of the foot, the surface on which it rests, the level of activity, the weight carried and the footwear we wear.
If you go to a podiatrist because you have foot pain, first they look at the structure of the foot and the way the person walks and stands, and then maybe take X-rays. However, treatment is tailored to each individual patient.” With that in mind, these seven ailments are the most likely to be diagnosed as the cause of your problem:
This inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament, which runs from the heel to the ball of the foot, can cause both heel and arch pain, and is sometimes associated with heel spurs (calcium deposits under the heel bone). “If you talk to ten podiatrists, they will all tell you that plantar fasciitis is the most common problem they see in their office every day,
The common cause is wearing the wrong shoes, no matter what you do. “Feet don’t know the difference between walking on a track, running on a treadmill, or standing at home eight to ten hours a day.”
Nearly all cases of plantar fasciitis resolve within eight to 12 months. Some doctors treat the problem with cortisone injections or platelet-enriched plasma. Other than that, some recommend never buying shoes without seeing and trying them on first. “You have to pick up the shoe, whether it’s a gym shoe, a running shoe or a dress shoe, and fold it. If it bends at the arch, it’s generally poor quality and you’ll be more likely to have overuse problems like plantar fasciitis.” Shoes that have good support don’t have to be expensive.
Joint problems come with age, because we don’t walk on sand, we walk on concrete and asphalt.” This often leads to osteoarthritis, which is a painful, degenerative disease of the joint cartilage and surrounding bone. “We see arthritis in the ankle, the joint below the ankle, the middle of the foot, the big toe, and in many areas.
What can you do? Limit foot activity, lose weight, wear proper shoes, add cushioned insoles, get physical therapy, take anti-inflammatories, get steroid injections, and limit yourself to non-impact exercises. “we always tell people that if they’ve had foot pain for a year, running, walking or jumping probably isn’t the right exercise to do. Instead, it is better to do exercises such as pedaling on a stationary bike, swimming, doing water aerobics, using the elliptical machine or rowing machine, that is, doing activities that do not affect the feet, if you’re overweight, losing 20 pounds may ease the pain of walking.”
The technical name is hallux valgus, and it is a common and painful condition that manifests as a bony prominence at the big toe joint, sometimes causing the big toe to drift toward the smaller toes. The causes? For example, the hereditary factor, which can be aggravated by years of wearing shoes that are too narrow or heels that are too high.
People who have a lower arch or a flatter foot are more likely to get bunions. Other than surgery, there aren’t many doctors can do to cure a bunion. “However, unless it causes pain and limits activity, don’t operate.” Regardless of whether or not you have surgery, you have to deal with biomechanics, which means you have to wear orthotics. A podiatrist can take a mold of your foot to make them measure, which can be expensive. Bass also recommends the easily available Power step brand.
This happens when one of the smaller fingers flexes upwards. Sometimes it’s due to wearing tight-toed shoes, as you suspected, and sometimes it’s because people with very flat feet don’t have adequate support over time. If the tendon and soft tissue structures don’t receive enough support, the tendons leading to the fingers begin to pull, which can cause hammertoe. What can you do? Wear shoes with a wider toe whenever you can, like bunions, hammertoes are foot deformities and there is no device that will cure them definitively,” although small protectors worn over the toes can reduce friction against the shoe.
Just as you notice collagen loss in your face, you may also be slowly losing it in your feet. “On the ball of the foot and the heel, there are fat pads that sometimes atrophy with age we see this problem, particularly in smokers. As with other ailments, orthotics, over-the-counter inserts, and highly supportive shoes are recommended.
Morton’s neuroma, an uncomfortable condition caused by swelling or inflammation of a nerve, affects the ball of the foot and usually between the smaller toes. It can feel as if you have a pebble in your shoe, and it almost always affects women who have worn shoes that are too narrow or have high heels. The solution is to wear shoes with a wider toe box or add inserts designed especially for this problem, either with or without a prescription.
The skin on the feet, like all skin, becomes drier with age, which is why cracks can form. These fissures can be dangerous, particularly in people who are neuropathic, meaning they have no feeling in their feet. Cracks are hot spots for bacterial infections. People often soak their feet in the water, but that dehydrates the skin and makes cracks worse.” Instead, he notes, moisturize your skin after you shower with Eucerin, Aquaphor, or Lac-Hydrin, the latter of which is prescription-only.
Swollen feet and ankles can have many causes, including poor circulation, diabetes, and a more sedentary lifestyle. A condition called venous insufficiency, in which the veins stop working properly can cause fluid buildup in the feet late in the day. This can cause a condition called venous stasis where blood pools, bursts through the skin, and forms an open wound that we call a venous stasis ulcer. Advice is to elevate your feet above waist level for 20 to 30 minutes at least twice a day, wear compression stockings, and ask your doctor if you should also take medication.
Hi, my name is Rose Nolan, wife to my wonderful husband and self-confessed Desperate Housewives fan. This blog is all about my life, my lifestyle and anything in life that revolve around this. I am here to write down things that I discover in life that makes up my world and pretty much anything goes here. I'm coming at this from an everyday person point of view and hope you enjoy.Click to read on