Your feet bear weight when you’re standing and help you get where you need to go. Because of this, foot pain is common. Foot pain refers to any pain or discomfort in one or more parts of the foot, such as the following:
The pain can range from mild to severe, and it may last a short time or be an ongoing issue. Many measures can help relieve your foot pain.
Causes of foot pain
Foot pain can occur due to certain lifestyle choices or a medical condition. Common causes include:
One of the main causes of foot pain is wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. Wearing high-heeled shoes can often cause foot pain because they place a great deal of pressure on the toes.
You can also develop foot pain if you become injured during high-impact exercise or sports activities, such as jogging or intense aerobics.
Common medical issues
Various medical issues are closely associated with foot pain.
Your feet are especially susceptible to the pain that occurs due to arthritis. There are 33 joints in the foot, and arthritis can affect any of them.
Diabetes mellitus can also cause complications and several disorders of the feet. People with diabetes are more prone to:
- nerve damage in the feet
- clogged or hardened arteries in the legs and feet
- foot ulcers or sores
You’re also more at risk for having foot pain if you:
- have overweight or obesity
- are pregnant
- have a foot injury such as a sprain, fracture, or tendinitis
Other potential causes of foot pain include:
- ingrown toenails
- medications that cause swelling of the feet
- Morton’s neuroma, which is a thickening around the nerve tissue between toes near the ball of the foot
- hammer toes
- athlete’s foot
- Haglund’s deformity, which is an enlargement of the back of the heel bone
- peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
- fallen arches
- plantar fasciitis
- gout, especially affecting the great toe near the ball of the foot
How to ease foot pain at home
Your at-home treatment options will vary depending on the pain you’re experiencing and its cause. However, following these tips may help relieve your discomfort:
- Apply ice to the affected area.
- Take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever.
- Use foot pads to prevent rubbing on the affected area.
- Elevate the foot that’s causing you to have pain.
- Rest your foot as much as possible.
When to see your doctor
Many people who regularly experience foot pain are aware of what triggers it, and they know the best way to manage their pain. However, you should see a doctor as soon as possible in the following situations:
- Your pain came on suddenly and is severe.
- Your foot pain is due to a recent injury.
- You can’t place any weight on your foot after an injury.
- You have a medical condition that interferes with blood flow, and you experience foot pain.
- The area that’s causing you pain has an open wound.
- The area that’s causing you pain is red or has other symptoms of inflammation.
- You have a fever in addition to foot pain.
What happens at your doctor’s appointment
During your appointment, the doctor will observe your posture and how you walk. They’ll also examine your back, legs, and feet.
They’ll want to know the details of your foot pain, such as when it started, what parts of the feet are affected, and how severe it is. If necessary, your doctor will order an X-ray.
How to treat foot pain
The treatment for your condition depends on the cause.
For some people, something as simple as shoe inserts can provide a great deal of relief. They’re available over the counter or by prescription. Other people may need:
- a cast
- wart removal
- physical therapy
How to prevent chronic foot pain
Follow these tips to help prevent ongoing foot pain:
- Choose comfortable, roomy, and well-cushioned shoes.
- Avoid shoes with high heels and narrow toe areas.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Stretch before engaging in vigorous exercise.
- Practice good foot hygiene.
- Always wear footwear when you’re outdoors to protect your feet.
Although foot pain is common, it’s not a normal part of life. You should seek medical help if you have foot pain that hasn’t resolved after a week or two of at-home treatment.
Achilles Podiatry is the Athlete’s Foot Specialist of Indiana and If you are experiencing pain or believe you have a stress fracture, contact Achilles Podiatry for further evaluation and treatment.
source: health line