When you look at the spectrum of foot issues, they mainly stem from a few general root causes. Physical trauma, infection, and structural abnormalities can all play a role in leading to problems. There is another cause that seems to be rather prevalent in the issues that affect women’s feet – ill-fitting footwear.
Pumps and stilettos may be quite stylish, but fashion mavens and trendsetters aren’t thinking about the health of your feet. Here at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists, though, your feet are at the front of our mind. Let’s look at some common foot problems that you might face:
A bunion forms when your big toe joint becomes misaligned and the end of the toe bone closest to your foot juts out to the side. As Austin, TX experts for bunions and bunion treatment, we can tell you that wearing tight, crowding shoes increases the likelihood of this particular toe deformity. There is debate as to whether or not high heels actually cause the condition, but we know they certainly aggravate and make existing bunions worse.
Much like bunions, hammertoes—and the related mallet and claw toe conditions—are another deformity that often affect women’s feet. Whereas bunions affect your feet on a horizontal plane, hammertoes, claw toes, and mallet toes lead to toes that bend up or downwards and look more like claws than normal human appendages.
For some women, getting up in the morning can be a struggle as is, but it becomes even worse when those first couple of steps are accompanied by sharp, shooting pain. Plantar fasciitis is often to blame and can be caused by wearing inappropriate footwear for the activity you are doing, like wearing ballet flats when going on a long walk in the city.
Corns and Calluses
When the skin on your feet faces persistent pressure, the result is often a corn or callus. These are both comprised of dead, hardened skin formed for protection. Calluses frequently appear in areas of great stress, like the soles of your feet. Corns, on the other hand, are more likely to develop between your toes or on joints. Neither is painful by itself, but pressure on underlying tissues may lead to discomfort.
Rigid, tight shoes can rub against your Achilles tendon at the back of your foot and create stress in the area, which then triggers your body to protect itself by forming a calcified bump (bone spur). The bone spur then will typically cause irritation in the soft tissue around it, especially when there is still the pressure that created the spur in the first place.
This is one of those common foot problems that can certainly be attributed to poorly-fitting footwear, but also is impacted by how you trim your nails. Ingrown toenails may be the result of narrow, tight shoes that force your toes together. They might also result from improper trimming. When you clip your nails, keep them straight (instead of rounding them off) and even with the edge of your toes to reduce the risk.
When feet are crammed into shoes that are too tight, the internal structures—bones, nerves—can be affected. Bones that are forced inwards can pinch a nerve and create burning pain or sensations like standing on a pebble. Tingling and numbness are other frequently noted symptoms.
Fungal toenails are unsightly and often embarrassing. This common condition is caused by fungi that live in dark, damp, and warm areas – which describes the environment your feet can offer. Decrease the risk of infection by keeping your feet clean and dry and airing them out. If you do develop toenail fungus, our office offers safe, effective laser treatment.
No matter which of these common foot problems that affect women’s feet has you living with pain or discomfort, you can find the relief you need at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists. We strive to bring excellence in podiatry so that our patients can live life the way they deserve – pain-free. Contact our Austin, TX office by calling (512) 328-8900 or request an appointment via our online form today.
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