5 Foot Conditions That Can be Inherited
Nov 11 , 2021
Tags - Inherited Foot Conditions
Have you ever wondered whether the flat feet you got from your parents will be passed down to your future children?
Or, are you worried if you’ll pass on your aching bunions or painful ingrown toenails?
Well, there are many different types of foot problems that occur for many different reasons, some of which are due to the body, others that are because of environmental factors like footwear.
More recently though, research has revealed that genetics play an important role as well.
Keep in mind though, just because something is hereditary, it doesn’t mean it will happen to you, it just increases your risk.
But, this is a positive as it gives you ammunition to predict any foot conditions and therefore reverse the effect of genetics, prevent problems and make even simple activities, like walking, more comfortable.
With that said, here are 5 foot conditions that can be inherited.
1. Flat Feet
Flat feet are very common to run in families and they can appear at different stages in someone’s life.
By flat feet, this means there is very little or no arch support, and is noticeable when the feet lie flat without a gap between the foot and the ground.
Whilst most people will not feel any pain, it can often make walking on a daily basis a little difficult.
However, it’s not the feet themselves that cause this pain, rather it’s the lack of support that causes issues as other joints need to work extra hard to provide the stability.
For this reason, people with flat feet will often complain about pain in their feet, ankles, knees, hips or back, because their feet can’t support their activity.
To try and correct this alignment, it’s important to wear shoes that provide adequate support, or insert custom made orthotics to reduce any pain and discomfort.
2. High Arches
On the opposite end of the scale, if you haven’t been passed on flat feet from your dad, you may have inherited high arches from your mum.
Sure, if you’re an avid ballet dancer you’ll be happy not to have flat feet, but having excessively high-arched feet is a problem.
To put it simply, where people with flat feet have too much motion, people with high arches do not have enough, which means the feet do not have enough shock absorption during a walk or run.
As a result, this can lead to foot pain in the heels, shin splints and stress fractures.
Like flat feet, properly fitted shoes should be worn or orthotics inserted inside the shoes which will increase the surface area around the heel and help abort the weight, add support and provide stability to the ankle.
When most people develop bunions, they often blame shoes for causing them.
Just to be clear, bunions are a condition where the big toe points towards the second toe, causing a bump on the inside edge of the toe; this bump is either an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joints of the big toe.
Yes, shoes can make it worse, but shoes are rarely the cause for bunions forming.
Did you know, you are predisposed to forming a bunion based on your foot type?
Well, each foot type has its own foot mechanics and bone structure, and those with ligamentous laxity, are more likely to develop bunions.
And with every step, those who have a tendency for a bunion will roll off the big toe, placing pressure on the metatarsal bone and causing it to push out.
Generally speaking, people are not born with bunions, rather they develop overtime. So, if you do spot signs of a bunion forming early, see a podiatrist who will be able to recommend custom orthotics to balance out faulty mechanics.
4. Ingrown Toenails
You may not have thought this, but ingrown toenails can be passed down through genetics.
Of course, some cases of ingrown toenails are through a person’s own errors, like not cutting the nails properly, but most of the time, it’s inherited.
Essentially, ingrown toenails occur when the toenail is too wide for the nail bed and the rim of the nail grows down into the skin.
Here’s the thing, yes you’ve just been built that way and ingrown toenails may not even bother you. But, if they begin to feel sore, you’ll want to get these checked by a professional before it becomes inflamed or infected.
5. Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Sure, not all cases of diabetes are hereditary, but most people who develop diabetes have a genetic predisposition.
Unfortunately, diabetes has serious consequences for the feet; peripheral neuropathy can cause the feet to become numb or there is a poor blood flow.
Together with not being able to heal from injuries properly, some people can develop an open sore on the foot known as a diabetic foot ulcer.
To put it simply, a diabetic foot ulcer is a hole in the skin due to excessive pressure on the bottom of the foot, which the person cannot feel because their feet are numb.
In this case, people with diabetes should not just take their medication, but perform daily foot checks to ensure there are no issues.
If you see yourself with any of the above conditions, the good news is, they can be treated.
The biggest treatment being wearing comfortable shoes; they should not be too tight or big or at an uncomfortable heel height.
In other words, even though you may have a genetic predisposition to certain foot issues, poor footwear will only make it worse.
All in all, check your feet regularly to spot any early signs and prevent the problem from getting worse.
Get in touch today to find out more.
Check our full range of comfortable shoes here in the meantime.
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