Are you plagued by foot pain but not sure what’s exactly causing it? Foot pain can be due to wearing poorly fitting shoes or a minor soft-tissue injury, such as a sprain or strain, which is supposed to gradually heal with rest, over-the-counter medications, elevation, and other self-care measures.
There are cases of foot pain, however, that need proper medical intervention, as you may not be able to shake them off with basic remedies—if you can, they may still recur and become chronic. Foot pain that doesn’t resolve within a short period of time may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition: you will need the help of a foot doctor to tackle the problem at its root.
Let’s learn about the possible causes of chronic foot pain and where you can find a foot doctor (podiatrist) in St. Peters and O’Fallon, Missouri who can provide effective treatment for it.
Morton neuroma is a buildup of benign tissue in the nerves running under the ball of your foot and into your toes. The tissue buildup compresses the nerves in the foot, causing pain, swelling, tenderness, and feeling as though you’re standing on a pebble inside your shoe.
Certain sports, wearing high heels, and foot deformities are risk factors for Morton’s neuroma.
This condition does not go away on its own. The symptoms will come and go, depending on how much time you spend on your feet and which type of shoes you wear. Morton’s neuroma is highly treatable, but without prompt treatment, it can lead to permanent nerve damage.
This inflammatory condition affects the plantar fascia –the band of connective tissue between the heel bone and base of all five toes. Plantar fasciitis can occur due to repetitive strain injury (a result of doing high-intensity activities for a long period without rest), poor foot placement, or too much body weight, which puts a strain on the plantar fascia.Since the plantar fascia supports the arch and muscles of your foot, injury to it can also cause arch pain and small bone spurs on your heel.
While plantar fasciitis can go away with rest and basic remedies, it can recur and become chronic, especially if you’re always on your feet. When left untreated for over a year, plantar fasciitis can become plantar fasciosis, a degenerative but noninflammatory condition caused by repeated strain on the plantar fascia.
Osteoarthritis, also known as wear-and-tear arthritis, can develop in any of the numerous joints in the foot, but it commonly affects the big toe, ankle joints, and heel bone joints.
Aging contributes to osteoarthritis as do obesity, overuse, and sedentary lifestyle.Foot arthritis, if left untreated, can lead to the complete breakdown of the cartilage, causing the bones to rub against each other, thus the pain, stiffness, and restricted joint movement.
While osteoarthritis is the common culprit in chronic foot pain, there are other types of arthritis that can cause it, namely rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and psoriatic arthritis.
Bunions are characterized by a bulging bump on the side of your big toe, pain that comes and goes, redness and swelling on the skin, and limited movement. The characteristic bony bump isn’t actually a bone but the joint of the big toe jutting outward. A bunion develops when the bones in the front part of the foot move out of place, forcing the joint to protrude.
Arthritis, heredity, and wearing high heels or ill-fitting shoes are predisposing factors for bunions.
Leaving a bunion untreated can cause arthritis, especially if the affected joint has already sustained extensive damage.
Chronically high blood glucose levels can lead to a serious diabetic complication referred to as diabetic neuropathy, which can cause numbness or tingling sensation and a burning or stabbing pain in the legs and feet. The pain may be mild at first, but it can gradually get worse and radiate up the legs and even the arms.
Diabetic neuropathy is a progressive disease, which means that if you leave it untreated, it can have potentially irreversible consequences. It is a major risk factor for foot infections or foot ulcers that can fester badly and cause tissue death (gangrene), which may warrant an amputation.
Other Causes of Chronic Foot Pain
Apart from the causes mentioned above, chronic foot pain can also develop due to the following:
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Achilles tendonitis
- Bursitis (joint inflammation)
- Foot fractures
- Foot tumors
- Plantar warts
It is worth noting that some of these conditions or injuries produce symptoms that mimic those of others. It proves prudent to see a foot doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment to prevent complications.
Foot Pain Treatment in St. Peters and O’Fallon, MO
At Advanced Bone and Joint, our board-certified podiatrist Dr. Anthony Lombardo offers a vast variety of effective, innovative treatment approaches for the entire range of foot and ankle conditions, helping scores of people in our community live pain-free lives. Dr. Lombardo will devise the appropriate course of treatment based on the results of his comprehensive evaluation of your condition.
To learn more about our podiatry services or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lombardo, call us at (636) 229-4222. You may also use our convenient appointment request form. Dr. Lombardo accommodates patients at both our St. Peters and O’Fallon offices.