Are your feet ready for Summer?
But if your feet are too hideous for your heels, too scandalous for sandals, or not fit for your flip flops, now's the time to address the issue and get your feet in perfect shape for summer!
Most of us walk between 5,000 - 10,000 steps every day or 75,000 miles in a lifetime, but how many of us really think or address, what happens to our feet on a daily basis?
Don't be embarrassed...bunions are more common than you think! More than 50% of women in the UK suffer from the condition. It is one of the most common foot complaints and is caused when the bone under the first toe becomes displaced. This causes the big toe to shift towards the smaller toes, causing a bony prominence on one side. Over time these two toes can become crossed. Other symptoms can include swelling and redness and tenderness, which may have an impact on your walking.
The condition is more common in women who wear restrictive shoes such as heels or ones with pointy tips. This is because women tend to have looser ligaments than men. Winter shoes exacerbate the problem as the bunions are kept enclosed and this can restrict peoples' physical activity. However the condition is mostly genetic.
Surgery to rectify bunions is not suitable for everyone. A key factor into whether someone may need an operation is the level of pain they are experiencing. Another factor will be if the person has started to develop further foot conditions as a result of this condition.
If surgery is for you, you will need a period of six weeks to recover, and a further six weeks for the swelling to subside. Summer is the ideal time to recuperate following this procedure due to the requirement of wearing open toed shoes post op and sitting with your feet up. Alternative options include sourcing other shoes that do not contribute to this problem. These would be lower styles, which are also wider fitting.
Corns occur at the top of your toes or on the outside of the little toe, which experience the most pressure when wearing ill-fitting shoes. The pressure causes a localised thickening of the skin. They can also occur under your foot and in between your toes. They usually develop a root and can become very tender, especially when combined with swelling, which increases the pressure felt.
Corns can also be caused by hammering/clawing of the smaller toes and can be more prevalent in people with thinner skin, bony or deformed toes/feet, and in people who stand up all day.
Treatments range from plasters, to the callous being removed by a podiatrist, and in some cases, can be rectified through an operation when it is a reoccurring problem caused by foot or toe abnormalities. The procedure to re align the toe & to prevent reoccurrence is simple, with a recovery time of three to four weeks.
Toenails bear the brunt of your daily activities including running, walking and sport. The symptoms usually include swelling, redness, infection and the toe can become very painful. Sometimes a bump to the toe can change the contours of the nail leading it to become ingrown. Bunions can also result in this as the big toe puts pressure on the adjacent toe.
An ingrown toenail is defined by skin growing over the edge of the nail; this can be on one or both edges. Alternatively the nail can grow directly into the skin and either can result in infection which must be looked at by a professional as soon as possible. They will be able to determine whether or not any underlying problems could be causing the condition, such as an outgrowth of bone beneath the nail, or excess surrounding tissue.
As always, proper nail care is a must, and wearing well-fitting shoes will keep your toes in tip top condition.
The London Clinic offers Podiatry assessment and treatment for a variety of foot related conditions. These include foot health checks in diabetes, treatment of ulceration, foot pain and other conditions of the foot and lower limb. www.thelondonclinic.co.uk