Vionic Presents

Podiatrist Tips for Treating the Top 5 Foot Problems

By: Vionic Shoes

Ouch! What a pain in the foot. April is National Foot Health Awareness Month so we’ve teamed up with Vionic Innovation Lab expert Dr. Jackie Sutera, a surgically trained doctor of podiatric medicine specializing in the prevention and treatment of foot pathology, to learn more about the top five foot problems. Here are her recommended remedies to help relieve pain, swelling and other symptoms you might experience.

Plantar Fasciitis (aka. Heel Pain)
Plantar fasciitis is a dull-to-severe pain in your heel caused by strain and inflammation of your plantar fascia (foot tissue). This can be due to excessive pronation or standing/walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time.

  • Stretch the calves: An easy, simple way to do this is to press your toes against a wall with the heel pressed to the floor. Flex and hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds (make sure to alternate the feet).
  • Massage the arches of your feet: Adjust the amount of pressure as you see fit and can comfortably manage. Or, roll a golf ball or tennis ball along your arch.
  • Replace old shoes with women's shoes with arch support or comfortable, thick-soled shoes.
  • Ice the foot and/or take anti-inflammatories: This can help reduce inflammation.
  • Avoid going barefoot: This can put stress on the plantar fascia, causing it to lengthen and become inflamed, or even possibly tear.

Tendonitis is the inflammation or irritation of the tendons which can be the result of an injury or overuse.

  • Rest, ice and/or take anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling.
  • Use elastic bandages to reduce soreness and elevate the foot when sitting or resting.
  • Avoid going barefoot and wear comfortable, thick-soled shoes.
  • Replace your old shoes with shoes with arch support.

A bunion is a bony bump on the outside base of the big toe. A hammertoe is the abnormal bend or downward curve of the big toe. Both conditions can be caused by tight, ill-fitting shoes, arthritis or can be present at birth.

  • Wear shoes with a wide and high enough toe box to accommodate the foot comfortably. Open shoes and adjustable strappy sandals can be very comfortable in the warmer weather, such as orthotic sandals.
  • Pad the toes with bunion booties to help relieve pressure.
  • Wear toe caps to protect the area from rubbing and friction.
  • Wear orthotic insoles and supportive shoes with a thicker sole.
  • Avoid narrow, pointy and high heels.
  • Lightly stretch and massage the toe joint, and ice it at the end of the day.

Neuroma is the growth or thickening of nerve tissue around the toes which can be caused by injury, high heel use and/or running. Symptoms include a burning sensation, numbness or a tingling feeling in your toes.

  • Stretch the forefoot by pulling apart the toes and massaging the forefoot, including the space between the metatarsals (the group of five long bones in the foot).
  • Ice the area that is experiencing pain.
  • Wear a neuroma pad to help spread the bones around the metatarsal area and relieve pain.
  • Avoid thin, flat, high and pointy shoes. Instead try orthotic shoes or shoe inserts with arch support.

Ingrown Nails
Ingrown nails are irregular, curved nails that have grown into the flesh. This condition can be caused by injuring the toe or by wearing socks or footwear that apply too much pressure and/or tightness.

  • Cut your nails straight across and only slightly round out the corners.
  • Avoid tight, pointy shoes; this can worsen discomfort.
  • Place a tiny piece of cotton under the corner of the nail and make sure to change out the cotton daily. This technique will gently lift the nail as it grows.
  • Use bacitracin and adhesive bandages to help prevent infection.
  • Soak your feet in Epsom salts for about 20 minutes daily to reduce swelling and soften the nail.

Although it may not always be running through your mind, foot care is a vital part of your overall health. Learn more about National Foot Health Awareness Month and other health tips for your feet on the Vionic blog.


About Vionic Shoes Feet were designed to walk on soft, natural elements like soil and sand, not the hard, flat man-made surfaces that make up so much of our modern world. Vionic shoes hug your arches like a natural footprint, giving you all-day support and promoting a more active lifestyle. Many Vionic shoes, sandals and orthotic shoe inserts have earned the APMA Seal of Acceptance, which certifies they are beneficial in promoting foot health. For additional information about Vionic, please visit

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