Common Foot Conditions
This page is designed to help inform you of the most common conditions that affect the feet.
Plantar Fasciitis is the name given to an inflammatory condition which normally affects the arch and heel area of the foot. It is where the plantar fascia becomes tight and inflamed. The plantar fascia is a very important part of the foot as it maintains the arch and also helps the foot with shock absorption.
Plantar Fasciitis can affect anybody but its mostly common in middle aged people and athletes. It usually presents itself in overweight patients who have recently started an exercise program. The pain experienced can vary greatly – some describe it as a dull ache where as others describe it as a sharp stabbing sensation. The pain is often worse in the mornings or after periods of rest.
The good news about Plantar Fasciitis is that it is very treatable. Treatment often involves the patient changing their footwear, a stretching and strengthening exercise program and insoles.
Ingrowing toenails are a common complaint amongst the general population and can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. They arise mainly due to incorrect toe nail cutting but pointed shoes and a hereditary predisposition can also play a part. Correct nail cutting and appropriate footwear can often resolve this problem quickly however nail surgery can also be required which we can help with.
Corns and Callous (Hard Skin)
Corns and callouses are often a source of pain and discomfort in many patients. They arise from ill-fitting footwear or due to an underlying biomechanical problem. The Podiatrist can provide instant relief by the debridement of this hard skin and will inform you if they think you can benefit from orthotics inside your shoes.
Bunions (Hallux Abducto Valgus)
The term bunion is given to the feet when the big toe slowly drifts over onto the second toe. Usually this will happen over a number of years and is a painless process. The problem arises when the big toe then pushes the second toe out of place and forces it into a “clawed” or “hammered” position, as this usually results in a corn and or hard skin developing on the apex of the toe. Additionally, because the big toe has now deviated over onto the second toe it essentially sticks out and can now become a cause of pain and discomfort because it will now rub against the footwear.
Podiatry Station can help alleviate this pain by providing you with custom made toe dividers which stop the big toe from deviating any further. Additionally, regular debridement of callous and corns can bring about relief in most cases. In some cases, orthotics (insoles that are inserted into the shoes) can also be given if the Podiatrist believes it to be necessary.
Another common complaint amongst patients is that they feel they have “weak ankles” or the tendencies “to go over on their ankles”. The ankle joint itself is a complex joint made of several deep and superficial ligaments and muscles. The Podiatrist can assess the ankle joint in depth through a biomechanical assessment to identify whether there is a problem with the ligaments and or muscles and can prescribe an orthotic to provide the ankle with more support and stability.
Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis)
Athlete’s Foot is a very common fungal infection that primarily affects more men than woman. It is where the skin becomes red and itchy and can become macerated (sweat) and is most commonly found within the web spaces of the toes. This is because the fungus breeds in dark, moist and warm environments which your feet provide when they are enclosed within your shoes all day. Your Podiatrist can confirm this diagnosis and recommend a specific anti-fungal cream / spray which is suitable for your skin type and underlying health condition.