Causes of Foot Pain
There are a wide variety of conditions that can cause foot pain. Each foot is an intricate network of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Because of their complexity, and the fact that they must bear the weight of your whole body, your feet are particularly prone to injury. Although many types of foot pain are mild and respond well to home treatments – such as rest, ice, warm foot baths with Epsom salts, and over-the-counter pain relievers – there are a number of conditions that are best treated by a board-certified podiatrist.
Fractures and Sprains
Traumatic foot injuries, such as fractures and ankle sprains, should prompt a visit to the podiatrist. These common foot injuries usually occur during strenuous physical activity, although simply tripping can do the job. A sprain is an injury to the ligament, whereas a fracture is an injury to the bone. Both usually require you to keep your weight off the affected foot, sometimes with the use of a boot or cast.
Arthritis is a degenerative condition of the joints. Each foot has 33 joints, 20 of which are actively articulated. That’s a lot of joints that can become inflamed and painful due to arthritis. The condition is marked by the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions the joints, causing the bones to grind against each other. Conservative treatments can be effective but, if the joint becomes damaged enough, surgery may be necessary.
Achilles Tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis
Tendon injuries can be chronic, meaning they develop over time. Achilles tendonitis causes pain in the Achilles tendon just above your heel, the body’s largest tendon. The plantar fascia runs underneath your foot from the heel to the ball, and can cause heel pain if it gets injured. Rest and special orthotic devices can be helpful for most people. If left untreated, however, these conditions can become more severe.
Other Causes of Foot Pain
Injuries to the toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and diabetic neuropathy are also common causes of foot pain. These conditions are usually visually apparent and should be addressed by a podiatrist. With the proper treatment, most foot pain can be completely alleviated. If you are currently experiencing foot pain of any kind, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vikki or Dr. Connie today.