Health &Wellness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body
Oh, My Aching Feet!
CARING FOR COMMONFOOT PROBLEMS There are many different foot problems, some serious and some that are easy to treat at home. The main thing is to take care of any problems before they get worse. These are a few of the most common foot issues.
Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of a thick band of tissue from the heel bone to the arch of the foot. It’s very common in people who run, dance or even walk a lot on hard surfaces. The pain begins in the heel and often is worse when getting out of bed in the morning. How to treat it: Rest, use a shoe insert that cushions the heel. Skip long walks on hard surfaces and don’t do any impact activities such as jumping or running until the pain is gone. Ice the area and take ibuprofen or naproxen as directed. If the pain does not get better or if you can’t get around like normal within a week, see your doctor. Ankle Sprain. An ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments when the ankle rolls, twists or turns awkwardly. It’s a common injury, especially in the summer when people tend to be more active and wear unstable shoes like flip flops. How to treat it: Take weight off the injured ankle right away. Then follow the rules of RICE — rest, ice, elevation and compression. Once the sprain is healed, physical therapy can strengthen the ankle and help prevent future injuries. See a doctor as soon as possible if you cannot put weight on the foot. Bunion. A bunion is a painful, bony bump that forms at the base of the toe. They mostly occur in women because they are caused by tight shoes and
aggravated by high heels, along with heredity. Soak your feet in warm water, wear extra-wide shoes and avoid high heels. If the pain persists and doesn’t improve with home treatment, see your primary care physician. Ingrown Toenail. An ingrown toenail is usually found in the big toe. It occurs when the corner of the nail grows into the skin of the toe. It can be very painful to the touch, and can lead to infection if not treated. It can be caused by several things — heredity, shoes that fit too tight in the toe, trimming the edges of the toenails too short, nails that are too curved, or sustaining an injury to the toe. Soak your feet in warm water for 15 minutes three times a day. After soaking, put fresh bits of cotton or waxed dental floss under the ingrown edge. This helps the nail grow above that area. If your toe is very painful or the redness is spreading, see your doctor.
Arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation in your joints.
How to treat it: Most cases can be managed with lifestyle changes and possibly a brace. But sometimes physical therapy or surgery is needed. See your primary care doctor if you are experiencing foot pain or swelling with no obvious cause.
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