A bunion is a painful swelling that usually occurs at the head of one of the long bones (metatarsal bones) of the big or little toe, which extend from the arch of the foot and connect to the toes. A bunion begins to form when the big or little toe is forced in toward the rest of the toes. This causes the head of the metatarsal bone to jut out and rub against the side of your shoe. The underlying tissue becomes inflamed, and a painful swelling forms. Bone growth may occur at the site of irritation. The toe grows towards the rest of your toes at an increasing angle. Corns. A corn is actually a form of a callus - a protective layer of dead skin cells composed of a tough protein called keratin. A corn itself is cone-shaped and usually develops if a shoe rubs against the toes for a prolonged period. As the skin thickens, the corn forms a knobby core that points inward. Hard corns develop on toe joints, usually on the little toe. A shoe that squeezes the front of the foot may cause one toe to rub against another forming a corn between the toes, which is usually soft. These corns can be painful, however, if they harden and rub against each other. General Guidelines. Nonsurgical treatments for heel pain are effective in 90% of patients. The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) suggests trying shoe inserts, medications, and stretching first. One study found that 95% of women who used an insert and did simple exercises that stretched their Achilles tendon and plantar fascia experienced improvement after eight weeks. If these methods fail, then the patient may need prescription heel orthotics and extended physical therapy. Heel surgery to relieve pain may be performed for heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, or neuroma. Surgery is not recommended until nonsurgical methods have failed for at least six months and preferably 12 months. The plantar fascia supports the bones of the heels and maintains the arch of the heel. The Foot Conditions is a bony projection that leads away from the plantar fascia into the surrounding tissues of the body. More often than not, heel spurs and plantar fasciitis together cause sharp pain in the foot. The severe foot pain experienced by you, when you put your weight on your foot, while taking first step, is because of the heel spur poking into the surrounding living mass of tissues, nerves, tendons and muscles. Your doctor may advise you to take an X-ray of the feet to detect the heel spur. The blood must be released to relieve the pressure. Some people will tell you that you can do this yourself with a razor blade or a hot needle, which you poke through the skin. That takes guts; you're probably better off seeing a doctor to take care of it. If you don't take care of it in the first couple of weeks, the nail will probably start to come off, and several weeks later it will ultimately drop off. Not to worry, while this is not a particularly attractive process, it's not painful or unhealthy either. Fred Salomon is a foot care specialist with professional and commercial ventures in the podiatry field, including foot care products and foot health treatment options. Many people find it difficult to wake up in the mornings because of foot arch pain. There are different arch pain treatments; one of the simplest solutions to this problem is wearing shoe inserts to relieve foot arch pain. Many foot health specialists recommend podiatrist-designed orthotic insoles by Footminders to relieve this foot health problem. You can find more information and treatment for many types of foot pain at www.footminders.com In today's world where fashion rules, lack of willingness to buy more comfortable shoes can lead to disaster. However, with the use of insoles for high heel shoes, ball of foot pain can be relieved with consistent wear. It is advisable to choose shoes that have a heel with a less than 2" heel and with a wider-profile heel such as a wedge to avoid future ball of foot pain. Be sure to elongate foot muscles with a stretch and have them massaged to encourage optimal blood flow to the feet.