Common Foot Problems

The following list of foot problems is provided for your general information only, if you have a foot problem DO NOT try to self-diagnose or treat the foot problem yourself. You should make an appointment at Orthotic Podiatry without delay.

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Heel Pain


Heel pain is a common condition in which weight bearing on the heel causes extreme discomfort. There are two different categories of heel pain. One common cause is over-use and repetitive stress which results in soreness from too much impact on a specific area of the foot. This condition, often referred to as “heel pain syndrome,” can be caused by shoes with heels that are too low, a thinned out fat pad in the heel area, or from a sudden increase in activity.

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Hammer Toes


In a hammer toe the deformity usually exists in one toe (at the proximal inter phalangeal joint) – the base of the toe points upward and the end of the toe points down. Hammer toes can be due to several factors such as: hereditary, tight footwear and weaker small muscles in the foot.

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Bunions


Bunions are a common problem that most people experience as a bony protuberance at the base of the big toe. A bunion, however, is more complicated than simply a bump on the foot. When a patient has a bunion, the big toe angles in towards the other toes, a condition called hallux valgus. Bunions are most common in women, and the cause is almost always due to unsuitable footwear.

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Severs Disease


Heel pain, unlike the heel spurs, that occur in adults is very uncommon in children. Of those children who do get heel pain, by far the most common cause is a disturbance to the growing area at the back of the heel bone (calcaneus) where the achilles tendon attaches to it. This is known as Sever’s disease or calcaneal apophysitis (inflammation of the growth plate). It is most common between the ages of 10 to 14 years of age.

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Osgood-Schlatters Disease


Osgood Schlatters disease is a very common cause of knee pain in children and young athletes. It is a condition where the bony protrusion below the knee (called the tibial tuberosity or tubercle) becomes inflamed, painful and swollen. It is seen more often in children involved with running and jumping activities which put a much greater strain on the patella tendon.

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Feet with In-toe Gait (Pigeon Toed)


In-toe gait is a very common problem among children and even adults. Fortunately, most in-toeing that is seen in children is a growth and developmental condition and will correct itself without medical or surgical intervention. Not all bony foot structures are present at birth and in fact, most of the structures at birth are made of a very soft cartilage. Therefore, a child’s foot growth is a gradual process and it may go through many phases until the final structure is achieved.

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Feet with Out-toe Gait


When the feet curve outward instead of pointing straight.


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Pronation


A pronated foot is one that rolls inward when walking or running and does not properly pass the weight over the foot. This creates a biomechanical problem that stresses the foot and lower leg. The knee and hip are affected as well because of the inward rotation of the leg. People with pronating feet are at risk for developing overuse injuries, such as ankle and Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, heel and kneecap pain, and heel spurs. People who have excessive pronation are said to have flat feet. They are particularly sensitive to overuse injuries such as stress fractures and tendonitis.

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Supination


Supination is the opposite of pronation and refers to the outward roll of the foot during normal motion. A natural amount of supination occurs during the push-off phase of the running gait as the heel lifts off the ground and the forefoot and toes are used to propel the body forward. However, excessive supination (outward rolling) places a large strain on the muscles and tendons that stabilize the ankle, and can lead to the ankle rolling completely over, resulting in an ankle sprain or total ligament rupture.

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Collapsed Arches



Your feet are the foundation of your body. If your feet are out of alignment, it can cause problems throughout your body’s skeletal structure. When the arch is fully collapsed or rolls inward, you have flat feet, meaning you’re missing crucial arch support. People with flat fleet must therefore shift pressure from walking to other parts of the foot, which can cause intense pain. If left untreated, flat feet not only cause pain, but can lead to other more serious foot and lower body joint problems.

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Ingrown toe nail


When a toenail is ingrown, the nail is curved downward and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail). This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toe. If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area, which is often marked by drainage and a foul odour. However, even if your toe isn’t painful, red, swollen, or warm, a nail that curves downward into the skin can progress to an infection.If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation to your feet, you’re at greater risk of complications from an ingrown toenail.

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Corns


There are two types of corns. Hard corns (heloma durums) are the most common type. They are caused primarily by ill-fitting shoes and toe deformities. They usually develop on the tops and tips of the toes and on the sides of the feet. Soft corns (heloma molles) usually occur as the result of bone abnormalities in the toes. They develop between the toes and are sometimes referred to as “kissing corns.”

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Callouses


Plantar warts are ordinary warts of the sole, or plantar surface of the foot. Since plantar warts are on a pressure area, they grow inward and are often tender and painful. Like other warts, they are harmless skin growths that are caused by a virus.

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Plantar Warts


Plantar warts are ordinary warts of the sole, or plantar surface of the foot. Since plantar warts are on a pressure area, they grow inward and are often tender and painful. Like other warts, they are harmless skin growths that are caused by a virus.

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Fungal Nail infection


Spread from a fungal skin infection. For example, athlete’s foot is a fungal skin infection of the toes. This may spread to the toenails if the skin infection is not treated early. You are at an increased risk developing a fungal nail infection if you have various other conditions. For example: diabetes, psoriasis, poor circulation, a poor immune system, or general poor state of health.

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Dryness in the Feet/Skin


If the body is unable to perspire to regulate heat flow in the body, a patient will suffer from dry skin. This is known as hypohidrosis. Dry skin can lead to other skin related complaints such as fissures are cracks in the skin which can be very painful. They can also provide a port of entry for bacteria to cause infections.

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Gout


Gout is a disease that results from an overload of uric acid in the body. This overload of uric acid leads to the formation of tiny crystals of urate that deposit in tissues of the body, especially the joints. When crystals form in the joints it causes recurring attacks of joint inflammation (arthritis). Chronic gout can also lead to deposits of hard lumps of uric acid in and around the joints and may cause joint destruction, decreased kidney function, and kidney stones.

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Arthritic Feet


The most common type of arthritis in the feet is osteoarthritis, which usually develops in people aged 45 and older. People who have arthritis in the feet may have swelling in one or more joints, recurring pain or tenderness in any joint, redness or heat in a joint, limitation in motion of joint and pain when walking. Bunions are common amongst rheumatoid arthritic patients. Corns, calluses, thick nails and ulcers can occur due to the occurrence of bunions. Hallux rigidus may occur, this is a condition in which the big toe becomes very stiff and painful to move.



The above list of foot problems is provided for your general information only, if you have a foot problem DO NOT try to self-diagnose or treat the foot problem yourself. You should make an appointment at Orthotic Podiatry without delay.