In the United States, about 10% of people are affected by Plantar Fasciitis. That is a pretty large percent. But whether it is Plantar Fasciitis, foot pain, or some other foot and ankle condition that has you searching google for, “foot doctor near me,” there are some things you should know. Today we are going to delve into some of the most common foot problems in the United States, and things you can do to prevent or treat them.
You don’t need to be a podiatrist to understand the basics of foot health and foot care. As odd as it may sound, caring for your feet is one of the most important aspects of long-term good health. This is especially true for people who have jobs that require significant amounts of standing, walking, manual labor, or wearing socks and shoes all day. If you didn’t catch it, that list should cover nearly all of us.
Most Common Foot Ailments
Searching for a foot doctor near me doesn’t need to be a regular part of your monthly routine. No matter what foot issues you are facing, we are here to put our foot down (no pun intended) and help you understand how to treat and prevent the most common foot ailments.
Athlete’s Foot: The first thing to understand about athlete’s foot is that it is a misnomer. The name suggests that the ailment is common only to athletes, however that isn’t the case. Athletes foot develops due to having a foot that is damp for a significant amount of time. The reason it is often associated with athletes is because they are constantly sweating and their feet get a little damp (and stinky!) in those shoes. Athlete’s foot is a fungus that infects the skin, often between the toes. It will cause itching, pain (almost like a light burning sensation), and smell quite bad. This can sometimes be treated by over the counter sprays at local stores, however, if the problem persists or if significant pain develops, this is a great reason to search, “foot doctor near me!” As far as prevention goes, do everything you can to keep your feet clean and dry throughout the day. If you happen exercise before you go to work, bring an extra pair of dry socks and shoes to change into after your workout. If you happen to get sweaty or damp feet throughout the day due to the nature of your work, be sure to take time to let your feet air out and dry.
Ingrown Toenails: This is perhaps one of the most common foot ailments that has people searching for “foot doctor near me.” Not only are ingrown toenails very uncomfortable, if left untreated they can also cause infection. An ingrown toenail occurs when the toenail grows into the nail grove. Typically this is caused by wearing shoes that fit poorly, and put pressure on the toes. Additionally, poor trimming of the toenails (such as cutting them too short) can cause ingrown toenails to occur. If you notice redness, swelling, pain, or even pus coming from the toenail, that is usually an indication that an infection is developing and should be treated right away. For treatment, washing with an antibacterial soap is the first step. Additionally, cut your toenails in a straight line after a bath or shower to avoid cutting too short. Only wear shoes that fit comfortably, as narrow and pointy shoes will only press the nails further into the sides of your toes.
Plantar Fasciitis: This is the most common cause of pain in the heel. Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. This can be caused by a number of conditions that generally have to due with putting excess strain on your feet without giving them proper time to rest and recover. For example, obesity is one of the leading factors that predicts if a person will develop Plantar Fasciitis. This is because there is an increased amount of stress on the foot every time a step is taken. Additionally, activities such as long-distance running may contribute if care isn’t taken to protect the body and allow it time to heal between training sessions.