COMMON ISSUES AND TREATMENT OPTIONS
HEEL PAIN / PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Heel pain is often caused by Plantar fasciitis which is an overuse condition of the ligament running along the sole of the foot. This ligament runs between the heel bone (calcaneus),and the ball of the foot, and is responsible for providing stability during gait, as well as assisting in maintaining the height of the arch. It is often irritated in people with flat feet , but can also be problematic in people with high arched feet.
WARTS / VERRUCA PEDIS
Plantar warts, or Papillomas as they are sometimes known are the dermatological effect of the HumanPapilloma Virus (HPV). The can affect any part of the body though hands and feet are the most common. The HPV is very contagious. Communal showers and pools are often the sight of infection. Once the virus is in your body, warts can appear at any time. Without treatment the warts may grow and spread.
CORNS and CALLOUS
Corns and callous are the result of excess pressure. Often over bony prominences, they develop in order to protect the underlying bones. Both are made up of dead skin; corns push into the foot, where callous grow outwards. Left untreated, they become extremely painful. Corns are circular in shape and smaller than callous. and they are generally more painful and can occur between the toes. The first step in the treatment of corns or callous is to work out why they are occurring.
HEEL PAIN IN CHILDREN / SEVER’S DISEASE
Sever’s Disease is a condition of growth, where the rapidly growing bones of the lower leg (tiba and fibula) pull on the muscles (gastrocnemius / soleus) and tendons (achilles) along the back of the leg. It commonly effects highly active children between the ages of 8 and 14 This can cause pain at the point of attachment between the Achilles tendon and the calcaneus (heel bone). Pain can be felt either at the back of the heel, or under the heel.
INGROWN TOE NAILS
Ingrown toe nailsare extremely painful. The corner of the nail digs into the side of the toe cutting into the skin, often becoming bacterially infected. The toe will become painful to the touch and often very red. Pus may be present. The main cause of Ingrown toenails (IGTN)is incorrect cutting. When nails are cut down along the side of the toe, it is easy to leave a small spike of nail. As the nail grows forward, the spike acts like a dagger, digging in.
Fungal toenails, or Onychomycosis are caused by the introduction of fungal cells to the nail bed. It is an extremely common condition, affecting thousands of people. It is caused by a number of different fungal strains. The nail will take on a discoloured appearance; white, yellow or brown and will become thick and friable. While the fungus itself will not cause ill-health in the affected person, it is unsightly particularly during summer when open toed shoes are preferred.
Orthotics are therapeutic devices worn in shoes to correct a biomehanical anomaly or to relieve pain. They can be made out a variety of materials. At Footpath Podiatry Carbon Fibre and EVA are the most commonly used materials.
Choosing appropriate footwear, particularly for women can be challenge. We all like to look stylish but comfort also has to be a consideration.