Why do I have pain in specific parts of my foot?
This is where the pain is usually sharp or persistent and is often focused on a single point or area.
Our nails tend to grow more slowly and more thickly as we get older. This is often a result of reduced circulation and years of bashing them against the inside of the end of shoes which make them thicken.
Nails are protection for the end of a toe. Trauma or repeat stress stimulates the body’s protective mechanism making the nails thicker so they offer more protection. This increases the pressure on the end of the toe and makes the sore and the nails harder to cut. One person in 50 will develop a condition called onychogryphosis. A thickened nail that looks like a ram’s horn – unsightly and painful when pressing against shoes.
This can occur at any age but is more likely as we get older.
What’s the best technique for nail cutting?
Use a file and a good pair of nail clippers on thick nails. Clippers are sharper and have a different cutting action to scissors which can split the nail. Have a bath first and, if you have a partner, and good eyesight, you can always cut each other’s toe nails.
What can we do for you?
People with onychogryphosis benefit from visiting a Podiatrist.
Thickened nails often need to be reduced and shaped with an electric file before they can be cut. This reduces discomfort, pressure and maintains the foot in better condition and prevents it from getting worse.
Why do I suffer joint pain?
One person in six over 50 will develop osteoarthritis in the mid-foot. According to a recent study at Keele University’s Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre. Osteoarthritis is characterised by inflammation around the joints, damage to cartilage and swelling, which causes pain, stiffness and restricts movement. Sometimes it causes bony bumps on the top of the foot. It is possible to develop osteoarthritis just in the feet.
What can I do about osteoarthritis pain?
The foot comprises 26 bones, 12 of which are in the mid-section. A big hip joint is well designed to take the whole body weight but that same weight has to go through each individual bone and small joint in the mid-foot. Risk factors include genetic predisposition, injury to the area and overuse.
Runners and people who stand for a living are more likely to develop problems. Good trainer-type shoes will help to minimise stress to the feet.
Losing weight can ease pressure on joints as well as judicious use of orthotic insoles.
What can your Podiatrist do for foot pain?
If you have pain in the mid-foot or the arch, see one of our Podiatrists for assessment and treatment plan. Advice will usually consist of management and guidance on footwear, padding and exercise but may include onward referral to an orthopedic consultant.
Is my pain due to corns or verrucas?
Commonly found over a joint surface, between the toes or on the sole of the foot, corns are a common cause of pain. They are usually caused by pressure and friction. Corns are areas of callous with a hard central portion that focuses pressure on the underlying structure and can cause momentary, eye-watering pain when compressed. They are formed of dead skin and have no blood supply.
A verruca is different because it is a viral infection of the skin and has a blood supply. Verrucas can also cause pain because they are also rich in nerve tissue. This means that when they are compressed – they hurt!
What is the treatment for corns?
Your Podiatrist can remove your corn completely but if the pressure and friction remain, they will grow back in time. Shoes are a common cause of corns and a change of footwear type can bring relief. Appropriate padding can also help.
Verrucas present a different problem and some treatment options can be found here.
What else could be causing my foot pain?
There are other possibilities including trauma, bruising, Morton’s neuroma, or a foreign body such as a piece of glass or an embedded hair.