THE feet suffer gods trauma on an ongoing basis, everyday. On the other hand, they are the "tools" we use for walking, running, jumping and climbing and, therefore, of course, they are subject to many different types of problems.
From injuries to inflammation, different types of damage and malfunctions can lead to foot problems, made up of 26 different bones each, making them one of the most intricate areas of the body.
Below, we wanted to try to summarize which are the main forms of pain in the sole of the foot, what are the causes and which are the treatments.
Athlete's foot is most commonly caused by walk in wetlands. It can be highly contagious, given that it is a fungal infection of the skin, which is usually found between the toes. However, the infection can spread and cause considerable discomfort, itching and even pain.
Generally a person is more commonly exposed to the fungus that causes athlete's foot in a gym, shower or swimming pool where you walk barefoot. The fungus tends to thrive in hot, humid areas, so often wearing closed shoes can encourage the fungus to grow and spread. The condition is highly contagious and can spread to other areas of the skin, including the hands, groin and scalp.
Athlete's foot causes itching, chapping, blistering and peeling of the feet. The condition usually begins between the fourth and fifth toes, and then spreads elsewhere, including in the sole of the foot.
As for the treatment, it is sufficient to keep the feet clean and dry, drying them with a separate towel. Antifungal treatments are available in most drugstores in the form of sprays, powders, or lotions to apply to the feet. If the fungus spreads or worsens after treatment, a person should see their doctor to get a prescription for oral antifungal medications.
People with diabetes are more prone to fluctuations in blood sugar. Diabetic neuropathy is not a condition, but a group of conditions that cause foot damage due to diabetes.
Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the nerves, especially those in the feet. Other factors can worsen this nerve damage, such as smoking habits, alcoholism, or a family history of diabetic neuropathy.
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include numbness, tingling, and pain in the feet. This can help increase the risk of a person getting cuts or injuries to their feet due to lack of sensation.
Maintain good health and the blood glucose control it can help a person treat diabetic neuropathy. Although a doctor cannot reverse nerve damage, they can recommend treatments to prevent it from worsening.
For these reasons, a person with diabetes should also have regular foot exams.
There plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, with a condition that occurs when the plantar fascia of the lower foot becomes inflamed. This ligament is responsible for supporting the plantar arch.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition that usually doesn't have a clear cause, but several risk factors can intervene, such as obesity conditions, having tight calf muscles, and participating in activities that repeatedly stress the heel, such as running.
Symptom-wise, plantar fasciitis causes a person to experience pain at the base of the heel, with discomfort that is usually worse in the morning when getting out of bed. The pain also worsens with physical activity.
Moving on to treatment, most people can manage plantar fasciitis with treatment at home. Resting the foot and applying ice can reduce inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium, can also help in pain management. Stretching the foot carefully before and after physical activity, as well as throughout the day, can also help reduce heel pain, just as wearing supportive shoes can help.
If plantar fasciitis does not improve with these treatments, physical therapy can be tried, or a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon may be consulted for further treatment. Steroid injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation.
Read also: Verruca foot, how to recognize it
Sweaty feet make the blisters much more likely. However, this is already a fairly common occurrence in itself, so much so that most people will experience it at some point in their life. They often appear after walking or running for long periods of time, especially if your feet have become sweaty or when wearing shoes that don't fit properly.
Blisters are small fluid-filled pockets that "pop up" and are generally not a serious health concern. However, it's best not to pop them, letting them heal on their own instead. The application of a bandage can provide relief.
THE corns they are parts of thickened skin, often found on the soles of the feet or in the toes. They are normally painless, and are formed to protect the skin and prevent the body from developing blisters.
Calluses can be caused by various causes and, over time, can become painful and must be treated with special patches, creams, and other over-the-counter products. In some cases, a doctor may recommend surgical removal.
The heel spur it is a calcium growth that develops between the heel bone and the arch of the foot. For many individuals, there are no noticeable symptoms, but for others, this condition can be painful and cause inflammation.
Generally, this condition is favored by long-term strain on the muscles and ligaments, or by arthritis, excess body weight and the use of poorly fitting or worn shoes.
Treatments may include a cold pack, injections of anti-inflammatory drugs, over-the-counter pain relievers, rest, and orthotic inserts.