We cram our feet into shoes everyday, forcing the toes together and making them act as a hoof. When the toes are drawn together, abductor muscles on the outer and inner foot can’t activate, and can atrophy due to lack of use. Not giving your feet the proper attention, can result in foot pain.
While many foot ailments can be genetic, many are caused from poor foot care and lack of attention. If you have foot pain, assess your symptoms and consult a physician. Below are some common ailments people experience:
Foot Pain: Athlete's Foot. Fungus on the foot (usually between the toes or on the bottom of the feet) that causes redness, itchiness, tiny bumps filled with fluid, or peeling skin. A common skin condition that can affect everyone, not just athletes. It is most commonly located between the toes or on the bottom of the feet.
Cause: Coming in contact with fungus and grows best in warm, moist areas, such as the area between the toes.
Foot Pain: Bunion. A pathological bump on the side of the big toe caused by an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint. With a bunion, you may experience irritated skin around the bunion, pain when walking, joint redness and pain, and possible shift of the big toe toward the other toes. Blisters may form more easily around the site of the bunion as well.
Cause: Depending on factors such as duration of wearing constraining footwear, skeletal maturity, and individual factors, the toes can become adapted to the new position and lead to the deformity we know as a bunion. Genetics can also play a role in developing bunions.
Foot Pain: Corns & Callouses. Areas of thick, hard skin. Corns are hard, thick skin that forms on your toe, while a callous is thick, hard skin that has forms elsewhere on your foot.
Cause: Usually caused by rubbing or irritation over a boney prominence.
Foot Pain: Hammertoe. An imbalance of the tendons (either above or below the toe) causing toe(s) to curl. Also called a mallet toe.
Cause: Wearing improper footwear — shoes that are too tight in the toe box or shoes that have high heels. Genetics can also play a role in developing a hammertoe.
Foot Pain: Ingrown Toenail. The sides or corners of the toenail usually curve down and put pressure on the skin. Sometimes the toenail pierces the skin and then continues to grow into the skin. This may cause redness, swelling, pain and sometimes infection.
Cause: Many factors can cause ingrown toenails, one being tight or narrow shoes (poorly fitted shoes).
Foot Pain: Plantar Fascitis. The most common cause of foot pain in the heel and foot pain in the arch. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick fibrous band of tissue that connects from your heel to your toes (plantar facsia) becomes weak, irritated or swollen. It has been reported that plantar fasciitis occurs in two million Americans a year and 10% of the population over a lifetime.
Cause: Several causes including wearing shoes that don't fit well or are worn out.
Foot Pain: Metatarsalgia. An imbalance in the long bones of the foot that can cause extreme foot pain in the ball of feet.
Cause: Sports that place tremendous pounding on the ball of the foot; shoes with small toe boxes that cramp your toes.
Most, if not all, of the above foot pain issues can arise by not wearing proper shoes and not using preventative steps in foot care.