Sensitive Feet

By The Foot Care Aide | September 28, 2009

What Causes Sensitive Feet?

In each of your feet and both of your ankles, there are over 20 different bones, over 30 different joints and hundreds of muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Is it any wonder that foot pain is common?

sensitive feet

The feet are responsible for carrying around the body’s mass.  The weight of the body should be balanced between the two feet, but many people have one leg longer than the other, feet that angle out or in, flat feet, high arches and other problems that cause an imbalance in weight distribution. 

Is it any wonder that injury among athletes and the general public is so common?

Many serious conditions have a negative effect on the health of the feet.  Diabetes is one example.  Diabetics must take great care to avoid injury, keep their feet clean and wear appropriate shoes.  Otherwise, serious infections can occur.

As the feet are the support systems for the rest of the lower body, if they are not properly cared for, other problems can appear.  Those include pain in the knees, hips and lower back.  So, caring for your feet should be of utmost importance to you.

How to Treat Sensitive Feet

Number one is to treat them gently and buy products designed specifically for any condition that you suffer from.  For example, if you suffer from diabetes, buy socks and shoes specifically designed for diabetics.

Since seams can cause irritation, buy seam-free socks.  They may cost a little more initially, but they last longer and for the comfort, they are worth it. 

Make sure that any shoes you wear are sensibly designed.  If you must wear dress shoes on a regular basis and you have sensitive feet, switch off to low-heeled, softer designs during breaks.  Ideally, you should limit wearing high heels for special occasions, if at all.

Silicone insoles are the latest thing for preventing sore, tired and aching feet.  Foot Smart’s 3-D men’s and women’s silicone insoles are recommended by podiatrists.  They cushion the feet, without causing excess sweating or allergic reactions.

Consider buying “Wellness” shoes, the next time that you are ready for a new pair.  Wellness shoes have been designed using the latest scientific knowledge of how the feet and lower body work together.  They prevent rolling and improve posture.  They can even help tone your legs, particularly your calf muscles, which will help to prevent injury to the Achilles tendon and other parts of the foot and leg. 

There are many solutions for sensitive feet.  Don’t suffer another day.

Topics: Diabetic Foot Care, Sensitive Feet | No Comments »

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Plantar Fasciitis

By The Foot Care Aide | September 26, 2009

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the ligament that stretches from the back of the heel to the ball of the foot.  Known as the plantar fascia ligament, it is responsible for supporting the arch of the foot.  It is one of the most common conditions that affect the feet, occurring in about 10% of all Americans at some point in their lifetime.  Reportedly, some two million Americans seek treatment each year. 

plantar fasciitis

What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

Pain, located at the bottom of the heel, is the most common symptom.  The pain is often most intense during the early morning, accompanying the first few steps of the day.  Difficulty flexing the foot so that the toes point upwards in the direction of the shin is another symptom, although many people do not notice the stiffness, as it occurs gradually over time. 

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

In athletes and runners, the cause is often inadequate stretching.  In non-athletes, the condition is more common in people that are overweight.

Standing or walking for many hours during the day is a common cause.  It is sometimes a work-related injury.  Running, especially in shoes with little or no arch support, can eventually cause the ligament to become overstretched.  The arches can fall and pain is the result.

Flat feet and fallen arches can cause plantar fasciitis, although the pain from fallen arches may affect the entire foot.  In plantar fasciitis, the pain is focused primarily on the bottom of the heel.  High arches can cause the problem, too. 

Although they are not believed to be a cause, heel spurs are often found to accompany plantar fasciitis.  Spurs are bone deposits that form on the heel bone.  They can form on the back or bottom of the heel bone.  When they accompany plantar fasciitis, they are usually found on the bottom of the heel bone.     

How is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?

Surgical procedures can release the tension, but they are accompanied by numerous risks, which include injury to the nerves, infection and rupture of the ligament.  In addition, surgery does not always reduce or relieve the pain.  So, it is typically chosen as a last resort.

Injection of corticosteroids or the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is sometimes chosen to relieve pain, but those treatments are of limited benefit.  Side effects are a problem, as is damage that can be done to the liver, with continued use of NSAIDs.

The best choices for treatment are those that do not involve drugs or surgery.  If you suffer from the condition, here’s what you should do.

If you follow these steps, you should notice an improvement in your plantar fasciitis in a very short time.

Topics: Arch Pain & Flat Feet, Ball-of-Foot Pain, Foot & Heel Pain, Plantar Fasciitis | No Comments »

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Morton’s Neuroma

By The Foot Care Aide | September 24, 2009

What is Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma is sometimes referred to as Morton’s metatarsalgia, because a true tumor is not believed to be present.  The term neuroma is typically used to refer to a tumor.  But, in this condition, a bundle of tissue fibers presses on nerve tissues.  Basically, it is a pinched nerve. 

mortons neuroma

What are the symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma?

The usual symptoms are numbness and/or pain in the second, third and/or fourth toes.  A “pins and needles” feeling is sometimes present.  Pain is worsened by wearing shoes, walking or running.  Numbness often occurs after walking for several minutes. 

A shooting pain may be felt between two adjacent toes.  Burning is sometimes used to describe the sensation.  Since nerves are involved, any of these descriptions could be accurate.  The first or big toe is rarely involved.  Neither is the pinky toe. 

The pain can be duplicated by pressing the area of the transverse arch (near the front of the foot) between the thumb and forefinger.  As there are other causes of pain in the toes and front of the foot, evaluation by a podiatrist is recommended.  Other causes can include bursitis or arthritis.   

What Causes Morton’s Neuroma?

Inflammation or enlargement of the ligaments can press on the nerves and cause the pain.  Flat feet, which roll inward, cause excessive “pull” on the nerves. 

Poorly designed shoes that squeeze the front of the feet, which includes a lot of women’s dress shoes, are a common cause of the problem.  As with other foot problems, wearing comfortable, well-designed shoes, such as “Wellness” shoes, can prevent the symptoms and negate the need for further treatment.

How is Morton’s Neuroma treated?

Surgical correction may be necessary, but is usually chosen as a last resort.  Since this is ultimately a pinched nerve, the solution is to stop the “pinching”. 

As mentioned above, the correct shoes can make all of the difference.  For people with flat or flatter than normal arches, a supportive insole can be the solution to the problem.  Other shoe inserts that correct the improper “lean” can help, too.

For people who stand or walk for long periods of time, a forefoot pad with a metatarsal dome will help to distribute pressure more evenly, reducing the shock that can cause irritation and inflammation of the ligaments.  The pads are available from FootSmart.com.

A good massage will relieve the pain and improve circulation.  If you don’t have a masseuse, the VersaPro Thumper is almost as good.

The pain of Morton’s neuroma can be managed and reduced, with the proper treatment.  Start by looking at your shoes and go from there.

Topics: Corns & Calluses, Morton’s Neuroma | 1 Comment »

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