Foot pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, and if not treated properly by a certified foot and ankle specialist, the pain can begin to affect other parts of the body. Common foot conditions include hammertoes, bunions, and plantar fasciitis.
A hammertoe is a bending, also called a contracture, of the toe at the first joint; when the toe is bent, it looks like an upside-down V. While any toe can be affected, the condition is usually reserved to the second through the fifth toes, and is more common in females than males.
Rigid hammertoes are more serious than flexible hammertoes and may be present in individuals with arthritis or those who have neglected to seek treatment from the beginning. While flexible hammertoes can still be moved at the joint, rigid hammertoes cause tightening in the tendons as well as immobile and misaligned joints.
For additional information, visit APMA’s page on hammertoes.
When the tissue or bone at the joint of the big toe moves out of place, a bunion can form. This bump forms when the big toe bends toward the other toes, and when left untreated, can be quite painful. An individual who has a bunion may feel stiffness and soreness at the joint, and wearing shoes may become painful.
Bunions form after years of pressure on the joint and abnormal motion, often caused by the way one walks, his or her shoe style, and genetics. Other contributing factors can include congenital deformities and foot injuries, as well as wearing shoes that are too tight.
For additional information, visit APMA’s page on bunions.
Heel pain can be caused by many factors, including gait abnormalities, injuries incurred from running, wearing inferior footwear, and carrying extra weight. This type of pain can occur anywhere on the heel and show itself in the form of heel spurs, Achilles tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is often associated with heel spurs, and is an inflammation of the band of tissues (fascia) that run along the bottom (plantar) of the foot from the ball to the heel. As the tissue strains over time, it can stretch, which leads to pain and inflammation; in some cases, a bone spur can grow.
For additional information, visit APMA’s page on heel pain.
When the soft tissue in the ankle or foot is damaged, it is referred to as a sprain; when a break occurs in a bone, it is called a fracture. Those who practice an active lifestyle are prone to these types of injuries, as they often occur during sports activities. While rest and ice may help, it is always a good idea to connect with a certified foot and ankle specialist who can address the issue and recommend a proper course of treatment.
For additional information, visit APMA’s page on foot and ankle injuries.
When these types of foot and ankle issues occur, individuals can seek out the expertise of a podiatrist treatment and quality care.