Foot Health Conditions
Think about our feet. We only have one pair in life. They are an essential part of almost everything we do. We walk, run, exercise, stand, sway, and balance. Having feet that are comfortable and well-cared for makes everyday life more pleasant. Knowing how to take care of your feet is crucial. Our Shoe Pros will fit you in the proper footwear and provide you with knowledge of how to keep your overall health in mind.
Explore some of the most common foot conditions that our Shoe Pros fit every daily.
- Pes Planus (Flat feet)
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Heel pain
- Hammer Toes
- Calluses / Corns
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Morton’s Neuroma
Read More below…
Pes Planus (Flat feet):
The normal human foot has a 3D structure with arches. One arch is aligned from heel to toes. The second arch is aligned across the foot. Both arches are lower in those with flat feet. Normal flat feet are usually painless, but mild pain during sports and walking activities may occur. Shoes may wear unevenly and be mildly uncomfortable. Pathological flat feet are frequently painful and sometimes rigid.
Simple measures such as in-shoe orthotics or wearing a shoe with a solid arch can be effective enough. If pain persists, we recommend you contact your doctor.
The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom surface of the foot, attaching at the bottom of the heel bone and extending to the forefoot. When the plantar fascia is excessively stretched, this can cause plantar fasciitis, which often leads to heel pain and arch pain. The condition typically starts gradually with mild pain at the heel bone and continues to worsen, especially after getting up in the morning and after long periods of sitting.
Plantar Fasciitis can be caused by over-pronation (flat feet), in which case one of our Shoe Pros may recommend an orthotic with rear foot posting and arch to help support the foot. However, unusually high arches may be the culprit as well and we may suggest a shoe with a cushioned heel to cradle the foot.
One of our most popular selling shoes for Plantar Fasciitis is the New Balance 928 series for men and women because it elevates the heel and reduces the amount of shock the foot undergoes during daily activities.
“Heel pain syndrome” is caused by over-use repetitive stress which refers to a soreness resulting from too much impact on a specific area of the foot. This condition can be caused by shoes with heels that are too low, a thinned out fat pad in the heel area, or a sudden increase in activity.
A heel spur develops as an abnormal growth of the heel bone. Calcium deposits form when the plantar fascia pulls away from the heel area, causing a bony protrusion, or heel spur to develop.
To properly treat heel pain, you must absorb shock, provide cushioning and elevate the heel to transfer pressure. This can be accomplished with a heel cup, shoes with a firm heel counter, good arch support, and appropriate heel height. If you have heel spurs, your doctor may also recommend custom orthotics.
A bunion is a prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint. This bump is actually a bone protruding towards the inside of the foot. The skin over it may be red and tender, and wearing any type of shoe may be painful. This joint flexes with every step taken, so the bigger the bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Bursitis (painful swelling) may set in. The big toe may angle toward the second toe or may move under it.
To prevent these conditions from getting worse, a Shoe Pro may recommend a seamless shoe so it will not rub against the bunion. Proper fit is necessary to make sure there is enough width in the shoe so as not to aggravate the problem area. Van Dyke & Bacon specializes in sizes and widths!
Metatarsalgia is pain in the ball of the foot, the area between the arch and the toes. The pain usually centers on one or more of the five bones (metatarsals) in this area under the toes. Sometimes pain is caused by a callus that forms on the bottom of the foot. Normally a callus is not painful, but the buildup of skin can increase pressure and eventually make walking difficult. Pain on the underside of the foot may indicate a torn ligament or inflammation of the joint. A physician can perform some simple tests to assess joint stability.
Orthotics, designed to relieve ball-of-foot pain with a metatarsal pad, may be recommended. The pad rests behind the ball-of-the-foot to relieve pressure and redistribute weight from the painful area to more tolerant areas. In addition, a rocker sole shoe may be suggested in order to relieve pressure from the painful area of the foot.
The most common cause of hammer toes is a muscle/tendon imbalance. This imbalance, which leads to a bending of the toe, results from mechanical (structural) changes in the foot which may occur over time. The abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing great discomfort.
Hammertoes may be aggravated by shoes that don’t fit properly.
Changing the type of footwear worn is a very important step in the treatment of hammer toes. When suggesting a shoe, a Shoe Pro will suggest a shoe that has a wide base and a high toe box. Soft leathers or flexible materials are also helpful so they may accommodate the hammer toes. Metatarsal lifts can also ease the pain.
Arthritis is a disease characterized by the inflammation of the cartilage and lining of the body’s joints. Inflammation causes redness, warmth, pain and swelling. It is a major cause of foot pain because each foot has 33 joints that can become affected by the disease.
Conservative treatment (non-surgical treatment) of the arthritic foot includes proper footwear, orthotics, and/or forefoot supports. Footwear for individuals with arthritis often include uppers made of soft leather or flexible materials, removable insoles for fitting flexibility and the option to insert orthotics if necessary and rocker soles designed to reduce stress and pain at the ball-of-the-foot when walking.
Calluses / Corns
Many foot problems can be blamed on improper walking shoes. Corns, for example, are calluses that form on the toes because the bones push up against the shoe and put pressure on the skin. The surface layer of the skin thickens and builds up, irritating the tissues underneath. Hard corns are usually located on the top of the toes or on the side of the small toe. Soft corns may resemble open sores and develop between the toes as they rub against each other.
If shoes are too tight, they squeeze the foot, increasing pressure. If they are too loose, the foot may slide and rub against the shoe, creating friction. A Shoe Pro will make sure you get the proper fit and that there are no seams hitting a corn or callus.
Diabetic Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the nerves. The most common symptoms of neuropathy include numbness and loss of feeling, usually in the feet and hands. Diabetics suffering from neuropathy can develop minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, or pressure sores that they may not be aware of due to the insensitivity.
We recommend buying new shoes later in the day when your feet are swollen. That will enable us to see how the shoe fits in width, length, back, and bottom of heel when your foot is swollen. Your Shoe Pro will show you a variety of shoes made with leather upper material and deep toe boxes. In many cases, limiting the motion of certain joints in the foot can often decrease inflammation, relieve pain, and result in a more stable and functional foot.
A neuroma is a benign tumor of a nerve. Morton’s neuroma is not actually a tumor but a thickening of the tissue that surrounds the digital nerve leading to the toes. It occurs as the nerve passes under the ligament connecting the toe bones (metatarsals) in the forefoot.
Morton’s neuroma most frequently develops between the third and fourth toes, usually in response to irritation, trauma or excessive pressure. Wearing high-heeled shoes, and tight, narrow shoes aggravate this condition by compressing the toe bones and pinching the nerve.
Wear wider shoes with lower heels and a soft sole. This enables the bones to spread out and may reduce pressure on the nerve, giving it time to heal. Custom shoe inserts or inserts with metatarsal pads can also help relieve irritation by lifting and separating the bones, reducing the pressure on the nerve.