Taking good care of your feet is important in helping maintain your overall well being. Yet most people tend to ignore them until they are in pain or have difficulty walking. As a result, nearly the American Podiatric Medical Association stated that “ 75% of all Americans will end up having some sort of problem with their feet during their lifetime, with the most common (and generally avoidable) ailments being bunions and plantar fascia.”.
Bunions, are usually characterized by painful swelling near the joint of the big toe are usually caused by an “inherited foot type,” as well as the way people walk, especially if they wear improper shoes that are too tight along the toes and exceptionally high heels that push the front of the foot forward.
Treatment usually involves wearing broader shoes, and applying ice to the toe several times a day to reduce swelling. However, in severe cases, cortisone shots may become necessary and your podiatrist may recommend padding and taping, as well as physical therapy and shoe inserts. If these don’t work, it may even be necessary to have the bony enlargement surgically removed to restore normal foot alignment.
On the other hand,plantar fascia results when the band of thick connective tissue between the toes and heel (creating the arch of the foot) become inflammed, causing the bottom of the heel to become stiff and painful from “overuse.”
Again, icing and medications are usually recommended to reduce the swelling, as well as stretching exercises for the foot. Shoes with good support, as well as special inserts or a heel cup may also be recommended. Worst case scenarios may also require steroid shots, wearing boot casts or night splints, or even surgery depending on the severity of the pain.