Think for a moment about the toughest part of your body. Would that be your bones, which are hard and form your “frame”? What about your heart, which pumps constantly? There are many possible contenders, but one people often forget that should be near the top of that list is your foot. Your lower limbs support weight and pressure with every step. Just like every other tough part of you, though, even your feet are susceptible to pain. Foot conditions can limit your activities—but they shouldn’t keep you from living life.
What Pain Really Means
Pain isn’t “normal,” per se, since your body isn’t meant to live in it constantly. It is, however, a signal. It’s a quick and simple way of your body letting you know that something is wrong, whether that’s an infection, injury, or something else altogether. When your feet are in pain, it isn’t a “normal” part of life that you have to live with. It’s a sign that all is not well with your lower limbs, and they need care. These foot conditions are treatable—and most of them can easily be managed with conservative methods.
Foot Conditions Tripping People Up
Many different problems can cause foot pain, from injuries to overuse to infections to deformities. Here are just a few of the common foot conditions that affect thousands of Americans every year:
- Achilles Tendinitis – This irritation and swelling in your Achilles is usually the result of overuse and poor conditioning. It can make normal walking very uncomfortable.
- Ankle Sprain – This injury weakens your ankle supports and makes your foot unstable. It can be quite painful and make walking difficult.
- Athlete’s Foot – A fungal infection, this skin problem can make your feet itch and burn. It’s highly contagious and sometimes difficult to get rid of.
- Black Toenails – Darkened nails can have several causes, from injuries to infections. If they are painful or you’re not sure why they turned black, it might be serious.
- Broken Toe/Broken Foot – Broken bones are painful injuries that can cause deformities and lasting pain if they aren’t addressed appropriately.
- Bunions – These deformities create a hard bump on the side of the foot where the big toe and ball of the foot meet.
- Corns and Calluses – These skin lesions develop under pressure and friction. They can make wearing shoes and normal walking uncomfortable.
- Foot Drop – A floppy foot that has trouble lifting up could be an injury or a serious neurological disorder.
- Flat Feet – Abnormally low or fallen arches can make your feet ache when you walk or stand. They can also contribute to other overuse problems.
- Fungal Nails – Fungus under your toenails can turn them discolored and distorted. This can be fairly challenging to treat if not handled right away.
- Hammertoes – This toe deformity develops from an imbalance in the tendons controlling a toe.
- Ingrown Toenails – Nails that curve or grow sideways can pinch or pierce the soft skin, creating pain and possibly infections.
- Neuromas – Nerve damage can cause the nervous tissue to thicken and swell painfully, aggravating the discomfort.
- Plantar Fasciitis – The most common source of heel pain, this overstretching in the plantar fascia ligament painfully pulls on the heel.
- Sever’s Disease – Only affecting children, this is a problem with inflammation in the heel bone’s growth plate.
- Turf Toe – This is a sprain in the big toe that develops when the digit is suddenly hyperextended.
- Warts – These unsightly bumps are the result of viruses in the skin on the feet.