As we age, our feet often bear the brunt of years of wear and tear. As a podiatrist, I've noticed a pattern in the types of foot conditions that commonly affect individuals over 40. In this blog, I'll share the top five conditions that I frequently encounter in my practice, along with some tips for management and prevention.
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendinitis
What is it? Plantar Fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, involving inflammation of the plantar fascia - the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.
Symptoms: Sharp, stabbing pain in the heel, especially with the first steps in the morning.
Management: Rest, ice, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help. Stretching exercises and proper footwear are crucial for prevention.
What is it? A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe, caused by the big toe pushing against the next toe.
Symptoms: A bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe, swelling, redness, and soreness.
Management: Wearing wider shoes with adequate room for the toes, padded shoe inserts, and avoiding high heels can provide relief. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary.
What is it? A hammertoe is a deformity that causes a toe to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward.
Symptoms: A toe that bends downward, corns or calluses, and pain or difficulty in walking.
Management: Proper footwear with ample toe room and orthotic devices can be helpful. In more severe cases, surgery might be required.
What is it? This condition involves the inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.
Symptoms: Pain along the back of the heel, especially during or after running or other sports activities.
Management: Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) are the first lines of treatment. Stretching and strengthening exercises can also be beneficial.
What is it? Arthritis in the feet can occur from aging, wear and tear, or autoimmune disorders. It causes the cartilage in the joints to deteriorate.
Symptoms: Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Management: Maintaining a healthy weight, regular foot exercises, and wearing supportive shoes can help. Medications and physical therapy may also be required.
Remember, prevention is key to maintaining healthy feet. Regular check-ups with a podiatrist, wearing the right shoes, and staying active are essential steps. If you're experiencing any foot pain or discomfort, don't hesitate to reach out to a podiatrist for a thorough evaluation and personalized treatment plan.
Stay on your feet and stay healthy!
Dr. Jeffrey S. Hurless
DPM, FACFAS Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon/Podiatrist
Medical Director, HealthyFeetStore.com