Skip to content

Quiz: What's Causing Your Aching Feet?

  1 of  
Current Score:  
Loading..Please Wait
slide image

For high heels, how high is too high?

slide image

For high heels, how high is too high?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Though many stilettos hover 5 to 8 inches off the ground, a mere 2 inches is a "high heel" to most podiatrists. Heels that tall or higher have been linked to knee, heel, and ankle problems.

 

In one study, women who wore 2-inch heels 40 hours a week for two years had shorter calf muscles, shorter strides, and other permanent changes that put them at risk for injury.

slide image

Running barefoot is better for your feet than running in shoes.

slide image

Running barefoot is better for your feet than running in shoes.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Doctors don't agree that "natural" running is safer. Barefoot running seems to improve strength and balance, but the lack of protection can cause more puncture wounds and increased foot stress. So, the jury's still out.

Who gets bunions?

Who gets bunions?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Nine out of 10 cases of this common foot deformity happen to women.

 

The main trigger for bunions is too-tight, narrow shoes -- which 88% of women wear, according to one study. Other causes: unlucky genes, arthritis, and flat feet.

If your heel hurts, it's most often because of:

If your heel hurts, it's most often because of:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Heel pain -- the No.1 reason people see a podiatrist -- is usually caused by plantar fasciitis, inflamed tissue on the bottom of the foot.

 

About 90% of cases resolve in ten months through home care like ice, NSAIDs, rest, and stretching -- especially if you don't ignore the pain and treat early. Cortisone shots are reserved for tough cases, as overuse can lead to tearing and chronic pain.

What causes runners' toenails to blacken?

What causes runners' toenails to blacken?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Toes that strike the shoe's toe box repeatedly cause trauma and bleeding under the nail. This can happen on hard pavement, or in shoes that are too short or too tight.


Ultrarunners have been known to have all their toenails removed to avoid them banging against shoes. Easier: Head for softer surfaces, make sure trainers fit right, and buy new ones after 9 to 12 months, if you run 10 miles a week.

Wearing tight shoes or high heels can increase your risk of getting a type of tumor in your foot.

Wearing tight shoes or high heels can increase your risk of getting a type of tumor in your foot.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Morton's neuroma, a benign nerve tumor, is linked to wearing high heels and shoes with tight toe boxes -- so women get it 8 to 10 times more often than men.

 

It's a thickening of the tissue around a nerve heading between the third and fourth toes. The shooting pain feels like stepping on a hard kernel of corn.

 

Another surprising cause: positioning your toes abnormally. Golfers, who twist the foot when swinging, are neuroma-prone.

What causes a woman's feet to get bigger when she's pregnant?

What causes a woman's feet to get bigger when she's pregnant?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

New moms aren't imagining that their old shoes fit no better than their pre-baby jeans. German researchers measured -- and sure enough, found increases in foot length and width after childbirth.

 

Water retention and post-baby pounds amp up size, and the hormone relaxin literally spreads them out. Alas, feet don't always shrink back even if you lose the baby weight.

Why are your feet mostly likely to hurt after standing?

Why are your feet mostly likely to hurt after standing?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Some people are born with flat feet -- the absence of a space or "arch" between the ground and the sole -- but others develop it over time.

 

Though often painless, a telltale sign is feet that feel achy or tired after standing still for even short periods or after playing sports.

 

People with flat feet or their opposite -- high arches -- tend to need shoes with extra support.

What's a pinky toe tuck?

What's a pinky toe tuck?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Other new "foot facelifts" for those who want strappy-sandal-ready feet include toe shortening (to make the second toe smaller than the big toe) and toe straightening (to remove some bone to correct curled or angled toes).

 

Given that feet have 26 bones and 30 joints, foot doctors warn against surgery on pain-free feet that are working just fine.

Can you ever safely wear flip-flops?

Can you ever safely wear flip-flops?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Most versions of the summer fashion staple offer no arch support or shock absorption, and lack stability, setting you up for damage.

 

That's why foot doctors recommend against wearing flip-flops for long periods or during sports. At the pool, though, they can save your feet from fungal infections.

Where can you catch athlete's foot?

Where can you catch athlete's foot?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that thrives in warm, dark, humid environments (like locker rooms, hence its name). Highly contagious, it can even be spread by sharing sheets with contaminated feet, so wear clean socks in bed if your mate has infected feet.

A good way to prevent heel blisters is to:

A good way to prevent heel blisters is to:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Military cadets who used a prescription antiperspirant for at least three nights before a long hike had blisters half as often as a control group studied. Drying foot powders, dry soap flakes, and OTC antiperspirant sprays that contain aluminum chloride work, too.

 

Other studies show synthetic socks wick moisture better than cotton, which promotes irritation when wet. (That's why dancers tuck lamb's wool between toes.)

So what's the difference between a corn and a callus?

So what's the difference between a corn and a callus?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Corns and calluses are both patches of thickened skin caused by pressure and rubbing. When the patch appears on the side or top of a toe, it's called a corn. When it's on the bottom of the foot, it's a callus.

 

Plantar warts -- speckled, tough growths caused by a virus -- are often mistaken for corns and calluses.

You wake up with a swollen, shiny, red, painful big toe. You may have:

You wake up with a swollen, shiny, red, painful big toe. You may have:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Typically the very first sign of gout -- a form of arthritis sometimes called "arthritic gout" -- is a suddenly swollen, hot, painful, and ugly-looking big toe.

 

Gout is caused by too much uric acid, a natural substance. When it builds up, it forms needlelike crystals, especially at low body temperatures. And what's the coolest part of the body, farthest from the heart? The big toe.

What causes most ingrown toenails?

What causes most ingrown toenails?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Too-short nails invite the surrounding skin to grow up and over the nail. The pressure can really hurt.

 

Cutting nails in a curved shape is little better; straight across is best.

 

Don't try to re-trim an ingrown nail or work cotton or dental floss under the nail, setups for infection.

How long is the "breaking in" period for new shoes?

How long is the "breaking in" period for new shoes?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

If shoes aren't comfortable in the store, pass on them. About 8 out of 10 Americans say they've had foot pain as a result of poorly fitting shoes, a doctors' survey found. Some people, used to tight shoes, find that "good fits" feel too loose!

 

To find a perfect fit, have the length and width of your feet measured at the end of the day, to account for normal swelling. Don't buy based on size alone.

For a safe, natural cure for athlete's foot or nail fungus, just pee on your feet in the shower.

For a safe, natural cure for athlete's foot or nail fungus, just pee on your feet in the shower.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Alas, no clinical evidence or studies seem to support this home remedy. Topical or oral medications are the usual treatment.

 

Pesky, itchy fungal infections are one of the few foot conditions that affect men more than women -- so maybe that's why the idea of wizzing away at the misery has caught on.

Why do people with diabetes need more foot care?

Why do people with diabetes need more foot care?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Diabetics need regular foot care because the disease causes nerve damage. Nerves to the feet are the most often damaged, making feet numb.

 

So people with diabetes might not feel cuts, sores, and blisters that can get infected. Foot care reduces amputation rates by half or more.

Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
results image

Congrats on the fancy footwork! Your tootsies should be thanking you.

A great feat. Put on your dancing shoes and celebrate!

A little footloose. Try to put more foot care into practice.

The agony of de-feet! Use what you've learned to spare yourself future pain.

Today on WebMD

pain in brain and nerves
Top causes and how to find relief.
knee exercise
8 exercises for less knee pain.
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
 
illustration of nerves in hand
Slideshow
lumbar spine
Slideshow
 
Woman opening window
Slideshow
Man holding handful of pills
Video
 
Woman shopping for vegetables
Slideshow
Sore feet with high heel shoes
Slideshow
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Slideshow
man with a migraine
Slideshow