The foot is considered a biological work of art consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints and a network for 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments, along with countless blood vessels and nerves. It’s not unlike a finely tuned sports car in its functional design. It is strong, flexible and able to perform its job well without complaint. If not cared for properly, however, and if the feet are taken for granted, many foot problems can result, and you might have a to call a Cincinnati podiatrist like Dr. Titko.
The Pressures of Daily Living
The components of the feet are designed to work in perfect harmony with one another as they share the tremendous pressures of daily living. On any given day, for instance, the feet bear several hundred tons of pressure, which offers a great explanation for why the feet are subject to more injuries than any other parts of the body.
Facts About Foot Problems and Ailments
Foot ailments are among the most common health problems for everyday Americans.
Some foot problems can be traced to heredity and some arise out of a cumulative impact of daily abuse and neglect.
Studies show that 75% of Americans experience foot problems of varying degrees of seriousness at some point in their lives.
Many people in the Cincinnati area forgo medical treatment for foot problems, typically because they believe the pain and discomfort are part of daily living and should be expected.
Many systematic diseases are first detected in the feet, such as diabetes, anemia, circulatory diseases, kidney problems, gout and arthritis. These ailments typically attack the joints in the foot before any other areas of the body.
The Feet Require Specialized Care
A doctor of podiatric medicine can provide regular preventive care or surgery to correct deformities and other foot problems in the Cincinnati area, making an important contribution to your total health. If you want to keep your feet healthy, it is important to become familiar with the most common ailments that affect them.
Athlete’s Foot – A skin disease caused by a fungus that usually starts between the toes or on the bottom of the feet and characterized by dry scaly skin, itching, blisters and inflammation.
Blisters – A bubbling of the skin caused by friction. They should never be popped. Instead, if a blister forms, apply moleskin or an adhesive bandage until it falls off naturally in the bath or shower.
Bunions – A deformity that causes the first joint of the big toe to swell and become tender. In many cases, it causes the big toe to angle inwards towards your other toes.
Corns and Calluses – Patches of dead skin cells that form when the bony areas of the foot constantly rub up against irregularities in footwear. Calluses typically form on the soles of the feet while corns form on the toes. They should never be cut off and home remedies should never be applied except under the strict instructions of a qualified podiatrist.
Foot Odor – The foul odor typically associated with feet results from excessive perspiration. Foot powders and antiperspirants, soaking the feet in vinegar and water and changing shoes and socks often can alleviate the problem.
Hammertoe – A condition that causes the toes to bend like claws. The affliction usually affects the second toe after a bunion causes the big toe to slant towards and under the second toe, but any of the other three smaller toes can also be affected.
Heel Pain – Usually attributed to faulty biomechanics, this affliction is caused when too much stress is placed on the heel bone and other ligaments and nerves in the area. It can also be caused by wearing poorly made footwear, being overweight or as a result of some health or circulatory problems, such as arthritis and gout.
Heel Spurs – These growths of bone that form on the underside of the heel bone can occur without pain, but pain may result when inflammation accompanies the formation of the spur. Heel pain and heel spurs are both caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue that runs from heel to the ball of the foot.
Ingrown Nails – These form when the sides or corners of the toenails dig painfully into the skin, usually resulting in an infection. They can be caused by improper nail trimming, shoe pressure, injury, a fungal infection, heredity or a poor foot structure.
Neuromas – An enlarged benign growth of nerves that commonly forms between the third and fourth toes. They are caused by bones and other tissues rubbing against and irritating the nerves and can be characterized by a feeling of pain, tingling, burning and numbness between the toes or on the ball of the foot.
Warts – These unsightly formations are caused by a virus that enters the skin through small cuts. Considered harmless and benign, though they may cause pain, warts typically form when walking barefooted on dirty surfaces.
If you are experiencing one or more of the above foot problems in the Cincinnati area, make an appointment with your Cincinnati podiatrist at The Center for Foot Care at your earliest convenience. With early diagnosis and proper treatment, the health of your feet and full range of motion can be restored.