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Common foot conditions that can cause pain and discomfort


Common foot conditions that can cause pain and discomfort

Plantar Fasciitis

People with this condition usually feels that the foot pain is worse usually in the first step in the morning or after some time of not walking or inactivity. May get better throughout the day of walking or running or standing, but start hurting again at the end of the day.

Tenderness can be produced when direct pressure is applied on the plantar surface (sole) of the foot. Usually, it cannot be diagnosed with laboratory tests or xrays and ultrasound.


What to do to alleviate pain?

· Do simple and light exercises that involves stretching of muscles of feet and legs before getting out of bed

· Avoid activities that will put too much pressure on the soles of your feet like running, jumping and prolonged dancing

· Don’t wear flat or high-heeled shoes without arch support

· Don’t walk barefooted

· Use shoe inserts for additional support

· You make take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medicines

· May need to have a physician to inject steroids directly to the plantar fascia if conservative management fails

High arch foot

As the name implies, this is a disorder where the arch of the foot is higher than the normal. It is also called Pes cavus. This causes the entire weight of the body to be positioned on the ball and the heel of the foot which can cause pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, majority of cases are hereditary or can be passed on to family members. Few cases are from some neurologic disorders and other medical conditions. The foot is usually very unstable and has limitation on range of motion.


What to do?

· Most often treated with orthopedic shoe inserts that will help to spread the body weight over the entire foot. Some shoes are actually designed to help support those high arches.

· In some cases, braces are placed to provide stability while walking

· Avoid walking barefooted and wearing flat shoes

· In severe cases, surgery may be the last option

Flat Foot


It is also called pes planus and the exact opposite of high arch foot. The arch at the bottom of foot is completely flattened, allowing the entire sole to touch the floor when you stand up, walk or run.


This condition can contribute to the alteration in the alignment and balance of the ankles, legs, knees, hips and back which will cause pain and discomfort. Like a high arched foot, a flat foot is also very unstable and unsteady when used for walking and running. Maybe related to abnormal flexibility of ligaments, muscle weakness in the foot, bone anomalies and other medical conditions.


What to do?

· If it does not cause any pain, no treatment is needed

· Orthotic devices are helpful to alleviate pain and symptoms but will not fix the problem.

· Stretching exercises may help

· Buy shoes that have supportive structures

· Physical therapy can help to improve use of feet and develop more stability and strength

Bunions


This is a body outgrowth that are usually seen at the joint at the base of the great toe (in some cases, also seen on the smaller toes) which can cause the entire toe to deviate or move towards the smaller toes, creates overlapping and eventually friction of the skin that can lead to pain and redness. Can be caused by wearing tight and narrow shoe and some medical conditions such as arthritis or bone deformities.


What to do?

· Wear shoes that have extra room around the toes

· Stretching exercises will also help

· May use cushion pads in between toes to avoid friction among toes

· Apply ice or cold compress on sore toes, especially after a long day at work or from continuous standing or running

· Shoe inserts and splints applied at night may also help

· Surgery is an option if supportive treatment fails

· Take OTC pain medication as needed

These are just some few conditions that can cause foot pain and of course, there are more out there. No matter what the cause is, we can do things to take care of our feet and be able to do our jobs as nurses!!!

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