Doctor reveals how to spot whether you suffer from one of the four most common foot conditions

A doctor has revealed how to spot the most common foot conditions, including bunions and hammer toe.

Dr Dawn Harper, most well known for diagnosing patients in Embarrassing Bodies, and who suffers from bunions herself reveals how to identify the condition and how to improve it.

There are approximately 14 million bunions sufferers in the UK – while 10 million of these are women. They tend to develop in your 30s or 40s and approximately 38 per cent of all women over 30 suffer from them — but they can start as young as in your teens.

But other foot conditions can be just as painful with arched toes, flat feet that need more support and heel pain.

Here she reveals to Femail how to spot these foot conditions and how to make them less painful.

Dr Dawn Harper, most well known for diagnosing patients in Embarrassing Bodies, and who suffers from bunions herself reveals how to identify the condition and how to improve it

Dr Dawn Harper, most well known for diagnosing patients in Embarrassing Bodies, and who suffers from bunions herself reveals how to identify the condition and how to improve it

Dr Dawn Harper, most well known for diagnosing patients in Embarrassing Bodies, and who suffers from bunions herself reveals how to identify the condition and how to improve it

Once formed, the only way to correct bunions with surgery but bunion surgery is a bigger deal than most realise and it can take several months of recuperation

Once formed, the only way to correct bunions with surgery but bunion surgery is a bigger deal than most realise and it can take several months of recuperation

Once formed, the only way to correct bunions with surgery but bunion surgery is a bigger deal than most realise and it can take several months of recuperation

Condition: Bunions

‘Bunions are bony lumps that form on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe. They affect about one in three people over the age of 65, most of them women. As they progress the big toe bends further towards the other toes and away from the midline. 

‘Once formed, the only way to correct them is with surgery but bunion surgery is a bigger deal than most realise and it can take several months of recuperation. 

‘Pain can be eased with topical anti-inflammatory gels and gel pads. You can also buy splints from the pharmacy to push the toe back into the midline.

‘High heels don’t cause bunions but many women suffering with bunions find them uncomfortable. Sole Bliss shoes contains patent-pending Juanet Technology. 

‘In this technology is the ‘Bunion Bed’, a carefully positioned stretch panel inside the shoes which moulds around the shape of the bunion relieving the pressure, cushioning and supporting bunions. 

‘As a bunion sufferer myself, I know it’s so important to have space and support at the front of my shoes to ensure comfort.’

As a bunion sufferer herself Dawn knows its so important to have space and support at the front of  her shoes to ensure comfort

As a bunion sufferer herself Dawn knows its so important to have space and support at the front of  her shoes to ensure comfort

As a bunion sufferer herself Dawn knows its so important to have space and support at the front of  her shoes to ensure comfort 

If you have Hammer toes choose a shoe which will provide extra width, and depth at the front to avoid putting pressure on them

If you have Hammer toes choose a shoe which will provide extra width, and depth at the front to avoid putting pressure on them

If you have Hammer toes choose a shoe which will provide extra width, and depth at the front to avoid putting pressure on them

Condition: Hammer Toes 

 ‘Instead of the toe laying flat in alignment with the foot, the first bone of the toe is bent upwards and the second tilted downward forming an inverted ‘V’. They may be associated with other medical conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy and bunions. 

‘Poorly fitting shoes will exacerbate the problem. Protective padding for any callouses that form as a result and wider fitting shoes will ease discomfort. 

‘Choose a shoe which will provide extra width, and depth at the front to avoid putting pressure on hammer toes. 

‘Steroid injections and splints are also sometimes used and in severe cases surgery is required to correct the deformity.’

Dawn reveals that poorly fitting shoes will exacerbate the problem. Protective padding for any callouses that form as a result and wider fitting shoes will ease discomfort

Dawn reveals that poorly fitting shoes will exacerbate the problem. Protective padding for any callouses that form as a result and wider fitting shoes will ease discomfort

Dawn reveals that poorly fitting shoes will exacerbate the problem. Protective padding for any callouses that form as a result and wider fitting shoes will ease discomfort

Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of this tissue. It is most common between the ages of 40 and 60 and is often triggered by activities that put stress on the heel such as running or long periods of standing on hard surfaces

Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of this tissue. It is most common between the ages of 40 and 60 and is often triggered by activities that put stress on the heel such as running or long periods of standing on hard surfaces

Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of this tissue. It is most common between the ages of 40 and 60 and is often triggered by activities that put stress on the heel such as running or long periods of standing on hard surfaces

Condition: Plantar Fasciitis 

‘Plantar fasciitis affects up to one in ten of us at some point in our lifetime. It is the most common cause of pain in the heel. There is a thick fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes. 

‘This is called the plantar fascia and plantar fasciitis is simply inflammation of this tissue. It is most common between the ages of 40 and 60 and is often triggered by activities that put stress on the heel such as running or long periods of standing on hard surfaces. 

‘Being overweight can also be a factor. There often isn’t much to see, although it is more common in people who have high arched feet or an unusual gait, which puts strain on the fascia. It is treated in the first instance with rest, ice and anti-inflammatories. Night splints may help as may arc supports inside the shoes. 

‘Sufferers would benefit from shoes which three layers of underfoot memory foam, each with different properties. The base layer is for shock absorbency, the middle layer contours around the shape of the foot and the top layer offers cushioning under the whole foot. 

‘In some cases steroid injections in to the tender area are needed and occasionally surgery is required to detach the fascia from the heel bone.

Sole Bliss provide shoes primarily for women with bunions as they help to support their feet

Sole Bliss provide shoes primarily for women with bunions as they help to support their feet

Sole Bliss provide shoes primarily for women with bunions as they help to support their feet 

Most children under five have flat feet, but after the age of five 95 per cent of kids develop an arch on the inside of the sole of their feet

Most children under five have flat feet, but after the age of five 95 per cent of kids develop an arch on the inside of the sole of their feet

Most children under five have flat feet, but after the age of five 95 per cent of kids develop an arch on the inside of the sole of their feet

Condition: Overpronation

‘Most children under five have flat feet, but after the age of five 95 per cent of kids develop an arch on the inside of the sole of their feet. 

‘Of the remaining five per cent, most won’t have a problem, but those that do may experience pain in their feet, which can be helped with special insoles in the shoes and exercises including walking barefoot, flexing the toes and standing on tip toes. Sometimes surgery is required. 

‘Several different operations have been tried and the surgeon decides which operation is needed after gait analysis, clinical examination and x-ray tests. 

‘Sole Bliss can help those with the condition as the wearer is protected against this over-pronation by the ingenious ‘Kuki’ – a small memory foam pillow inside the shoe. 

‘The ‘Kuki’ keeps the foot in the correct position and counters this inward movement.’  

National Bunion Day by Sole Bliss Shoes is on Thursday 25th April.  

Link hienalouca.com

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