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Common Foot Problems
  • Tendonitis: Tendonitis is a common problem for people who spend a large amount of time on their feet and is an ‘over use’ injury. If affects the tendons which becomes inflamed. Symptoms include pain in the in-step of the foot, especially along the course of the tendon or at the back of the ankle or calf, depending on which tendon is affected. Rest during rehabilitation is vital but supportive insoles are usually required to prevent re-occurrence and alleviate painful symptoms. See your Chiropodist/Podiatrist for advice.

  • Hammer Toes: The term hammer toe is commonly used to describe any form of toe abnormality. There are in fact 4 common types of toe deformities; hammer toes, claw toes, mallet toes and trigger toes. All refer to the buckling or abnormal contraction of a toe, due to a partial or complete dislocation of one of the joints. A hammer toe can be painful, especially when irritated by inappropriate footwear. It can also lead to further foot complaints such as calluses and corns. Your Podiatrist will be able to advise you on the treatment for the type of toe problem you have. Solutions include toe props, pressure pads and better footwear.

  • Verruca: Verruca are a common complaint usually found in young children and adults. Verrucas are caused by a virus. Similar in appearance to corns, verruca are small skin lesions which can be found anywhere on the sole of the feet or toes and can spread to the hands. Verruca can be very painful; people usually say a verruca feels like a small stone under the skin. Treatments for verruca are available in many forms but most will contain salicylic acid. People with diabetes should not self treat verrucas with any salicylic acid preparations. See your Podiatrist for advice and appropriate treatments.

  • Ingrown Toenails: Ingrown toe nails are one of the most common foot complaints treated by a chiropodist/podiatrist. This condition can be very painful and people may often be very reluctant to have this condition treated. Treatment of a chronic ingrown nail may require sectioning, removing a portion of the nail. The use of dressings and packing’s will cushion the nail to aid recovery. If the ingrown toenail is at an acute stage (red, swollen and possibly infected), then surgical removal of a section of the nail plate or the entire nail plate may be necessary. Please note nail surgery is not always necessary for Ingrown Toenails and sometimes a general Chiropody Treatment will alleviate symptoms.

  • Burning Feet: Burning feet are a common foot complaint in the elderly or in people with diabetes. Symptoms include redness or swelling, but often there is no physical sign of this condition. It is vital that the feet are allowed to ‘breath’. Wearing synthetic socks or shoes will prevent perspiration from evaporating which causes the burning sensation. Gout could also be a possibility and medical advice should always be sort if you are suffering with a burning sensation. See you GP/Podiatrist. Podiatrists have expert knowledge regarding diabetes related foot problems.

  • Bunion Pain: Bunions are a common forefoot deformity, located at the first metatarsal joint (at the side of the big toe) Symptoms include redness, swelling and pain which may be present along the inside of the foot. The alteration in foot shape may cause the feet to become too wide to fit into normal size footwear. A hammer toe of the 2nd toe may also occur when the toe contracts and presses on the shoe, this may then lead to corns and or calluses. The most common cause remains poor fitting shoes but there are a number of other reasons. Your Chiropodist/Podiatrist will be able to advise you how best to deal with yours.

  • Cracked Heels: Cracked heels fissures are often caused by dry skin and opened backed footwear. Cracked heels can be unsightly causing the skin on the heels to appear a yellow/brown colour. Severe cracks are called fissures and this is where the cracks are much deeper, very painful and may bleed. They may also make you more susceptible to bacterial infections. See your Chiropodist/Podiatrist for treatment.

  • Corns: A corn is a localised thickening of the skin created by areas of pressure, this is why corns can often be found on top of the toes. They can however, develop on any part of the foot and may occur on the sole of the foot or inbetween the toes. Certain corns may grow in line with the nerves of the skin and these will particularly painful. Painful corns require to be treated by a Chiropodist/Podiatrist. Self treating of corns is not advisable.

  • Neuroma/Nerve Pain: Neuroma is the name given to a compressed nerve. The most common nerve compression is found between the 3rd and 4th toes or 2nd and 3rd toes. Nerve pain causes tingling or shooting pain and may begin with numbness or tenderness in the sole of the foot. Over pronation or poor footwear is a likely cause; your podiatrist will be able to offer you preventive advice and additional cushioning and supportive insoles for the affected areas.

  • Athletes Foot: Athlete’s foot is a condition caused by a fungal infection that can cause a great deal of discomfort. The skin may become red, swollen and weepy or you may have a dry scaly rash on the bottom and sides of the feet. Athletes foot can also occur in-between the toes. This condition is prevalent in people who are very active. See your Podiatrist for advice.

  • Callus (Hard Skin): Callus is a build up of hard thickened skin often found on the soles of the feet. If left untreated the hard skin can become painful and a burning sensation may be felt in the soles of the feet. Your Podiatrist can provide treatment to alleviate these symptoms and provide relief from pain.

  • Blisters: Blisters are fluid filled lesions that can occur when your feet get hot and sweaty. Friction, heat, moisture and pressure from footwear cause blisters .Sometimes blisters burst themselves and can become infected. If you have a blister that is leaking yellow liquid, or is excessively painful and red you should seek medical advice from your podiatrist/chiropodist. Most of the time a blister will re absorb and heal on its own.

  • Heel Pain: Heel pain otherwise known as plantar fasciitis or heel spurs can be very painful. Long periods of standing can cause inflammation and calcium deposits around the spur of the heel. The spur itself is not usually painful; the pain is more commonly located at the insertion of the tendon to the heel. A constant dull ache is felt most of the time with heightened periods of sharp pain in the centre of the heel. Sudden increases in weight or activity + foot shape are the most common causes, but types of arthritis are also possible. Heel cushions and orthotics/insoles offer great relief and improved comfort. Your Podiatrist will be able to advice and issue appropriate insoles to alleviate the pain.

  • Highly Arched Feet: The gap between the inner side of the foot and the ground is commonly referred to as the foot’s arch, this is not so obvious in small children as the arch begins to form between the ages of 3 and 10. People who have feet with a high arch often suffer from corns or hard skin on the soles of the feet. They may also have difficulty finding comfortable footwear that fits or supports the ankle area. Comfort and posture can be improved with regular treatment/insoles.

  • Fungal Nails: Early signs of fungal nails are white or yellow patches of discolouration with possibly yellow horizontal lines in the nail. If the condition is left untreated, it attacks the nail plate and causes the nail to grow very thick and crumbly. This is caused by microscopic organisms called Dermatophytes which grows in the nail bed and attacks the nails’ protein and keratin. In rare cases this condition can also affect the skin surrounding the nails. See your Chiropodist/Podiatrist for advice.

  • Shin Splints: Shin splints is a term used to describe pain located in the tendons. Shin splints are commonly caused by excessive exercise or over pronation (rolling inwards of the foot).Essentially it is an inflammatory reaction in the deep tissue of the lower leg. Pain can usually be felt 3-4cm above the foot. It may affect either the inside (medial) or the front (anterior) part of the leg or the back (posterior) aspect of the leg. A medial shin splint will have pain/tenderness in the inner aspect of the leg. An anterior shin splint will have pain/tenderness in the front and outer aspect of the leg. A posterior shin splint will have pain in the back/calf region of the leg. In all cases, running and walking may be extremely painful. Shin splints can be relieved by correctly aligning the foot and lower limb with supportive insoles.

  • Flat Feet: Pain in the arch of your foot may feel like a strain or burning sensation, this could be caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia (the broad muscle which runs from the heel to the forefoot). This pain is often due to over pronation otherwise known as flat feet. Avoiding high heeled shoes will help but it is wise to invest in good pair of support insoles/ orthotics. See your Chiropodist/Podiatrist for insole support /orthotic advice.

  • Metatarsalgia: Is a term used to describe pain located within the ball of the foot and often refers to painful joints and bones in this area. The five metatarsal heads are bones that connect the toes and are covered with a fatty cushion that absorbs our body weight. If not perfectly aligned or if the fatty cushion has begun to thin it can be very painful, Your Chiropodist/Podiatrist will be able to offer the choice of many solutions including orthotics/insoles to be worn in appropriate footwear.

  • Smelly Or Sweaty Feet: Excessive perspiration in the feet may cause sweaty or smelly feet (Hyperhidrosis). This condition can be very embarrassing. Athlete’s foot is also a common condition associated with sweaty feet. See your Chiropodist/Podiatrist for advice.

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