We take our feet for granted. Admit it. You know we do.
For the majority of us, we rely on our feet daily, but we don't often think about them until they're sore, unsightly or in pain.
Your feet are made up of a number of bones and joints and more than a hundred muscles, ligaments and tendons, all working together to ensure our feet do what they're supposed to do — support and stabilise the rest of our body. We place them under stress each day, especially when running or jumping, as the forces exerted on them increase dramatically during these activities. So, like many other parts of our lower limbs, they are prone to injury and complications.
Your foot pain or skin condition could be caused by a number of issues, including poor fitting or nil shock absorption shoes, sudden increases in training, exercising on hard or uneven surfaces, medical conditions like diabetes, sudden injuries and more. You could experience a variety of symptoms from physical warts on your foot and skin peeling, to swollen feet or severe pain felt throughout your arch — the list goes on and on!
Foot pain is often acute in nature, meaning it only lasts for a short time (usually from a few days to weeks). Even we can admit that your foot pain may improve on it's own, but when it doesn't then it's time to see a podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. If you continue dealing with your foot pain without any proper treatment, then it may be harder to fix later on.
There are many conditions that could be causing you pain and they often depend on what part of your foot is injured — the sole, heel, arch, toes or top of the foot. We've highlighted the most common causes of foot and arch pain below. Click through for more information on each one, and to find out how we would treat the condition.
A bunion is a bony bump on the inside border of your foot that is caused by a change to the alignment of your big toe. They develop gradually overtime, and often won't be painful unless tight shoes are rubbing against it.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when your plantar fascia, the thick fibrous band of tissue in the bottom of the foot is placed under increased stress, causing painful inflammation.
Morton's neuroma develops in the nerves that run between the long bones in your foot. When these nerves become irritated from compression & friction, a Morton's neuroma develops as the lining of the nerve thickens.
Corns & calluses are areas of thickened skin caused by pressure or friction. Calluses are not usually painful whereas a corn is smaller and has a painful "core" centre surrounded by inflamed skin.
A fungal nail infection occurs when fungi begins to grow in, under or on the nail. There are five different types of fungal nails, so it's important to diagnose the condition correctly, in order to get accurate treatment.
Warts are a growth on the skin that is caused by a viral infection. They are very contagious so you will usually pick them up in communal areas. A wart that you find on the sole of your foot is officially called a plantar wart.
Ingrown toenails occur when the nail begins to pierce the skin causing inflammation and pain at the area. This may occur when you cut your toenails too short, particularly on the sides of your big toes.
Athlete's Foot is a contagious fungal infection that affects the skin on your feet. This fungus causes the skin to become itchy, red and often flaky, particularly between the toes or on the soles of your feet.
Heel spurs (calcaneal spurs) are bony bumps of calcium deposits that form on the heel bone. They often result from long periods (months and years) of stress being placed on the tendons that attach to the heel bone.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage (smooth elastic tissue) that protects the ends of the bones breaks down over time. This results in pain and swelling at your major joints, often making them hard to move.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long term autoimmune disorder that affects the body through persistent damage to the lining of the joints. This happens when the immune system doesn't work properly, mistakenly attacking your own healthy cells.
A Lisfranc injury is an injury to the midfoot joint. When a twisting motion is applied to this area, (from a stumble or fall), it can break or dislocate these bones and/or sprain or tear the ligaments holding this joint together.