Wednesday, 30 January 2019

It Is All About Flat Foot: Symptoms, Reasons, Types and Treatments:


Flat foot is a deformity in the feet because of which individuals end up being unique from the usual frame of the human being. Usually, people have feet with a minute arch that empowers them to stand and run well. The arch benefits in even distribution of the body weight on the feet and limits the stress on the feet. An arch on the feet also improves the balance of the body. In people who have a flat foot, there is either no arch or an extremely flat one that isolates them from the ground. The deformity of arches in a human being can be observed either in one or both the feet.

In toddlers, flat foot is common, and it vanishes with time. At the age of 2 to 3, the body frame of the infant develops, and the tendons of the legs tighten but at times it can remain till adulthood.

Due to flat foot, the foot points outwards and affects the entire sole which touches the surface. It can be uncomfortable when you do extensive physical movements. The flat feet can sometimes add to the issues with the knees or ankles because this deformity can alter the arrangement of the limbs.


Most of the time, individuals with flat foot do not witness any indications or symptoms of having a deformity. But some people suffer severe pain in their foot, ankle or knees, especially near their heels. This painful experience gets worse with time if not handled properly. Swelling around the ankle area may also take place.

When to approach a specialist?

The moment when an individual with a flat foot suffers pain in the foot, the area around the heels, ankles or knees, he must consult a specialist.

Reasons for flat foot:
  • Ancestry or heredity, means passed from their parents.
  • Due to any dysfunction, damage, rupture or injury to the ankle or feet.
  • Flat or weak foot can also be caused by joint inflammation or nervous system diseases.
  • Weight gained during the time of pregnancy may sometimes cause low or no arches.


Types of flat foot:

In general, flat foot is of two types: Flexible flat foot and rigid flat foot.

How to figure out whether you are suffering from a flexible or rigid flat foot?

A person having a flexible flat foot can observe the arch in his/her foot in resting position (not while standing or walking). The arch disappears the moment when the foot comes into contact with the surface. While in rigid flat foot, there is no arch in the foot irrespective of the person being in rest or motion.

The flexible flat foot is found in infants whereas the rigid flat foot is seen in adults. The flexible or pediatric flat foot appears in both the feet. But the rigid or true flat foot emerges in either one or both feet.

Treatment of fallen arches:

Foot support:

To heal flat foot difficulty, one can choose the simplest method of offering support to the feet. A podiatrist or any regular specialist can be consulted for using orthotics. Orthotics are embeddings that fit inside your footwear and give support to your feet. 

For toddlers, until the feet are fully developed, special shoes or heel cups are recommended by the doctors.

Foot surgery:

The extreme option that one can opt for handling a fallen arch is a foot surgery. A surgery is performed when the problem is acute. Through this surgery, the orthopedic surgeon creates an arch in the fallen arch area. This surgery also helps in repairing ligaments and fusing the bones or joints. If in case the Achilles tendons of a person are short then, the surgeon can extend tendons to suppress the pain.

Changing the lifestyle:

The most natural way of curing something is to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. Some major or minute changes in your daily schedule like a proper diet or some exercises will help a lot. An exercise plan may help you in losing your weight and eventually limiting the pressure on the feet. Sometimes, the doctors recommend not to stand or walk for prolonged intervals.

Proper medication:

Swelling and pain around the heel areas are common for a flat foot.To reduce the pain and discomfort from swelling, the specialists might recommend medication. Timely intake of medications can give you quick relief.  

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Tips for treating children's feet

When taking care of children, feet are usually the most neglected. It is very important that you pay extra attention to this part of your child’s body from the very day they are born.  Here are a few tips that will ensure healthy development of your child’s feet.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay
  1. Inspect the new born’s feet every now and then: always lookout for things that seem unusual. Health issues you may notice may not always go away on their own. Early treatment will help in correcting abnormalities, including, club foot, and other congenital conditions. Casting of the club foot in just a few days of the child’s birth may prevent surgery.
  2. Cover your baby’s feet lightly. Covers that are tight might make it hard for the baby to move freely and may even restrict normal development. Moving and kicking the feet and legs around will assist in strengthening the muscles. Activity gyms may also help babies strengthen their feet.
  3. Walking shoeless. When children first begin to walk, walking with no shoes indoors is extremely beneficial for normal development. Walking without shoes or wearing only socks helps in strengthening the foot muscles and helps in developing the toe’s grasping action. Moreover, the little walker can enjoy the feeling of various surfaces such as, lush carpets or cool flooring under their feet.
  4. Watch out for any toe-walking. While it is normal for children to walk on their toes especially when they first start to walk, however, in case the child walks only on the toes even after reaching age 2, it is best to talk to your pediatrician or podiatrist. Walking on toes could be a consequence of muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or other nervous system issues.
  5. Always cut the toenails straight. Cutting the nails straight across will prevent ingrown toenails. Some indications of ingrown toenails include swelling, redness and pain. In case an ingrown toenail erupts, you can ease the pain by placing cotton in-between the ingrown toenail and skin. After this, head to your podiatrist or pediatrician. An in-office treatment can fix the issue safely.
  6. Keep the feet dry and clean. Preventing fungal and bacterial infections starts by maintaining good hygiene. Wash the feet thoroughly at bath time. After this, make sure you dry them properly between the toes for preventing athlete’s foot.
  7. Buy shoes that fit well. Make sure you have the child with you when buying shoes for them. It is important to measure the child’s feet every time, as the feet grow quickly. Shoes that are too tight may lead to corns, blisters, calluses, or even infected ingrown toenails. In case your little one is taking their shoes off constantly, it is a red flag.
  8. Preventing injuries to the foot. Walking on a dirty surface outdoors with no footwear on may expose the child’s feet to cuts, injuries and splinters. Another issue is plantar warts, a problem which is caused by a virus that invades the foot’s sole through breaks or cuts inside the skin. Wearing proper shoes when on dirty pavement can help prevent this issue.
As your children grow up, make sure you explain to them why good hygiene is so important and show them how to take care of the feet to ensure a lifetime of good health.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Plantar Fasciitis

Imagine you wake up in the morning, and the moment you step down from your bed, your ankle area up to the heel aches or when you suddenly stand up after sitting for too long , and  as you take steps, you feel an excruciating pain in your heel area.

This excruciating pain occurs due to Plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common soft-tissue disorders of the foot.

It is a web-like ligament that connects your toes to your heel. It supports the arch of your foot in the same way a bowstring holds a bow, and helps you walk, jog, or run.

In simple words, it is a rubber band like structure which constantly stretches in and  out as you walk, jog, or run.

And that actually brings us to know about -

What causes it?

Primarily, Plantar fasciitis can be found among the young and middle-aged people. From athletes to non-athletes, it is a very common cause of pain at the bottom of the heel.

Imagine you have a rubber band and you hold it with both hands with the help of your index fingers and the thumbs, and you start stretching it constantly .As you continue to stretch it, you will notice that the rubber band  starts to lose its elasticity that it had previously. When you still continue to stretch it at a faster pace, it will eventually divide into two parts.

That is exactly what happens with Plantar fasciitis.

Normally, this ligament act as a shock absorber. It absorbs the normal erosion due to our daily life. However, when we walk for too long or run more than needed, more pressure is applied on the shock-absorber or Plantar fascia. This excess pressure causes the web-like structure to lose its grip and it starts to tear apart. This damage causes the plantar fascia to become inflamed, resulting in excruciating pain and stiffness.

Below are some possible reasons as to what causes Plantar fasciitis:
  • Too much walking or running for long distances.
  • Walking on any uneven surface for too long.
  • Overweight is the major cause. This puts more pressure on the heel.
  • Women who are in their last month of pregnancy normally experience a sharp pain in their heels as they walk around. 
When we wake up in the morning and step down from the bed and start to walk, the first step we take is painful. However, how does one know whether it is a tissue disorder or a mere pain?

That precisely takes us through to know:

What are the symptoms of Plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis starts the same way as any other pain. A major indication is a dull pain which is mostly experienced in the first few steps one takes while waking up for the day and gradually reduces with more steps. Due to stiffness in the heel, one might feel the pain while climbing up the stairs or standing up after being seated for a long time.

This is the primary indication that your foot might be suffering from Plantar fasciitis. Ignoring this dull pain at the start can cause the ligament to swell and flare up the pain.It can affect both the feet or even one foot. Largely, the pain actually starts suddenly after any activity is stopped and not during the activity.

Below are some common symptoms:
  • Pain in the heel or the mid area under the foot.
  • Pain after running too long on the treadmill or after any exercise that includes putting pressure on the feet.
  •  Pain in the heel area after getting out of bed in the morning or after a long period of rest, such as after a long car ride. However, the pain eases out after a few minutes of walking.
  • Thus, in a nutshell, Plantar fasciitis is caused due to working for too long with your feet. The good news is that it can be prevented. If the pain worsens or prolongs, one should immediately seek medical advice.
Below are some ways you can prevent Plantar fasciitis:
  • Avoid walking too much or causing strain to your foot muscles.
  • Prevent yourself from walking on any uneven surface. Use shoes/slippers with soft sole/foam.
  • Do not wear tight shoes that can cause your foot to shrink inside the shoe. This will cause pain when you remove them and try to walk.
  • Soak your feet in warm water. This will relax the muscles.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

5 Tips To Keep Your Feet Healthy and Happy in Winter

Though the winter season brings with it a festive cheer, it also has its fair share of hazardous situations. During the colder months, we often seem to neglect proper foot care, which triggers unique challenges. Just because your feet remain hidden in the pair of boots it does not mean you should be ignorant about them in winter. While protecting them from the freezing temperatures is important, adequate foot care too should not be ignored. Here are our top five tips to maintain your foot health during the cold season.

Image Courtesy : Pixabay

Wear waterproof shoes/boots and thick warm socks when out in the snow

In winter, snow creates a very slippery and wet environment that can lead to thermal and traumatic injuries. So, it is always advisable to wear waterproof boots/shoes with thick warm socks. It is equally important to keep an extra set of socks handy, if possible, to delay the onset of frostbite. Though depending on wind speed and temperature, frostbite may take its own time to appear, being affected by it would lead to skin discoloration, pain, wounds, nerve damage etc. So, it pays to be better equipped to avoid falling prey to falls, injuries, and frostbites.

      2. Limit exposure to below-freezing temperatures

If you are a sufferer of neuropathy or diabetes, it is always advisable to avoid frigid temperatures. Due to the lack of sensation triggered by neuropathy, you will not be able to properly sense whether the skin of the feet is safe. If you have to go outside in the snow, make sure that you are appropriately dressed with waterproof, closed-toed shoes and warm, thick socks. And once you are back from the frigid temperature, check your feet immediately for any changes. Contact your doctor right away if you see any cause for concern.

      3. Keep your feet adequately moisturized

During the colder months, skin tends to crack and get dry. Apart from being painful, skin cracks can let the cold in. So, keeping your feet well-moisturized is particularly important to keep yourself warmer. When moisturizing your feet, begin with the toes and move upwards to your heel. Remember to apply a moisturizing cream or lotion on your feet as part of your daily foot care routine if your feet tend to become dry in winter.

      4.  Give your feet a massage at the end of the day

Massage some cream into your feet to stimulate circulation and get relief from dry skin. This will not only warm up the feet but also have them feeling and looking nurtured during the season. Apart from helping your feet relax, a good massage would let you have a good look at the feet to notice any hazards (cuts and nicks, blisters, corns, scratches etc) that might have been overlooked.

      5.  Learn to listen to your feet

Your feet should not hurt all the time or be discolored, swollen, or develop blisters or calluses regardless of what you try. If you notice anything like these that are causing foot or ankle discomfort, you should let your podiatrist have a look, to get the condition diagnosed and start the right treatment without any delay.

Final words

Take care of your feet this winter using the tips above and it would surely lead to less work when the spring season finally arrives. In case you experience any issues with your feet, it is best to seek advice from your podiatrist instead of playing the doctor yourself and popping in, out-of-the-counter medications.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

All You Need To Know About Debilitating Arthritis

When joint pain is no more an unfamiliar term to you, when your immune system is showing no mercy on your joints, you have sent an invite to a serious health condition. Arthritis is an extensive term that envelopes over a hundred diseases. It has a lot of things to play with your joints, especially the connection points. Your knees, wrists, fingers or hips are no more going to be stable. But there are other types of arthritis that can have an impact on the connective tissues which could even affect your skin.

Image Courtesy : Pexels
Arthritis can create myriads of symptoms and weaken the ability of a person to perform day to day tasks. Physical exercise can have a good effect on arthritis and can improve the function of the joints as well as the mental health.

External injury, infections, incorrect metabolic activities, dysfunction of immune systems are also the list of the factors that are involved in developing arthritis.

Treatment for arthritis is aimed at controlling the intensity of the pain, improvise the physical health, reduce damages in joints and rejuvenate tissues. Also it requires medications, therapies,  patient awareness and support from peers.

About 1 in 5 people have some form of this health condition. As you age, there are more chances of becoming vulnerable to arthritis.

Symptoms and causes:

If your joints are aching intermittently and if you have the following symptoms jotted down in your prescription list ,then arthritis is no longer away from you.

     You will have: One or more swollen joints with stiffness.

     Softness in joints : Joints that welcome warmth

     Movement restrictions

     Red spots appearance in joints

     Problems in performing mundane activities.

These symptoms might be constant or could be changing every time. The severity of the symptoms range from benign to severe. Malignant cases will result in immutable joint damage.

With various form of arthritis, there always arises an ambiguity when it comes to the causative agents. There occurs a sequence of events that rushes you to grab a strip of painkiller or an ice pack.

Pain is inevitable and it is never a happy process. But on the other side, pain happens to be a significant signal that creates a caution to our bodies indicating that there is something incorrect. 

When you are injured by arthritis, here, an injury occurs at your joints, and the pain is sensed initially. The blemished tissues release chemical compounds that cautions the neighbouring sensory nerves. These are the important nerves that ship the message up through the spinal cord to your brain. Your brain starts processing this message and transports a signal to your motor nerves in order to perform a response action. This is why when you cut your finger while chopping vegetables or you touch a burning pan, a reflex action occurs thereby making you to drag your hand away before you make damages.

Factors that cause arthritis:
  • Your joints tend to wither down as you get older.
  • Most types of arthritis are more predominantly encountered in women.
  • Microbial infections caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses trigger the joints with inflammation. 
  • When your knees are prone to work hard, when you do a whole lot of squats and bends, you are likely to be attacked by osteoarthritis. 
  • Holding additional pounds can also make arthritis worsen its condition.
  • Genes also play an important factor in injecting arthritis. The conditions like rheumatoid arthritis have their linkages to specific genes. 
  • Most types of arthritis are accompanied by aggregated list of factors, but there is no exact cause for some and they appear to be erratic.
  • Other factors include history of injuries or infections, drinking and chain smoking. 
  • A balanced diet can play an important role in curing arthritis 
  • Food also remains a causative agent for inflammation, especially those derived from animals and diets that are enriched in carbohydrates can worsen the symptoms.

Types of Arthritis:

 Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition. It happens to occur in case of deficiency in the immune system. This is a dreadful disease in which the immune system damages the tissues by itself. Several joints of the body are impaired simultaneously. It is likely to attack the insulating layers that cover the joints and creates dysfunctions.

Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are prone to encounter stiffness, swelling and redness of the joint lining which would probably result in damage of the joints. This in turn caters to deformation accompanied by typical loss of functionalities. This might affect hands and feet as well.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

As the name implies, the target audience of this category are probably the children. This affects the joints and causes tenderness of the bones leading to stiffness, malfunctions, inflammation and discomfort in the joints. This will create an impact on the children under sixteen years of age. But unlike the rheumatoid arthritis, this disorder is not chronic in nature. Children may outgrow this as it does not last for lifetime. In addition to this, fevers, rashes and itches may occur and influence different parts of the body.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is commonly found in majority of the people. It focuses primarily on the cartilaginous joints. This builds a cushion around the joint thereby constricting the end of the bones into it. This is a slow process and initial stage symptoms are not alarming .When the cartilage in the bones erode gradually, wearing down of the tissue happens. It becomes severe after days of abrasion. As a result of the erosion, irresistible pain and stiffness aggravate and attack the joints.

Psoriatic arthropathy

Psoriatic arthropathy is again an immunity deficient phenomenon that yields pain and inflammation as the outcomes. The ligaments and tendons become vulnerable producing arthritis and psoriasis.


An aching syndrome that has intrinsic effects is the condition called Fibromyalgia. Pain, stiffness, and localized fragile areas are seen on various tendons and muscles, especially in the regions like neck, hips, shoulders and spine. To add on, this also creates sleep apnea and fatigue conditions.


This is a  form of arthritis in which the urate crystals are accumulated or deposited in the joint cavity and soft tissues, producing severe pain and soreness. The most affected part is the big toe, but there are chances for other junctures to be inflamed as well.