5 Common Foot Problems and How to Prevent Them
Posted on Mar 02, 2024

Our feet are the foundation of our body, yet they often bear the brunt of daily activities, leading to various common foot problems. Understanding these issues and implementing preventive measures can help maintain foot health and overall well-being.

Plantar Fasciitis

This condition involves deterioration and dysfunction of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. It often results from chronic oxidative stress. “It feels as if one’s heel stepped on a small stone or a Lego,” Dr. Meredith Warner told First for Women Magazine. “Most times, the pain is worse in the mornings and will improve during the day,” the Baton Rouge, Louisiana orthopedic surgeon and inventor of The Healing Sole says.

To prevent and hopefully treat plantar fasciitis, do the following basic steps: maintain a healthy weight, wear supportive shoes with proper arch support for your foot type, stretch the calf and foot muscles regularly, and wear The Healing Sole, patented footwear designed to strengthen and stretch with every step to promote healing. The Healing Sole is meant to be a functional platform that allows your own body to heal itself.


A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe, causing it to lean inward toward the other toes. Tight or narrow shoes, genetic predisposition, and structural foot abnormalities can contribute to their development and/or symptoms. To prevent pain associated with bunions, wear shoes with a wide toe box, avoid high heels or shoes with pointed toes, use protective pads over prominent bunions, and perform foot-strengthening exercises. Wear good shoes when you can and do the stretching and if you must wear dress shoes on occasion, they will then be less painful.

Ingrown Toenails

This occurs when the edge of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin, leading to pain, swelling, and infection. Improper nail trimming, tight footwear, and trauma to the toe are common causes. To prevent ingrown toenails, trim nails straight across and avoid cutting them too short, wear properly fitting shoes, and maintain good foot hygiene by keeping feet clean and dry.

Athlete's Foot

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that thrives in warm, moist environments, such as locker rooms and swimming pools. It causes itching, burning, and peeling of the skin between the toes or on the soles of the feet. To prevent athlete's foot, keep feet clean and dry, wear moisture-wicking socks and breathable shoes, avoid walking barefoot in public areas, and use antifungal powders or creams as needed.

Heel Spurs

A heel spur is a bony protrusion that forms on the underside of the heel bone, often associated with pain and discomfort, especially with weight-bearing activities. Repetitive stress, poor footwear, and biomechanical issues can contribute to their development. The true cause for their development is likely a type of dysplasia whereby the tension applied to the bone by connective tissues becomes more bony due to aberrant calcium deposits. However, there is no consensus here and scientists still do not know why some people have spurs and others don’t and why they sometimes are painful, but sometimes are not.

Preventive strategies to reduce foot pain include wearing supportive shoes with cushioned heels, maintaining a healthy weight to reduce pressure on the feet, stretching the calf muscles regularly, and using orthotic inserts if necessary.

In addition to these preventive measures, it's essential to listen to your body and seek prompt medical attention if you experience persistent foot pain or discomfort. Regular foot exams by a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon can also help identify potential issues early and prevent them from progressing into more serious conditions. By incorporating these preventive strategies into your daily routine, you can keep your feet healthy and happy for years to come.

Dr. Meredith Warner challenges the traditional orthopedic approach to joint, bone, tendon, and ligament pain in her upcoming book, Bone on Bone- An Orthopedic Surgeon’s Guide to Avoiding Surgery and Healing Pain Naturally. A limited supply is now available for pre-order. Get your personalized, autographed copy only available for the first 50 book orders.