If you have foot pain, it can be difficult to stay active or perform simple tasks in your life. The constant pain can be debilitating and frustrating. Often, it can seem as if there is no solution and that the pain may never end.
However, foot pain is actually a fairly common problem for many people and there is a wide variety of treatment options. If you have foot pain it is important to understand you are not alone and you have paths you can take.
Underlying Causes of Foot Pain
There are many different reasons as to why you may be experiencing foot pain. Since our feet act as the “shock absorbers” of our bodies, they cushion and support us during activities like walking, running, and other forms of exercise. For example, in just one hour of strenuous exercise, they can cushion up to one million pounds of pressure. Due to the amount of work our feet do, it is no wonder they hurt after a while.
The most common causes of foot pain include injury, overuse, and conditions which cause inflammation. Most of the issues patients have fall within one of those categories. For example, a common cause of foot pain is arthritis, which is the inflammation of joints.
Even though a foot seems to be a small part of the body, it has a lot going on inside. Your foot contains bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, nerves, blood vessels, skin, and soft tissue structures. An injury to or disease of any of these elements can cause foot pain.
Specific Foot Pain Conditions
There are a few conditions which have to do with the exterior of the foot. Plantar warts and athlete’s foot (a fungus) can lead to pain and irritation. Another exterior cause is an ingrown toenail, which is painful and can result in an infection.
Deformities in the foot can cause pain, including bunions, hammertoes, and bone spurs, among others. Patients may also experience foot pain due to biomechanical abnormalities from muscle and tendon tightness or laxity. All of these causes, including others, can be evaluated and diagnosed by a podiatrist.
When to See Your Podiatrist
If your foot pain is chronic and debilitating, it is important to consult a podiatrist. Reasons to see a podiatrist include swelling, open wounds on the foot, inability to put weight on the foot, or pain that does not improve for several weeks.
When going to see you podiatrist, be prepared to have an in-depth conversation about your foot pain. They may want to know exactly when the pain started, and how it feels when the pain comes and goes. While these seem like small details, they can be vital in correctly diagnosing your condition. Finally, be sure to know that your podiatrist wants to help you find a solution so you can go back to living an active, healthy life!