One may realize that Americans are increasingly facing foot problems both common and serious foot conditions. It may be noted that the American Podiatric Medical Association pegged that about 75% of Americans will face some form of foot problems at least once in their lives. These foot problems are mostly secondary to abuse and poor care for the feet although some may be attributed to congenital problems including malformations and disabilities.
Problems of the foot also stem from the fact that the foot is a complex joint, it is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, eight arches and a variety of muscles, tendons, and ligaments that work together in order to allow movement while allowing the body to stand upright, maintain balance and carry weight. . It also works to maintain the body’s stability whilst navigating an irregular terrain, as well as acting as shock absorber during mobility functions like walking, running and jumping. And although the foot is built to weather these activities, with abuse and neglect the foot can reach it threshold, thus allowing for foot problems to occur, it is a shame that many individual chose to ignore their feet, that is until they feel pain.
Foot problems can manifest as foot pain, foot inflammation, foot strain, and even stress fractures. These problems occur due to a variety of reasons including congenital deformities, but mainly due to abuse of the joint and extremities and poor care of the foot.
It is noteworthy to see that foot disorders are easily treatable if diagnosed early even before the pain (which is a common symptom for most foot problems) really starts to bother the patient. It can also be noted that many foot problems are actually the body’s warning signal that something else might be terribly wrong with one’s foot, including other more serious disease process including the diabetes, circulatory disorders and even nerve problems.
Following are some of the more common foot problems
Foot corns and calluses
Anyone whoever wore uncomfortable, ill-fitting shoes probably caught a callus or two. Calluses often appear when there is increased pressure on the skin of the foot, like a tight shoe pressing against the bones of the foot. Common areas usually affected by this foot problem include the big toe, fifth toe, and if the pressure is particularly rough, the metatarsals can be affected as well.
Fortunately problems like these are easy to remedy. Physicians usually prescribed better fitting shoes, sometimes a cushion pad is also prescribed although some extreme cases require surgery.
Infected toe nails / Ingrown Nails
Sometimes we attempt to clean our toe nails on our own, and sometimes this does more harm than good. Over-clipping and digging deep into the sides of the nails sometimes causes minor injuries and also allows the nails to grow improperly causing throbbing, swelling and more often than not it gets infected and becomes the more serious ingrown toenail.
Treatment of ingrown toenails usually includes removal of the improper growth of nail, nails spikes and sterilization of the area, this can bring immediate relief. Although some cases require the patient to take antibiotics, and more severe cases require surgical removal of the excess toenail that is jamming the toe.
Although not really a painful foot problem, having an athlete’s foot can be really bothersome. Athlete’s foot is caused by fungi that latch on the sweaty toes. If the foot is unprotected the fungi can come from a variety of places including swimming pools, the gym locker and other areas where one may come in barefoot. When infected the fungi causes the foot to become itchy. And in most cases cracking and peeling also occurs and if left untreated usually the five toes becomes infected leading to severe athlete’s foot.
Luckily athlete’s foot is an easy foot problem to deal with, there are plenty of over-the-counter anti-fungal sprays, topical creams and ointments, and there is also an athlete’s foot powder. Prevention is still the best cure, so it will be wise to keep the foot clean and moist free. One can apply the foot powder to keep the area dry.