Foot pain is a common problem that comes in several forms. It can range from a throbbing pain in the heel or stabbing pain in the small toe. Many potential causes of foot pain make it difficult to self-diagnose. If you experience persistent foot pain, it’s best to get checked by a podiatrist.
A podiatrist is a medical professional with specialized education and training of foot and ankle conditions. They can assist patients from the diagnosis to treatment and preventive care when it comes to foot and ankle health.
Common Causes of Foot Pain
You may be experiencing some foot pain but be overlooking it. Do not let it worsen by ignoring the problem and letting it fester. Consulting with a podiatrist early on can help you fast-track your treatment and recovery.
Achilles Tendon Tear
The Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous tissue that works with your calf muscles to facilitate leg movement. Although it can withstand significant pressure, the tendon can rupture during high-intensity sports like basketball and football.
When the tendon ruptures, you might hear a loud pop in the back of your calf. The area may swell and discolor. You might also encounter sharp pain when you point your feet downward or bring your heel upwards.
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The plantar fascia, the ligament connecting the heel to the foot’s ball, becomes damaged and causes pain.
This condition is usually characterized by throbbing heel pain that comes first thing in the morning. If you experience pain when you take the first few steps out of bed, it may be a sign of plantar fasciitis.
This painful foot condition occurs when the nerves in your toes become compressed and inflamed. Morton’s neuroma usually develops in the small area between the third and fourth toes.
If you have Morton’s neuroma, the tissue surrounding the nerve in your toe thickens until it pinches the nerve. It can result in sharp pain and tingling sensation between the third and fourth toes and the foot’s ball. You might also feel as if a small lump is stuck inside the ball of the foot.
A person with diabetes is vulnerable to several foot-related problems. Due to poor blood circulation and nerve damage, they can develop foot infections, ulcers, and deformities. Constant pressure on the feet can easily break the skin. When left untreated, a small foot wound can turn into an infection that spreads to other parts of the foot and leg.
If you have diabetes, it’s best to visit your podiatrist at least once a year, even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your podiatrist will go through the following process to diagnose and treat your foot pain:
- Initial consultation – Your podiatrist will review your medical history and ask about your symptoms. Tell your doctor about your exercise regimen and occupational demands that may be placing unnecessary pressure on your feet.
- Physical inspection – This is used to narrow down potential causes. Your podiatrist will check your feet for any visible bumps or swelling and note any potential areas of concern.
- Imaging test – These are used to diagnose your condition accurately and rule out potential causes.
- Personalized treatment plan – The treatment will depend on your condition, but foot doctors most often recommend conservative therapies for mild cases. The R.I.C.E. method of rest, ice, compression, and elevation usually does the trick for mild to moderate cases.
- Recommend orthotics or shoe inserts – These are used to correct foot deformities and distribute pressure. If your job involves staying on your feet for several hours, your podiatrist may suggest custom-made orthotics.
- Foot surgery – This is often the last resort. If you don’t respond to conservative treatments or the damage to your feet is severe, your podiatrist can perform surgery to repair the damage and correct abnormalities.
Top-Rated Podiatrist In St. Peters And O’Fallon, MO
Your feet are subject to constant stress and trauma. Every time you walk, jump, or run, your feet support your entire weight and make virtually any movement possible. It’s important to take proper care of your feet, so they can keep you moving through life.
For comprehensive foot and ankle care, visit Advanced Bone & Joint Center today. Our very own Dr. Anthony Lombardo is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon who can diagnose and treat a wide range of foot and ankle disorders, from sports injuries to diabetic foot disease.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lombardo, call our office at (636) 229-4222 or fill out our online appointment request form. Let us help you give your feet the care it deserves.