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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Your feet are a vital part of everyday life. They take quite a beating carrying your weight as you go about your daily activities. It can be easy to neglect your feet and take them for granted, however with the daily stress your feet undergo on a daily basis, it is not at all uncommon for certain painful conditions to develop.
    1. Bunions

Bunions form due to uneven pressure on the joints of your foot when walking. Some risk factors for developing a bunion include genetics, arthritis, or improperly fitted shoes. Over time, the imbalance causes a large sac of fluid (a bursa) to form over the enlarged joint. This swollen prominence can become very painful and impede your mobility. A surgery, called a bunionectomy, can be done to remove this bony growth.
    1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis typically affects the cartilage of joints. Common factors that increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis include age, obesity, genetics, and overuse of the joint. Healthy cartilage protects joints by allowing the bones to glide smoothly with normal movements. When the cartilage wears away and the bones rub together, pain, swelling, malformation of the joint, and loss of mobility can occur. Eventually, bone spurs may form, and small pieces of bone can break away from the damaged joint causing even more pain. Sometimes surgery from places like The Foot Clinic is required to remove bone spurs and help the joint regain some mobility.
    1.  Corns

Corns form due to friction or pressure on the skin. The most common cause of corns forming is poorly fitted shoes, with high, narrow heels being the greatest offenders. In most cases, corns will gradually go away once the irritant is removed. In some cases, corns form due to a foot malformation. In these instances, surgery is sometimes necessary. It is very important to seek medical advice if you develop corns that bleed and you are a diabetic, as your risk of infection is much higher.
    1. Hammertoes

Hammertoes form when there is a muscle and ligament imbalance around the middle joint of the toe. When the muscle of the toe gets out of balance due to genes, arthritis, or injury, extra pressure is put on the ligament. Eventually, this can cause the toe to curl or buckle into a locked position. Flexible hammertoes maintain a small amount of movement and there are usually various treatment options. However, once major damage is done and the joint is pushed out of alignment, the joint becomes rigid. In these cases, often surgery is necessary to correct the problem.

While surgery is often needed to correct these issues, it is important to talk to a care provider at a clinic that you trust. Expert care is essential for you to establish a good relationship with your doctor so you can be comfortable about the treatment options you choose. Take care of your feet so you can lead a happy, healthy, and active lifestyle!

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


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