April is recognized as Foot Health Awareness Month to draw attention to common foot injuries and tips to keep your feet healthy! Over half of the population has suffered from common foot injuries that have restricted them from walking or exercising. This is because your feet bear a lot of your body’s weight and serve as the lower-most foundation of your body. Foot injuries vary due to the foot’s intricate structure.The human foot consists of:
The human foot consists of:
- 26 Bones
- 33 Joints
- 107 ligaments
- 19 muscles and tendons
- Hundreds of thousands of nerve endings
Symptoms of foot injury include:
- Sprains in the feet
- Stiffness or limited range of motion
- Swelling or inflammation in the ankle or foot
- Strain in the foot after long periods of rest
- Consistent foot cramping
- Heel pain
- Joint pain in the ankle or toes
- Sharp pain in the foot
Common causes of foot injury:
- Wearing the wrong size shoes
- Not wearing supportive shoes
- Underlying medical conditions
- Inherited foot conditions
- High impact exercises and activities
- Occupational work related stress
Common foot injuries include:
1. Achilles Tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis is a common injury caused by overuse of the large tendon, the tendon that connects the calf muscles to the back of the heel bone. Overuse can cause the tendon to become stiff, swollen and painful. Due to limited blood flow and constant strain in this area, your achillies tendon is injury-prone.
2. Bunions. A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. The skin over a bunion can become red and swollen. Women tend to suffer from bunions more than men due to poorly fitted shoes.
3. Corns and Calluses. Corns and calluses are painful areas of thick skin that can appear between the toes and on the sides of the feet caused by shoe friction on your foot. Repeat pressure on the same area of the foot can cause the skin to die and form hard protective surfaces. Soft corn can be characterized by small bumps on the toes where sweat has been trapped and usually occurs between the toes.
4. Diabetic Neuropathy. Neuropathy is characterized by numbness or loss of feeling in the hands, arms, legs and feet. About 70 percent of people with diabetes will, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body, making neuropathy one of the most common side effects of diabetes. Diabetic neuropathies are a group of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. Nerve damage caused by diabetes can also lead to internal organ damage such as the digestive tract, heart, and sexual organs.
Chiropractors treat neuropathic pain using chiropractic adjustments, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and light emitting diode (LED) therapy.
5. Gout. Gout is a form of arthritis commonly found in the big toe characterized by severe pain, redness, swelling, and tenderness in the joint. Gout is a sudden, severe pain caused by the crystallization of uric acid, a chemical found in blood. This can occur due to a multitude of reasons including diet, genetic predisposition, or high levels of uric acid. Women are more susceptible to gout after menopause.
6. Ingrown Nails. An ingrown toenail is a common condition which occurs when the nail begins to grow into the skin verse over it. Common causes of ingrown toenails include cutting your nails too short, wearing shoes that do not fit correctly, or stubbing your toe.
7. Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, often called wear and tear arthritis, is the most common form of arthritis caused by gradual wear and tear on joints. Your joints begin to degenerate and lose supportive cartilage as you age, resulting in joint pain, stiffness, swelling and locking.
8. PTTD. The posterior tibial tendon serves as one of the major supporting structures of the foot, helping it to function while walking. The posterior tibial tendon starts in the calf, stretched down the ankle, and into the foot. Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD) is a common ankle problem caused by changes in the tendon, impairing its ability to support the arch of your foot.
9. Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain due to damage of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects the heel to the ball of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is characterized by inflammation on the bottom of the foot. Untreated plantar fasciitis can lead to a heel spur on the bottom of the heel bone.
10. Heel Spur. Our heel bone is the largest bone in the foot and absorbs the most amount of shock and pressure. A heel spur is a pointed bony outgrowth of the heel bone. When plantar fasciitis pulls away from the heel bone, it can leave behind calcium deposits, causing heel spurs to develop under the sole of the foot. Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis can occur alone or be related to underlying diseases.
11. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that attacks multiple joints throughout the body, including the toes. About 90 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis experience symptoms in the foot or ankle.
12. Turf Toe. Turf toe is a common athletic injury that occurs when the main joint of the big toe is sprained and bent upward. This can occur by either jamming the big toe or repetitive injury when pushing off repeatedly during running or jumping.