Foot pain is often caused by ( pain management )improper functioning of the foot. Ill-fitting shoes can worsen the pain and, sometimes, cause foot problems. Shoes that fit well and give good support can avoid irritation to the foot joints and skin. There are various types of foot problems that affect the heels, toes, tendons, nerves, ligaments, and joints of the foot. Here is a list of some of the commonly faced problems.
It is a bone growth on the heel bone and is located below the heel bone where it attaches to the plantar fascia. If the plantar fascia over stretches from running, being overweight, or wearing poor-fitting shoes or pain can result from stress and inflammation of the tissue pulling on the bone. With time, the body builds extra bone due to this stress resulting in heel spurs. The treatment options include:
- Cold packs
- Proper stretching before activity
- Corticosteroid injections
- Anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen
- Proper footwear or shoe inserts
- Surgery (for more severe, prolonged conditions)
Corn is yellowish, callus growths that form on top of the toes. They develop either because of abuse or stress. Often, it develops where a toe rubs against the shoe or another toe. Corn can cause huge discomfort and pain. You can avoid this by buying a good-fitting shoe. Treatment may include:
- Applying pads around the corn area
- Trimming the corn by removing the layers of dead skin
- Wearing shoes to comfortably fit your foot without rubbing
A bunion is a projection of bone or tissue around a joint. They might occur at the base of the great toe or the little toe, and mostly occur when the joint is stressed over an extended period. Bunions occur more in women than in men because they tend to wear tight, pointed, and confining shoes. Further, they can also result from arthritis, which often affects the big toe joint.
Treatment of bunions varies depending on the pain and deformity. Treatment may include:
- Applying pads to the affected area
- Wearing comfortable and well-fitting shoes
- Surgery (for pain, not for cosmetic purposes)
Morton Neuroma is the thickening of the nerve sheath that encompasses a nerve in the ball of the foot. It usually develops between the third and fourth toes and the second and third toes.
It is a condition in which the toe buckles and the middle joint of the affected toe poke out. Tight-fitting shoes worsen the condition as they put pressure on the hammertoe. Corn also develops at this site. It is most likely to affect the second toe but can occur in other toes also. Sometimes, more than one toe is affected.
Treatment for hammertoes include:
- Applying a toe pad over the bony protrusion
- Surgical removal
It is an injury to the foot’s ligaments in the ankle. They may occur if the ankle rolls, turns, or twists beyond its usual range of motion. They may be caused by awkward foot placement, weak muscles, irregular surfaces, loose ligaments, or wearing shoes with spiked heels. The symptoms of an ankle sprain will depend on how severely the ligaments are stretched or torn. Treatment depends on the intensity or severity of the sprain, but may include:
- Wrapping the ankle with elastic band or tape
- Resting the ankle
- Elevating the ankle
- A walking cast (for moderate sprains)
- Ice pack application (to reduce inflammation)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce the pain and inflammation
- Gradual return to walking and exercise
- Surgery (for severe sprains)
- Physical therapy.