Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Like many other foot disorders, including bunions, hammertoes, and neuromas, Achilles tendinitis will get progressively worse and may eventually lead to degeneration of the tendon if not properly diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist. The most common symptom of Achilles tendinitis is pain or stiffness along the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel, particularly when walking or exercising. Pain may also occur after a period of inactivity or when getting up in the morning and taking those first steps. There may also be swelling or warmth in the area.
Because the Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel, Achilles tendinitis is often caused by over training, overusing, or injuring the tendon during repetitive sports activities. Muscle tightness in general or back and hip problems that throw off your body’s proper alignment can sometimes be the culprit. Another major cause of Achilles tendinitis is tight calf muscles resulting from continuously wearing high-heeled shoes. Flat shoes can also cause Achilles tendinitis since they tend to shorten calf muscles.
An ankle sprain is an injury to one or more ligaments in the ankle. The ligaments connect the bones to each other another and stabilize the ankle joint. The treatment of the ankle sprain, whether non-surgical or surgical, depends on the severity of the injury. The severity is determined by whether a ligament is stretched, partially torn, or completely torn, as well as on the number of ligaments injured. It is important that ankle fractures of any severity be promptly and properly evaluated to exclude associated injuries, such as fractures of the foot and ankle, as well as to avoid long-term complications of an untreated ankle injury such as chronic ankle instability.
A bone spur (osteophyte) is a bony growth that develops along the edge of a bone. It is most often formed at the joint, where bone meets bone. Bone spurs may go undetected for years, unless they rub against nearby nerves or bones and cause pain. If you’re experiencing pain or loss of motion in a joint, you may have a bone spur. Bone spurs or heel spurs (those that begin at the front of your heel bone and point towards your arch) may be revealed in an x-ray. About half the people who have plantar fasciitis will develop a heel spur.
A bunion (Hallux valgus) looks like a “bump” on the joint of the big toe; however, these bumps are not calluses. Instead they result from the bones in your foot becoming misaligned. More often than not, the big toe is leaning inward towards the middle toe giving the appearance of a bump on the joint. Bunions are a progressive disease that warrants treatment from a podiatrist early on. While some people may never have symptoms, most people experience pain at the base of the big toe near the joint, redness at the big toe joint, pain such as a burning sensation associated with activity, pain when wearing shoes, and numbness in the big toe.
One of the causes of bunions is heredity. You may have inherited a faulty foot bone structure that makes you more prone to bunions. Flat feet are also a culprit and younger patients may be diagnosed with bunions because of hyper-flexibility. While wearing shoes that are too tight, high heels that crowd the toes, and spending a lot of time on your feet won’t cause bunions, these situations can exacerbate the problem and symptoms will appear immediately and be more severe. For these reasons, women are treated for bunions more often than men.
Corns and calluses on the foot can cause discomfort. Basically, they are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop where friction and/or pressure is present. Corns usually develop on the tops or sides of the toe. Calluses are usually found on the soles of your feet.
The risk of complications from corns and calluses is very low unless you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation to your feet. Corns and calluses are often filed down during a salon pedicure, so it’s important to protect your foot health by being proactive about salon sanitization. Follow these guidelines to ensure a healthy pedicure.
Injury or even a small cut on the foot can result in serious consequences for someone with diabetes. Diabetes may cause nerve damage or reduce blood flow to the feet, which makes it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. An infection or a non-healing wound could put you at risk for amputation. See a podiatrist for any suspected foot problems and professional foot care including toenail trimming and treatment of corns or calluses.
Foot fractures may be caused by certain activities or injuries. Pain, swelling, redness and bruising are signs of a possible fracture.
Fractures are diagnosed with an examination and with x-rays or other studies. Based on the findings, a podiatrist can determine the best treatment course. Fractures are often treated with rest, icing, and immobilization. However surgery is sometimes necessary to repair the fracture.
Toenail fungus is a common problem that can affect people of all ages, although it most commonly affects individuals who are older. It is a skin infection, tinea pedis, or more commonly, athlete’s foot. The fungus often starts under the nail fold and continues to grow under the nail. Over time,l the nail becomes discolored (yellow or brown), thicker and deformed.
Hammertoe is the term used to describe a bending in the joint of the toe. A hammertoe can occur in one toe or in several toes, with the exception of the big toe. When more than one toe is affected the condition is referred to in the plural, hammertoes. This abnormal bending of the joints can result in unsightly lesions or pain from pressure of the toes when wearing shoes. If you suspect you have a hammertoe, you should consult with a podiatrist to confirm diagnosis since the condition can get progressively worse over time.
The first symptom of a hammertoe is pain when wearing shoes. You may notice a painful lesion between two or more of your toes or that your toes curl or bend to one side or the other. Other symptoms of hammertoes include pain at the tip of the toe, pain in toenails, or thick lesions on the tops of the toes that may be discolored. In some cases, hammertoes may not be painful at all. Common causes of hammertoes include wearing high heels or tight fitting shoes that create bunions and push the second toe out of place. People with flat feet often get hammertoes, and in some instances hammertoes may be hereditary.