Our feet are an essential part of the human body that allow us to walk, run and jump. We often take for granted the importance of our feet until a painful disorder affects the simple act of walking.
Problems Caused by Footwear
In our modern day society, footwear or shoes are not only items of fashion but also play an important role in protecting the feet. However, inappropriate or inappropriate use of footwear can cause problems.
High-heeled shoes can be found in most ladies’ wardrobes, but the use of high heel shoes can be a cause of pain to the feet. Pressure on the balls of the foot (forefoot) is increased with high-heels, and over time, the excessive pressure in this area can cause corns or callosities to develop. When corns become hard and thickened, pain can result. In addition, most ladies’ shoes tend to be too narrow, especially around the toes. As a result, the toes get squeezed, and that may lead to the development of painful bunions or clawing of the toes.
Men are not spared from this either. The popularity of “pointy” shoes can lead to the same problem of painful bunions due to a narrow toe box. Some men’s leather shoes have hard insoles and outer soles that can lead to painful heels or plantar fasciitis.
Shoes can also cause infections when daily foot hygiene is not observed. Fungal infections commonly known as Athlete’s foot, is the most common infection of the foot. Prolonged use of shoes together with poor foot hygiene leads to fungal infections. Although pain is common, it is often mild. The more troubling symptom is itch. The typical patient is the army recruit who has little time to take care of his feet combined with the prolonged use of his boots.
Another presentation of fungal infection is the involvement of the nail. Treatment of fungal skin infection is usually straight-forward. However, fungal infection of the nail is often difficult to eradicate and tends to be chronic as the infection is trapped under the nail plate. As such, complete surgical removal of the nail is required.
Looking after one’s feet is often ignored by most people. However, only when painful problems occur do we begin to appreciate the importance of our feet that provide us with the simple task of walking.
Dr Ooi Lai Hock
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Island Orthopaedic
Dr Ooi Lai Hock is the medical director of Island Orthopaedic, a member of Healthway Medical Group. He is experienced in treating foot, ankle and knee conditions.