Our feet take the weight of the entire body every time we stand
or walk. Even minor foot problems can cause a lot of discomfort.
These problems can arise from the bones, ligaments, skin or muscles of the feet.

Foot Health

Foot Health by Famhealth

Why do we have feet problems?

  • Feet can change in structure due to weight gain, improper posture and ill-fitting shoes. This can lead to pain, corns and callouses due to incorrect weight distribution.
  • Our feet are prone to infections, including bacterial and fungal infections due to improper hygiene.
  • Feet also get injured quite easily, like sprains and fractures.

Which are the common foot problems?

There are some foot problems that are quite common.

  • Foot cramps– Some people experience foot cramps, especially at night. This can be due to long periods of standing or wearing ill fitting footwear. Other reasons could be a lack of nutrients like calcium or potassium. Sometimes, cramps can be due to a lack of proper blood circulation, especially if the feet tend to get cold and blue. Smokers especially are prone to such issues. Increasing your intake of milk, lemon water and warm salt water soaks might help if the cramps are due to some deficiency. In case the pain persists, it might be a good idea to get a checkup by your doctor.
  • Corns and calluses– Corns and calluses are common foot problems. These can be due to ill fitting footwear or some structural issue with the feet, like flat feet. Orthotic support, like foot supports, heel pads or orthotic shoes can help to alleviate the problem.
  • Toe nail issues– Most people don’t realize that the toe nails can be affected by many diseases. The commonest is fungal infection of the toe nails, in which there is discoloration of the nails and they can spontaneously fall off too. Nails can also be affected by psoriasis, so it’s best to get a checkup by your doctor if you notice any changes in your nails.
  • Itchy, scaly feet– Dry feet can be due to a lack of moisture in the feet. It can also be due to a fungal infection or a long term allergic condition, like eczema. In case regular moisturizing is not helping, then it’s best to consult your doctor.
  • Diabetic foot– People with diabetes are prone to getting infections of the feet, even leading to gangrene of the foot. This is called diabetic foot and occurs due to a decrease in the blood supply of the foot and also a decrease in the sensations in the feet. As a result, the affected person doesn’t pay attention to minor injuries and infections in the feet and the condition tends to worsen rapidly. For diabetics, good foot hygiene is an essential part of diabetes care. In includes proper cleaning and drying of feet and proper disinfection of injuries and immediate care in case there is some infection, like a boil.

How can one prevent foot problems?

  • Wear comfortable shoes- Ill fitting shoes are a common cause of foot discomfort. It’s advisable to buy shoes in the afternoon as the feet expand during the day, so you’re more likely to get a comfortable fit.
  • Basic feet hygiene- It’s important to wash your feet carefully with soap and a brush. Equally important is to dry them well as that keeps fungal infections at bay.
  • Cut nails straight across and file them to prevent rough edges. By doing this it’s possible to prevent ingrown nails and hang nails.
  • Changing socks often helps to prevent foot odour.
  • Avoid wearing high heels all the time, wear comfortable shoes with a block heel or wedge heel to ensure the body weight is evenly distributed on the feet. This can prevent foot pain.
  • Avoid going bare feet in the grass and in communal bathing areas as this can cause worms to enter the body via the feet and it can also cause fungal infections.

With some regular care and good foot hygiene, it’s possible to keep your feet in good running condition. We advocate medical supervision before beginning any treatment regime.



It’s Reasons And Prevention

The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects the heel bones
with the toes. It sometimes gets irritated and this can cause pain in the heel.

Plantar Fasciitis

What are the reasons for plantar fasciitis?

There are many reasons for plantar fasciitis. Some common ones are

  • Being overweight
  • Runners who don’t spend enough time in stretching are at risk
  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes, especially with thin insoles
  • It tends to be commoner in middle aged people between 40 to 60 years of age
  • People who spend long hours standing, like store attendants and teachers, are more prone to heel pain due to the extra stress on the tissues of the foot
  • Sometimes, there can be an extra growth of bone from the heel bone, called a spur. This can also irritate the plantar fascia
  • Some people have high arched feet or flat feet and these can also make them more prone to heel pain

How to know if you have plantar fasciitis?

  • Generally, plantar fasciitis causes pain in the heel. The pain tends to be more in the mornings and gets better as the day goes by and the tissue of the foot gets stretched.
  • There might be a tender spot on the heel.

What can be done at home for plantar fasciitis?

There are some measures that might help in dealing with the pain of plantar fasciitis at home itself

  • Icing the heel a few times a day can reduce the inflammation in the area and reduce the pain.
  • A pain relieving balm can also help in reducing the pain and inflammation. These typically contain menthol, camphor or even local pain relieving drugs, so it’s best to do a sensitivity test before using such products.
  • Resting your foot and avoid strenuous weight bearing activities can also help.
  • Heel pads and arch supports and changing to soft, padded shoes can also help in reducing heel pain.

When to meet the doctor?

  • If the home remedies don’t help
  • The pain is recurrent
  • The pain is severe
  • There is swelling of the foot
  • There is discoloration of the foot
  • There is any numbness of the feet
  • The feet feel very cold

How is plantar fasciitis managed?

  • The doctor might recommend some tests like an X ray or an MRI.
  • Some blood tests to rule out other inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis or gout, might also be recommended.
  • Plantar fasciitis is general managed with anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, to take care of the pain.
  • Physical therapy is also an important part of the treatment, and this might involve ultrasonic massage, wax baths or ESWT (extra corporeal shock wave therapy) in which high energy shock waves are used to stimulate the healing process in the plantar fascia.
  • Sometimes, there might be the need for local steroid injections to relieve the pain. This is an out patient procedure and will be performed by your doctor after checking the point of maximum tenderness.
  • In severe cases, there might be the need for surgery which might involve lengthening the calf muscle or even detaching the plantar fascia from the heel if the pain is very severe.

How to prevent plantar fasciitis?

Some precautions can help in preventing repeated bouts of plantar fasciitis

  • Wearing well-fitting shoes is important if you exercise regularly.
  • It’s important to stretch the foot and calf tissues before beginning a workout session.
  • Losing weight if you are overweight can help in reducing the stress on the tissues of the feet.
  • Using arch or heel supports can also help in cushioning the tissues of the heel.

Mostly, plantar fasciitis resolves with rest and physical therapy. With some long term precautions, it generally doesn’t recur.

We advocate consulting a doctor before beginning any treatment regime.