Common Foot Problems & Treatment
An overview of Foot Problems
Our feet are an intricate and precise machinery, each comprised of 26 bones. These along the ligaments and tendons help support our body and keep it mobile. The feet take tremendous abuse, and not just from athletes. Most people don’t give their feet a second thought until something goes wrong. Yet something goes wrong quite often: Foot pain afflicts four out of five adults, especially after age 50.
One reason is simply accumulated years of inadequate foot care. In addition, the chronic diseases that grow more common with increasing age wreak havoc on the foot. Frequently affected are the circulation, skin, bones, and muscles—the components that must work well for a foot to remain healthy.
Some foot problems seem to favor women. More women than men develop bunions, calluses, corns, and ingrown toenails. The primary reason is the shoes they wear: narrow, pointed, high in the heel, often flimsy, and designed for appearance rather than fit. Other ailments, such as sports injuries, fractures and arthirits strike men and women equally.
Waiting to resolve a foot problem until it’s troublesome enough to merit a visit to the doctor is usually a mistake. Because feet are under the constant stress and pressure of bearing the body’s entire weight, even a small problem can grow large quickly, then take longer than necessary to clear up. It’s a lot harder to “rest” the feet than other parts of the anatomy unless you’re willing to stay in bed or a chair all day.
Like many other physical problems, foot shapes and some disorders are hereditary. This doesn’t make treatment pointless. On the contrary, if you know you’re at risk, it’s wise to give yourself extra doses of preventive foot care throughout your life.
The minimal amount of effort involved in safeguarding your feet provides a huge payoff. Serious foot problems can be disabling, causing anguish in ankles, knees, hips, and back. If you can’t walk far without discomfort, sedentary lifestyle ensues and which in turn causes more serious medical conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity.