Sunday, November 22, 2015

What To Do About Navicular Pain

By Mattie Knight

The navicular bone is a bone in the ankle or wrist that is shaped something like a boat. An accessory navicular bone is an extra bone that sometimes develops on the inside of the foot in front of the ankle or on the hand. It affects between two and 15 percent of the population and is genetic. It is a common cause of lameness in horses. In humans, it is normally asymptomatic. When symptoms do occur, one of them is navicular pain. Other symptoms include bunions, heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.

Doctors who specialize in disorders of the foot are called podiatrists. Some practitioners use the older term of podiatrist. In Australia, clinicians who specialize in problems of the foot may be called podiatric surgeons or physicians. In many European countries, the term is podologist or podologo.

Podiatrists also take care of the leg as well as the feet. Training in medical school to become a foot doctor is arduous and comprehensive. The curriculum embraces topics such as genetics, biomechanics, microbiology, physical rehabilitation, biochemistry, pharmacology, sports medicine, orthopedic surgery, and women's health in addition to basic anatomy and physiology.

Probably the commonest reason why someone would walk (or be carried) into a chiropodist's office is for a broken toe. This can be caused in a single catastrophic event like something being dropped on the foot, or it may happen over time with repeated insults to the same area of the toe. Podiatrists see a lot of construction workers, ballet dancers and people who just trip over their own feet. Other symptoms of a broken phelange are swelling, stiffness, bruising and difficulty walking.

Most toe breaks heal within a month or two. First aid includes elevating the foot, put it on ice and abstain from putting any pressure on it. Make the most of it, this is your chance to be waited on hand and foot.

A broken toe is annoying, painful and can even be debilitating. Other, less serious, foot conditions include gout, ingrown toenails, corns or athlete's foot. Ingrowing toenails are a consequence of wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe area. Common sense and comfort are sacrificed for the sake of fashion. Ultimately, an ingrown toenail may be so deep and painful that surgery is required. Athlete's foot is characterized by a dry, red rash on the skin between the toes. This condition may be avoided by staying away from communal shower rooms and swimming pools, where feet congregate with shallow water.

For some reason, many of us take our feet for granted and don't give them the proper care and attention that they deserve. This may be because of embarrassment. At the other extreme are foot fetishists, who are lovingly obsessed with feet.

Pain in the foot shows up in the face, no matter what we do. Many of the facial expressions on people in paintings by Toulouse Latrec look like they belong to people with painful fet. It is the kind of pain that cannot be masked by makeup. For a happy face, make sure you have happy feet!

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