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Common foot ailments.

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Common foot ailments

Achilles tendonitis 

THIS is a condition where the Achilles tendon (the tendon that attaches the calf muscle to the heel bone) becomes inflamed and causes severe pain first thing in the morning or upon getting up after long periods of sitting. 

It is often experienced by athletes, particularly runners. It is due to inappropriate footwear, inadequate stretching prior to activity, a short Achilles tendon, injury to the tendon and heel deformities.  

Achilles tendonitis must be treated or the tendon will become weak and eventually rupture. It helps to wear shoes with a heel cup or heel cradle, or to get orthotics. 

Flat feet 

Flat feet occurs when the arch of the foot collapses upon weight bearing. This can cause stress to other parts of the foot and lead to plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, metatarsalgia or bunions.  

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Flat feet, a high arch, excessive weight on the foot, inappropriate footwear and a sudden increase in physical activity can cause this condition. The pain usually occurs at the bottom of the foot near the inside (where the heel and arch meet), and is felt upon waking in the morning or after a long rest. Wear shoes with a cushioned heel to absorb shock, and elevate the heel with the use of a heel cradle or heel cup.  

Bunions and overlapping toes 

A bunion occurs when the joint at the base of the big toe bulges outward, pushing the big toe in towards the other toes. People with bunions experience inflammation, swelling and soreness on the side of the toe. Bunions can lead to overlapping toes.  

Bunions are

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Orthotics can redistribute the weight on the foot and relieve pressure sores. It is important for diabetics to wear shoes that have a high, wide toe box and firm heel counters. “Rocker soles” can also reduce pressure on the foot. 


Arthritis occurs when the cartilage and lining of the body’s joints become inflamed, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. People with arthritis should look for shoes with a high, wide toe box and enough space to accommodate the swelling of the foot. Orthotics can provide comfort, support and extra cushioning. 

Hammer and claw toe 

In hammer toe, the toe becomes bent and cannot be staightened. In claw toe, the toe bends at the middle and end joints, causing it to curl inwards like a claw. It can occur in any toe except the big toe.  

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