Did you know that 25 percent of all the bones in your body are in your feet? It’s true! Each of your feet has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. Some people have 28 bones in each foot and those with extra toes have even more.
Foot problems are very common; about 75 percent of all people will experience some type of foot problem in their lives. Foot problems are especially common in older adults. Pain and disability from foot problems causes significant loss of mobility and independence. About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of mild to moderate nerve damage that can lead to serious problems, even amputations.
Common Foot Problems and Their Care
Fortunately, there are a large number of foot care devices available today that resolve the most common and debilitating foot problems. The best part is that most of these mobility-saving treatments do not require a doctor’s prescription.
Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are very common. In fact, 65 out of every 1,000 people have corns or calluses, which are areas of thickened skin caused by excessive rubbing or pressure. Corns develop near a bony area or between toes and are usually the result of shoes that rub against your toes or that cause friction between your toes. Calluses tend to develop on the bottom of your foot and are the result of rubbing against the feet.
Corn protectors are soft, self-adhesive bandages that reduce friction on sore areas to make shoes more comfortable. Some types of corn protectors feature a lining that delivers mineral oil to hard, dry skin. Corn and callus trimmers safely and effectively remove thickened areas of skin.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the thick band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain. In fact, about 10 percent of the population of the United States has plantar fasciitis. About 2 million Americans seek treatment for plantar fasciitis each year. An arch brace provides instant support and relief for plantar fasciitis pain.
More than half of all women in the U.S. have bunions. This common foot deformity occurs when the joint connecting the big toe to the foot gets bigger and protrudes outward.
Bunion shields provide soft layers of cushioning protection from the pressure of shoes. An elastic loop holds the shield securely in place, setting you free to walk all day without bunion pain.
About 25 percent of people in the United States – approximately 60 million Americans – have flat feet. Also known as fallen arches, flat feet occurs when the arches of the foot collapse and cause the bottom surface of the foot to come into partial or complete contact with the ground. Flat feet can start during childhood, occur because of an injury, or develop after a lifetime of wear and tear associated with aging.
Arch cushions provide complete heel-to-toe support for those with flat feet. Arch bandages support fallen arches. They also alleviate pain from plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, and reduce pressure from bunions on your big or little toes.
Toe and Toenail Problems
About 5 percent of people in the U.S. have a toenail problem at any given time. Ingrown toenails are one of the most common and uncomfortable problems, occurring when the edge of your toenail grows into the skin next to it. Even the slightest pressure from shoes or socks can cause discomfort. Toe caps protect your sensitive toes from these pressures, preventing pain associated with ingrown toenails, corns and other sources of irritation.
If you have bunions, fallen arches, plantar fasciitis or other foot and toe problems, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about products to alleviate discomfort and get you on your feet again.