Your feet bear the brunt of your daily activities more than you know. From walking to running, to bike riding — all of these require strong and healthy feet. However, if you aren't careful, you can end up with one of several foot deformities that cause you a lot more than pain.
At Peninsula Orthopedic Associates, we have a solution for all of your foot issues — no matter how severe. Our skilled team of doctors helps you get to the bottom of your foot problems and find a solution that's suited for you.
What are foot deformities?
Over time, your body goes through many changes. This is no less true about your feet, and it’s not always a good thing. Sometimes the changes in your feet are due to genetics, while at other times they’re brought on by outside factors.
Three-foot deformities that you may experience at some point include:
A hammertoe develops when your tendons and ligaments in your foot tighten, resulting in a curled and contracted toe. The contracture happens in the middle joint of your toe, which can be very painful.
This condition can occur in any of your toes except your big toe. Because your toe is curled, it rubs against your shoe, making the simplest activities almost unbearable.
Bunions are a type of painful foot deformity. They develop when the bone at the base of your first toe pushes against your first metatarsal bone. This causes an irritated, sometimes very painful bump on the outer side of your big toe. Bunions can make wearing shoes almost impossible, due to rubbing and friction.
Corns are another form of foot problem that results in a hard callus either on the top of your toes or between your toes. These are caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Tight shoes or socks
- Pressure on the toes from high heels
- Very loose shoes
- Toes that are crooked or deformed
These problems with your feet can lead to pain and discomfort, making everyday activities difficult. Walking can even become an issue if your deformities get bad enough. Although not all deformities are preventable, there are things you can do to prevent your feet from worsening.
Tips to help prevent foot problems
If you're suffering from any of the above foot conditions, chances are you're uncomfortable and looking for ways to avoid further problems. These deformities usually come on gradually, so there are some things you can do to prevent these conditions from progressing.
If you’re dealing with a hammertoe deformity, steps you can take include:
- Wearing shoes with a wide toe
- Toe exercises
- Orthotic inserts
In severe cases, you may need surgery to rid yourself of this painful condition.
Dealing with bunions can also cause issues, so try these suggestions:
- Keep track of your foot shape
- Exercise your feet
- Wear properly fitted shoes
- Avoid high heels or pointy-toed shoes
Surgery may also be required if your bunion causes you significant pain, or if you’re unable to find properly fitting shoes because of the severity of the deformity. By using these prevention strategies, you’re decreasing your risk of needing surgical intervention.
Although corns may not seem as severe as the other two deformities, they can still prove to be a daily problem. To help prevent this condition, you can apply petroleum jelly to the callus to soften it.
You can also put protective pads over the corn to keep your shoes from rubbing and making it worse. Further, you can cushion the skin between your toes with cotton or moleskin for extra cushion.
Many of these are simple, easy fixes that can save you from years of unwanted pain and discomfort.
To avoid the issues that come with foot deformities, or to get treatment for existing problems, call one of our offices located in Daly City, San Francisco, and Atherton, California. You can also use online booking for an appointment with one of our skilled staff members, or send a message to the team here on our website.