Many people are unfortunately born with, or develop deformities, in some part of their body and a high percentage of these can be foot deformity.
Foot deformities, unlike other body deformities, can be life changing and affect everyday life due to the fact we use our feet all the time in every aspect of our lives.
There are many different causes regarding food deformities, some which are preventable while others you could be born with or develop over your lifetime due to your genetics or lifestyle. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes below.
Bunions are one of the most common causes of foot deformities especially in females. Bunions are when on the side of feet bony lumps are formed which causes pain to the feet.
The lumps can form anywhere on the foot but generally appear on the side of the big toe which can also cause the big toe to point in a slightly different direction, towards the other smaller toes.
Bunions are often caused from footwear that is too tight, which results in the foot and toes being squeezed tightly together. Wearing such footwear for prolonged periods can over time cause bunions to develop. This is why it is so important to wear appropriate footwear that fits comfortably.
Women can often develop bunions due to wearing very pointy style shoes, which often squeezes the toes closer together than they should be.
Surgery is often the only way to really fix the problem of bunions but also wearing comfortable shoes or using insoles to support the foot can help with the pain.
Claw toe is another common foot deformity in where your toes bend downwards much like a bird’s foot where their toes arch and point downwards which means they are digging downwards on your feet which can cause sore calluses and achy feet.
Generally with claw toes it mainly only affects the smaller toes not the big ones and if left untreated can become a permanent condition.
Although you can be born with the problem of claw toes it normally develops later in life by nerve issues in the legs or your spine. Many times the actual cause for claw toe is unknown.
Claw toes can be straightened if you have what is called a flexible claw toe by just using your hands to stretch them back into place. However if you have what is called rigid claw toe surgery is likely to be needed using experts such as Essex Union Podiatry.
Hammer toes are often confused with claw toes but it is a slightly different foot deformity. Hammer toe much like bunions is mainly caused by wearing very tight and undersized uncomfortable shoes too often.
Hammer toes can develop in any of the toes where they develop a bend in the middle joint between the top and bottom part of the toe which causes the tip of the toe to turn downwards making it look like a hammer, hence the name hammer toe.
Luckily the hammer toe is easily reversed with some simple methods including splinting the toe to straighten it back out which helps stretch the tendons back into their original place. Also using pads, straps and cushions on the area can also help with the discomfort.
It’s important to treat hammer toe early as soon as you start to see or feel the symptoms as if left untreated for too long can mean surgery is the only way to properly fix the problem.
Mallet toe can also be confused with hammer toe as they are quite similar. With the mallet toe the joint at the end of the toe can buckle which can be extremely painful. It often happens to the second toe due to that toe normally being the longest.
Often this will result in inflammation in the area as well as calluses developing. Again much like all the above foot deformities mallet toe is often the result of wearing shoes that are too tight causing the toes to squeeze together.
Surgery is sometimes needed to fix mallet toe, but surgery can be avoided if mallet toe is spotted early. Doing simple stretches out the toe alongside wearing a cushioned pad over the toe, especially when wearing outside footwear. And as always it’s important to wear footwear that is comfortable and roomy, giving your toes the space they need.
Tarsal coalition is a deformity that generally happens when a child is still growing. It’s normally an inherited condition in which the toes as the body is growing fuse together, particularly the upper part of the toes.
Although more times that not tarsal coalition is caused by genetics and being hereditary it sometimes can develop due to arthritis, infections or a prior foot or toe injury.
Tarsal coalition is not a common problem and is quite rare, often also painless with no painful symptoms with those born with the condition.
Surgery is normally the only method of fixing this foot deformity with the most common procedure being called resection.
With resection the aim is to remove the coalition replacing it with fatty tissues of muscle from another part of the body. This procedure is the most preferred as if successful it helps preserve the complete foot motion.
Tips To Help Keep Your Feet In Good Condition
Unfortunately most of us neglect our feet even though we use them all the time in our daily life. Without them being in good condition would affect everything we do so looking after your feet really should be one of your top priorities.
Always wash and keep your feet clean, it can be very easy for fungus and germs to develop on your feet should you not keep them clean. Making sure that they are also bone dry after cleaning them is also just as important.
Moisturise your feet with good quality cream to help keep the skin in good condition. And finally always find time to rest your feet, raising them to help with bloody circulation.