Quick help with the 7 most common foot problems
Most men pay too little attention to their feet. Change that! Because little things quickly turn into chronic foot problems. That helps immediately.
W ann have recently taken care of your most important means of transportation? No idea? Pity! Your feet deserve more attention. Because they literally play a major role in everyday life. “Don’t ignore any complaints: Small injuries often develop into chronic problems,” warns Professor Markus Walther, chief physician at the specialist center for foot and ankle surgery at the Schön Clinic in Munich. With specific exercises and appropriate care, one can do good to the tortured locomotion organs. Read on to find out how to identify problems immediately and deal with them correctly.
1. Foot problem from itchy toenail
Maybe it’s a yeast infection. A so-called athlete’s foot not only causes annoying itching. It is an infection that makes the skin flaky. The fungus can also attack the nail and cause yellowish discolored limescale areas. Both symptoms can get worse over time. The likelihood of getting sick increases with age.
Solution:Athlete’s foot loves a damp environment in shoes and is often tedious to treat. Go to the dermatologist immediately and have an appropriate ointment or something similar prescribed for you. Important: Follow the guidelines for use! Make sure to disinfect your footwear if sports shoes or hiking boots are contaminated. Prevent new infections later on by drying your sweaty shoes well and rubbing your feet thoroughly after swimming.
2. Foot pain due to enlarged pads (hallux valgus)
Bad footwear or a genetic predisposition can cause deformation of the ball of the big toe (hallux valgus). This then curves sideways and affects other toes. Do not confuse hallux valgus with hallux rigidus. Walther: “The latter is osteoarthritis, ie joint wear.”
Solution:Surgical intervention is time-consuming and therefore only the last resort. “If the foot hurts little, you can just say you live with it,” says the surgeon. In any case, choose shoes that are wider in front. “Insoles, hallux splints or toe separators can relieve pain, but they do not reverse the misalignment,” explains Walther. Try to counteract the deformation through weight training. There are exercises, for example, at www.my-medibook.de.
3. Foot pain from deformed toes
If the joints of the little toes stick out and they always assume a slightly bent position, it is a hammer toe, a misalignment of the little toe. It occurs when toes are crammed into a shoe that doesn’t fit properly. “A typical western phenomenon,” said the doctor. The hammer toe can also be caused by an imbalance in the muscles in the foot. It prevents your toes from stretching when you run.
Solution:Wear shoes with plenty of toe space. A shoemaker can stretch shoes that have already been bought in the front area. “The most important thing is that you use the toe muscles,” explains the expert. In this way you prevent permanent deformation and maintain flexibility. Spread and move your toes every time you take off your shoe. Also, try to grab a tennis ball with your toes and pick it up during your next workout.
4. Foot problems from a sore joint
Over time – and especially after injuries – articular cartilage breaks down. The bones rub painfully against one another and inflammation develops. “In men, ankle osteoarthritis is usually the result of chronic instability,” says Walther. Classic example: men who played a lot of soccer in their youth and who twisted their ankles more often.
Solution:It is not enough to simply smear an ointment on it. “A bandage and stabilization training are mandatory,” says the expert. “Allow time for the injury to properly heal.” There are orthopedic interventions that can help, but cartilage still cannot be remade. Even loads such as cycling, inline skating, swimming and walking are easy on the joints. Be sure to choose shoes that support your joints, both in your free time and when exercising.
5. Foot pain from stinging heel
If you feel an uncomfortable stinging sensation with every step, then plantar fasciitis could be the cause. “This is an inflammation of the transition between the plantar fascia and the ball of the heel,” said doctor Walther. The plantar fascia is a tight band on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes. Unfortunately, she is very irritable.
Solution:Use physiotherapy to counter the pain in a targeted manner and create a strong foundation. “The aim of the treatment plan is to improve the elasticity of the fibers again,” says doctor Walther. “You can do that with stretching exercises, for example.” The best way to relieve pain is to use a massage roller such as the Black Roll. Don’t have one at home? Then just freeze a water bottle and roll your feet over the bottle for 3 to 5 minutes 2 times a day.
6. Nervous cross problems caused by flat feet
Do you often suffer from hip or back pain? Maybe your feet are behind it too! “With a flat foot, the longitudinal arch of the foot is hardly or not at all,” explains Walther. Unstable or misaligned feet cause joints and muscles in the rest of the body to overcompensate. This can lead to pain in distant areas.
Solution: Ask your physiotherapist or trainer if they can do a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) test. “The test first helps to see what the problem is,” says the expert. Physiotherapy helps in mild cases. But if a tendon is overloaded, you will need insoles to relieve it. If the tendon is torn or even torn off, only surgery will help.
7. Foot pain from sensitive soles
Do you have rough skin on the soles of your feet? For now, don’t worry. But if the cornea has tiny black spots that hurt when you pinch on it, it may be a wart. This occurs after an infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) and grows inside the foot.
Solution: Use a wart remover from the pharmacy with 40 percent salicylic acid. A lower concentration is not enough. If the wart persists, see a dermatologist or podiatrist. Nowadays, doctors can do a lot more than freeze the wart: they inject yeast into the lesions, stimulating the immune system to heal the skin from the inside. Wear flip-flops from now on, as swimming pools and changing rooms are real virus hotspots.
Wherever your shoes pinch: take foot problems seriously. The earlier you start with measures such as insoles, gymnastics or targeted care, the faster you will be back on the road without pain.