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Foot Pain

Foot Pain

What you need to know about foot pain

When you’re standing or walking, your feet bear the brunt of your weight. Foot pain is prevalent as a result of this. Foot pain can include any pain or discomfort in one or more regions of the foot, such as:

  • Arches
  • Ball
  • Heel
  • Toe
  • Ankle

Foot Pain

Foot pain can be mild to severe, and it can linger for a short time or be persistent. There are numerous ways to alleviate foot pain. To get the best treatment, you must first understand the problem. The first thing to evaluate is the location of your pain.

Heel Pain

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes discomfort in the heel. This is an irritation or inflammation of the tough tissue band that connects the heel bone to the toes. It usually hurts the worst when you first get out of bed in the morning. It can be felt in your arch or in your heel.

Treatment includes:

  • Apply ice to the affected area.
  • Take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication.
  • Wear shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole.
  • Elevate the foot that’s causing you to have pain.
  • Rest your foot as much as possible.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers.
    Wear shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole.

Heel spurs

Another source of foot pain is heel spurs. On the bottom of your heel, these are aberrant bone growths. They can be caused by wearing improper shoes, having an irregular stride or posture, or even participating in sports such as running. While walking or standing, the spurs may cause pain. Many people have them, but the majority of them are painless. Heel spurs are more common in people who have flat feet or high arches.

Here is how to treat them:

  • Wear a heel pad with a cutout.
  • Wear a custom-made shoe insert (also known as an orthotic).
  • Wear comfortable shoes with shock-absorbing soles.
  • Take pain mediation.
  • Rest your foot.
  • Try physiotherapy.

If the pain persists, consult a doctor regarding medical measures.

Stone bruise

A severe bruise of the fat pad of the heel or ball of the foot is known as a stone bruise. It usually occurs as a result of an impact injury, although it can also occur as a result of walking on a hard object. It feels as if you’re walking on pebbles. It will eventually vanish on its own.

To help relieve the pain:

  • Rest your foot
  • Use Ice to reduce swelling
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication

Heel fracture

A high-impact event, such as a fall or a car collision, causes a heel fracture. It’s possible that your heel bone will shatter as well as break. The most common symptoms include heel discomfort, bruising, swelling, and difficulty walking.

How to treat a heel fracture:

  • Avoid putting any pressure on the heel. Crutches are an option.
  • Pads are used to protect the heel.
  • Protect the heel bone, using a splint or cast.
  • Enquire about over-the-counter or prescription pain medications with your doctor.
  • Consider physiotherapy.

If your pain persists, consult your doctor about surgery.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA)

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a combination of psoriasis, a skin condition with joint inflammation. It’s a chronic illness that can run in families. In the tendons that cover your fingers, toes, and other joints, PsA can produce stiffness and throbbing discomfort.

How to handle it:

  • A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID) may be prescribed for mild cases of PsA to block the molecules that induce joint swelling. This drug (aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen) is available over-the-counter or by prescription.
  • Try alternating between heat and cold therapy. Heat promotes blood circulation, which reduces stiffness. The cold reduces swelling.
  • Control your stress, which can exacerbate your PsA.
  • More potent drugs may be required in severe situations. Disease-modifying antirheumatic medications (DMARDs), including biologics, and corticosteroids, are two options.

Foot Pain in the heel

Ball of Foot Pain

Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia. The pain and inflammation are felt in the ball of your foot. The most common reason is ill-fitting shoes. However, intense action, such as sprinting or leaping, may cause it. It’s also referred to as a stone bruise.

How to manage the pain:

  • Take some painkillers.
  • Your foot should be iced and rested.
  • Put on comfortable shoes.
  • To ease pressure on the ball of your foot, try shoe inserts.

Morton’s neuroma

Morton’s neuroma is characterised by a swelling of the tissue surrounding the nerves between the toes’ bases (usually between the third and fourth toes). Over the ball of your foot, you may have discomfort, strange sensations, or numbness. It is more common in women. Wearing high heels or tight shoes can cause this.

How to treat it:

  • To relieve pressure on the nerve, wear shoe inserts.
  • Steroid or other injections into your foot.
  • Take some painkillers.
  • Avoid wearing shoes with a tiny toe box or high heels.
  • Activities that exert pressure on the neuroma should be avoided.
  • Inquire with your doctor about surgery.

Sesamoiditis

Sesamoiditis. The two bones near your big toe are only joined by tendons. Sesamoids are what they’re called. Sesamoiditis occurs when the tendons that surround them become inflamed and damaged. It’s a type of tendinitis that occurs frequently in runners and ballet dancers.

How to treat Sesamoiditis:

  • Take the weight off your feet and relax.
  • Ice the painful areas.
  • Wear a comfy shoe with a footpad under the toe.
  • Tape the big toe to keep it immobilised and enable it to recover.
  • Low-heeled shoes are recommended.
  • Inquire about steroid injections with your doctor.

Foot Pain in the ball of the foot

Arch Pain

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that affects the foot arch, it is the most common cause of arch pain. Plantar fasciitis can affect either the heel or the arch of the foot, or both. Regardless of the location, the treatment remains the same. Steroid injection mixed with a local anaesthetic can help relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis.

Fallen Arches

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, occur when the arches of the feet flatten down (typically while standing or walking), resulting in foot pain and other issues. Flat feet can be helped with shoe inserts, shoe changes, rest, ice, walking canes or braces, and physical therapy. Surgery is sometimes required.

Flat Arch Foot Pain

Toe Pain

Gout

Gout, an arthritic condition, can cause foot pain in the toes. Toe joints develop crystals, causing extreme discomfort and swelling. Frequently, the big toe is impacted.

How to treat it:

  • Relax your foot.
  • Ice the entire region.
  • Take medication such as Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), prednisone, colchicine, or allopurinol.
  • Avoid foods that aggravate gout.

Learn more about Gout here.

Bunion

A bunion is a bony protrusion on the outside of the foot, adjacent to the big toe’s base. It’s linked to a problem with the first toe joint. They can be acquired by anyone, especially those who wear ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes. It frequently manifests as people become older. Bunions are frequently associated with hammertoes. Change your shoes or use shoe inserts to make them comfier. If your discomfort persists, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Hammertoe

A hammertoe occurs when the middle joint of your second, third, or fourth toe bends, giving it a hammerlike appearance. It can be caused by muscle imbalances, but it can also be caused by ill-fitting shoes.

Wear shoes with a wide, deep toe bed, as advised by your doctor. They may also recommend stretching activities for your toe muscles. If your difficulties persist, speak with your doctor about surgery.

Claw toe

Claw toe occurs when your toe cannot straighten and points down or up. It’s usually caused by nerve damage caused by disorders like diabetes or alcoholism, which causes the muscles in your foot to weaken. You may develop discomfort and calluses if you don’t use appropriate footwear to fit the claw toe.

How to treat it:

  • Switch to more comfortable shoes. High heels and tight shoes should be avoided.
  • Perform toe and toe joint stretches.
  • Consider using shoe inserts.
  • Inquire with your doctor about surgery.

Ingrown toenail

When the skin on one or both sides of a toenail grows over the nail, it is called an ingrown toenail. It can be uncomfortable and cause infections.

  • To treat it, soak the foot four times a day in warm water.
  • Place a piece of gauze between the nail and the damp skin once a day.

Consult a doctor if neither of these remedies works.

Turf toe

A turf toe is a painful condition that occurs at the base of the big toe. It is an overuse injury that is frequently brought on by strain. Sesamoiditis or a sesamoid fracture can also cause a turf toe.

Toe Sprain

When you jam or stub your toe, the tendon or soft tissues of the toe are damaged, resulting in a toe sprain. The discomfort and swelling should go away in a few days if you don’t have a fracture.

Toe Fracture

A toe fracture, often known as a broken bone, can occur in any of the toes’ bones. Rest, ice, and pain medicines may be all that are required for minor fractures. Surgery may be required for serious fractures. To be certain, visit a doctor.

Hallux rigidus

A kind of arthritis at the base of the big toe is Hallux Rigidus (stiff big toe). The symptoms include joint pain and stiffness that develops over time. Pain medications and stretching exercises are two options for treatment. In some circumstances, surgery may be required.

Corns and calluses

Calluses and corns. Corns are thick buildups of tough skin on the foot or toe caused by irritation or pressure. They can resemble horns at times. Calluses are thickened patches of skin on the toes or foot. They are brought on by irritation or pressure. Poor-fitting footwear is the most common cause of calluses and corns.

Treat them by:

  • Wearing better-fitting footwear.
  • Soak the foot in water and use a pumice stone to remove any excess skin.

Sesamoid fracture

Sesamoid fractures occur when tiny bones (sesamoids) embedded in tendons linked to the big toe break. The predominant symptom is a pain in and around the big toe.

How to treat it:

  • Your foot should be rested, iced, and elevated.
  • To reduce pressure, wear stiff-soled shoes or footpads.
  • Take some painkillers.

If your pain persists, consult your doctor.

Toe Pain

Pain on the Foot’s Outer Edge

Outer edge

The fifth metatarsal bone, which runs down the outside of your foot, is a common shattered bone. After an injury, foot pain, swelling, and bruising around the outside foot edge are symptoms. If you suspect you’ve broken a bone, consult a doctor and get an X-ray.

How to treat foot pain in the outer edge:

  • Take some painkillers.
  • Your foot should be rested, iced, and elevated.
  • Do not step on it.
  • Consult your doctor to see if surgery is required.
  • In some cases, a cast could be required.

Other foot pain

Neuropathy

Diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy or nerve damage in the feet. Foot pain may be searing, stinging, or electrifying in nature. It can occur in any part of the foot. Inquire with your doctor about pain management options and measures to avoid additional deterioration.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the joints throughout the body, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. Almost everyone with RA experiences foot and ankle discomfort. The areas around your heels, tops of your feet, toes, and balls of your feet can all be affected by RA. Rest, ice, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen may help you feel better. Shoe inserts can help ease pressure on your feet’s bones.

Osteoarthritis

When the cushioning cartilage in your joints wears off, you get osteoarthritis. The most common cause is ageing. However, osteoarthritis can be caused by an injury or by having flat feet or very high arches. You may find it difficult to walk, and your joints may be stiff and uncomfortable.

Your doctor may suggest the following treatments:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Personalized shoe inserts
  • Braces, a cast, or a boot to immobilise your foot while the inflammation subsides.
  • Muscle-strengthening physiotherapy
  • Steroid injections for more serious instances

Tendinitis

Tendinitis is an inflammation and irritation of the tendons that connect muscles to bones. Tendons run throughout the whole surface of the foot and can produce discomfort in a variety of places.

How to handle it:

  • Elevate and rest your foot.
  • Take some painkillers.
  • Steroid injections may be beneficial.
  • Surgical intervention is rarely required.

Athlete’s foot

Tinea pedis, popularly known as athlete’s foot, is an infectious fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. It can also affect the hands and toenails. Because it is so frequent in athletes, the fungal infection is known as athlete’s foot.

Athlete’s foot isn’t dangerous, but it can be difficult to treat. If you have diabetes or a weaker immune system, you should see your doctor straight once if you suspect you have athlete’s foot.

When to call a doctor

Many individuals who suffer from foot pain on a regular basis are aware of what causes it and how to effectively treat it. In the following cases, however, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible:

  • Your pain is strong and comes on suddenly.
  • A recent injury has caused your foot pain.
  • After an injury, you can’t put any weight on your foot.
  • You have a medical issue that causes blood flow problems, and you have foot pain.
  • There is an open wound in the place that is causing you agony.
  • The area causing you discomfort is discoloured or has other inflammatory indications.
  • In addition to foot pain, you have a temperature.

What happens during your doctor’s visit?

The doctor will examine your posture and walking style throughout your appointment. Your back, legs, and feet will also be examined.

They’ll want to hear specifics about your foot pain, including:

  • When it began
  • Certain areas of the foot are affected
  • How serious it is
  • Your doctor may send you for an X-ray if necessary.

Prevention

To help prevent chronic foot pain, follow these guidelines:

  • Choose shoes that are comfy, roomy, and padded.
  • High heels and small toe areas should be avoided.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Before participating in strenuous exercise, stretch your toes.
  • Maintain proper foot hygiene.
  • When you’re outside, always wear footwear to protect your feet.
  • Although foot discomfort is widespread, it is not an everyday occurrence. If your foot discomfort persists after a week or two of at-home treatment, you should seek medical attention.