There are many causes of foot pain, not all of them obvious. A podiatrist is best placed to diagnose the problem, and provide the right treatment

Bespoke orthotic casting.Bespoke orthotic casting.

Foot pain, or pain in the lower limbs, is a common problem. Pain in the foot can have many different causes; some of them obvious, some less so. In addition to accidents or sports injuries, there are problems such as ingrown toenails, fungal nail infections; corns, calluses and verrucae. Foot pain can also be caused by conditions leading to injuries of bones, ligaments or tendons. These may cause pain inside the sole, heel or ball of the foot, as opposed to conditions affecting the skin or toenails.

Fungal toenail infections can be caused by having warm, damp feet. This can be a result of wearing trainers for long periods when the feet are hot and sweaty.

Corns and calluses are hard patches of skin which can be caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes. They can also result from foot deformities or a walking motion which puts pressure on the wrong parts of the foot. Verrucae and warts are caused by a virus, spread from contaminated surfaces or close skin contact. They can appear months after contact with the virus.

One common cause of foot pain is plantar fasciitis. This is a strain of the thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes; it can lead to pain on the bottom of the foot, around the heel and the arch.

Before toenail reconstructionBefore toenail reconstruction

Sometimes pain in the feet, joints or lower limbs is caused by a person's posture and the way they stand, walk or run. This can be the result of a physical abnormality, which puts stress on the wrong tissues. If the interplay between the muscles, tendons and ligaments supporting the bones is wrong, injury may develop. As well as treating this, it may be necessary to use exercises or medical aids to correct and prevent the problem from recurring.

In-grown toenails are usually caused by cutting the nails too short or wearing shoes that press the nail into the skin; they can also develop after a toe injury.

It is particularly important to go to a foot care specialist if you are diabetic. Diabetes leads to a much greater risk of developing foot problems because it can damage the sensation in the feet and also affects the circulation. Minor problems, if untreated, can develop into serious infections which could have been prevented with good foot care.

The Complete Chiropractic Centre in Barnstaple has a highly experienced foot care team, Sara Williams and Julie LaZouche. They work together to provide a full range of podiatry services, as well as general foot care, pedicures, and therapeutic or cosmetic treatments.

After toenail reconstruction.After toenail reconstruction.

Sara Williams, HCPC Registered Podiatrist, offers treatment for all causes of foot pain or lower limb pain. These include full foot and lower limb assessment including vascular and neurological testing; diabetic assessments, and biochemical gait analysis and video treadmill assessments for movement and posture-related conditions. This can enhance performance, as well as being used to diagnose problems.

Fungal infections can be treated with Clearanail fungal system, if they are in their infancy, but will need to be assessed by Sara first. In cases of ingrown toenails, Sara can perform nail surgery, which involves partial or total removal of the nail under local anaesthetic using a chemical to permanently remove the affected nail.

Sara also offers specialist orthotic solutions to conditions such as plantar fasciitis. She will create bespoke insoles, cast in foam and tailored precisely to the patient's foot. She will also provide ongoing care.

Julie LaZouche, a registered Foot Health Practitioner, offers treatments which complement the podiatry covered by Sara, covering the basic day-to-day foot care of corn and callus removal and toenail cutting. Her therapeutic and cosmetic services include relaxing foot massages and pedicures, including the deluxe pedicure using paraffin wax and heated booties. She offers a simple nail shape and polish and a Mini-Pedi for juniors aged between six and 13 years, using Dr's Remedy Podiatry formulated and approved nail products which are vegan friendly and cruelty free, safe for children, diabetics and expectant mothers.

Orthotic insoles.Orthotic insoles.

Julie also offers toenail reconstruction for damaged, unsightly or partial missing nails, to improve the appearance of feet; perfect before going on holiday or special occasions.

Her very popular 'medi-pedi' service combines her FHP foot care with a mini-pedi and nail polish.

An initial appointment with Sara costs £38, follow-ups are £28. For Julie an initial appointment is £30, follow-ups £25.

To find out more about the many services offered, or to make an appointment, click here or call 01271 327 444.