Do Your Feet a Favor

Are these common foot conditions taking the pep out of your step?

A few simple strategies can help stop foot pain in its tracks.


Wearing shoes that are too tight can result in the big toe joint becoming even larger when a bunion forms. Over time, the pressure deforms the bone and causes painful inflammation.

Treatment may include:

  • padding to protect the bunion site

  • surgery in some cases to remove the bump

  • wearing shoes with a roomy toe box

Hammer Toe

Hammer toe is usually caused by shoes that bend one or more toes into unnatural, claw-like positions. Eventually, the foot muscles can no longer straighten the toe, causing pain and swelling in the affected joint.

Treatment may include:

  • avoiding high heels with narrow toes

  • cushioning the toes with felt pads

  • physical therapy to stretch the joint

  • surgery to straighten the joint may be necessary

Fallen Arches (Flat Feet)

The arch (curved underside of the foot) is a flexible structure that supports the body’s weight and absorbs impact when walking. When the arch collapses, often due to injury, arthritis, obesity or diabetes, the pain and swelling can make it difficult to walk or stand.

Treatment may include:

  • orthotics (arch supports) to cushion the foot

  • physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the arch

  • surgery to restore the arch in severe cases

Source: Vista Health System