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  • Help - Medical Condition Info

Medical Condition Information

This information has been put together by our team of experienced product advisors. However, it’s for guidance purposes only and isn’t designed to take the place of advice from your own doctor, chiropodist or other Health Professionals. Cosyfeet recommends you seek advice from a Healthcare Professional if you’re in any doubt about the suitability of any products we sell.

Aching Legs and Feet

Aching legs and feet can affect all of us from time to time and can be caused by a number of factors.

Causes of Aching Legs and Feet

  • Poor posture
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Poor circulation, venous or arterial
  • Excessive swelling know as lymphoedema
  • Orthotic insoles can help reduce strain on the calf muscle by controlling excessive pronation of the feet
  • Shock absorbing or comfort insoles can reduce the discomfort caused by aching legs
  • Poor fitting or unsupportive footwear

Helpful Advice

  • Improve the blood flow in your legs – see our facts on poor circulation for more information
  • If redness, heat or pain is prolonged in the calf of the leg consult your GP or allied Health Professional.
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‘Arthro’ means joint and ‘itis’ means inflammation. Arthritis is a group of diseases affecting the joints, causing them to be stiff, inflamed and often painful. It is the greatest cause of disability in the UK, affecting approximately 1 in 20 under 40 year olds and 1 in 3 over 60 year olds. There are many kinds of arthritis; common types include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

Causes of Arthritis

  • Joint instability
  • Age related changes
  • Metabolic (gout), autoimmune (rheumatoid) and age related (osteo)
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Stress
  • Age related changes

Helpful Advice

  • Try to keep your weight controlled and eat a normal balanced diet. There is no real evidence to suggest specialist diets will   affect or improve arthritis.
  • If you have a foot deformity, visit a chiropodist/podiatrist for treatment and advice.
  • See your GP for an assessment if your joints get painful or tender regularly.
  • If you have had an arthritis diagnosis and your feet are painful see a Chiropodist/Podiatrist for further assessment.

Footwear Recommendations

  • Choose flat roomy shoes that are supportive. If joints are deformed reduce pressure with a soft upper. Ensure the shoes give adequate support.
  • Extra support for weakened joints is important and can be provided by a firm heel back. Low heels and lace up styles are preferable, again for the best support. Many people are also affected with arthritis in their hands – in this case you will find touch-fastening styles are easier to adjust.
  • Underfoot cushioning such as insoles can help reduce pain underfoot and protect exposed swollen joints.

For Further Information on Arthritis

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Athletes Foot

Athletes foot is caused by a fungal infection between the toe webs that can affect anyone. While there is some evidence that it is contagious it seems a little alarmist as the fungi responsible are on our skins most of the time.

Causes of Athletes Foot

  • It is caused by one of many fungi/dermatophytes which can grow in warm and damp environments such as the spaces between the toes.
  • Sports activities can bring on the infection due to increase in sweating and temperature e.g. running.
  • The risk of athletes foot increases in frequency in the over fifties.

Helpful Advice on Athletes Foot

  • The infection usually starts between the toes. Firstly the skin becomes itchy and sore and sometimes becomes macerated and blistered. It can spread over the sole of the foot and around the nails.
  • Prevention can be helped by wearing footwear which allows your feet to breathe, changing socks or tights daily and selecting shoes, socks and tights made from natural materials where possible.
  • Ensure you dry between your toes well and don’t share towels.
  • Athletes foot can be easily treated with a cream or spray from the pharmacy. If you have any doubts consult a Chiropodist/Podiatrist.

For Further Information on Athletes Foot

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Back Pain

Back pain is one of the biggest causes of sickness absence in the UK and can affect people of all ages.

Causes of Back Pain

  • There are many different causes of back pain, some of which are related to activities at home or work, others are to do with posture or associated with other conditions.
  • Excessive pronation of the feet can cause the legs to internally rotate and in turn can lead to tilting of the pelvis and a change in the body’s centre of gravity. This can result in poor posture with abnormal compensatory muscle tightness and pain in the lower back. One of the most effective means of treating this pain is to wear orthotic insoles. These will help to improve the body’s posture and reduce the muscle tightness and pain in the lower back region by controlling excess pronation of the feet, limiting the internal rotation of the legs and tilting of the pelvis.
  • If you have chronic back pain it should be assessed and treated by a Healthcare Professional.

For Further Information on Back Pain

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A bunion is a deformation of the big toe joint. This joint can become deformed and damaged due to different factors. Genetic/hereditary, poor footwear, some medical conditions such as rheumatoid or osteo arthritis. In most cases the joint becomes painful due to arthritic changes in the joint which can cause inflammation and pain. This is exacerbated by the external pressure of footwear. Most bunions can be helped by wearing suitable footwear. Sometimes they can be helped by external aids such as gel bunion shields depending on the severity of the deformity. Occasionally if the problem has progressed enough surgery can be helpful.

Causes of Bunions

  • There is often a strong hereditary link with bunion formation. Certain foot types and bony alignments can have a hereditary link which predispose the person to a bunion. However they can be caused by disease processes such as rheumatoid arthritis even if there is no family history.
  • While it is less likely that footwear actually causes a bunion (although there may be some cases) poor fitting footwear will cause any predisposition to the deformity to come to fruition more rapidly.
  • Common causes of bunions related to disease are rheumatoid and osteo arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis has a more destructive effect on the big toe joint and the foot joints in general leading to deformation. Osteo arthritis tends to affect the joint either later in life or if there are biomechanical factors which lead to the big toe joint to deviate out of alignment.

Helpful Advice on Bunions

  • A bunion is often preventable by wearing shoes that fit properly.
  • Footwear with bunion care is really important. If your bunion is quite progressed then wearing wide fitting footwear with a soft fitting upper is important. The soft fitting upper prevents the skin which is stretched over the bunion becoming compromised. If your bunion is in its early stages then good flat sensible footwear will help to prevent the progression of the problem. If you are experiencing pain or problems with your bunion then consult a state registered podiatrist for further advice and treatment.

For Further Information on Bunions

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Cold Feet

People can get cold feet for different clinical reasons. Cold feet can indicate certain medical factors and can lead to certain problems for some people. Firstly there are chilblains. These are red itchy skin lesions which appear most commonly in the winter months. They are a result of the toes small or peripheral blood vessels being unable to regulate temperature and blood flow sufficiently in the extremities. In some cases the lesions can break and form an open lesion. Cold feet can also be caused by poor arterial blood supply to the feet. This reduced blood supply can be related to diabetes or generalised arterial disease. Also there is Raynaud’s phenomenon, here the peripheral blood vessels have an over contractive response to cold leading to cold feeling extremities.

Possible Causes of Cold Feet

  • Raynaud’s phenomenon;
  • Poor arterial supply due to Diabetes or generalised arterial disease;
  • Some types of medication

Helpful Advice on Cold Feet

  • If you have recently noticed that your feet have become cold consult a Healthcare Professional.
  • If you have diabetes and also have cold feet discuss this with a Healthcare Professional.
  • If you have chilblains or Raynaud’s phenomenon beware of extremes of temperature in regards to your extremities. E.g. avoid getting your feet cold and then trying to warm them up too quickly with a source of heat.
  • Make sure you wear warm or thermal hosiery in the cold conditions.

For Further Information on Cold feet

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Corns and Calluses

A corn is a lesion comprising of callus/hard skin that has a callused/hard skin top layer with a centre often like an inverted cone with the point of the cone entering the skin. People often describe it as having a stone under their foot when a corn is involved. Corns can appear on the bottoms of the feet as well as in between toes where there is pressure. In fact a corn can form on any part of the foot if the pressure is great enough. There is an exception to this and that is seed corns. These are often clusters of small corns and are related to dry skin conditions.

A callus is a flat plaque of hard skin of varying depths depending on the person that arises in pressure areas. Callus is really the natural defence against pressure areas of the foot and becomes a problem when it starts to cause symptoms of some kind like pain or inflammation. Callus like corns can arise on any pressure area of the foot.

Causes of Corns and Calluses

  • Poor fitting footwear
  • Pressure areas on the foot relating to aging. As we get older the mobility of the foot decreases and so it’s ability to manage the forces passing through it decreases. This leads to mechanical forces building up in certain areas which can lead to callus formation.
  • There are many types of arthritis, osteo and rheumatoid both lead to joint deformation in the foot, in doing so the misaligned joints can lead to corns or callus due to pressure on the prominent areas as well as the lack of mobility in the joints also leading to pressure and so callus formation.
  • Biomechanical factors such as excessive pronation. Any misalignment in the bony structure of the foot can lead to corn or callus formation.

Helpful Advice on Corns and Calluses

  • Ensure you wear good fitting shoes, make sure the upper of the shoe is not pressing on any joints. If you have problems under the feet a shoe with a shock absorbing sole or insole may help.
  • Use a pumice stone or foot file to reduce the thickness of the corn or callus
  • Use gel products to provide protection and alleviate pain
  • Moisturise corns and callous to keep them soft. If you are having problems consult a state registered podiatrist.

Further information on Corns and Calluses

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Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are often referred to as fissures and are usually caused by dry skin. For most people this is a nuisance and a cosmetic problem but when the fissures are deep, the skin bleeds easily and it can be painful. Symptoms include a hard growth of skin, usually on the outer edge of the heel. Sufferers may experience pain while walking and increased discomfort in thin soles or open back shoes.


  • Excessively dry or calloused heels
  • Open backed shoes are not helpful
  • Generalised callus of the heel can lead to heel fissures
  • Eczema and psoriasis can contribute to fissuring of the heel

Helpful Advice on Corns and Calluses

  • Cream the heels with a moisturiser twice a day
  • Possibly make use of a heel cream with urea which helps to soften dry and hard skin.
  • If the fissure on the heel has been bleeding make sure you dress the area with a sterile dressing. If you have any at risk foot conditions like diabetes consult a state registered podiatrist.
  • Avoid open backed shoes.
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Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. This is because your pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, or not enough insulin, to help glucose enter your body’s cells – or the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance).

  • Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that allows glucose to enter the body’s cells, where it is used as fuel for energy. It is vital for life.
  • Glucose comes from digesting carbohydrate and is also produced by the liver.
  • If you have diabetes, your body cannot make proper use of this glucose so it builds up in the blood and can’t be used as fuel.
  • There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

In this form the body fails to produce insulin. The hormones help glucose to enter cells where it provides the body with energy. Without insulin, the sugar level in the blood rises to much higher levels than would be found in a normal individual. This type usually affects younger people, appearing before the age of 40, and is treated by diet (low sugar and low fat) and insulin injections.

Type 2 Diabetes

In this form, the body mostly continues to produce insulin. However, either not enough is made or the insulin produced is not recognised by the body and so cannot produce its effect. The biggest cause of this ‘insulin resistance’ is obesity, therefore overweight people are more at risk of developing type II. This type usually affects older people, appearing after the age of 40. However, the recent rising trends in childhood obesity has seen children as young as 5 years old being diagnosed with the condition. Type 2 diabetes accounts for between 85 and 95 per cent of all people with diabetes and is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition to this, medication and/or insulin are often required.

How Does Diabetes Affect the Feet?

  • Circulation can be affected by diabetes and lead to reduced arterial supply to the foot. This can lead to intermittent claudication (a cramping feeling in the leg when walking), poor healing of wounds or lesions of the foot and increase the risk of infection.
  • Feeling or sensation can be adversely affected by diabetes, the unstable blood sugar levels over time can lead to damage of the peripheral nerves of the feet. This leads to the experience of numbness and loss of feeling. This puts the feet more at risk of injury as the person can’t feel their feet as well. In more serious cases the foot can lose all sensation and then the feet have to be checked visually as the feeling sensation is absent.
  • Wound healing can also be affected by diabetes. The unstable blood sugar levels coupled with the two factors outlined as above make wound healing slower and more at risk of complications such as infection.

Helpful Advice on Diabetes

Following the advice of your doctor or diabetes specialist on diet, exercise and blood sugar control will help keep the complications of diabetes to a minimum. But there are extra measures that should be recognised in caring for the diabetic foot:

  • Good foot care. Wash your feet every day and dry carefully, especially between the toes. Consult a Healthcare Professional about your nail care. Some diabetics are fine to cut their own toe nails while others should be done by a podiatrist. Seek expert advice in this regard.
  • Good footwear. Buy broad, well-fitting footwear, making sure that you have enough depth in the toe area to allow your toes to move comfortably. There should be a half-inch gap between the ends of the toes and the end of the shoe. Low heels and good fastenings, preferably lace-ups, will hold your foot securely at the heel and stop it slipping forward in the shoe. Avoid seams on sensitive areas of the foot or toes, particularly if you have neuropathy because you may not feel the damage that rubbing or irritating the feet may do.

For further information on Diabetes 

Diabetes UK
Tel: 0345 123 2399

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Dry Skin

Dry skin on the feet is a common problem. It can be related to aging, footwear or medical conditions.

Causes of Dry Skin

  • Medical conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis can all cause dry skin of the feet. If you have any of these conditions consult a Healthcare Professional.
  • Footwear can cause dry skin of the heel when wearing open backed shoes.
  • Sometimes as we get older the skin becomes dryer.

Helpful Advice on Dry Skin

  • If your dry skin is related to a medical condition seek the advice of a Healthcare Professional.
  • If your dry skin is centred mainly on the heels, avoid open backed shoes and cream your feet regularly with a moisturiser.
  • If your feet are just generally dry whether age related or otherwise cream your feet regularly with a moisturiser. It is the frequency of the use that makes the difference.

For Further Information on Dry Skin

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Fallen Arches

The main arch of the foot known as the longitudinal medial arch is essential to foot structure and function. Different people have different heights of arch profile, some higher and some lower. Many people who have low arch profiles function very well without any problems. However some people do get problems due to a low arch which can have heredity factors. Sometimes peoples arch profile changes with age or due to biomechanical reasons/problems. This can cause symptoms of tired or painful feet that can be assisted with professional treatment.

Causes of Fallen Arches

  • Sometimes the arch profile drops due to tendon damage (known as posterior tibial dysfunction).
  • The arch profile can reduce with aging as the musculature becomes less able to support the arch.
  • Arch problems can occur if the person is doing a lot of heavy lifting work or excessive sporting activity putting strain on the muscles and tendons that support the arch.
  • Some people are born with a low arch profile sometimes known as “pes planus” this does not always lead to foot problems.

Helpful Advice on Fallen Arches

  • Wear low heeled, comfortable footwear with a good arch support
  • If your low arches are causing pain, discomfort or immobility consult a state registered podiatrist for assessment. Sometimes arch problems can be helped with an orthotic.

For Further Information about Fallen Arches

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Gout is an inflammatory arthropathy which is a metabolic disorder. Uric acid levels in the blood are too high and lead to the formation of uric acid crystals in the joint. This can make the joints inflamed and painful. In extreme cases gouty tophi emerge which is where the uric acid crystals in the joint build to such a degree as they can be perceived as a lump over the joint. It most commonly affects the big toe joint although other joints can be affected. Gout is the most common form of inflammatory joint disease in men over 40. The big toe joint is affected first in 70% of cases.

Causes of Gout

Gout is a metabolic disorder. Certain conditions increase your risk of experiencing gout; these are psoriasis, reduced kidney function, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia and vascular disease.

Helpful Advice on Gout

  • Diets with high levels of purine should be avoided, these include seafood, alcohol, game meat and red meat.
  • If you suspect you have gout see your G.P. for further treatment and assessment.
  • If gout is affecting a joint or joints in your feet ensure you wear footwear that is roomy and does not put pressure on the joint.
  • If gout is affecting your feet consult a state registered podiatrist.

For Further Information about Gout

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Hammer Toes

There are three joints to the lesser toes, in the case of a hammer toe the second joint of the toe is bent down (planterflexed) while the end joint of the toe stays straight. This lends the toes to have two pressure points one on the bent up joint and one on the bent down.

Causes of Hammer Toes

  • Hammer toes are caused by biomechanical factors in the forefoot.
  • Due to the positioning of the toe joints the toe becomes prone to corns and callous on the top raised joint and the bottom or plantar joint.

Helpful Advice on Hammer Toes

  • Choose footwear that has a roomy toe area/forepart to prevent rubbing and low heel.
  • Using toe tubifoam or silicone tubes can help to protect the exposed joints from excessive pressure.
  • A good foot care cream can also keep the skin soft and elastic.

For Further Information on Hammer Toes

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Heel Pain

Heel pain can be caused by many different factors. These range from an inflammation of the soft tissue attachment, to heel spurs, bruising or fracture. The most common form is when the soft tissue attachment in the heel becomes inflamed and painful; this is often diagnosed as a condition call plantar fasciitis.

Causes of Heel Pain

  • Inflammation of the soft tissue attachment (plantar fasciitis)
  • Heel spurs which are a small hook likes structure of bone growing out of the heel bone.
  • Fracture, sometimes heel bones can have a hair line fracture especially if the person has osteoporosis.
  • Bruising can occur in unsuitable footwear or when the heels fat pad has become reduced.
  • Excessive physical activity can induce heel pain.
  • Excessive foot pronation can lead to heel pain.

Helpful Advice on Heel Pain

  • If you are suffering from chronic heel pain consult a Healthcare Professional.
  • If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis a good supportive shoe will help. Possibly a silicone heel cushion or an anti pronatory insole may help if used under the guidance of a podiatrist.
  • Ensure the heel area of the shoe you use is not excessively worn.

For Further information on Heel Pain

Consult your local state registered chiropodist/podiatrist or visit

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Leg Ulcers

Leg ulcers are most commonly found on the front (anterior) aspect of the leg and are often related to poor tissue integrity of the skin of the leg. The ulcer itself is a chronic break in the skin which does not quickly heal and requires professional treatment.

Causes of Leg Ulcers

  • Leg ulcers are most commonly caused by a mixture of poor circulation and poor tissue integrity.
  • There are two types of circulation in the leg, arterial and venous. The arterial circulation brings oxygenated blood from the heart into the leg and foot. The venous returns the deoxygenated blood from the foot and leg to the heart. When either of these types of circulation becomes compromised or both the leg becomes prone to leg ulcers.
  • Poor tissue integrity on the front (anterior) of the leg is common with aging, as the tissue integrity decreases the chance that an ulcer could form, normally started by a knock to the area, increases.
  • Other factors that affect the tissue integrity can be medications such as steroids. These can cause the skin to become thinner and more vulnerable. This added to age and circulation problems can increase the risk of ulceration.
  • Certain medical conditions like diabetes can make an elderly person more prone to ulceration by affecting circulation and wound healing.

The blood circulation system of the body has two main pathways. The arterial blood vessels which take the oxygenated blood from the heart to the body and its tissues and the venous blood vessels which transport the deoxygenated blood from the peripheral tissues back to the heart.

Good circulation is essential to good health and functioning of the body. When circulation begins to be reduced in the foot and lower limb it can cause difficulties such as poor healing, cold feet, cramping in the calf muscle (intermittent claudication), varicose veins, varicose eczema and oedema.

Helpful Advice on Leg Ulcers

  • Ensure that you get treatment from a Healthcare Professional. Leg ulcers require expert help and treatment.

For Further information on Leg Ulcers

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Metatarsalgia/Ball of Foot Pain

Causes of Metarsalgia

  • There are numerous causes including;
  • Hair line fracture of the metatarsal
  • Possible Morton’s neuroma
  • Biomechanical factors where the metatarsal area is being overloaded on walking
  • Osteo or Rheumatoid Arthritis

Helpful Advice on Metatarsalgia

  • The first line of defence for this condition is good supporting shoes which have a roomy toe box and a low heel.
  • Cold ice-pack compresses can be useful in reducing any swelling.
  • Gel products and insoles designed to cushion and protect the metatarsal/ball of foot area can help reduce pressure and the associated pain.
  • Ensure that you consult a podiatrist for any chronic fore foot pain.
  • Check your footwear is well fitting with plenty of room in the toe box

For Further information on Metatarsalgia

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Oedema is fluid retention. It commonly occurs around the feet and ankles and can be caused or related to several different medical conditions. The excess fluid in the tissues causes swelling. This is most commonly related to poor venous return or the lymphatic system.

Causes of Oedema

  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Medications (Check with your GP)
  • Lymphoedema
  • Ordinary or ‘physiological’ causes of oedema. Oedema can occur in a fit and healthy person under certain conditions and will usually resolve without treatment. Such as the heat, immobility (i.e. during a flight), pregnancy and the menstrual cycle.

Helpful Advice on Oedema

  • The treatment for oedema depends on the underlying cause of the condition. There are a few general measures to take to improve the swelling;
  • Always consult a Healthcare Professional if you have chronic oedema.
  • Exercise – moderate exercise such as walking, followed by elevation can help increase circulation and disperse the fluid which has accumulated.
  • Putting your feet up on a foot stool can help.
  • If prescribed for you by a Healthcare Professional surgical stockings can help fluid drainage and prevent further swelling.

For Further information about Oedema

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Poor Circulation/Circulation Problems

The blood circulation system of the body has two main pathways. The arterial blood vessels which take the oxygenated blood from the heart to the body and its tissues and the venous blood vessels which transport the deoxygenated blood from the peripheral tissues back to the heart.

Good circulation is essential to good health and functioning of the body. When circulation begins to be reduced in the foot and lower limb it can cause difficulties such as poor healing, cold feet, cramping in the calf muscle (intermittent claudication), varicose veins, varicose eczema and oedema.

Causes of Poor Circulation/Circulation Problems

  • Smoking
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Insufficient exercise
  • Extended periods of sitting in a cramped immobile position
  • Diabetes
  • Some forms of neuropathy and nerve damage

Helpful Advice on Poor Circulation

Addressing the following risk factors is the most important treatment for poor circulation:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Exercise on a frequent basis
  • Avoid staying immobile for long periods of time
  • Look after your general health. Try to keep a healthy balanced diet
  • Wear well-fitting footwear. To keep your circulation at its best, choose footwear that doesn't restrict or pinch your feet - you should be able to wriggle your toes inside your shoe
  • Choose socks that help improve circulation and are unrestrictive.
  • keep your feet and extremities warm.
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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis means inflammation of your plantar fascia. Your plantar fascia is a band of tissue that stretches from your heel to your middle foot bones. It supports the arch of your foot and also acts as a shock-absorber in your foot.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis means inflammation of your plantar fascia. Your plantar fascia is a band of tissue that stretches from your heel to your middle foot bones. It supports the arch of your foot and also acts as a shock-absorber in your foot.

  • If you are on your feet for a lot of the time, or if you do lots of walking or running.
  • If you have been wearing shoes with poor cushioning or poor arch support.
  • If you are overweight - this will put extra strain on your heel.
  • If there is overuse or sudden stretching of your sole.

Often there is no apparent cause for plantar fasciitis, particularly in older people.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Pain is the main symptom. This can be anywhere on the underside of your heel.

The pain is often worst when you take your first steps in the morning or after long periods of rest where no weight is placed on your foot. Gentle exercise may ease things a little as the day goes by, but a long walk or being on your feet for a long time often makes the pain worse. Resting your foot usually eases the pain.

What is the initial treatment for plantar fasciitis?

Usually, the pain will ease in time. 'Fascia' tissue heals quite slowly. It may take several months or more to go. However, the following treatments may help to speed recovery.

Rest your foot
This should be done as much as possible. Avoid running, excess walking or standing, and undue stretching of your sole.

Do not walk barefoot on hard surfaces. Choose shoes with cushioned heels and a good arch support. A laced sports shoe rather than an open sandal is probably best. Avoid old or worn shoes that may not give a good cushion to your heel.

Heel pads and arch supports
You can buy various pads and shoe inserts to cushion the heel and support the arch of your foot. These work best if you put them in your shoes at all times. Place the inserts/pads in both shoes, even if you only have pain in one foot.

Regular, gentle stretching of your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia may help to ease your symptoms. Your doctor may refer you to a physiotherapist for exercise guidance.

For Further Information on Plantar Fasciitis

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Stroke is a serious medical condition. It occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is adversely affected in either of two ways. Ischaemic stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is occluded by a blood clot (70% of strokes are of this sort). Haemorrhagic stroke is where one of the blood vessels in the brain ruptures. In both cases damage is caused to the brain leading to the symptoms associated with stroke i.e loss of speech, loss of the use of one side of the body and eyesight disturbance.

Early warning signs include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body;
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding;
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes;
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or co-ordination;
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Causes of Strokes

As we get older our arterial  health decreases, this added to the following factors can increase our risk of stroke.

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure (hypertension),
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol levels
  • A family history of heart disease, or diabetes.
  • Diabetes is also a risk factor, particularly if it is poorly controlled because the excess glucose in the blood can damage the arteries.

Helpful Preventative Advice for Stroke

  • Consider giving up smoking, see your GP for advice and support with this;
  • be physically active;
  • eat healthy foods;
  • watch your weight;
  • avoid excessive alcohol;
  • have regular check-ups;
  • control your cholesterol;
  • keep tabs on your blood pressure;
  • keep diabetes in check.

For Further Information about Stroke

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Sweaty Feet/Smelly Feet

Sweaty feet and smelly feet are two very common conditions.

Causes of Sweaty Feet and Smelly Feet

  • Sweaty feet are caused by excessive production of sweat from the soles of the feet and this condition often starts in adolescence and may affect either sex.
  • Smelly feet are the result of the build up of bacteria on the skin of the foot. This can lead to odour and sometimes macerated areas appearing on the skin of the feet.

Helpful Advice for combating Sweaty or Smelly Feet

  • Wear shoes, socks and hosiery that are made from natural materials or those specifically designed to be breathable.
  • Ensure that you wear clean socks and hosiery daily and avoid wearing shoes without socks.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry them well to prevent the onset of Athletes Foot.
  • Wiping the foot with surgical spirit on cotton wool can help with both sweaty and smelly feet.
  • If areas of maceration appear on the feet this may be due to bacterial build-up, seek the advice of a state registered podiatrist.
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Sore Feet

From time to time we will suffer from sore feet, and when our feet are sore this impacts on our overall wellbeing.

Causes of Sore Feet

  • Poor fitting footwear
  • Uncomfortable/unsupportive footwear (especially high heels)
  • Excessive walking or standing
  • Corns and Calluses
  • Fallen Arches
  • Metatarsalgia/Ball of foot pain
  • Poor circulation (see facts on poor circulation)
  • Structural deformities (such as hammertoes and bunions)

Helpful Advice on Sore Feet

  • Wear well fitting, low heeled comfort footwear
  • Use a shock absorbing insole inside for additional comfort
  • Keep the feet soft and supple by using a good quality foot cream
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