Using your feet is as natural as breathing, and the truth is, you typically don’t stop and examine your feet until you feel some form of pain or discomfort. Foot ailments may be due to overuse, fatigue, soreness, and, sometimes even foot deformities.
Foot deformities might be negligible but they can affect your mobility, balance, and comfort. If left untreated, your daily life might even be affected. To properly identify foot deformities, here are some facts you should know:
High Arched Foot or Pes Cavus
About 20% of the population have high arches. This deformity makes the foot rigid, leading to pain and discomfort when standing, walking, and running. It can be inherited or caused by a medical condition such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, polio, and stroke.
To alleviate foot pain and discomfort caused by high arches, you can wear high arch shoes and use foot cushions, shoe inserts, and footpads.
Flat Foot or Pes Planus
This condition is the complete opposite of high arches and is characterized by an abnormally low or flattened arch. Pes planus is more common than pes cavus, affecting around 46% of people.
Flat foot or pes planus can either be inherited or caused by medical conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Foot pain usually manifests at the inside bottom of your foot and heel.
To the manage pain and soreness caused by flat feet, you can apply an ice pack at the bottom of your foot and do some stretching exercises. You can also wear orthotic devices or wear shoe insoles to ease your discomfort.
Clubfoot or Talipes Equinovarus
Clubfoot, or medically known as talipes equinovarus, is a common birth defect that occurs in 1 in every 1,000 births wherein one or both feet are rotated inwards or downwards. This deformity is more common among males than females.
The cause of clubfoot is unknown but genetics and environmental factors are known risk factors. The deformity can be treated as early as infancy using a nonsurgical method called the Ponseti method. To gradually correct the deformity, this method gently stretches the feet and puts them in a cast.
Bunion or Hallux Valgus
A bunion is a bony prominence in the joint that connects your big toe to your foot, causing your big toe to lean toward the toe next to it. This foot deformity commonly affects women.
A bunion makes running and walking a painful experience, especially when wearing closed shoes. The exact cause of a bunion is unknown but genetics and obesity are some of the risk factors.
To manage the pain and discomfort, you can wear a bunion corrector that helps to align your big toe temporarily. Women should also avoid wearing high heels with pointy toes. Inserting gel pads in your shoes can also help alleviate the pain.
Your feet are important for your mobility but foot-related ailments are oftentimes overlooked. Although these foot deformities are not life-threatening, they can still have an impact on your daily life. If the symptoms aren’t relieved by home remedies, consult a podiatrist for further assessment and treatment.