Q. What groups of people are most prone to foot problems?

A. Typically people who spend a lot of time on their feet standing, walking or taking part in sporting activity will be most prone to foot pain which is what you would expect.

Certain groups of people such as Hairdressers, Doctors and Nurses will also be more prone. The more pressure placed on them over extended periods will exacerbate problems. The problems are also seriously increased by wearing incorrect or poorly fitting footwear. And unfortunately foot problems do typically increase as we get older.

Q. What common problems can walking or standing for long periods of time cause?
A. The list is quite long unfortunately. It includes: Arch pain, Tendonitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Heel spurs, Plantar fasciitis, Morton's Neuroma and more.

Achilles tendonitis causes inflammation and degeneration of the achilles tendon. The achilles tendon is the large tendon located in the back of the leg that inserts into the heel. The pain caused by achilles tendonitis can develop gradually without a history of trauma. The pain can be a shooting pain, burning pain, or even an extremely piercing pain. Achilles tendonitis should not be left untreated due to the danger that the tendon can become weak and ruptured.

Achilles Tendonitis is aggravated by activities that repeatedly stress the tendon, causing inflammation. In some cases even prolonged periods of standing can cause symptoms. It is a common problem often experienced by athletes, particularly distance runners. Achilles Tendonitis is a difficult injury to treat in athletes due to their high level of activity and reluctance to stop or slow down their training.

Individuals who suffer from achilles tendonitis often complain that their first steps out of bed in the morning are extremely painful. Another common complaint is pain after steps are taken after long periods of sitting. This pain often lessens with activity.

Heel Spurs
The heel bone is the largest bone in the foot and absorbs the most amount of shock and pressure. A heel spur develops as an abnormal growth of the heel bone. Calcium deposits form when the plantar fascia pulls away from the heel area, causing a bony protrusion, or heel spur to develop. The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue located along the bottom surface of the foot that runs from the heel to the forefoot. Heel spurs can cause extreme pain in the rearfoot, especially while standing or walking.

Heel spurs develop as an abnormal growth in the heel bone due to calcium deposits that form when the plantar fascia pulls away from the heel. This stretching of the plantar fascia is usually the result of (flat feet), but people with unusually high arches can also develop heel spurs. Women have a significantly higher incidence of heel spurs due to the types of footwear often worn on a regular basis.

Plantar fasciitis,
Excessive stretching of the plantar fascia, a broad band of fibrous tissue which runs along the bottom of the surface of the foot from heel bone to forefoot. Plantar Fasciitis often leads to heel pain, heel spurs, and/or arch pain. The excessive stretching of the plantar fascia that leads to the inflammation and discomfort can be caused by the following:

(flat feet) which results in the arch collapsing upon weight bearing.
A foot with an unusually high arch.
A sudden increase in physical activity
Excessive weight on the foot, usually attributed to obesity or pregnancy.
Improperly fitting footwear.

Morton's Neuroma is a common foot problem associated with pain, swelling and/or an inflammation of a nerve, usually at the ball-of-the-foot between the 3rd and 4th toes. Symptoms of this condition include sharp pain, burning, and even a lack of feeling in the affected area. Morton's Neuroma may also cause numbness, tingling, or cramping in the forefoot.

Q. What steps can people take to ease these problems or avoid them in the first place?

A. Firstly by wearing good fitting and comfortable footwear that offers good support to the foot. Secondly by using orthotic devices or inserting our new Gel Doctor liquid gel insoles. The liquid gel insoles are extremely comfortable to wear and the liquid gel moves around literally massaging the foot and by doing so stimulates blood and oxygen flow. Blood and oxygen flow are the body's natural healing mechanism. The flow delivers nutrients around the body so its essential to keep circulation at best possible levels.

Q. How else can people keep their feet in tip-top condition?

A. Apart from wearing the correct, well fitting footwear and ensuring that your circulation is kept at optimum levels keep your feet clean, and well moisturised.

Q. Where can people find out more?

For serious problems we always recommend that you go and see a Podiatrist or Chiropodist.

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