3 Common Foot Problems and Treatment Options
Foot problems affect up to 80% of the general population. Some examples include diabetic neuropathy, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and osteoarthritis.
Left untreated, they can lead to various complications including difficulty walking, chronic inflammation, and in some cases, deformities. Not only that, but certain foot conditions can also put you at risk of developing an ulcer.
What other common foot disorders are there? How can they be treated?
For the answers, be sure to keep on reading.
1. Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the fibrous tissue that supports the arch of your foot becomes inflamed. It usually occurs when you put too much pressure on your feet.
While it can affect anyone, it’s most commonly seen in those between the ages of 40 and 70. Those who are overweight or obese are also at a greater risk of developing the condition.
Symptoms-wise, it often causes pain at the bottom of the heel, which can be dull or sharp. Some people may also feel an ache at the bottom mid-foot area.
The good news is that there are several plantar fasciitis treatment options. For one thing, there are anti-inflammatory drugs, which can help ease the pain and lower inflammation. Resting and icing the area can also help.
If that doesn’t work, your doctor may inject a corticosteroid into the most painful part of the foot. Studies have shown that that can provide short-term pain relief for several months.
Gout occurs when there’s a build-up of uric acid in the blood. A form of inflammatory arthritis, it usually affects one joint at a time. For example, it can cause big toe joint pain. Not only that, but it can also cause redness, stiffness, and swelling. In some cases, the affected joint may also feel hot and tender.
Depending on the severity, symptoms may last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Later attacks are also more likely to affect additional joints.
To treat flare-ups, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids, the latter of which can be taken orally or given as an injection.
There are also medications that can help prevent future attacks. For example, there are some that will block uric acid production in the body.
3. Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that usually begins on the skin between the toes. Left untreated, it can eventually spread to other parts of the foot, making them scaly and itchy. Other symptoms include cracking of the skin, blisters, and discolored toenails.
Highly contagious, it’s often picked up from the floors of public places such as swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms. This is especially true if you have improperly dried feet as the fungus prefers moist, sweaty environments.
Fortunately, it can easily be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams. There are also prescription-strength antifungal medications if the former isn’t enough to clear up the infection.
Identifying the Most Common Foot Problems
And there you have it—three of the most common foot problems. For those who are experiencing symptoms, talk to your healthcare practitioner; you don’t want to wait until it becomes worse before seeking treatment.
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