Our foot is a complex and intricate structure composed of 26 bones connected by several muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons. All these components play a crucial role in supporting our body, facilitating our movements, and maintaining our balance.
Given the constant use and the various stresses it is subjected to, our foot is susceptible to a wide range of stresses and injuries. Foot pain is a common sign of foot injuries and conditions. It can impact our daily activities and overall quality of life.
Let’s explore the causes of foot pain, associated symptoms, and strategies from a foot and ankle doctor that can relieve foot pain.
Foot Pain Causes
Foot pain can occur due to medical conditions, injuries, or lifestyle choices.
Several lifestyle choices can contribute to or exacerbate foot pain. These include improper, ill-fitting, worn-out shoes, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of foot care, improper foot posture, and excessive high-impact activities.
The following are some common medical conditions that often result in foot pain and discomfort.
Plantar fasciitis. As one of the most common causes of foot and heel pain, this condition involves the inflammation of a thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that connects the toes to the heel bone.
Achilles tendonitis. This is another common cause of foot pain that involves inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which is a tendon that connects calf muscles to the heel bone.
Bunions. This is a bony bump that forms at the base of your big toe, causing significant pain swelling, and difficulty wearing shoes.
Ingrown toenail. This is a condition that occurs when toenails grow into the surrounding skin.
Morton neuroma. This is a buildup of non-cancerous tissues in the nerves that run between the long bones of the foot. This occurs when the two bones rub together and squeeze the nerve between them.
Hammertoes. This foot deformity causes your toe to curl or bend (downward) instead of pointing straight forward. This condition mostly affects the second or third toe.
Ankle sprain. This is a common injury in which the foot’s ligament in the ankle gets injured when the ankle turns, rolls, or twists beyond its normal range of motion.
Foot fracture. A foot fracture is a break in the bone that can occur in any of the 26 bones of the foot.
Neuropathy. This occurs when a health condition, like diabetes, damages the nerve in the foot, leading to sensations of pain, numbness, and tingling.
Symptoms Associated with Foot Pain
Foot pain can range from mild discomfort in the foot to severe and debilitating pain. The pain in the foot may last a short time or be an ongoing problem. Along with foot pain, you may also experience symptoms such as:
- Swelling or inflammation
- Stiffness or decreased range of motion
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Difficulty walking or standing.
- Changes in skin’s temperature or color
Strategies To Relieve Foot Pain
A foot and ankle doctor recommends several at-home treatment options to find relief from foot pain. These options may vary depending on the pain you are experiencing and its cause. These include:
- Apply ice or a bag of frozen vegetables to the affected area.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Elevate your foot above the heart level.
- Take rest as much as possible.
- Use foot pads to cushion the affected foot area.
- Wear shoes or shoe inserts that provide adequate cushioning and support
- Massage your foot to promote relaxation and relieve muscle tension.
See your foot and ankle doctor right away if you notice the following signs and symptoms.
- Above-mentioned strategies fail to provide adequate relief from foot pain.
- Pain comes on suddenly and is severe.
- You have an open wound in a painful area.
- You have a fever along with foot pain.
- You have received a diagnosis of a medical condition that interferes with blood flow.
- You are unable to put weight on your foot.
- You have recently sustained an injury.
- The painful area is discolored.
During your appointment, your doctor will perform a comprehensive assessment in which they will observe your posture and how you walk. They will also examine your feet, legs, and back and will want to know the details of your foot pain, such as when the pain started, how worse it is, and what parts are the most affected. If necessary, they may also order a diagnostic imaging test, such as an X-ray exam, to give you a diagnosis.
Based on your diagnosis, a foot and ankle doctor may recommend the following treatments.
- Prescription Medications. A foot and ankle doctor may prescribe prescription medications to relieve foot pain and associated symptoms.
- To provide your foot with proper support and cushioning, a foot and ankle doctor may prescribe custom orthotics designed to treat your unique foot problem.
- Physical Therapy. Physical therapy exercises and techniques can also help strengthen foot muscles and joints, reducing pain and inflammation. Physical therapy exercises can also help correct deformities such as hammertoe.
- Surgery. Surgery is recommended when pain is not relieved with non-surgical treatments or when there is a severe fracture or other injury.
Foot And Ankle Doctor in Port Charlotte, FL
If you are experiencing debilitating foot and ankle pain that is not getting better with rest and at-home measures, see our foot and ankle expert at Advanced Orthopedic Center. At our reputable center, we have a highly trained and skilled podiatrist Dr. Steven Anthony, who has built an excellent reputation for providing top-notch podiatric care for a comprehensive range of food and ankle issues. Our podiatrist can also provide you with all the necessary information and guidance you need to prevent foot injuries from occurring in the first place.