Common problems

Newcastle Family and Sports Podiatry 11

You may suffer foot pain due to relatively simple conditions. Treatment of common but painful foot ailments generally brings relief almost immediately, although they may require regular maintenance.

Conditions can include:

  • Nail conditions - ingrown nails, nail deformity, thickened nail, damaged nail or nail infection
  • Skin lesions – corns, callus, warts, ulceration, acute injury, tinea
  • Foot pain – the varied forms of arthritis, heel pain, bunions, toe deformities, nerve entrapments
  • Ankle pain – sprains, strains, injuries
  • Lower limb problems – knee, hip and back
  • Pre and post surgical assessment and management
  • Diabetes foot assessment and care
  • Footwear assessment and advice

 

Chronic problems such as arthritis can often be relieved simply through advice on correct footwear combined with in-shoe devices to remove pressure from painful areas.

Knee pain

The knee is reported to be the most commonly injured joint in the body.
Whether caused by a direct trauma or long term biomechanical overload, accurate assessment and diagnosis are imperative. Your knee may respond to straightforward care or require a specialist opinion. Your feet can be intricately involved in you knee injury. Often stabilising or aligning your foot posture as well as movement and strengthening exercises are required to treat knee pain.

Hip pain

The hip is a complex joint and has an important role in the function of your entire leg. Therefore simply treating your hip may not solve your hip pain. Damage to the hip joint can often also cause knee or groin pain. So in treating your hip pain it is important to maintain a holistic view. The movement in your hip can also be controlled and stabilised by using the correct prescription orthoses.

Low back pain

As this area is the base of your nerve supply to your lower limbs, injury to the low back can cause symptoms right down to your foot. In general almost everyone will experience low back pain at some stage that will interfere with work, sport or daily activities. Causes can vary widely, for instance any abnormality in your feet can cause a cascade of muscle tightness and joint changes up the leg. This then may cause the joints in the low back (the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints) to move abnormally and begin a snowball of secondary chain of events leading to some low back pain. Treatment may be as simple correct footwear advice or taping, bracing and prescription orthoses.

Heel Pain

One of the most common conditions treated by a podiatrist, heel pain is often a message from the body that something is in need of medical attention.

Causes

  • The greatest incidences of heel pain occur in middle-age, in those who take part in regular sporting activities and in people who are overweight. It may also occur in children due to sporting activity.
  • High arches, flat arches or feet that roll in too much are causes of heel pain.
  • Stress on the heel may also result from injury, or a bruise incurred while walking, running or jumping on hard surfaces.

 

Heel spurs

This is a bony growth under the heel bone. There are no visible features on the heel, but a deep painful spot can be found in or around the middle of the sole of the heel

Plantar faciitis

Both heel pain and heel spurs are frequently associated with an inflammation of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot. The inflammation of this arch area is called plantar faciitis.

If you have pain and or other symptoms of inflammation – redness or swelling, you should seek advice from your podiatrist.

Early treatment may involve a biomechanical examination and orthotics, shoe recommendations or taping or strapping.

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