21 Jul Problematic Foot Conditions
Most people do not realize how important it is to have healthy feet. When our feet are healthy and working properly, we rarely think about them. However, when there is a problem with our feet, it seems to be all we can think about. Our feet allow us to balance, walk, run, play sports, and live our normal day to day lives. Unfortunately, foot problems are all too common amongst people in the United States. Below are some of the more common foot problems people experience throughout their lives.
Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus that affects the skin. The infection can spread rapidly and can lead to significant discomfort and itchiness. Most people contract athlete’s foot from damp conditions such as a dirty shoe or dirty gym flooring. The condition is highly contagious so it is important to get it under control before walking anywhere barefoot. The best way to get athlete’s foot under control is by keeping the feet dry with a towel and taking antifungal medications.
Diabetic neuropathy is a very common condition amongst people in the United States. This is because diabetes is very widespread due to poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Over time, a high sugar level that is left out of control can cause damage to the nerves. Damaged nerves lead to pain, tingling, or numbness in the extremities. Once this damage occurs, it is often permanent.
Almost all people will experience an ingrown toenail at some point in their lifetime. The most common cause of ingrown toenails is cutting the nails incorrectly. They can also occur when the toenail becomes damaged due to injury and does not grow back properly. Ingrown toenails can often be treated at home. However, in severe cases, patients may need help from their doctors. Physicians are able to completely remove the toenail, or remove the portion of the toenail that is ingrown.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. When the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot is inflamed, an extreme amount of pain can occur at the arch of the foot. Because there is no singular cause of the condition, it can be very difficult to treat. Most patients are able to manage the condition by resting at home and staying off their feet. However, if symptoms persist, physical therapy and orthopedic surgery may be necessary.
Heel spurs are caused by an overgrowth of calcium in the heel bone. Some people experience no symptoms. However, others experience extreme pain from the condition. Oftentimes, various medical imaging is required to accurately diagnose the condition. Heel spurs are caused by excessive strain on muscles and ligaments of the feet. Arthritis, excess body weight, and shoes that are too tight can also cause heel spurs to develop. The best treatments for heel spurs include ice, anti-inflammatory injections, over the counter pain medication, rest, and orthotic shoe inserts. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove the spurs.