Foot Pain Identifier

Achilles Tendonitis

Definition

The Achilles tendon, the strongest tendon in the body, connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon supports your body's weight during exercise and everyday activities such as walking and climbing stairs. When the Achilles tendon becomes irritated or inflamed, you may experience a sharp, constant pain just above your heel. The pain can be a shooting pain, burning pain, or even an extremely piercing pain.

Cause

Flat feet or over-pronation during walking or running can lead to Achilles tendonitis. Shoes that do not stabilize your feet can cause you to develop Achilles tendonitis pain. Achilles tendonitis is characterized by a sharp or burning pain about two inches above the heel bone of the foot. Achilles tendonitis pain can be accompanied by mild to moderate swelling. Leg length discrepancy, when one leg is longer than the other, can eventually result in Achilles tendonitis.

Treatment & Prevention

Temporarily stop the activity that caused the pain (running, excessive walking, etc.). Ice and/or massage the painful area. Apply ice approximately three times a day for 20 minutes to help reduce inflammation of the tendon. Consistently stretch your calf muscles before exercising or walking. Wear shoes that stabilize your feet during motion. Use heel lifts and other insoles in shoes to give your feet more support. If you find yourself recovering from Achilles tendonitis, get back into your exercise slowly, giving yourself enough time to heal.

Arch Pain / Arch Strain

Definition

The term arch pain (often referred to as arch strain) refers to an inflammation and/or burning sensation at the arch of the foot.

Cause

A structural imbalance or an injury to the foot can often be the direct cause. If you have intense arch pain, you could have flat feet, a condition that occurs when the arch of your foot becomes fully collapsed or rolls inward.

The biggest signs of flat fleet are discomfort and pain, especially arch pain. As the normal arch begins to drop, walking can become very uncomfortable, leading to serious arch pain.

Due to the less supportive structure of a flat foot, postural strain and misalignment through the foot, ankle, knee and lower back can cause consistent daily discomfort and arch pain.

The depression of the arch in the foot also puts more strain on the ligament and tendons that support the foot and ankle, and over time the bones may collapse

Treatment & Prevention

This is a common foot condition that can be easily treated. If you suffer from arch pain avoid high-heeled shoes whenever possible. Try to choose footwear with a reasonable heel, soft leather uppers, shock absorbing soles and removable foot insoles. When the arch pain is pronation related (flat feet), an orthotic designed with a medial heel post and proper arch support is recommended for treating the pain. This type of orthotic will control over-pronation, support the arch and provide the necessary relief.

Arthritis

Definition

Is described as the inflammation and swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints, is generally accompanied by an increase in joint fluid, and certainly affects the lower part of your body, making the normal activities of walking and moving very difficult and giving you arthritis foot pain. Inflammation causes redness, warmth, pain and swelling.

Cause

Can be inherited. If a family member have arthritis foot pain. You could be at a higher risk.

Bacteria and virus infections.

Common types of Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease characterized by non-specific inflammation of the joints of the hands and feet. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that can affect people of all ages. This chronic disease may lead to joint destruction, and typically causes severe forefoot problems such as bunions, hammertoes, claw toes and others.

Osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, is common in the geriatric population, and affects one or more joints. Predisposing factors include aging, obesity and trauma. Bony changes such as spurring, cartilage destruction, cystic changes and joint space narrowing may also occur. Osteoarthritis can cause arthritis foot pain.

Treatment & Prevention

Aerobic exercise that builds cardiovascular endurance, such as walking, biking, or swimming.

Flexibility exercise, such as stretching or joint-specific exercises.

Wear appropriate footwear, which is deep enough to accommodate your feet. Have your foot complaints treated by a chiropodist regularly.

If a joint is swollen then the use of ice packs and anti-inflammatory creams can be of some benefit.

Athlete's Foot

Definition

Athlete's foot is a common name given to a fungus infection of the skin that predominately occurs in between toes but can occur anywhere on the foot. It causes intense itching, cracked, blistered or peeling areas of skin, redness and scaling. The condition usually occurs between the toes or on the soles or sides of the feet. Athlete's Foot can spread to the toenails, causing chronic fungal infections.

Cause

Fungal infections like Athlete's Foot are often contracted in communal areas such as showers, gyms, dressing rooms, swimming pool lockers, or other warm, damp areas where fungus can grow fast.

Fungal spores are on your feet, they can enter fissures or sores and remain there to spread, unless the feet are carefully washed and thoroughly dried after exposure.

Athlete's Foot can spread from the toes to the toenails. It is also possible to spread the infection to other parts of the body like fingernails, underarm and groin after scratching the fungal area.

Not changing your socks on a regular basis can also encourage the build up of fungi in between the toes.

People with excessively sweaty feet are more prone to this condition.

People with diabetes are susceptible to fungal infections which can lead to serious medical problems.

Treatment & Prevention

Athlete's Foot can be prevented with vigilant foot hygiene.

It is very important to wash the feet with soap and water and thoroughly dry especially between the toes.

Pay careful attention to wear airy shoes and socks, do not borrow footwear from anybody else, and avoid tight hosiery.

When using communal showers or pool areas it is a good idea to wear protective shoes.

Anti-fungal powders can be used in socks and shoes.

Wear cotton socks to absorb moisture.

Treat excessively sweaty feet.

Change socks daily.

Once you have an infection, you must see a doctor and have the problem diagnosed correctly, and treat it promptly.

Bunions (Bunionettes)

Definition

Bunions are actually known as "Hallux valgus" in medical community. Hallux valgus is a condition in which the big toe is angled excessively towards the second toe – and a bunion is a symptom of the deformity. Some of the symptoms of bunions include inflammation, swelling, and soreness on the side surface of the big toe. The discomfort commonly causes a patient to walk improperly. A bunion actually refers to the bony prominence on the side of the big toe. This can also form a large sac of fluid, known as a bursa, which can then become inflamed and sore.

Cause

Although there is no single proven cause for bunions there are a number of causes commonly experienced.

Important factor is poor fitting of footwear. This accounts for a higher incidence among women then men.

Family history of bunions.

Abnormal foot function.

If the ligaments in the feet are very weak.

Tight, narrow dress shoes with a constrictive toe box (toe area) can cause the foot to begin to take the shape of the shoe, leading to the formation of a bunion. Women who have bunions normally wear dress shoes that are too small for their feet. Their toes are squeezed together in their shoes causing the first metatarsal bone to protrude on the side of the foot.

Treatment & Prevention

Wear wide fitting shoes.

Soaking feet in warm water can provide temporary relief.

Avoid high heeled shoes.

If your bunion becomes painful, red and swollen, try using ice on the joint and elevate the foot on a stool.

Other conservative treatments include using forefoot products designed to accommodate and relieve bunions such as bunion shields, bunion night splints, and bunion bandages. These conservative treatments can limit the progression of the bunion formation, relieve pain and provide a healthy environment for the foot.

Using toe socks help your toes back in shape.

Calluses

Definition

Thickening of the surface layer of the skin, usually as a result of pressure or friction from badly fitting shoes. In some cases, calluses can be caused by problems associated with weight and/or posture.

Cause

People who seldom wear shoes often develop a thick layer of callus along the bottom surface of the feet.

This often occurs in people with flat feet because the arch is too low and the foot is unstable.

May form when an irregularity in the shoes causes friction against the skin. Narrow-toed or high-heeled shoes can cause many painful foot conditions.

Treatment & Prevention

Soaking the feet in warm water.

In most cases, gently rubbing away the hardened skin layer with a pumice stone will sort the problem out.

Calluses on the feet can be prevented by wearing shoes and socks.

Use moisturiser to keep skin moist and supple.

Avoid high heels.

Corns

Definition

A corn is a localized thickening of the skin due to pressure. Corns often occur on the top of the toes where there is pressure from the shoes. However, they also occur at the sole of the foot and in between toes. Certain corns may become entwined with the nerves of the skin, these corns are particularly painful. Corns can be very painful, especially if there is inflammation and swelling around the corn. This condition is more prevalent in females as a result of wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes.

Cause

Tight shoes, high heeled footwear.

Tight fitting stockings and socks.

Deformed toes (Hammer toes).

Seam or stitch inside the shoe which rubs against the toe.

Bunions.

Treatment & Prevention

Avoid tight shoes and hosiery. Wear Shoes with extra room in the toe area.

Use a pumice stone to reduce the thickness of the corn.

Avoid tight socks and stockings to provide a healthier environment for the foot.

Try to steer away from corn removing solutions and medicated pads. These solutions can sometimes increase irritation and discomfort. Diabetics and all other individuals with poor circulation should never use any chemical agents to remove corns.

Curly Toes

Definition

Curly or retracted toes are toes where middle and end joints contracted which can cause severe pressure and pain. Except the big toe, curly or retracted toe can happen to all other toes. Tightened ligaments and tendons can cause toes to curl. Curly or retracted toe problems are referred to mobility of the toe joints. If the curl is flexible the joint has the ability to move on the other hand if it is rigid movement is very limited and often extremely painful. This may cause restricted foot movement and possibly causing pain and the development corn and calluses.

Cause

Claw toes result from a muscle imbalance which causes the ligaments and tendons to become unnaturally tight. This results in the joints curling downwards.

Arthritis can also lead to many different forefoot deformities, including curly or retracted toes.

Treatment & Prevention

Changing the type of footwear worn is a very important step in the treatment of claw toes. When choosing a shoe, make sure the toe box (toe area) is high and broad, and can accommodate the claw toes. A shoe with a high, broad toe box will provide enough room in the forefoot area so that there is less friction against the toes.

Other conservative treatments include using forefoot products designed to relieve claw toes, such as toe crests and hammer toe splints. These devices will help hold down the claw toe and provide relief to the forefoot.

Gel toe shields and gel toe caps are also recommended to eliminate friction between the shoe and the toe, while providing comfort and lubrication.

Diabetic Foot

Definition

Diabetes occurs when your body cannot use glucose (sugar) properly due to lack of insulin. Condition in which either your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or it produces sufficient insulin but the cells of your body are unable to use the insulin. As a result, the sugar level in your blood gets too high for comfort. Your body is not able to turn glucose into energy, which results in fatigue, weight loss and frequent urine passes.

Cause

Three main complications associated with diabetes are:

Neuropathy (diminished sensation).

Poor circulation.

Decreased resistance to infection.

Neuropathy: Defined as a complete or partial loss of sensation in the feet and legs. A patient may not be able to feel a soft touch or a sharp sensation on their lower limbs.

Poor circulation: People with diabetes often suffer from peripheral vascular disease. This can result in cramps in the calves. This is known as intermittent claudication. The temperature of the skin may decrease and there may be a change in colour of the skin. A decrease in the flow of blood to the feet produces inadequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the foot.

Infection: Infections are a common complaint with diabetic patients. This is due to the difficulty in fighting off bacteria that enter the skin from cuts and wounds. Diabetes causes deficiencies in the activity of white blood cells. High glucose levels also impair normal immune response to bacterial invaders.

Treatment & Prevention

Patients with diabetes should wash their feet daily in warm water and should inspect them regularly, using a mirror to check the bottom of the feet. Hot water should be avoided because it can cause burns and dry skin. Moisturizing lotion may be used, but should not be applied between toes because it can promote the growth of bacteria and fungal infections. Avoid going barefoot and wearing open-toed shoes to reduce the risk for cuts and infections and injury. Socks made from natural fibers (e.g., cotton) are preferable to synthetic fabrics because they are breathable and provide better cushioning. Tight-fitting elastic-topped socks inhibit circulation and should not be worn. Shoes should fit properly and should be made of soft, breathable materials, such as canvas or leather.

Hammer / Mallet Toes

Definition

Hammer / mallet toes are toes that do not have the right shape. They may look odd or hurt. The muscles that control your toes get out of balance and cause the toe to bend into an odd position at one or more joints. Can be best described as an abnormal contraction or "buckling" of a toe.

Cause

Tight shoes are the most common cause of these toe problems. Wearing tight shoes can cause the toe muscles to get out of balance.

High arched feet can also result in buckling toes.

A major cause is in hereditary (family), all the toe conditions mentioned could be acquired due in hereditary factors.

Treatment & Prevention

Wearing footwear with lots of room for your toes, using pads and supports in the shoe, and doing toe-stretching exercises.

Make sure that stockings, tights and socks are not too constrictive.

Non-medicated pads may relieve pressure away from corns and hard skin.

Applying an appropriate moisturizing cream will help to keep the skin soft.

Heel Fissures (Cracked Heel)

Definition

Cracked heels are often referred to as fissures and are usually caused by dry skin. For most people this is a nuisance and a cosmetic problem but when the fissures are deep, the skin bleeds easily and is can be very painful. The heels appear yellow or dark brown depending on the skin type and are normally accompanied by dry skin. Symptoms include a hard growth of skin, usually on the outer edge of the heel. Patients may experience pain while walking and increased discomfort in thin soles or open back shoes.

Cause

In active sweat glands

Dry skin

Prolonged standing

Obesity

Open backed shoes can be a contributing factor

Surgery to the lower extremities

Heel Spurs

Mal-alignment of the metatarsal bones (the bone structure of the sole of the foot)

Flat feet and high arched feet

Treatment & Prevention

Apply moisturizing cream twice daily to the affected heels.

Use pumice stone to reduce the thickness of the hard skin.

Avoid open backed shoes or thin soled shoes.

Buy shoes with a good shock absorbing sole.

Heel Spur

Definition

Heel pain is a common condition in which weight bearing on the heel causes extreme discomfort. Heel spurs are soft, bendable deposits of calcium that are the result of tension and inflammation in the plantar fascia attachment to the heel. Heel spurs do not cause pain.They are only evidence (not proof) that a patient may have plantar fasciitis.

Cause

The condition is usually caused by a change or increase in activities, no arch support.

A sudden increase in walking or a sporting activity can also be a contributing factor.

Lack of flexibility in the calf muscles, being overweight.

A sudden increase in weight, such as pregnancy can also lead to plantar fascitis.

A sudden injury.

Using shoes with little cushion on hard surfaces, using shoes that do not easily bend under the ball of the foot.

Treatment & Prevention

Wearing proper footwear for both everyday and sporting activities.

Using insoles that support the arch and reduce tension on the ligament.

Giving the affected area an ice massage to reduce inflammation and relieve tension.

Stretching calf muscles to reduce tightness.

Ingrown Toenails

Definition

An ingrowing toenail is one that pierces the flesh of the toe. The sides or corners of the nail curl down and dig into the skin, causing swelling, pain and redness.

Cause

Improper cutting of toe nails

Tight shoes or hosiery

Tight socks

Abnormal shape of nail plate

Abnormal thickness of nail

Treatment & Prevention

Cut your nails straight across and don't cut too low at the edge or down the side. The corner of the nail should be visible above the skin. Also, cut them after a bath or shower when they're soft.

Avoid tight shoes and socks.

If discomfort occurs try soaking the feet in luke warm salt water for 10 minutes each day.

Metatarsalgia

Definition

Metatarsalgia is pain in the ball of the foot. It is usually felt in the sole of the foot and sometimes feel like "walking on pebbles". Other people feel a more diffuse vague pain, ache or burning.

Cause

Being overweight.

High heeled shoes.

Claw or hammer toes which press the metatarsals down towards the ground.

A stiff ankle which cannot be drawn up to right angles with the leg but points the foot down to the ground.

A bunion or arthritis in the big toe can weaken the big toe and throw extra stress onto the ball of the foot.

Athletes or walkers occasionally get stress fractures of the metatarsal bones.

Treatment & Prevention

Try to take the pressure off your feet as far as possible.

Rest with your feet up after periods of standing or walking.

Keep your weight at the right level for your height and built.

Wear comfortable shoes with a small heel and plenty of room for your feet.

Exercise your ankle and stretch your Achilles tendon.

Morton's Neuroma

Definition

Neuroma is a noncancerous growth of nerve tissue that can develop in various parts of your body. Morton's neuroma occurs in a digital nerve in your foot, often between your third and fourth toes. The condition isn't a true tumor, but instead involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the digital nerves leading to your toes. It causes a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Your toes may also sting, burn or feel numb.

Cause

Wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes that are tight or ill-fitting, including those that box in your feet and place pressure on your toes.

High-impact athletic activities, such as jogging, that subject your feet to repetitive trauma.

Injury to your foot.

Treatment & Prevention

Try ice massage. Regular ice massage may help reduce pain. Freeze a water-filled paper cup or Styrofoam cup and roll it over the site of the pain three times a day.

Change your footwear. Avoid high heels or tight shoes. Choose shoes with a broad toe box and extra depth.

Take a break. For a few weeks, reduce activities such as jogging, aerobic exercise or dancing that subject your feet to high impact.

Morton's Toe

Definition

Morton's Toe is a common forefoot disorder where the second toe is longer than the big toe.

Cause

Morton's toe leads to excessive pressure on the second metatarsal head. The second metatarsal head is behind the second toe at the ball- of-the-foot.

Excessive pressure causes pain similar to the discomfort associated with metatarsalgia.

The constant pressure placed on the longer second toe while walking or standing can lead to callus formation under the second metatarsal head.

Treatment & Prevention

Wearing proper footwear. Proper footwear usually contains a high and wide toe area. Sometimes, it may be necessary to buy shoes that are a half size larger to accommodate the larger second toe.

A metatarsal pad may also be used to help reduce stress on the ball of the foot.

Neuropathy

Definition

Diabetic Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the nerves. The most common type of diabetic neuropathy is called peripheral neuropathy and affects the peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves are the nerves that go out from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin, internal organs, and glands. The most common symptoms of neuropathy include numbness and loss of feeling, usually in the feet and hands.

Cause

Alcoholism

Vitamin deficiencies

Can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat, and cold.

Diabetics suffering from neuropathy can develop minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, or pressure sores that they may not be aware of due to the insensitivity. It is very important for diabetics to take the necessary precautions to prevent all foot-related injuries.

Treatment & Prevention

Stop smoking

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

Have regular physical exams

Have regular blood and urine tests

Exercise regularly, according to your doctor's recommendation

Over Pronation (Flat Feet)

Definition

Pronation is the inward (medial) roll of the foot and in particular the heel and arch which occurs naturally at the heel strike as a cushioning mechanism.

Cause

People who do a lot of running.

Tight Shoes.

Can contribute to other painful conditions of the foot, leg, and knee, including overstretching of the band that extends from the heel to the ball of the foot.

Treatment & Prevention

Get a running shoe with extra medial support

Make sure the shoe fits your heel and your toes.

The toebox should provide ample wiggle room, and the heel should not slip up when walking.

Overlapping Toes

Definition

Many disorders can affect the joints in the toes, causing pain and preventing the foot from functioning as it should. People of all ages can experience forefoot problems. Overlapping toes can occur in any of the toes and can cause extreme irritation if not corrected.

Cause

Wearing footwear with a constricting toe box can lead to overlapping toes. Another common cause is bunions, usually found in adult women. Overlapping of the fifth toe may occur among children and can be easily corrected.

Pain and inflammation are common symptoms of overlapping toes. If this condition is left untreated, it can interfere with the normal function of the foot.

The cause of overlapping toes is generally unknown. They may be caused by an imbalance in muscle strength of the small muscles of the foot.

Treatment & Prevention

Conservative treatment (non-surgical treatment) of overlapping toes begins with accommodating the disorder.

Shoes with a high, broad toe box (toe area) are recommended for people suffering from overlapping toes.

Forefoot supports such as gel toe straighteners, gel toe caps and toe combs are often recommended to keep overlapping toes apart. These effective devices are designed to reduce friction to help relieve the discomfort.

Post Tib Tendonitis

Definition

Post-Tib Tendonitis is a strain placed on the posterior tibial tendon. The posterior tibial tendon runs along the inside of the ankle and the foot. When there is post-tibial tendon disfunction, the tendon does not function to hold up the arch, resulting in flat feet. This can lead to heel pain, arch pain, plantar fasciitis and/or heel spurs.

Cause

Post-Tib Tendonitis occurs when the muscle is overused and the tendon (soft tissue) that connects the muscle to your bone is strained.

If you keep overusing the muscle, damage to the tendon builds up and tendonitis develops.

Treatment & Prevention

You can reduce your symptoms by limiting activity to control the pain and swelling.

Stay off your feet a few days, then slowly increase your activity. Rest allows the tissues in your foot to heal.

Wear the shoes that provide cushioning, support and shock absorption.

Vary exercise routines.

Pregnancy & Feet

Definition

When you are pregnant your body retains fluid. This is called edema. It causes swelling around the soft tissue of your feet. Changes in body shape and weight triggered by pregnancy can affect the lower extremities in numerous ways. Tired, sore and swollen feet are common. Understanding the causes of foot pain and learning easy home treatments can help women step more comfortably.

Cause

The natural weight gain experienced during pregnancy alters a woman's centre of gravity, changing her weight-bearing stance and adding pressure to the knees and feet.

Over-pronation, or a weakening of the arches commonly known as flat feet. Over-pronation can make walking painful and increase strain on the calves and/or back.

Another common foot condition brought on by pregnancy is edema, or swelling, caused by pressure from the uterus that leads to hampered circulation.

Treatment & Prevention

Wearing properly fitting footwear that provides extra arch support.

Comfortable athletic shoes, as well as over-the-counter orthotics that support the arches or cushion a painful heel or ball of the foot.

Elevate the feet as often as possible.

Wear seamless Toe socks that do not constrict circulation.

When driving for a long period, take regular breaks to stretch the legs and promote circulation.

Walking is usually recommended.

Sesamoiditis

Definition

Sesamoiditis is a condition affects the ball of the foot. Refers to the irritation of the sesamoid bones (tiny bones that lead to the big toe), which can become irritated and possibly fractured each time you push off the ground with the toes. This condition is often found in people who partake in sports such as dancing or running, where a lot of stress is placed on the ball of the foot.

Cause

Repetitive, excessive pressure on the forefoot.

Occurs when an individual suddenly increases their level of physical activity. These places the feet under additional stress as they try to accommodate this change.

A biomechanical cause of Sesamoiditis is high arches that cause a person to exert more stress on their forefoot. This increases pressure to the Sesamoid bones.

People with bony feet may also suffer from Sesamoiditis as they have little protective fat on their feet, therefore less shock absorbing qualities.

Treatment & Prevention

Rest the foot as much as possible.

Wear wide toed, flat shoes to allow the joint to heal.

Apply ice to painful area for 10 to 15 minutes after exercise, or after any activity that aggravates the area.

Tape the big toe or use athletic strapping to immobilize the joint as much as possible and allow healing to occur.

Shin Splints

Definition

Shin splints are an exercise-related pain. Shin splints occur along or just behind the inner edge of the shin. Result from exercise of the involved leg(s). Most common cause of exercise-induced leg pain encountered by athletes of all levels. The pain recurs if you try to go back to doing the same kind of exercise before healing is established. This condition can also affect non-athletic people who are on their feet all day.

Cause

Running longer distances or on hills.

Increasing the length of time spent aerobic dancing.

Increasing the number of days you exercise each week.

Over training.

Tight calve muscles.

Training on hard surfaces such as concrete.

Improper shoes, inadequate shock absorption.

Treatment & Prevention

Rest. The sooner you rest the sooner it will heal.

Use cold packs and mild compression to feel better.

Wear shock absorbing insoles in shoes.

Maintain fitness with other non weight bearing exercises.

Toenail Fungus

Definition

Fungal infections are very common on both fingernail and toenails. It is a living organism that thrives in dark, damp environments such as under and around nails. Toes are more likely to be affected by fungus since it is attracted to a dark and damp environment which is more common on the foot than on the hand.

Cause

Trauma to the nail.

Poor hygiene of the foot.

Susceptibility (such as decreased immunity) of the person who has contact with the fungus.

Treatment & Prevention

Wear natural cotton Toe socks because they absorb moisture from your feet (from sweating) and provide good ventilation.

Wear breathable shoes.

When drying your feet, only use your towel once on your fungus area, and then wash it.

Do not share your towels or wash cloths with others; you may spread or collect spores.

Use a paper towel or toilet paper to dry your affected area, and throw away when finished.

Do not use nail polish until the disease is gone.

File the infected nail thin so that a local treatment can penetrate the nail more effectively.

Living with Diabetes

Being with Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels, which result from defects in insulin secretion, or action, or both. Diabetes is a disease in which high blood glucose levels over time can damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Damage to your nerves means that you may have burning pain or lose feeling in a part of your body (this is called diabetic neuropathy). When diabetes is not well controlled, damage to the organs and impairment of the immune system is likely. Foot problems can develop and quickly become serious.Damage to the blood vessels in your feet means that your feet may not be getting a good supply of blood. Part of the problem is that the loss of feeling in your feet makes it hard for you to tell if you have a blister or sore. If little sores aren't taken care of, they can get worse and turn into ulcers (serious, deepsores).If these ulcers become infected, you may have to go to the hospital or, in very serious cases, have a foot amputated (removed).

What you should do

  • Don't wear shoes without socks.
  • Don't wear sandals or other open-toed shoes.
  • Avoid high-heeled shoes and shoes with pointed toes.
  • Wear well-padded socks or stockings that are 1/2 inch longer than your longest toe. Don't wear stretch socks, nylon socks, socks with an elastic band or garter at the top, or socks with inside seams.
  • Don't wear uncomfortable or tight shoes that rub or cut into your feet. If you've had problems before because of shoes that didn't fit, you may want to be fitted for a custom-molded shoe.
  • Talk to your doctor before you buy special shoes or inserts.
  • Shop for new shoes at the end of the day when your feet are a little swollen. If shoes are comfortable when your feet are swollen, they'll probably be comfortable all day.
  • Break in new shoes slowly by wearing them for no more than an hour a day for several days.
  • Change socks and shoes every day. Have at least 2 pairs of shoes so you can switch pairs every other day.
  • Look inside your shoes every day for things like gravel or torn linings. These things could rub against your feet and cause blisters or sores.

Foot Facts

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles.
  • 1/4 of all the bones in the human body are down in your feet. When these bones are out of alignment, so is the rest of the body.
  • Only a small percentage of the population is born with foot problems.
  • It is neglect and a lack of awareness of proper care - including ill fitting shoes - that bring on problems.
  • Women have about four times as many foot problems as men. High heels are partly to blame.
  • Walking is the best exercise for your feet. It also contributes to your general health by improving circulation, contributing to weight control, and promoting all-around well being.
  • Your feet mirror your general health. Conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet - so foot ailments can be your first sign of more serious medical problems.
  • Arthritis limits everyday dressing, climbing stairs, getting in and out of bed or walking.
  • About 60-70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of diabetic nerve damage, which in severe forms can lead to lower limb amputations. Approximately 56,000 people a year lose their foot or leg to diabetes.
  • There are 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet. Sweat glands in the feet excrete as much as a half-pint of moisture a day.
  • Walking barefoot can cause plantar warts. The virus enters through a cut.
  • The two feet may be different sizes. Buy shoes for the larger one.
  • About 5% of the populations have toenail problems in a given year.
  • The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which adds up to about 115,000 miles over a lifetime. That's enough to go around the circumference of the earth four times.
  • There are currently more websites on the Internet having to do with foot fetishes than with foot health
Subscribe to TOETOE
Slava Yurthev Copyright Copyright © 2001 - present TOETOE, Ltd. All rights reserved.