The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art - Leonardo da Vinci
image by: Waldo Jaquith
"When people aren't feeling well, we wish them a speedy recovery – to see them "back on their feet" again soon. And yet, we're often unaware of the intricate pedals so central to our mobility until they give out on us. And then – it's as if someone snatched away the car keys or the plane just grounded...
You can guard against hurt feet by wearing shoes that fit the occasion, experts say. In other words, yes, you can still glam out in your Jimmy Choos (if you can swing it ...) but, more to the point: Wear running shoes for running, spinning shoes for spinning and commute in something comfy.
Vary the shoes you wear and seek footwear that gives you arch support, shock absorption and cushioning, says Jacqueline Sutera, a podiatrist with practices in New York and New Jersey and an American Podiatric Medical Association spokeswoman. Her no-no's: "Anything too thin, too flat, too high, too hard, too stiff."
So, put on your Goldilocks hat the next time you go shoe shopping, and pick out a pair that feels just right. While you're at it, throw away your worn-out shoes, whose lack of support can set you up for a sprained ankle and other injuries. And please be careful with pedicures – steer clear of cuticle cutting and razors, which can lead to infection and permanent damage.
Meanwhile, learn how to recognize and treat some of the most common foot ailments. Among them:
1. Heel Pain: According to Sutera, heel pain typically results from plantar fasciitis – inflammation of a ligament at the bottom of the foot. It can result from weight gain, unsupported arches or overactivity from exercise. You'll detect it by pain after periods of rest, like when you first step out of bed in the morning, or after intense activity. And it hurts because you're essentially walking on an injury, Sutera explains.
You can heal your heel with the following regimen: at night, alternate two or three 15-minute periods of icing with 15-minute periods of rest; when you wake up, extend your leg and use a towel or yoga strap to stretch your toes back toward you. Meanwhile, wear supportive shoes and take anti-inflammatory medicine if needed. If you don't feel better after three weeks, see a doctor, she says. Untreated, plantar fasciitis can give way to other problems like tendenitis, a tightening of the achilles which can rupture and land you in a cast.
2. Bunions: A dislocation of the joint in the big toe, bunions are genetic conditions that can worsen by wearing unsupportive shoes like pointy high heels or ballerina flats, Sutera says. Bunions can cause swelling, redness, pain and, if untreated, can develop into arthritis. You can manage a bunion by wearing wide shoes, she says, but the only fix is surgery.
3. Ingrown toenails: These can be inherited (the so-called "pincer nail" that curves inward), or they can be caused by tight shoes or pantyhose, but it's most often due to cutting too deeply into the corners of nails, says Hillary Brenner, a New York podiatrist who also speaks for the APMA. As a result, skin grows over the nail, leaving you vulnerable to a bacterial infection that can become very dangerous should the bacteria reach the bloodstream. You'll know it's a bacterial infection by signs of redness, heat and swelling. Also, it smells bad. (Gross-out alert) Bacteria actually eat your sweat and excrete fumes, Brenner says. If you notice any red streaking from the infection site, she advises seeing a podiatrist immediately.
Otherwise, treat the infection by soaking your feet in a lukewarm bath of Epsom salt for 15 to 20 minutes and apply moisturizing cream to soften the nail. Then, use sterile clippers to trim the nail, and apply Neosporin and a bandage to the wound, Brenner says. "It should be almost instantaneous relief."
4. Fungal infections: Thick, yellowed, crumbling nails – that's fungus, Brenner says. And it's caused by anything that lifts the nail plate from the nail bed like shoes that don't fit (notice a theme here?). Treat a fungal infection by soaking feet in a bath of Epsom salt and tea tree oil for 15 to 20 minutes followed by a topical antifungal medicine. Then, see your podiatrist every two to three months to have the nail cut to remove the fungus.
5. Calluses: Often caused by how someone walks, calluses can be treated with orthotics to correct a person's gait, Brenner says. Some people don't mind the extra padding on their feet, she says. For everyone else, she advises having the calluses shaved down by a podiatrist every two to three months. Also, moisturize your feet with a good cream and seal it into your skin by wearing a sock for 40 minutes to an hour, she says. "The more you moisturize your feet, the stronger the integrity of the skin is, so it's harder to break down." Finally, you can help to scrub away calluses twice a week with an exfoliant, especially one that contains pumice, she says.
The bottom line, so to speak: When it comes to foot health, pain will alert you to a problem. Pay attention and, if pain persists, see a doctor." Source: Rachel Pomerance Berl, Foot Health 101: Learn How to Treat Your Feet, U.S News & World Report, October 7, 2013
I had years of Achilles tendon problems, none of the people I went to for advice were especially helpful, and I couldn’t find good Achilles tendon injury information on the web. So, I did a ton of research, followed the researchers’ advice, and my Achilles tendons felt good. I could run and play sports pain free, it was (is!) great. I thought it would be nice to share the research, so I created AchillesTendon.com. Everything on AchillesTendon.com is based on peer reviewed research papers written by doctors, physical therapists, and scientists.
Foot.com features an extensive listing of foot disorders, each fully described in non-technical terms for easy identification. This listing includes both general foot conditions as well as special sections for serious disorders such as diabetes, and arthritis. Also featured is a listing of the known causes and symptoms for each problem and recommended solutions for treatment and prevention. In addition, you can subscribe to Footprints, a free weekly newsletter designed to provide you with the latest health and wellness information.
FootCareMD is your source for reliable information on foot and ankle conditions and treatments. All content was developed and peer reviewed by orthopaedic surgeons specializing in foot and ankle surgery. FootCareMD is overseen by the AOFAS Public Education Committee and maintained by AOFAS staff.
footEducation.com was created by orthopaedic surgeons to provide patients and medical providers with current and accurate information on foot and ankle conditions and their treatments. The contributors to this site are all board certified orthopaedic surgeons who specialize in treating patients with foot and ankle problems.
Looking for the most reliable foot and ankle health information on the Internet? Need a foot and ankle surgeon in your area? Visit FootHealthFacts.org, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeon's consumer information website.
Foot health is our number one concern!
Footweb was inspired in 1997 by a podiatrist / foot specialist with the concept of providing home health foot products, current foot information and foot services provided by podiatrists & trained specialists in the footcare field.
Heel That Pain
Our story begins with thirty long, patient years of dedicated research by a world-class physician who had set himself the task of developing an invention that would relieve plantar fasciitis sufferers from acute and chronic heel pain. After three decades of design and testing, the Fascia-Bar™ was perfected and Heel That Pain was founded upon being awarded the patent for this revolutionary medical technology.
Institute for Preventive Foot Health
The Institute for Preventive Foot Health (IPFH) is a non-profit private foundation committed to raising awareness about the importance of caring for the feet through education, research and the identification of methods demonstrated by clinical research to prevent, treat and manage painful conditions and diseases affecting the feet, mobility, functional status and quality of life. - See more at: http://www.ipfh.org/about-us/#sthash.OzDCXCkJ.dpuf
Welcome to Painful-Feet.com, where we take a non-medical look at foot pains, problems such as Plantar Fasciitis and heel spurs. As a sufferer of plantar pain myself for several years now, I found it hard to get information on the Internet that was not too “technical” or “medical”, hence this website was created to help you, the people with painful feet, get information and impartial reviews of products or treatments that could help you.
A large proportion of injuries do not need hands-on physio treatment. Choosing a personalised treatment programme provided by Physiobench can speed your recovery.
Plantar Fasciitis Organization
Welcome to the Plantar Fasciitis organization, your source for information on plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and other forms of heel pain. Our goal is to provide a wealth of information on heel pain conditions and injuries as well as their treatments.
Women's Foot Health by Dr. Marlene Reid
I am a podiatric physician and surgeon in private practice in Naperville, IL at Family Podiatry Center and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). My interest in helping the public stems from my work with the APMA as Chairman of the APMA Public Education and Information Committee. My professional interests include women's foot health care, tendon problems, orthopedic problems and deformities and heel pain.
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American Podiatric Medical Association
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Your feet are more important than you think. They contain roughly one-fourth of all the bones in your body – and they take quite a beating as they support you and help you stay active. In fact, many people believe that the foot represents your overall health. A simple foot pain can signal numerous health conditions, some serious and others caused by wear and tear.
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Foot Health Info is a blog containing posts on information on foot diseases and conditions, and how to have healthy and pretty feet.
FootHealth.com offers professional health care products designed to treat and prevent common foot, toe, ankle, & heel conditions such as bunions, plantar fascilitis, & calluses.
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A list of common foot problems & conditions. Detailed advice on day-to-day foot problems and sore feet.
Whether you're standing up all day on the job, sightseeing on your latest trip or taking a morning walk, your feet work hard from morning to night, carrying you through work and play, from one place to another. If you're not careful, however, you may start feeling the effects of overworked, under supported or improperly aligned feet, ankles, legs and knees… and sooner than you think!
International Council on Active Aging
Older adults are at very high risk for foot problems. In one study 87% of older people reported atleast one foot problem. Feet widen and flatten, and the fat padding on the sole of the foot wears down as people age. Older people's skin is alsodryer. Foot pain, in fact, can be the first sign of trouble in many illnesses related to aging, such as arthritis, diabetes, and circulatory disease. Foot problems can also impair balance and function in older adults.
Your foot health can be a clue to your overall health. For example, joint stiffness could mean arthritis. Tingling or numbness could be a sign of diabetes. Swelling might indicate kidney disease, heart disease or high blood pressure.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases.
Welcome to the quest of running injury free! This site is for the thousands of runners, joggers, and walkers who are not concerned with how fast they can finish a race but who want to run without injury and enjoy it.
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