Whether it’s due to injury, overuse or a medical disorder, painful foot conditions are common, and many people turn to podiatrists for relief. Podiatrists are highly trained in diagnosing and treating foot and ankle issues, ranging from minor concerns like calluses and ingrown toenails to more severe conditions like bunions and plantar fasciitis. This blog will cover some of the most common foot problems that podiatrists see, their causes, symptoms and treatments.
If you’re experiencing stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel, there’s a chance you have plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is a strong band of connective tissue located at the bottom of the foot. It connects the heel bone to the toes and supports the foot arch. It’s responsible for shock absorption during weight-bearing activities like walking and running.
Inflammation of the plantar fascia can result from overuse, overstretching or a medical condition. Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed through medical history, physical examination and imaging tests.
- Heel pain is usually experienced as you take your first steps in the morning, after intense activity or prolonged standing or sitting.
- Swelling and stiffness around your heel
- A tight Achilles tendon
- Offloading supports
- Exercise modification
- Stretching program
- Rehabilitation exercises
- Shockwave therapy
- Use of orthotics or special shoe inserts
An ingrown toenail is a common condition and can develop in people of all ages. It usually affects the big toe and occurs when the side or corner of the toenail grows down into the skin. Wearing tight shoes and cutting nails too short or not straight across can lead to ingrown toenails.
For people with diabetes, an ingrown toenail can escalate into a life-threatening infection. Diabetes inhibits blood circulation, making it harder for the body to fight infections and heal wounds. A person with diabetes must seek prompt medical attention if they suspect an ingrown toenail or any other foot problem.
- Pain when pressure is placed on the toe
- Swelling or tenderness in the skin near the nail
- Bleeding or oozing pus if toe becomes infected
- Seek treatment by one of our expert Podiatrrists. They will treat the ingrown toenail and advise how to care for it and prevent it.
- We dont recommend and intervention at home as home surgery usually leads to infection and worsening of the condition.
- Take pain relievers
- See you GP for antibiotics if the toe is infected
- Wear sandals or comfortable shoes.
- In severe cases, a nail avulsion procedure might be required to remove part of the nail permanently.
- Our expert Podiatrists are very skilled in this surgery and provide the best care possible.
A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of your big toe joint. It occurs when the big toe pushes against the next toe, causing the joint to stick out and the bone to protrude.
Bunions are usually caused by genetics, tight muscles, overpronation, or wearing poorly fitted shoes. A combination of X-rays and physical examination can help diagnose bunions.
- A visible bump on the inside of the foot
- Pain in the big toe joint with walking
- Hardened skin on the bottom of the foot
- Redness and inflammation
- A callus or corn on the bump
- Stiffness and impaired motion in the big toe
- Using orthotic devices
- Changing footwear
- Shockwave therapy
- Customised stretching program
- Taking over-the-counter pain medications
- Physical therapy
- Surgery (in severe cases)
Corns and calluses
Corns and calluses are hard, thickened areas of skin that form when the skin tries to protect itself against friction or pressure.
- Corns — Tend to be smaller and deeper than calluses. Corns have a hard centre surrounded by inflamed skin and can be painful when pressed.
- Calluses — Commonly appear on the heels, toes and balls of the feet. They’re rarely painful and are less sensitive to touch than normal skin.
- Thickened, rough areas of skin
- Tenderness or pain under the skin
- Dry, flaky or waxy skin
- Soft padding to remove the pressure from the painful area
- Changes to footwear
- Using custom orthotics
- Patches to help soften the hard skin, so it can be removed
- Regular treatment with a Podiatrist who can carefully shave away the thickened, dead skin using a surgical blade to maintain appropriate skin health
These warts usually appear on weight-bearing areas such as the sole, heel or toes. Plantar warts are not usually a serious concern for your health, but can cause pain and discomfort. They can also spread from direct contact.
Podiatrists diagnose warts by visually examining the affected area of the foot.
- A small, rough growth on the bottom of your foot
- Calluses over a spot on the skin where a wart has grown inward
- Black pinpoints, which are small clotted blood vessels
- A cluster of growths on the sole
- Pain or tenderness when walking or standing
- Over-the-counter medication, such as salicylic acid and freezing sprays
- The latest and most effective treatment thus far has been found to be, SWIFT wart therapy (microwave technology) which we offer at Podiatryfirst.
- SWIFT wart therapy use the immune system to kill the warts. Leaving perfectly normal skin intact without scarring and longterms effects.
Say goodbye to foot pain with Podiatry First
Foot problems must be addressed promptly to avoid further discomfort. Even minor issues can escalate into severe infections, which can affect mobility and quality of life.
If you’re experiencing any of the foot conditions above, seek the expertise of our podiatrists. With proper diagnosis and treatment, we can help resolve your foot problem, preventing further complications and improving overall health.
Contact Podiatry First at (02) 9387 1545 to book an appointment today.Leave a reply