Common Foot Conditions
We're here to educate and help you with all your footcare needs.
Our podiatrist has summarised the most common foot conditions below. If you have any specific queries, please feel free to reach out to us.
Please note: If symptoms persist, we recommend visiting your health professional for appropriate assessment and treatment.
Achilles tendonitis is the aggravation and inflammation of the Achilles tendon which is a large tendon that sits at the back of your heel, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus).
Achilles tendonitis can be caused by poor foot posture, increased activity, overexertion and repeated impact such as running and jumping.
Thankfully, it can be quite easy to treat.
Start by choosing your shoes carefully and try insoles or orthotics in both shoes. Our insoles can help to support the arch, stabilise the foot and reduce tissue strain. They can also help manage the condition and prevent more weakening of the tendon which can then lead to a tear (rupture) — a painful injury that usually requires surgical repair.
You can also try to rest and avoid activities that aggravate the condition for a short period of time.
We also recommend pairing this with foot and ankle compression sleeves for optimal results. Compression sleeves help to reduce foot and ankle swelling and promote healing of the Achilles tendon.
Another tip is to always take the time to stretch your calf muscles and Achilles tendon in the morning before exercise, and after exercise to maintain flexibility. This is especially important to avoid a recurrence of Achilles tendonitis.
To lower your risk of Achilles tendonitis, try to:
- Heat and elevation
- Laser acupuncture
- Dry needling
- Kinesio and rigid taping
- Temporary heel lifts
- Massage of the calves and legs
- Gentle, non-painful stretching
Ankle pain refers to any pain felt in the ankle bones, ligaments, or tendons of the ankle.
The most common cause of ankle pain is sprains or strains. Starting exercise, a new sport or activity can also cause ankle pain, as can starting a new job or changing a job role, where more standing or walking is now required.
Therefore, we recommend you use insoles or orthotics regularly, as they can help align your body plus support your feet and lower limbs by providing shock absorption and reducing stress on supporting ankle ligaments and tendons.
We also recommend using a foot and ankle compression sleeve to reduce inflammation in the ankle region and aid in repair and recovery.
Ankle sprains can be quite painful and occur when you roll or twist your ankle in an awkward way. If you overstretch your ligaments or tendons, you can tear or partially tear them feeling intense pain, increased range of motion, swelling and bruising around the ankle.
Supporting muscles often tighten and shorten during an ankle sprain as they try and stabilise the ankle to reduce injury. This may result in pain and dysfunction in surrounding tissues leading to weakness and referred pain.
To try and prevent ankle sprains:
- You should warm up before you exercise or play sports and consider using ankle support such as a foot and ankle compression sleeve.
- Address any biomechanical issues be ensuring any excessive pronation (flat) or supination (high arched) feet.
- Wear supportive and appropriate shoes for the correct sport and activity.
- Make sure all foot and leg muscles are long and flexible through regular massages and stretching.
- Strapping or ankle supports for any weak ankles.
- Improve ankle balance and proprioception through strengthening and balance exercises.
For ankle swelling, refer to 'swelling' under 'FOOT' section below.
BACK, HIPS, KNEES & LEGS
Knee pain refers to pain inside and around the knee joint and can often be due to abnormalities in your foot function and lower limb biomechanics. One of the most common types of knee pain is called patellofemoral pain and this can affect, the young, the elderly and the active sportsperson.
Knee support compression sleeves are specifically designed to aid in the relief of some of the common knee conditions as listed below.
There are five common sites for knee pain:
Pain in front of the knee or anterior knee pain can be caused by many different problems including Chondromalacia of the patella, patella tracking, bursitis and arthritis.
- Pain above the knee
- Pain behind the knee
- Pain inside the knee
- Pain below the knee
What causes knee pain?
- Pronation or flat feet
- Supination or high-arched feet
- Biomechanical abnormality
- Patello-femoral pain
- Osgood-Schlatter’s disease
- Meniscus tears and injury
- Cruciate ligament injury
- Corked or pulled muscles
- Overuse muscular injuries
- Over stretching of muscles, tendons or ligaments
- Increased exercise or activity
How to treat knee pain
- Trigger point therapy
- Dry needling
- Laser acupuncture
- Joint mobilisations
- Kinetic Taping
- Rigid Taping
- Muscle energy techniques
- Suitable footwear
Muscle tightness affects most of us at one point or another. It can occur either as a result of overuse, overtraining, or the opposite – periods of inactivity. It can also be related to mineral imbalances or other neurological or muscular conditions.
Tight hips, tight hamstrings, or lower back issues, can affect muscles and lead to muscle tightness all over.
- Heel pain such as plantar fasciitis can lead to muscle tightness.
- Magnesium or mineral deficiencies.
- Biomechanics, our posture and having pronated (flat) feet or supinated (high arches).
- Previous injuries.
You can manage muscle tightness through a combination of preventative measures and treatments:
- Stretching, massages and yoga.
- RICE | Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE).
- Dry needling or acupuncture.
- Joint mobilisations.
- Soft tissue release.
- Laser therapy.
- Choosing correct footwear (avoiding high heels, ballerina flats, or thongs).
- Wearing insoles such as and orthotics or insoles can provide cushioning and shock absorption which can help to reduce muscle strain and tightness.
Sciatica is a condition that can lead to pain in the back,
hip and leg. It occurs when the Sciatic nerve is pinched or inflamed referring pain along it’s path to any area that the nerve supplies which from the buttocks down the leg to the foot. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.
Symptoms typically include:
- A feeling of aching, burning or heat in the buttock which may radiate down the leg and foot.
- Pain in the outside of the ankle and foot.
- Pins and needles sensation in the buttock or down the leg.
- Loss of power to the muscles of the leg and foot.
- Restricted movement in the hip / buttock area.
- Treating sciatica usually involves a mix of preventive
measures and then management strategies if or when it does occur.
- First, it’s important if you suffer from sciatica that you ensure you have supportive footwear and use insoles or orthotics if you need extra support, as well as addressing any posture or biomechanical issues.
However, if you do experience symptoms, there are still many treatments that will help ease any pain or discomfort.
- Rest - but not prolonged bedrest as this can make symptoms worse.
- Ice packs, warm baths - also, gentle exercises to strengthen and support the lower back.
- Over-the-counter pain-relieving medication - look for mediation that is also anti-inflammatory.
- Insoles and footwear adjustments - Insoles or orthotics help to align your body, reducing muscle stress and pressure on the knees and hips.
- Joint manipulation and mobilisation.
- Complimentary therapies, such as dry needling, acupuncture and laser to relieve tight spasmed muscles.
- Surgery would be a last resort in any chronic case.
Shin splints (also known as medial tibial stress syndrome or posterial tibial stress syndrome) occur when there is inflammation of the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue around your tibia.
Anterior Tibia Shin Splints: Symptoms will typically include pain along the inner border of the tibia (shinbone), and the pain can occur even while resting.
Posterior Tibial Shin Splints: Symptoms will usually be
experienced along the inner border of the lower leg, towards the back of the leg.
Shin splints are usually caused by the overuse of lower leg muscles and bone tissue. This can be due to:
- A sudden increase in the amount or intensity of exercise.
- Running style, common in people with fallen arches or flat feet.
- Tight or torn calf muscles.
- Trigger points in muscles of the legs.
- Running on sloping, uneven or hard surfaces.
- Wearing unsupportive footwear.
The best ways to treat shin splints include:
- Resting until the initial pain subsides.
- Applying an icepack.
- Taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication and anti-inflammatory creams.
- Stretching and massaging the calf muscles.
- Reducing or adjusting the type of exercise you do.
- Wearing supportive shoes and using insoles for arch support.
Tight calves can be annoying, painful, or debilitating, so it’s important to check the causes and treat accordingly. Our calve muscle is actually made up of two muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus.
Tight calves can be an issue for many avid sport people and runners, but they can also occur as a result of:
- Muscle injury or tear.
- Excessive exercise.
- Poor circulation.
- Medication side effects.
- Peripheral vascular disease (PVD).
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Useful treatments include:
- Dry needling to relieve trigger points and improve muscle length.
- Ankle mobilisation to improve the range of motion.
- Regular stretching, which can help alleviate any symptoms associated with tight calves. You can stretch daily and try to lengthen the muscle fibre and possibly lessen the pain you’re experiencing.
- Strengthening exercises to address any muscle imbalances.
- Massage the calves – after stretching, try massaging the calve area.
- Choosing the right shoes, and if you have high arches or flat feet look for orthotics or insoles.
Arthritis is a condition that causes stiffness, swelling,
pain, and tenderness of one or more joints. Some people also report redness, warmth, and swelling.
When arthritis is in the foot, it’s usually the toes that are affected - especially the big toes - as well as the bones in the heel, and the ankle joint itself.
Common causes of arthritis in the foot include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and posttraumatic arthritis.
The best ways to treat arthritis in the feet include:
- Analgesics – these can reduce joint pain
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will help reduce both pain and inflammation
- Eating an anti-inflammatory diet for arthritis
- Engaging in low-impact exercise
- Using massage to reduce tension in your feet
- Choosing the correct footwear and using insoles for support and cushioning
- Stretching and physiotherapy
You can try pain relief cream and capsules which helps with rheumatic aches and pains, muscular sprains and strains, and inflammation.
Blisters are annoying and often painful, especially when they are on our feet. Ouch. Thankfully there are a few ways to prevent or treat foot blisters.
Blisters are essentially a small bubble that appears on the upper layers of the skin. They are usually filled with fluid known as plasma, but can sometimes contain blood or pus. They can appear between or on top of the toes, back of the heels or under the foot. They can occur due to friction or rubbing, as we are walking or running.
We recommend wearing toe sleeves or toe separators, which are specifically designed to cushion, protect and relieve the soft tissue and joints of the toes against friction and rubbing. We also recommend gel heel socks if you are experiencing blisters behind the heel, or gel forefoot cushions if you have blisters on the ball of the foot.
Other causes can be infection, burns, or reaction to a chemical, which is obviously more serious and should be treated by a doctor.
Bunions are a common foot condition and leads to a deformity of the big toe. As the bunion becomes more prominent, bunion pain can develop. The medical term for a foot bunion is hallux valgus.
Bunions are often heredity and can be caused by an inherited weak or abnormal biomechanical structure of the foot. But they can also be caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow or tight.
Bunions can make wearing shoes and walking difficult and painful, so we recommend our insoles with arch support to slow the development of the bunion.
We also recommend using gel bunions sleeves and gel bunion shields to help provide a barrier, protecting the bunion from further rubbing and aggravation which will ultimately slow the progression of the deformity and make wearing shoes more comfortable.
Burning Feet Syndrome (BFS) is quite a common foot complaint, and it can occur as an isolated issue or as a symptom of another condition. Burning Foot Syndrome relates to the sensation that one or both feet are burning hot and can be accompanied by tingling, red
skin around the foot, numbness in the feet or legs. sharp or stabbing pains, or dull aches in the feet.
Causes of burning feet can include conditions such as Morton's neuroma, as well as corns and callus, tarsal tunnel syndrome, diabetes, Athlete’s foot – and sometimes it’s just hereditary.
Thankfully there are several proven ways to treat burning feet syndrome, so you can get relief from this common foot complaint.
You can try dry needling, joint mobilisation, Epsom salts, laser therapy, massage, and foot support. Synxsole insole for adults can help to reduce strain and pressure around the structures of the foot and ankle which in turn can help to reduce compression of nerves and tissue and reduce burning symptoms. Foot and ankle compression sleeves and gel forefoot cushions may also provide some relief by providing compression to the foot.
You may also like to try gel toe crests which elevate the toes and relieve any pressure under the tips of the toes reducing burning pain symptoms.
Foot calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin on the bottom of your feet or heels. They are usually caused by repeated pressure on a spot of your skin. It’s your body’s way of protecting your skin against friction and pressure. Calluses can be unsightly and uncomfortable, so if you’d like to reduce or prevent calluses from forming then we recommend:
Wearing shoes that give your toes plenty of room and ensuring there are no areas of pressure that could lead
to the formation of callus.
Using protective coverings such as an insole or orthotic which provides optimum cushioning, shock absorption and support for your feet. You can also use gel insoles which are specifically designed to cushion, protect and relieve the soft tissue and joints of the foot against impact, offering cushioning, protection and relief during sporting and physical activities.
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis.
There are several different types of gout, and it can be chronic or acute:
- Asymptomatic hyperuricemia - there may not be any pain or symptoms.
- Acute Gout - occurs when there is a spike in the uric acid levels, and usually goes away with a few days.
- Chronic Gout - develops when uric acid levels remain high for many years, can result in joint damage.
Symptoms range from mild to severe:
- Tender joints
- Joint redness
- Joint destruction
Certain medical conditions increase your risk of gout, such as diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and heart and kidney diseases.
To try and prevent or minimise the effect of gout, it’s best to look at lifestyle modifications such as reducing alcohol consumption, staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy weight.
You can also try pain relief capsules or cream which helps with rheumatic aches and pains, muscular sprains and strains, and inflammation.
Flat feet (pronation) is a common condition, which simply refers to when the arches on the inside of your feet roll in or pronate, allowing the soles of your feet to touch the floor when you stand up and walk. We need pronation and supination during gait to walk and run effectively but sometimes we have too much pronation which can also cause the ankles, knees and hips to turn inwards, altering our posture and putting excessive strain on other joints in the body.
Flat feet can occur when the arches don't develop during childhood, it can also just be genetic and passed down from our ancestors. In other cases, flat feet develop after an injury or from the simple wear-and-tear stresses of age.
If you aren't having pain, and you don’t have a family history of foot, ankle and knee complications then no treatment is usually necessary for flat feet.
However, if you do have symptoms, treatment might include:
- Orthotics (arch supports can help to manage pain or injury associated with flat feet).
- Stretches and massage around the calf muscles to improve flexibility.
- Wearing more supportive shoes.
- Joint mobilisation.
- Dry needling.
- Laser therapy.
- Exercises to strengthen supporting structures.
Insoles or orthotics can help align your body, as well as support your feet and lower limbs, relieving symptoms associated with pronation.
Sesamoiditis is a painful foot condition where there is inflammation of the sesamoid bones and the surrounding tissues.
Causes will usually be from an overuse injury, a traumatic impact injury or fracture, or just from biomechanics or the way we walk.
The main symptom will usually present as intense pain directly below the first metatarsal joint in the big toe, in the ball of the foot, and can be accompanied by tenderness of the surrounding tissues and intensifies when direct pressure is applied.
Treatments will include:
- Icing the injury.
- Resting the affected foot.
- Anti-inflammatory pain relief.
- Wearing an insole or orthotic helps to reduce pressure
directly under the big toe, relieving symptoms of sesamoiditis.
- Dry needling or laser to the big toe area can also assist in reducing pain and swelling under the sesamoids.
- Forefoot cushions can also help to relieve pressure by taking weight off the sesamoids.
- Strapping to the foot with rigid or kinesiotape.
A stress fracture is a small break – or crack - in a bone, or severe bruising within a bone. Pain will develop gradually and will feel worse when standing or when placing weight on our feet. There might be tenderness to the touch around the area.
Common causes are:
- Overuse of the foot or ankle because of repetitive activity (they are common in runners and athletes who participate in running-intensive sports).
- A change in activities — trying a new exercise, or changing your activity intensity.
- Osteoporosis or other diseases which weaken the bones, resulting in a stress fracture just from everyday activities.
- The best way to treat a stress fracture is through lots of rest, or at least limited physical activity.
Tips for preventing stress fractures:
- Go easy when you start any new sporting activity.
- Wearing well-fitting and comfortable footwear specifically designed for the activity.
- Use insoles for support and cushioning.
- Make sure muscles are flexible thorough regular massage and stretching.
- Address any pain and discomfort immediately rather than pushing through.
Supinated feet (supination) is a term used to refer to the alignment of your feet as you bear weight and walk on the outer edge of your foot. If it rolls to the inside edge of your foot, it is referred to as pronation.
It is often heredity, but it can be caused by a lack of strength associated with unsupportive shoes, or an injury that has damaged your muscles or tendons.
To get a diagnosis, you might need a gait analysis to identify where you distribute pressure as you walk.
Some issues can arise due to supinated feet, as the alignment of your body can be affected.
Common symptoms will include:
- Back pain.
- Lateral (outer) hip pain.
- Lateral (outer) knee pain.
- Lateral ankle injuries.
- Lateral (outer) inflammation of the heels (plantar fasciitis).
Treatments will typically include:
- Changing your footwear - there are shoes that are specifically designed for supinators, which are reinforced on the outer edge of the shoe to reduce pressure in this area.
- Use insoles or orthotics which can help to support the outer side of the foot and reduce strain associated with excessive supination.
- Dry needling, laser therapy and joint mobilisations to relieve pain and improve range of motion.
- Strengthening the muscles in your legs and feet to improve your gait.
Most people will experience swollen ankles and feet at some point in their lives, particularly after standing or walking a lot, and most of the time it is not cause for much concern, however in some cases it can indicate a serious health problem.
Swollen feet and ankles can in some cases be caused by:
- Medication side effects.
- Ankle injury.
- Lymphedema - a collection of lymphatic fluid in the tissues.
- Blood clots .
- Heart, liver, or kidney disease.
It’s always best to seek medical help if you are experiencing unexplained swollen feet or ankles.
Treatments to help reduce ankle
- Foot and ankle compression sleeves.
- Lymphatic drainage.
- Joint mobilisation.
- Dry needling.
- Laser therapy.
A Tailor’s bunion (bunionette) is a bunion that occurs on
the outside of the foot, often at the of the little (fifth) toe. And yes, the name does come from history, from when tailors who often sat cross-legged on hard surfaces so they could work more efficiently.
It can cause irritation and painful swelling or redness around the toe.
These days, it is often caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow or tight, or if your weight is more aligned to the outside of your feet (supinated feet). Cramping or injures around the calf muscles can also lead to
- A tailor’s bunion shield which helps to protect the bunion and reduce pressure.
- Checking your footwear – and avoiding high-heels or narrow fitting shoes. You may need to look at stretching or modifying your shoes with in-shoe padding to accommodate for the bony protrusion.
- Insoles can help to reduce excessive joint loading and reduce isolated pressure on the bunion.
- Foot strengthening exercises.
- Joint mobilisations, dry needling and laser to reduce muscle tightness and improve range of motion.
FOREFOOT (BALL OF FOOT)
Capsulitis refers to an inflammatory condition which cases pain at one of the joint capsules at the ball of the foot. It is commonly found in the forefoot on the plantar (bottom) surface of the foot. Symptoms might include pain on the ball of the foot, swelling around the area of pain, difficulty wearing shoes, and pain when walking barefoot.
Because it can get worse if left untreated, early recognition and treatment are important.
Recommended treatment includes:
- Rest where possible
Other treatments and preventative options include orthotics and insoles which provide optimum cushioning, shock absorption and support for your feet.
We also recommend our forefoot cushions to reduce pressure under the ball of the foot and elevate the toes, relieving pressure in this area.
If you are experiencing pain the ball of your foot, you might have a condition called ‘Metatarsalgia’. This is a painful condition that affects bones and soft tissue around the ball of the foot. Symptoms are often described as a sharp or stabbing pain when putting the foot to the floor, or even a hot burning sensation which is often worse at night when putting the feet up or resting.
Often caused by high-impact sports or poor fitting shoes, you can try resting your foot or using ice, but a better long-term solution is to wear insoles which can support the foot and reduce pain.
Synxsole insoles fit into a wide range of footwear, including women’s fashion shoes, work boots and sporting shoes and offer shock absorption whilst maintaining flexibility.
Morton's neuroma is a condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes. It can cause pain and discomfort, such as sharp pain, burning or stinging and in some cases numbness or pins and needles sensation.
Morton's neuroma is caused by a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toe, this can occur due to overuse or your foot type, repetitive stress or muscle imbalance.
It can also be attributed to high-heeled or tight shoes, and therefore switching to lower heeled shoes with wider toe boxes can help.
You can also consider physical treatment such as joint mobilisation, dry needling, laser therapy, corticosteroid injections or surgery – it’s certainly best to discuss with your podiatrist or doctor.
Orthotics and insoles are also a good way to align your body and support your feet and they can help to reduce muscle strain on the toe flexors which then reduces pain around the neuroma area. Forefoot cushions and toe crests can also help to elevate the toes and spread the toes apart relieving pressure on the nerve / neuroma.
If you'd like to learn more about Morton's Neuroma, visit our blog here.
Cracked heels - or heel fissures - are simply caused by the skin stretching and drying out, usually as a result of pressure while walking or standing. So, the skin “splits” apart, requiring moisture to repair it.
The best way to treat cracked
heels can include:
- Softening hard skin by soaking your feet in warm water and gently rubbing with a pumice stone.
- Moisturising the skin regularly with a urea-based heel balm.
- Seeing a podiatrist to have them painlessly debrided or shaved off with a surgical blade.
- Wearing shoes that protect and support the foot.
- Choosing insoles that provide optimal cushioning, protection and shock absorption of the heel and arch area.
In some cases, cracks in the heels can become very deep and cause significant pain when walking. They can also get infected so it’s important to treat them regularly.
If you'd like to learn more about cracked heels, you can visit our blog on the topic here.
Heel pain can range from a minor inconvenience to something more serious.
Heel pain is often referred to as plantar fasciitis, which is where there is inflammation of the plantar fascia, located along the bottom of the foot. It can also be related to painful heel spurs or Achilles tendonitis.
Heel pain causes can be very complex and caused by a variety or contributing range of factors:
- Injury to the heel
- Overuse of the heel
- Wearing the wrong shoes for exercise
- Exercise without first stretching
- Wearing shoes which don't fit properly
- Wearing high heeled shoes
- Biomechanics, eg. having flat (pronated) or high (supinated) feet can be triggering factors
- Rapid weight gain
- Pregnancy, due to relaxing hormones and extra weight carried during pregnancy
Insoles and orthotics can provide optimum cushioning, shock absorption and support for your heels and together with a foot and ankle compression sleeve can be really effective in settling inflammation caused by heel pain.
Heel spurs are a calcium deposit that can cause a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone.
The condition is sometimes known as "heel spur syndrome” and can occur as a reaction to stress or inflammation. Over time your body responds to the stress by building extra bone tissue. This extra tissue becomes a heel spur.
Sometimes there is no pain at all but sometimes there can be quite a noticeable amount of pain and inflammation.
- Causes of heel spur can include:
- Walking gait abnormalities
- Running, especially on hard surfaces
- Shoes with no support
- Excess weight and obesity
- Having either flat feet or high arches
Heel spurs are also linked to plantar fasciitis – essentially your body responds to the stress of planter fasciitis by creating a heel spur.
Treatments usually include:
- Stretching exercises
- Correct shoe fittings
- Taping or strapping to rest stressed muscles and tendons
- Shoe inserts or orthotic devices
- Night splints
- Surgery in extreme cases
Insoles or orthotics can provide optimum cushioning, shock absorption and support for your heels and together with a foot and ankle compression sleeve can be really effective in settling inflammation caused by heel pain. We also recommend using with gel heel cushions for optimal heel protection.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the long supporting ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot. It is a thick piece of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, creating the arch of the foot.
The condition is often caused due to repetitive stretching of the fascia, associated with intense running and prolonged standing. Biomechanics can also play a part as people who have pronated (flat) or supination (high) arches during running and walking can be most at risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
The main symptom is severe throbbing pain near the heel, which worsens with walking, running and standing.
Often the first few steps in the morning can be brutal, hobbling until the foot muscles and joints loosen up and the inflammation disperses from the area. The pain may get worse as the day progresses and the condition can take months or even years to resolve.
Treatments can include:
- Joint mobilisation stretching exercises.
- Dry needling.
- Laser therapy.
- Shockwave Therapy.
- Resting the foot as much as possible.
- Choosing shoes with the correct support.
- Wearing insoles or orthotics and other supports that are designed to reduce strain under the plantar fascia and support the foot while walking and running.
- Foot and ankle compression sleeves that help to reduce inflammation and aid in repairing the plantar fascia.
- Ice packs applied or ice bottles to roll under the arch of the foot.
- Taping the foot with rigid or kinesiology tape to reduce stress under the plantar fascia.
- Night splints to wear while sleeping.
If these measures don't work, your doctor may give you steroid injections in your heel. Very rarely, people require surgery to treat plantar fasciitis.
If you'd like to learn more about Plantar Fasciitis, visit our blog here.
A claw toe is when the last two joints of your toe are bent like a claw and become inflexible. It is different to hammertoes or mallet toes and can cause pain in the foot.
Often, claw toe is often caused by misaligned joints which can be hereditary or as a result of wearing ill-fitting shoes. Essentially, it means there is an imbalance between the intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of the foot.
Treatments can include:
- the use of an arch support
- corrective stretches and exercises
- a splint or tape
- in some cases, surgery
Insoles and orthotics can align your body, plus support your feet and lower limbs through a full range of activities.
Corns are a result of friction and pressure on your feet, which leads to your body producing more skin cells. These then form a hard layer on the skin and the formation of foot corns.
They can form between the toes or under the foot and might look like white and rubbery bumps of skin. There
can be pain when pressure or friction is applied to the area.
Common causes are:
- ageing – as we age, the skin loses elasticity and fatty tissue.
- too much time standing – because of the continuous weight-bearingpressure on the feet.
- feet that roll inwards (flat feet) – because of excessive pressure on the ball of the foot beneath the big toe, and the inside of the heel.
- feet that roll outwards (high-arched feet) – because of excessive pressure on the outside of the foot.
- some shoes that are narrow, tight, ill-fitting or high-heeled.
Treatment might include:
- A podiatrist can remove or reduce the callus or corn to relieve pain.
- Moleskin protectors for callus
- Synxsole Insole for Adults which can provide cushioning, shock absorption and support for your feet.
- Choosing appropriate footwear.
Hammer toe is a relatively common condition seen on the feet and happens when your toe bends downwards and looks like a hammer from the side view.
While hammer toes can be present from birth, they often develop over time or because of trauma to the toe. Usually, they are related to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding a toe that usually work together to keep it straight.
The main symptom or issue with hammer toe is that it can be hard to find and wear shoes that don’t rub on the hammer toe, which can then cause corns or swelling where the toe bends, as well as callouses on the ball of the feet at the base of the affected toe.
Thankfully, you can try a few remedies:
- Wearing wider shoes with a flexible upper such as neoprene which relieves pressure on the top of the toe.
- Toe crests elevate the toes, relieving stress under the tips of the toes.
- Corn and callus removal: removing hard skin and corns on the top of the toe can cause symptom relief.
- Orthotic therapy: cushioning and offloading the base of the affected toe can help reduce symptoms by offloading those areas.
- Surgical referral for rigid and extremely painful hammer toes your podiatrist can refer for surgical opinion and management.
Mallet toe is a condition where an abnormal bend in the joints of one or more of your toes makes moving the affected toe difficult or painful. Corns and calluses can result from the toe rubbing against the inside of your shoes.
Mallet toe involves two parts of the feet - the distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) and the flexor digitorum
longus (FDL). When these muscles become too tight, it can result in flexion in the toe joint upward.
Causes can include:
- High-heeled shoes or footwear that's too tight
- Trauma, such as an injury in which you stub, jam or break a toe can make it more likely for that digit to develop hammertoe or mallet toe.
- Abnormal balance of the toe muscles which leads to instability, which can cause the toe to contract.
- Aging - the risk of hammer toe and mallet toe increases with age.
- Arthritis and diabetes – these diseases might make you more prone to developing foot deformities. Heredity might also play a role.
Treatments range from:
- Avoiding high heels, and buying shoes that fit.
- Gently exfoliating, or smoothing, calluses.
- Reducing inflammation with a steroid injection.
- Stretching your toes frequently.
- Using an insole or orthotic to take pressure off the affected toe.
- Regular foot checks with your podiatrist.
Our range of toe shields and sleeves, along with our insole range can provide the ultimate relief from many common foot pains and niggles. Shop here for relief from mallet toe.
CHILDREN / KIDS
If your child complains of sore legs in the afternoon, evening or during the night, then they might be experiencing growing pains.
Growing pains (also known as Benign Nocturnal Limb Pains (BNLP)) are real pains felt around the muscles in the legs and feet. The most common ages affected are children aged between three and five years, and eight to eleven years., with both boys and girls equally affected.
The cause of growing pains is thought to be a result of the body reacting to times of rapid growth or vigorous physical activity. These are usually due to an imbalance between bone length and muscle strength, which occurs during growth, and settles as growth evens out.
You can treat growing pains in children through a number of ways:
Use magnesium spray - magnesium works to regulate
muscle contractions, neuromuscular signals, and calcium levels in the body.
Massage the affected area daily – even just a few
minutes of massage is proven to reduce the discomfort of growing pains and naturally soothe the affected areas.
Ensure your child gets adequate rest - pain can be
worse in the evenings after physically active days.
Epsom salt baths - Epsom salt in a warm bath can help
soothe aching muscles, bones and joints – and it contains magnesium, which we already know is an important mineral for human health.
Heat packs - using heat packs on the affected areas
can offer some quick relief.
Nurofen or Ibuprofen - for those nights when they
can’t sleep and wake up crying.
Check their footwear - ensure shoes have a strong heel counter, and the correct support in the right places. Most often the children who suffer from growing pains, tend to need more supportive shoes and just making a simple change can make a world of difference to their symptoms.
Get insoles for your child to wear - kids insoles or orthotics help to gently support your child through the arch, reducing strain on the muscles in the legs and feet and reducing pain associated with growing pains.
If you'd like to know more about growing pains in children, check out our blog here.
Sever’s Disease (sometimes also called Calcaneal Apophysitis) can be heel pain experienced during a growth spurt. As the tendons, heel bone, or cartilage grow, the Achilles tendon can be stretched.
Sever’s disease most commonly affects children between the ages of 8 to 14 years, when growth spurts are beginning.
Symptoms of Sever’s disease include:
- Heel pain during physical exercise, especially activities that require running or jumping.
- Worsening of pain after exercise.
- Limping – often in the morning, or during or after sport.
- A tendency to tiptoe.
The best treatments for Sever’s Disease include:
- Managing activity levels, and limiting any pain-inducing activities for a short period of time.
- Use of a heel raise, often just used in all shoes for a short time foot taping.
- Laser therapy.
- Joint mobilisation.
- Cold packs.
Orthotics and insoles can provide optimum cushioning, shock absorption and support for your heels as well as gel heel cushions which help to elevate and cushion the heels.
For information on Sever's Disease, you can visit our information page here.