Health

Common Foot Problems: What Can Podiatrists Do to Help?

Caring for your feet is not only about visiting a spa for a massage, pedicure, or foot scrub.

Have you been living with lower limb pain or unsightly condition for quite a while now? Before applying an ointment or some other medicines you just heard from someone, you need to identify the real problem. The best professional who can help you is a podiatrist, like Feet In Motion. See their range of services, including foot orthotics made for your feet, to help you understand your foot problems and proper treatment.

What Does a Podiatrist Do?

Podiatrists are healthcare professionals who were trained to diagnose and treat abnormal conditions of the feet and lower limbs. They provide foot health services, such as relieving pain, treating infections, and preventing and correcting deformities to keep patients active and mobile. Furthermore, they educate you and your loved ones about the best ways to look after your feet, and which kind of shoes you should wear.

Common Foot Problems

Below are some common foot problems that podiatrists treat. Check out Feet In Motion’s website for more information regarding foot problems.

1. Bunions

This is a bony bump, which occurs at the base of your big toe’s joint. It forms when some of the bones in the front part of your foot move out of place. As a result, the tip of your big toe gets pulled towards the smaller toes forcing the joint of your big toe to stick out. Red and sore skin over the affected part indicates a bunion. It can develop from the foot structure you inherited, medical conditions like arthritis, and wearing tight and thin shoes.

To help prevent bunions, select the proper shoes. They should have a wide toe box, no pointy feet, and must have space between the end of the shoes and the tip of your longest toe. See a podiatrist if pain persists even after trying home remedies.

2. Corns and Calluses

These are thick or hard areas of the skin that can be painful. While they’re not life-threatening, they must be managed by a foot specialist if you have other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or other circulation issues.

Consider doing the following to void these problems:

  • Use soft insoles or heel pads in your shoes.
  • Wear wide, comfy shoes with a soft sole and low heels that do not rub.
  • Moisturize to help keep skin smooth.
  • Use a pumice stone or foot tile to remove hard skin regularly.
  • Soak calluses and corns in warm water to soften them.
  • Wear thick, cushioned socks.

3. Sports Injuries

Any part of your body can suffer from an injury, including the bones, joints, connective tissues, and muscles. However, the knees and ankles are the most prone to sports injuries.

Some of the causes include:

  • Not warming up properly before working out.
  • Not resting after an excessive amount of exercise.
  • Utilizing improper equipment or poor technique during exercise.
  • An accident like a heavy blow or fall.

Normally, you do not need to see a professional after a minor injury occurs. The best thing to do is rest the affected part and apply an ice pack for the first 48 to 72 hours to prevent further damage and lessen swelling. Essentially, use painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol for pain. In case of severe injury, including dislocation or broken bone, go to the nearest podiatric clinic.

4. Toenail Problems

Toenail problems, such as thickened toenails, ingrown toenails, and fungal nail infections, are common foot problems. Though they’re not serious, they can be painful and take a long time to treat. 

Here are tips for managing these conditions:

  • Soak your foot in warm water thrice or four times every day for a few days to soften your toe’s skin and stop the nail from growing into it.
  • Wear wide, comfortable sandals or shoes.
  • Keep your feet dry throughout the day.
  • Take ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve the pain.