Common Ailments - Conditions and Symptoms

Ankle Sprains
The ankle sprain is one of the most frequently reported injuries. It is common as a sports injury, but can also be caused during everyday movements. Taking a bad step or twisting a foot in an awkward manor is a couple of the ways which a person can cause the ankle to roll unnaturally. This roll can stretch or tear the ligaments supporting the ankle joint. Unfortunately, having one ankle sprain can lead to more in the future.

Depending on the severity of ligament damage ankle sprains have a range of symptoms. One can expect, at the very least, mild pain or discomfort when applying pressure to the ankle joint, to extremes of severe acute pains at the slightest of movements, swelling, and black and blue discoloration of the bruised tissue. Ankle sprains should not be taken lightly and the proper measures should be taken to achieve full recovery.
The most common form of bunion is a protrusion of the inner bone joint at the base of the big toe. A bunion can also occur on the bone joint at the base of the smallest or fifth toe. Bunions can develop in children and adults during bone growth or pressure on the foot causing abnormal positioning of the toes. Without treatment, a bunion deformity may become more severe due to abnormal mechanics, such as the flattening of your arch. Bunions are typically inherited, but tend to worsen with time. They may be associated with skin redness, infection, joint pain, and arthritis. To compensate for the protruding bone, the body may also result in pains in the leg, knee, hip and lower back. An untreated bunion may cause the big toe to drift towards the other toes. In time, this can create other toe problems as well as pain in the ball of the foot.
Fungal Nails
Fungal nail or onychomycosis is one of the most common skin diseases that affects people of all ages. It can be caused by fungus or yeast. The disease is sometimes unnoticeable because of no discernible symptoms. The disease can begin from a case of athlete's foot (tinea pedis) and in time the fungal nail will slowly become a chalky white, yellow, or brown color while thickening and becoming friable. As the nail thickens it may become ingrown and loosen, which could result in itching, aching, and pain. The disease is usually painless but it is unsightly. Certain shoes can be aggravating and cause the skin to swell, turn red, dry, or shiny.
A Hammertoe is a condition when one or more toes are "bent" or "curled". This condition can cause redness, calluses, and/or aching pain in and around the toes. More severe cases can result in calluses on the tips of the toes, blood under the toe nails, and varying levels of pain. The condition can cause an imbalance in the leg muscles resulting in shin splints or general leg aches. Hammertoes are a progressive condition that can worsen with time and if not treated properly the toes may become rigid as arthritis sets. This ultimately will lead to shoe fit problems and complications with walking.
Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown nail is a nail that has grown or is growing into the surrounding skin. This can occur over time or seemingly "over night" and may cause irritation, pain, redness, and/or swelling. If not treated, ingrown toenails can cause deep abscesses, lead to infection, and the development of small spurs under the nails. The presence of thickened or fungal nails can aggravate an ingrown nail. Some of the causes of ingrown nails are: previous toe injuries, ill-fitting shoes, other toe or foot deformities, and athletic activity.
Metatarsalgia, or pain in the ball of the foot is often caused by wearing shoes with thin soles or high heels. These types of shoes create added pressure to the metatarsal bones, which can result in lasting pain, that is sometimes described as having a stone in the shoe. Other factors that can contribute to the pain are having bunions, twisted toes, high arches, arthritis, and being overweight. Due to the pressure and rubbing, the ball of the foot may become red, inflamed, and form a callus.
Neuromas (aka Morton's Neuroma)
The condition commonly called Morton's Neuroma describes the discomfort or pain that can be felt from the tips of the toes to the ankle. The pain takes place along nerve lines as the nerve's outer coating thickens due to excessive rubbing between bones. The most commonly affected areas are between the third and fourth toes and the second and third toes. Nerve pain in the foot can also be attributed to diabetes or alcoholism.

The pain may start gradually as a burning, tingling, cramping, or numbness sensation. Typically the pain occurs after long periods of walking or standing and it may feel like stepping on a lamp cord. Rubbing the bottom of the foot can sometimes create temporary comfort.
Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is inflamation of the plantar fascia. This is the ligament-like band that runs on the bottom of the foot from the heel to the ball. The plantar fascia can become strained due to incorrect movements of the foot, resulting in swelling. This condition is noticeable because of pain along the bottom of the foot while standing, especially in the morning. Pain is typically felt along the inside of the foot where the heel and arch connect. Once the ligament has been stretched with movement such as a few steps the pain may subside, but it is typical for the pain to come back after long periods of rest or extended periods of movement.

Without proper treatment plantar fasciitis can lead to other issues such as heel spurs and bursitis.
Warts or Verrucas are caused by skin contact with a highly contagious papilloma virus. Contraction usually occurs in moist areas, such as bathroom mats, tubs, showers, pools, and public bathing facilities. The papilloma virus will cause the growth of flat or raised, callused bumps anywhere on the skin, but most commonly on the hands and feet. Warts may or may not be painful and they will typically have a tan to white hue and occasionally have visible black or red spots in them. Plantar warts, seen on the bottom of the feet, tend to occur under boney weight bearing areas. The weight and pressure pushes these warts deep into the skin.
Wounds and Ulcers
An ulcer is an open sore on the foot. It can range from a very shallow red crater in the skin's surface to a deep wound that reveals the tendons, bones, and other structures. Ulcers are likely to develop in people who suffer from diabetes or poor circulation. Ulcers require special care, because even a small one can become infected if not healed quickly. They are typically on the bottom or side of the foot or on the top of a toe. The wound can be surrounded by a border of thickened, callused skin and assuming there isn't any nerve damage they are very painful.