Foot Problems

Arthritis

Arthritis is defined as an inflammation of joints, such as elbows and knees, finger joints and wrists. It can be degenerative and long lasting as well as localized. Arthritis that effects joints in your feet and ankles or hips and knees can make mobility impossible and cause a great amount of pain upon walking or other everyday activities. Weight bearing parts of your body may start to deteriorate from repeated stress and arthritis might be next on your list of physical ailments. Unfortunately, there are more than one hundred kinds of arthritis, and all of them have very similar symptoms.

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Flat Feet

Flat feet are a condition where the arch of the foot has collapsed, and the whole bottom of the foot comes into contact with the ground. The bones in your feet are connected by tendons and ligaments and when these are stretched to the point of no return, the arch falls. In a normal arch, only the toes and the balls of the feet should show in a footprint. There are a few causes of flat feet, the least of which being born with them. Trauma or injury can cause flat feet, as can arthritis. In children, flat feet are easy to treat while in adults it’s easy to treat but it’s likely that if the condition was brought on in adulthood, it will stay that way.

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Sports Related & Other Injuries

Stress on your feet can be a problem when you’re into your exercises and can’t complete them for more than a few days in a row because of the pain. If you are active, then you might experience at one point foot injuries from one repeated motion or another, whether the motion is up and down, sideways or forward. Chronic pain when completing these motions can be the first sign that something is wrong, but the pain will be in different places. This is how you can tell what movements are causing it.

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Any kind of wound can cause infections on your feet. A callus or a corn might get a crack in it and then become infected. Bacteria can build up under your toenails from constant moisture and unclean habits and become infected also. Ingrown toenails, cracked skin, dirt, and many other things factor in to getting infections in your feet.

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Poor circulation in your feet can be a big problem if you have diabetes. Circulation is the amount of blood flow you get to your limbs and extremities, and poor circulation is the lack thereof. This can cause several problems, such as increased foot pain, numbness, increased infections and more difficulty healing wounds that occur on the feet or legs. It also comes with it’s own set of symptoms. The legs might always feel or be cold. Toenails get thick and the legs might be red and shiny when they hang down below the heart level. The hair on the legs might stop growing. The skin on the legs might become thin and easily damaged. These are a few tell tale signs that the circulation is poor.

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Before this article starts, please understand that any prolonged numbness in your body needs to be addressed by a podiatrist. Period. 

When your feet are numb or feel like they are on pins and needles, it can make it difficult to walk, fall asleep, put your shoes on and manage everyday tasks. This condition is called paresthesias. Paresthesias is the feeling of pins and needles that you get whenever one of your limbs “falls asleep.” There are several reasons why someone’s feet might go numb or feel like they are burning and none of them are great news.

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Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are almost the same thing. Also known as hyperkeratoses, they are both thick patches of skin that build up on your hands and feet. They are caused by the same thing, pressure against the top of your foot or wherever the callus or corn is. Technically, a corn IS a callus, but it all depends on where it is and how it’s made.  They may be painful and sore from constant pressure, especially corns. Corns have a hard knot in the middle of them and often hurt where that knot is formed. It can be difficult to tell them apart, so here is a closer look at these two afflictions so that you can tell them apart.

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Ingrown toenails are painful occurrences that form when the skin of the toe grows over the toenail. This cause can be genetic, such as when the nail beds are deformed, but more often than not is caused by improper footwear or poor toenail trimming. Trauma, like stubbing your toe can also cause the nail to grow improperly as it has been lodged into the skin on the side of the toe. It has been shown that nail growth isn’t exactly the problem. The problem is the skin growing over the nail and the toenail pushing into raw tissue. This condition is extremely painful and can make wearing shoes a hassle or even cause any kind of pressure to be painful. One can tell if you have an ingrown toenail by whether or not there is inflammation, pain, and signs of infection such as pus drainage and discoloration.

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Warts are growths caused by the human papillomavirus and certain kinds can be contagious. Warts are generally harmless but can itch or be ugly and embarrassing. They are small, rough growths that can appear on the soles of the feet, although they can occur anywhere else as well. There are several different kinds and shapes, some coming in clusters and others appearing solo along the hands and feet. The most common kind of warts to get on your feet are plantar warts, which are hard but spongy, potentially painful and with several black specks in the middle of them. Plantar warts are often found on the soles of the feet around the pressure points and can be treated as easily as the rest of them.

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Bunions are an affliction of the big toe, occurring when the bone or tissue at the base of the big toe becomes enlarged. The big toe may turn inward, a condition called angulation. Bunions are progressive. It is actually distinct bone formation at the base of the big toe that causes the toe to turn inward. Research shows that bunions are often genetic and have much to do with the tendons and ligaments in one’s foot. Bones that are already deformed often cause a problem, with the angulation being natural. Some experts hold that bunions can be caused by improper footwear, while others concur that improper footwear only exacerbate the problem.

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