Kicking foot pain to the curb

Whether you are a fashionista, athlete, waitress or industry worker, foot pain can be a big problem for anyone.  We look at the most common causes of foot pain and how to treat it.

Every day, our feet take a pounding. Podiatrist, Dr. Vernon Garber with Garber Foot and Ankle Center, says your whole foot is susceptible to conditions that can stop you in your tracks.

First up: bunions.  "A bunion is an enlargement of both the soft tissue and bone near the big toe joint," said Dr. Garber, "it can cause pain when the shoe rubs up against the area."

Bunions go hand-in-hand with high heels and heredity. Severe cases need surgery, but oftentimes the right shoe can fix it.  "From the vertical height of the shoe and the full foot as well as the width," said Dr. Garber, "and that you don't have a lot of impingement, because that can cause a lot of problems."

Ill-fitting shoes are also to blame for corns: pressure points on the tops and sides of toes. Corn pads can help them heal, but not if it is too advanced.  "If there is a worry about infection or if a corn is consistently painful, then I would seek medical advice," said Dr. Garber.

Now calluses: age and shoe wear are the triggers for these and medication helps avoid infection if there is a break in the skin.  "With proper shoe wear, proper support, occasionally anti-inflammatory medicine and also steroid injections are used in moderation," said Dr. Garber.

High heels are okay in moderation, but if you are wearing high heels frequently with a small toe box, foot pain could follow.  "If you're wearing it all day long for months and years on end, the foot can adapt to that position and have less motion available in the muscles and joints of the foot," said Dr. Garber.

Physicists have even come up with a formula for shoe height: 12+3x shoes size/8! If you want to avoid the math and the foot pain, picking a solidly constructed, cushioned shoe that conforms to your feet should keep you pain-free.

If you are shopping for a new pair of shoes, Dr. Garber says to try on multiple pairs in different sizes. Oftentimes, the sizes listed for shoes are not accurate for your actual foot length and width.

Copyright KPLC 2013.  All rights reserved.