Feet come in different shapes and sizes, each different from the other. Your feet are as unique as you are — no four are alike. They are also very handy (pardon the pun), so you must take care of them to ensure they last as long as possible.
One common issue with feet is deformation. While some deformities are normal and don’t lead to problems, you should still be mindful of even the slightest change to your body, especially your feet. This article will provide the information you need to understand foot deformities better to avoid permanent injuries.
Introduction to Feet Deformities
A “foot deformity” is a broad term referring to any condition that alters the shape of the foot causing pain — typically from misaligned bones and joints.
Foot deformities can affect the whole foot but are more commonly concentrated in specific areas of the foot, especially around the toes. Here are some of the typical foot deformities.
- Bunions: A big toe joint deformity caused by years of wearing shoes that are too tight at the toes. The tip of the big toe is pushed inward, eventually causing the joint at the base of the toe to protrude outward.
- Claw Toe: A deformity that causes the toes to curl downward, typically on the smaller toes, not the larger ones. A Claw toe can become a permanent condition if left untreated.
- Hammer Toe: A toe joint deformity that causes the toe to be permanently bent or “propped” up at the joint. This condition is often caused by wearing tight, uncomfortable shoes too often.
- Mallet Toe: Where the toes dip downward at the joint, causing discomfort when wearing shoes, which is the opposite of hammer toes.
- Tarsal Condition: Where two or more bones in the foot fuse together as a child grows. It can cause pain and difficulty walking. Treatment usually involves surgery to separate the bones.
As you can see, many foot deformities are around or affect the toes. To address this, ensure your toes are straight in proper shoes or use corrective devices, such as toe spacers by Correct Toes. This will go a long way to preventing or correcting foot deformities and probably save you from needing surgery.
What Causes Feet Deformities
There can be several causes for foot deformities. One of the most common reasons is genetics. If there is a family history of foot deformities, then there is a higher chance that an individual will also experience them.
Foot deformities can also be caused by injuries, inflammation, being overweight, putting abnormal strain on them, or wearing too tight shoes for extended periods. Diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or brain diseases can also lead to foot deformities.
What Happens if You Neglect a Foot Deformity for Too Long?
There are some severe consequences of neglecting foot deformities.
- Constant pain when you walk, affecting your gait.
- May cause foot skin to become stiff and thick, leading to calluses and pressure sores.
- Toes and other parts of the foot may become deformed, putting excess strain on tendons and muscles, possibly even causing a tear.
- Joint wear and tear resulting from a foot deformity can lead to osteoarthritis.
- Pain in the knees, hips, back, and head.
But don’t fret. Foot deformities don’t always cause problems or symptoms, and more visible deformities are not always worse than less visible ones.
Nobody’s feet are perfectly-shaped, and there’s no standard measure of an ideal one. However, if they are causing you pain, you need to consult a professional immediately before it causes permanent damage.
So, remember that it’s better to be safe than sorry. By that, it’s best to wear the correct shoes, use a toe corrector, or do foot exercises and stretches. When it comes to health matters, Don’t forget your feet!