Bunions are generally only painful when wearing enclosed shoes and so are often more symptomatic during the winter months.
When we walk or stand, our body weight is carried first on the heel and then on the ball of the foot, where the skin is thicker, to withstand the pressure. Most calluses are symptoms of an underlying problem like a bony deformity, a particular style of walking, or inappropriate footwear. You can control a small amount of hard skin by gently rubbing with a pumice stone, or chiropody sponge occasionally when you are in the bath. Claudication - a dull cramping pain in the calf which repeatedly occurs even when walking short distances.
Appearing between the toes, these form in a similar way to hard corns but are usually white and rubbery in texture.
Corns left untreated for a long time can appear to become more firmly attached to the deeper tissues and can therefore become painful. Affecting the second to fourth toes on either or both feet, toes which become mishapen or clawed are referred to as hammer or mallet toes. Selecting shoes which do not force the toes against the front of the toe box with a low heel is essential.
If these measures fail to provide adequate pain relief or the affected toes have become rigid, we may refer you for surgery. An ingrown toenail, Onychocryptosis, is an extremely painful condition where either one or both sides of the nail cut into the nail bed as it grows out. Mortons Neuroma is a painful condition caused by an enlarged nerve situated between the third and fourth toes. Wearing high heeled, tight or ill fitting shoes with a narrow toe box which place pressure on the toes.

When this pressure becomes excessive, some areas of the skin thicken, in the form of corns and callus, as a protective response.
Usually found within an area of thickened skin or callus, they are a sign that the foot or toes are not functioning properly. Caused by sweating or inadequate drying between the toes, they can be prevented by improved foot care and the application of astringents to reduce sweat retention.
Use a pumice stone to gradually remove thickened skin or relieve pressure between the toes with a foam Toe Separator.
The most common form is Peripheral Neuropathy which occurs when the nerves running from the brain to the organs, muscles, skin and glands are impaired. Whilst the foot appears normal with a clear arch when sitting down, any weight bearing activity causes the arch to collapse and the ankles to roll inwards. Overpronation occurs when the foot pronates too deeply and for too long without allowing the foot to recover and supinate.
Persistent traumatization from ill fitting shoes which are too short or narrow can impair the normal function of the muscles and tendons surrounding these toes so they will not allow the joints to relax and straighten normally Bunions, flat feet and arthritis may also cause hammer toes.
With Podiatry, attention is directed towards gait problems involving the foot, ankle, knee hip and back such as problems with walking or sports injuries. It can occur on moist, waterlogged skin especially between the fourth and fifth toes, or on dry, flaky skin around the heels or elsewhere on the foot. The hammer toe may then become painful if it rubs against the top of the shoe box or underneath as the toe is forced up and pressure is then placed on the second metatarsal head.
If this does not appear to be working, and especially if the callus becomes painful and feels like you are "walking on stones" seek advice! In most cases it is a cosmetic nuisance but if the cracks or fissures deepen, they may bleed and it can become painful to stand.

The arch tendon or Plantar Fascia is a thick band of tissue which runs from the heel to the front of the foot, just behind the toes.
We may also recommend the use of night splints which gently stretch the calf muscles and planter fascia overnight reducing painful stiffness upon waking.
If necessary, we can refer you for physiotherapy or surgery for example, to straighten hammer toes or treat Morton's Neuroma. This may also spread into the toes, particularly when wearing tight or narrow shoes or engage in activities which place pressure on the forefoot. The big toe is especially susceptible due to the tremendous amounts of pressure that is placed upon it while we are walking.
It is caused mainly by improper cutting technique when trimming the nails, wearing tight footwear, inadequate foot hygiene, accidental trauma to the nail, fungal or bacterial infection. It affects the feet by causing a gradual collapse of the arch; the toes become contracted and draw back. Left untreated, hammer toes can become rigid and will not respond to non-surgical treatment. However they can be painful, particularly if they appear on a weight bearing area of the foot.

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