How to Recognize If You Have Foot Problems

Whether you’re living with pain, a skin irritation, or a deformity, foot problems can interfere with your ability to perform daily activities. But if you’re like most people, you’re not taking the right steps for treatment. 

Despite the dramatic effect that foot problems can have on your quality of life, many Americans don’t seek proper medical care to get relief. Instead, almost 40% of Americans rely on over-the-counter treatments and self-care, while another 30% do nothing. 

Your first step in getting relief from persistent foot pain involves a thorough medical examination. At his private practice, ToeOp in Tomball, Texas, Jeremy Moran, DPM, provides expert diagnosis and treatment for all types of foot problems. 

Dr. Moran has the experience necessary to determine the cause of your discomfort and develop an individualized plan based on your needs. Treatments range from pain relievers and custom orthotics for minor problems to minimally invasive surgery for the correction of deformities. 

Early intervention can give you the best chance for relief from most foot problems. Ignoring some conditions or attempting self-care may also put you at risk for infection, which can cause serious problems if you have diabetes, poor circulation, or a weakened immune system. 

Read on to learn about symptoms associated with some of the most common foot conditions so you can get the right treatment before your problem worsens. 

Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus

These conditions occur after your feet have come in contact with a fungus, typically from walking barefoot in public showers or locker rooms. Athlete’s foot causes the skin on your feet to become dry and flaky, often resulting in cracks. You may experience constant itching or a burning sensation from the rash. 

Toenail fungus results in brittle, thickened, and discolored nails that can also smell foul.

Bunions

A bunion appears as a bump on the side of your big toe. The bump typically causes your big toe to become misaligned and bend toward your other toes. The condition can make walking painful and cause chronic foot pain. 

Symptoms can include numbness, redness, inflammation, and burning sensations. 

Corns and calluses

Corns and calluses form at points where pressure or friction occurs on your foot. These areas of thickened skin can be unsightly and cause discomfort. Corns and calluses associated with open wounds and those that appear red or worsen require treatment. 

Fractures, sprains, and strains

Given all the ways you use your feet every day, it’s common to experience injuries during normal activities. Fractures (broken bones), sprains (soft tissue injuries), and strains (stretched or torn muscles) often occur during sports, though they can also result from falls, car accidents, and work mishaps. 

Injuries that result in increased pain, redness, swelling, and difficulty walking require medical attention.

Hammertoe and mallet toe

A hammertoe develops as a bending of the toe at the toe’s first joint. A mallet develops as a bending of the toe at the joint closest to your nails. These conditions frequently develop when you try to squeeze into tight shoes, which causes the muscles, ligaments, and tendons to bend abnormally and remain that way. 

These deformities can cause inflammation, tenderness, and pain that intensifies over time.

Heel pain

Debilitating heel pain can result from a wide range of conditions that require a professional diagnosis. One of the most common causes is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick ligament underneath your foot that links your heel to your toes. 

Heel pain can also originate from Achilles tendinitis, an injury that occurs from overuse of the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your calf muscles. Heel spurs, which are calcium deposits that develop between your arch and your heel, can also cause heel pain.

Ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when the corner or edges of your nail grow into the surrounding skin. The condition typically develops on the big toenail. In addition to an irregularly shaped nail, you may also experience tenderness, swelling, or oozing on the affected toe. Infected ingrown toenails can cause severe pain and may require removal. 

Morton’s neuroma

Morton’s neuroma results when benign nerve tissue thickens between the third and fourth toes. Often referred to as a nerve tumor or pinched nerve, its primary symptom includes pain between your toes when walking. 

The condition can create the feeling of having a stone in your shoe. Other signs of Morton’s neuroma include tingling, numbness, and a burning sensation under the ball of your foot, usually between your toes.  

Don’t ignore symptoms of a potential foot problem. Untreated foot problems can worsen and affect your ability to walk and keep your balance. Find out if your nagging foot pain requires treatment. Call our office today for a professional evaluation.

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