When your foot hurts, it can make doing anything painful or difficult, especially if it involves standing or walking. There are many causes of foot pain, and many can be prevented with proper foot care, such as wearing the right shoes. If you've noticed pain in your feet, check out these five common types of foot pain.
Plantar fasciitis affects the plantar fascial band, which runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your toes to your heel. Overuse and irritation to this band can result in severe foot pain around the ankle and arch of the foot. It can make walking extremely painful, especially in the morning. A common cause of plantar fasciitis is wearing the wrong type of shoes, including high heels and shoes with little ankle support. It can also occur if you've suddenly increased in activity or intensity, you've been standing for a long period of time, or you've gained weight. You can help prevent plantar fasciitis by stretching and strengthening the plantar fascial band. If you do have plantar fasciitis, ice, rest, and over-the-counter pain meds are the home remedies.
Heel spurs are often associated with plantar fasciitis because they cause similar symptoms. Heel spurs are calcium deposits on the bottom of the heel. They may cause no symptoms, but if they do, it can make painful walking. Patients may experience sharp pains along the bottom of the heel and foot, which slowly fade to dull aches as the day progresses. Heel spurs are caused by an abnormal gait, poorly fitted shoes and running on hard surfaces. You are at higher risk if you are obese or you have diabetes, flat feet, or high arches. Treatment includes stretching, shoe inserts/orthotic devises and physical therapy. If these fail to correct the pain, surgery may be necessary.
Tendonitis is simply an inflammation of a tendon, which attaches muscles to bone. It can happen to any tendon in your body, but it is common in feet because the tendons experience a lot of wear and tear. Tendonitis may be caused by a sudden injury, but it is often caused by overuse. If you do have tendonitis, the tendon may feel tender to the touch, and you likely experience pain when stretching the tendon. Tendonitis is often treated with the RICE technique: rest, ice, compression and elevation. Depending on the severity, however, surgery or another procedure may be necessary.
Arthritis occurs when the cartilage in a joint begins to break down. Arthritis can develop after an injury, but wear and tear and overuse may cause osteoarthritis. You are at higher risk of developing osteoarthritis is you are older, are obese, or have bone deformities. Osteoarthritis in the foot may result in pain and stiffness, especially upon waking, but they likely worsen with exercise. You may also notice a loss of flexibility and grating sensations when using your foot. There is no cure for any kind of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, but you can control the pain with over-the-counter pain meds and physical therapy. Surgery may be required if joint deterioration worsens.
Gout is another form of arthritis, but it acts differently than other types of arthritis. Pain often occurs suddenly, without warning. It commonly affects the big toe and causes intense joint pain, which may feel like burning. The joint may look swollen or red, and it may feel warm. Most people have a limited range of motion. Gout is caused by urate crystals accumulating in the joint, which are ingested when you eat foods high in purines. For this reason, eating a diet rich in purines, like meat, is a huge risk factor. Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease may also increase your risk. You can prevent gout by drinking lots of water an avoiding purine-rich foods. Gout is often treated at home with rest and pain relievers.
If you experience foot pain, just living your life can be difficult, but there are many causes of foot pain. If you've noticed sudden pain, or your pain has gotten worse recently, it's time to talk to your doctor. For more information, contact a foot specialist, such as Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists, in your area today.
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