Do you suffer from daily foot pain? Foot pain can not only be an irritation and a distraction, it can be an indicator that your entire bodily alignment is off, meaning you could be at risk for other problems. Here are four common foot conditions and solutions for you.
Bunions are an often painful overgrowth of the joint between your foot and your big toe. Frequently, the big toe is forced inward towards the other toes when this happens. Bunions can be caused by many factors, including:
- footwear choice
- activities, like ballet dancing en pointe
Fortunately, there are many solutions for bunions (AKA hallux valgus). Avoid shoes with pointed toe boxes, and opt for square or rounded toes instead, especially if the shoes have heels that pitch your weight even further forward onto your toes.
You can also use a toe spacer, which is a little device you can purchase at a drug store, chiropodist or podiatrist to separate your first toes. Athletes and dancers may find taping techniques helpful. If it is awkward or difficult to tape your own feet, you can ask a teacher, coach or athletic trainer to do it for you.
Tight Heels and Sore Feet
Tight heels and sore feet often go together. A frequent cause? Footwear choice, once again. Walking on high heels all day can tighten your Achilles tendon—the one between your calf and heel—making you prone to soreness and tendon injury or rupture.
If you wear high heels, try to vary your heel height so you’re not wearing heels on consecutive days, or use a different pair of shoes for walking long distances. To relieve sore feet, make sure to wear shoes that breathe, and use gel inserts if you need extra cushioning. Soaking feet and using a rolling massage device on the soles of your feet at the end of the day can help work out spasms.
Fallen arches can be a congenital problem or can result from injury or improper foot placement. People who pronate—allow their feet to roll inward—when they stand, walk or run are particularly susceptible.
The good news is fallen arches are fixed relatively easily with a two-pronged approach. First, you can have a pair of custom made orthotic supports made by a chiropodist. Next, you can learn some simple exercises to help correct your pronation and make you more conscious of how you walk and stand.
Calluses and Corns
Calluses are spots where extra skin accumulates due to rubbing, usually caused by your shoes. It is a protective mechanism, preferable to developing a blister on that spot. However, calluses can be unsightly and if too much friction occurs on any location, a corn can form, which is much more painful—like having a pebble in your shoe.
There are many solutions for dealing with corns and calluses:
- change your footwear regularly
- allow your feet to relax in less constrictive shoes at the end of the day, like flip flops or slippers
- wear appropriate hosiery to prevent friction
- use donut-shaped foam pads around areas of irritation
- apply lubricant over high-friction areas (can be found at running stores)
- use an exfoliating device in the shower and/or get regular pedicures to smooth the feet
- see your chiropodist or podiatrist if the problem persists
Your feet are your basis of support and means of transportation in this world. Take care of them, and they will take care of you!