Thursday, 30 May 2013

Foot Care Advice For Heel Pain

Foot pain is a problem that almost everyone suffers from at some stage in their life. The severity of the pain will vary from case to case and will also depend on the cause of the problem. Among the most common causes and symptoms are:
  • Stress fractures – these are especially common among athletes or those who place a lot of stress on their feet for long periods of time.
  • Achilles tendonitis and retro calcaneal bursitis - can cause pain at the back of the foot instead of the more common location of under it.
  • Plantar Fasciitis –This is among the most common causes of foot pain and is the result of irritation to and inflammation of the tissues that is located at the arch of the foot.
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – This refers to the pinching of the large nerve at the back of the foot leading to severe foot and heel pain. Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the hand, this too is often caused by constant repetitive actions.
Care Options
There are many other causes of heel pain and the foot care advised and treatment options available will depend on the specific cause of the pain. However, there are some general options available that help in most cases. If trying any of the following procedures results in increased pain or unwanted side effects, they should be discontinued immediately.
  • Rest is among the most important of things you can do. Resting the foot allows for damaged nerves, muscles and tendons to heal and once they do so, the pain may be a thing of the past. However, a limited amount of stretching of the feet and calves will help to keep the foot flexible.
  • Over the counter painkillers can provide immediate relief from heel and foot pain. But they should not be used for an extended period of time. If the over the counter medications are not effective, a doctor should be consulted so that a prescription for a more powerful painkiller may be given.
  • Ice packs can help to reduce foot pain and are very effective if the amount of pain has suddenly increased for any reason.
  • Check with your doctor or podiatrist to see if you are wearing the right kind of shoes. For example, many people with heel pain think that wearing flat soled shoes without heels will ease their pain. This is not so. The shoe should have a heel to provide support for the heel of the foot.
  • Shoes with extra cushioning can help reduce the pressure on the foot and the amount of heel and foot pain.
  • Orthoses are specially designed insoles that are placed inside the shoes to increase support for the feet and lower the pressure on the heels allowing them to recover and the pain to reduce. For people with abnormal foot shape or structure, custom made orthoses are available.
  • Using sports strapping to provide extra support of the heel is another way to reduce the pain.
  • A podiatrist may recommend the use of Night Splints to help with heel pain. Most people sleep with their toes pointing down which squeezes the tissue of the feet and increases pain. The splints keep the feet pointing up while you are asleep and reduces the stress on the tissue and the pain and also speeds up recovery.
  • If nothing helps with the heel pain, then a doctor may recommend Corticosteroid Injections. Corticosteroids which have a very strong anti-inflammatory effect work to offer immediate relief. But because of the side effects these are used very sparingly.
  • And finally, if no other foot care options alleviate foot and heel pain, surgery is often the best solution, if the cause to the pain warrants it.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Treatment Options For Sweaty Feet

Sweating is a natural process and the way the body keeps itself cool. Each foot has over 250,000 sweat glands and between them the feet can produce up to a pint of sweat in a day. The amount of sweat will depend on the climatic conditions and the type of footwear being worn. Many people who think they suffer from sweaty feet or hyperhidrosis are actually only being subjected to climate related normal sweating. However, hyperhidrosis can be a major health issue and the possibility of suffering from it should not be ignored.

The Symptoms OF Sweaty Feet
Among the most common symptoms of sweaty feet are:
  • A bad odor emanating from the feet
  • Itchiness of the feet
  • Toenail fungus
  • Athlete’s Foot
  • The development of other skin problems on the feet
  • Socks and shoes are often damp, if not wet with perspiration
  • A general feeling of clamminess in the feet that may fade for short periods of time but always returns.
The Causes of Sweaty Feet
There are many reasons why a person may suffer from sweaty feet. Emotional stress and physical activity are among the most common reasons. Genetics and heredity are also often seen causes. Toxicity in the body due to excessive alcohol intake, smoking and eating the wrong type of foods can also cause excessive sweating of the feet. Using the wrong type of socks – those that do not absorb sweat and restrict air flow over the feet - is often the cause of sweaty feet.

Some experts now believe that sweaty feet can be caused by problems with the nervous system, but the jury is still out on this.

Treating Sweaty Feet
Even though a few small changes to footwear can help to treat the problem, if it affects the quality of your life it is advisable to consult a podiatrist who will be able to advise the best combination of treatment options to offer an effective and long term solution to the problem.
  • The first thing to be considered is a change in the type of footwear used and the socks worn.
  • An increase in the frequency at which the feet are washed often helps to reduce the severity of the problem.
  • A podiatrist may advise that foot powders or ointments that help to control sweating be used.
  • In more severe cases, the use of a topical antiperspirant is recommended.
  • Some doctors and podiatrists recommend the use of Botox to relieve the problem of sweaty feet. When Botox is injected into the feet it stops the signals that are sent to the sweat glands from the nerves so that the production of sweat is stopped and the feet remain dry.
Preventing Sweaty Feet
There are many simple commonsense things you can try for yourself to combat a sweaty feet problem.
  • Wear shoes that allow your feet to breath. The air that circulates in the shoes helps to dry up perspiration.
  • Dry your feet thoroughly after bathing and whenever they become wet – damp feet will sweat more than dry ones. If need be use a hair dryer to ensure that the feet, especially the area between the toes, is dry.
  • Wear cotton socks that allow the feet to breathe rather than synthetic ones.
  • Wash your feet frequently.
  • Ensure that your shoes are clean and dry – inside and out – before putting them on.
  • If your shoes tend to become damp quickly, keep another pair of shoes handy so you can switch to those while the first pair dries out.
  • Change your socks frequently and as soon as you feel them to be getting damp.
  • Use anti-fungal foot powders and sprays.
  • Apply antiperspirant to the soles of your feet.
If none of these options help to control the problem of sweaty feet, then it is a good idea to consult a doctor who will be able to advise other ways of bringing the problem under control.