Ask any podiatrist about the causes of most foot and ankle problems, and you will be shocked at one answer that pops up time and time again. One of the most common causes of conditions that send you running to the foot doctor is: shoes. That’s right, footwear is harming the very things it is supposed to protect. That means the health of our feet is in the hands of podiatry Los Angeles. Los Angeles has more than its fair share of shoe conscious individuals, and don’t go thinking that it is only women who sacrifice foot health for fashion. Men are almost as bad — of course, they don’t have to deal with high heels — a major advantage!
Let’s take a look at some of the more common foot problems that very often are caused or exacerbated by ill-fitting footwear.
Arch pain and conditions such as plantar fasciitis are often caused by wearing high heels. Running along the bottom of your foot from heel to front, the plantar fascia is a fibrous tissue that can become inflamed and painful when the plantar fascia is stretched away from the heel. The pain can be excruciating, especially first thing in the morning after a prolonged period of rest. If it isn’t treated in a timely fashion, bone spurs can develop and might even require foot surgery. Usually it is treated by avoiding high heels and choosing shoes with more reasonable heels, soft uppers, shock absorbing soles, and removable foot insoles. Sometimes your foot specialist will prescribe orthotics.
Corns and calluses
Friction and pressure are the causes of corns and calluses. These thick, hardened layers of skin develop on your feet and toes when your shoes are too tight or have high heels that make your feet slide and jam into the front of the shoe. But you can also develop corns and calluses if your shoes are too loose and they slide and rub. Not wearing socks also puts you at risk for increased friction. Treating corns and calluses on otherwise healthy people is easy, simply remove the source of friction. If you have an underlying health condition that causes poor circulation, like diabetes, corns and calluses can create complications.
One definition of a bunion is when your big toe points toward your second toe, which causes a bump on the outside edge by the big toe. Of course, bunions can get big and nasty. At the base of the big toe, extra bone begins to grow and a fluid filled sac forms. This makes your toe and foot extremely sensitive and pain becomes a constant problem. It also causes deformities in your foot — so buying shoes becomes a huge problem. One of the things that will cause bunions to develop is wearing narrow high heeled shoes. If you visit your podiatry provider and catch the bunion early, it can often be treated simply by removing the source of pressure, such as wearing wide-toed shoes. If it isn’t treated, then surgery may be needed to remove the bony growth.
Though there are many other factors that can cause ingrown toenails, one cause can be wearing shoes that press the nail against the skin of your toe. Again, if caught early, the treatment can be as simple as wearing open-toed shoes until the toenail has healed.
These are just a few issues of podiatry Los Angeles residents should be aware of. For more information, contact the Burbank Foot and Ankle Podiatry Center.