29 Jun Most Common Foot and Ankle Conditions
Foot and ankle conditions lead to a diminished quality of life for many people. When our feet and ankles are working properly, we rarely think about them. However, when something is wrong, it seems to be all we can think about. Our feet and ankles are extremely important for our ability to walk, run, jump, and perform day to day activities. We use our feet and ankles from the time we get out of bed in the morning to the time we fall asleep. Below are some of the most common foot and ankle conditions that people in the United States suffer from.
Athlete’s Foot: This is a condition that affects more than half of people in the United States. It is a fungal condition of the skin that leads to itching, burning, and peeling. It most commonly affects the skin between the toes or on the sole of the foot. Too much moisture or lack of airflow to the feet are the most common causes. By simply wearing proper shoes, keeping your feet dry, and wearing cotton socks, most athlete’s foot cases can be prevented.
Bunions: Bunions are bumps that occur at the base of the big toe. Over time, these bumps become swollen and enlarged. It can lead to your big toe moving beneath your second toe. They are most often caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes or wearing heels too often. Fortunately, surgery can help people suffering from bunions.
Gout: Gout is another common condition that affects many people at some point in their lives. It is a painful inflammation of the big toe caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the toe. The best way to prevent gout is by reducing the amount of red meat you eat and taking the appropriate medication when flareups begin.
Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick tissue in the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. This is typically a result of repeated injury to the area such as is the case with running or wearing ill-fitting shoes. Heel stretching and medication can often reduce the amount of pain felt by the patient.
Nail Fungus: While not often talked about, nail fungus is one of the most common foot conditions that people experience. It is caused when a fungus invades the tissue under the toenail. While it can happen on any toe, it is most common on the big toe. In severe cases, the toenail may need to be removed. However, in most cases, a laser can be used to kill the fungus under the toe.
Ingrown Toenail: Ingrown toenails are another common cause of foot pain. Ingrown toes occur when there has been damage to the toe, or when the toenail is cut improperly. It most often occurs on the big toe. In many cases, it can be fixed by allowing the toenail to grow out. However, in some cases, the entire toenail may need to be removed. The best way to prevent ingrown toenails is by not cutting the nail too short.