Your feet carry you throughout your busy day, and when they hurt, you want lasting relief. Your podiatrist can discover the causes of your discomfort and plan effective care which makes sense for your health and lifestyle. Here’s what to know about the causes and treatments for today’s most common sources of foot pain.
Understanding the Causes of Foot Pain
Foot pain can be a nagging and uncomfortable issue that affects people of all ages. There are many potential causes of foot pain, ranging from minor injuries to underlying medical conditions. Understanding the reasons behind your foot pain is key to finding effective relief. Some of the most common causes of foot pain include poor footwear, foot deformities, overuse injuries, arthritis, and diabetic neuropathy.
By learning more about these causes and their symptoms, you can make your daily life free of foot pain.
Today’s fashionable high heels place a tremendous load on the forefoot. Add in narrow toe boxes, and you have the perfect recipe for foot pain. Wearing shoes like this can lead to the progressive development of hammer toes, corns, calluses, and even ingrown toenails.
Another poor choice that contributes to foot pain is poorly supportive shoes, particularly in the arch of the foot. Athletes, such as runners, and workers who are on their feet all day must select shoes that take the pressure off the bones and connective tissue which span the bottom of the foot.
While custom shoe inserts, or orthotics, can help avoid foot pain, the first and best preventive measure is consistently wearing low-heeled shoes with adequate cushioning. Quality shoes help you avoid ankle sprains and gait problems related to poor balance; an experienced podiatrist can help you choose the footwear best for your lifestyle, job, and athletic pursuits.
Foot deformities which develop over time may be due to diabetes, arthritis, or even the undue pressure caused by excess body weight. Fallen arches, bunions, and hammertoes are some of the more well-known and progressively painful acquired foot deformities.
A skilled podiatrist can formulate a treatment plan to avoid or accommodate foot deformities. Surgeries, such as bunionectomies, work well to correct foot structure and relieve pain.
Overuse And Acute Injuries
The repetitive foot and ankle motions involved in tennis, volleyball, basketball, running, and more lead to painful overuse injuries in the foot and ankle, such as plantar fasciitis across the arch of the foot and Achilles tendonitis. These conditions can be extremely painful–even debilitating. They occur because of repetitive motions, such as bouncing on the ball of the foot.
Regarding acute, or sudden, injuries to the lower extremities, an ankle sprain is the most common. Foot and toe fractures also cause many people to seek treatment at their local emergency room or with a foot and ankle surgeon.
Aging is a fact of life, and sadly, it can bring with it the pain, swelling, and stiffness of osteoarthritis. While there are many non-invasive treatments that help this progressive orthopedic problem–such as bracing, over-the-counter medications, and physical therapy–the pain of osteoarthritis in the foot and ankle often prompts people to seek surgical treatment.
The stabbing, shooting pain, and eventual loss of sensation related to diabetic neuropathy require ongoing care from your primary care physician and your podiatrist. Sadly, nerve pain in the lower extremities can lead to loss of mobility and in severe cases, amputation. So, exams with your podiatrist will help you avoid the complications associated with painful diabetic neuropathy.
What You Should Do For Foot Pain
A sudden, painful injury that causes extreme swelling or noticeable deformity requires a trip to the nearest hospital ER or urgent care center for an examination and X-rays. Milder foot pain may respond to the traditional RICE regimen–rest, ice, compression (with an elastic bandage), and elevation of the affected limb.
That being said, your podiatrist is your best source for a complete diagnostic assessment and treatment of all sources of foot pain, mainly if you are diabetic or have another serious health condition, such as peripheral vascular disease.
Podiatrist in Wentzville, MO
At Advanced Bone & Joint, Dr. Anthony Lombardo is our board-certified foot and ankle surgeon. He uses advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques to get to the source of foot pain and to manage it. He offers both non-operative and surgical solutions tailored to individual health needs and lifestyle goals.
Please call our office staff today at 636-229-4222. to arrange for your foot pain appointment with Dr. Lombardo. Additionally, you may schedule an appointment using our appointment request form. We are happy to serve you and your podiatric health needs!