Foot pain is a common complaint, and it can have many causes. Read on to learn more about different types of foot pain, diagnosis, and treatments.
Causes of Foot Pain
Pain in the foot can be due to a problem in any part of the foot. Bones, ligaments,
tendons,muscles, fascia, toenail beds, nerves,
blood vessels, or skin can be the source of
The cause of foot pain can be narrowed down by location and by considering some of themost common causes of foot pain.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common causeof heel pain. The plantar fascia, a
band of tough tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes, becomes irritated or
inflamed. Heel pain, worst in the morning when getting out of bed, is the most
common symptom. Archpain may also be present.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis includes:
Heel spurs are abnormal growths of bone on the bottom of the heel bone that
maybe caused by an abnormal gait, posture or walking, inappropriate shoes, or
certain activities. Spurs may cause foot pain while walking or standing. Although
one in 10 people has heel spurs, only one in 20 of these people will have foot pain.
Heel spurs can occur in people with plantar fasciitis, but they do not cause
plantarfasciitis. People with flat feet or high arches are more likely to have foot pain
from heel spurs.
Treatment for heel spurs include:
A stone bruise is a bruise of the fat pad of the heel. It can occur after stepping on
a rock or other hard object.
A fracture of the heel bone (calcaneus) is the most commonly fractured
footbone. It is most often caused by high impact to the heel -- for example, when
person has fallen from a height or been in a car accident. Injuries can range from
a bone crack from a new vigorous exercise plan to a shattered bone from a high fall.
Heel pain, bruising, swelling, limping, or difficulty walking are the main
Calcaneus fracture treatment includes:
Ball of Foot Pain
Metatarsalgia is pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. Strenuous activity or ill-fitting shoes are the usual causes. Treatment for metatarsalgia includes:
Arch pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, which can affect the heel, arch, or both. Plantar fasciitis treatment is the same, regardless of the location of foot pain (see above). For persistent plantar fasciitis, an injection with a mixture of a steroid and local anesthetic can be helpful.
Fallen arches -- or flat feet -- occurs when the arches of the feet flatten out (often when standing or walking), causing foot pain and other problems. Flat feet can be treated with shoe inserts (orthotics), shoe adjustments, rest/ice, using a walking case or brace, or physical therapy. Occasionally, surgery is necessary.
Arthritis, including gout, can cause pain in the toes. Gout is an inflammatory condition in which crystals periodically deposit in joints, causing severe pain and swelling. The big toe is often affected by gout.
Treatment for gout includes:
A bunion (hallux valgus) is a bony prominence along the edge of the foot, next to the base of the big toe. Bunions may occur in anyone, but are often caused by ill-fitting footwear in women. Hammer toes often occur with bunions.
Bunion treatment includes:
Hammer toe occurs when the near joint in the toe is bent, creating a hammer-like appearance. Wearing tight shoes is the main cause of hammer toe.
Claw toe occurs when the joint at the end of a toe may become unable to straighten, causing the toe to point down or up. Irritation of the feet and other feet problems may develop, without special footwear to accommodate the claw toe.
Treatment of hammer toe and claw toe includes:
Ingrown toenails occur when skin on one or both sides of a toenail grow over the nail. Ingrown toenails may be painful or lead to infections.
Treatment for ingrown toenail includes:
Turf toe refers to pain at the base of the big toe resulting from athletic activities. Turf toe is an overuse injury usually caused by strain from running or jumping. Turf toe may also be a form of sesamoiditis or sesamoid fracture.
Toe fracture may occur in any of the bones of the toes. Minor fractures may only require rest, ice, and pain relievers; serious fractures can require foot immobilization and surgery. Any suspected fracture should be evaluated by a doctor.
Toe sprain may occur when jamming or stubbing of the toe damages the tendon or soft tissues of the toe. If no fracture is present, the pain and swelling of a toe sprain should subside within days.
Hallux rigidus (toe arthritis) is a degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) at the base of the big toe. Pain and stiffness of the joint, worsening over time, are symptoms. Treatment can include pain relievers and stretching exercises. Surgery may be needed in some cases.
Corns are thick buildups of tough skin on a point of irritation or pressure on the foot or toe. Corns often have a horn-like appearance.
Callus is a wider area of tough skin buildup on the toes or feet, in response to irritation or pressure. Calluses and corns are generally caused by poor-fitting footwear.
Treatment for corns and calluses include:
Sesamoid fracture is a fracture of small bones (sesamoids) that are embedded in tendons attaching to the big toe. Pain in and around the big toe is the main symptom.
Treatment for sesamoid fracture includes:
Pain on the Foot's Outer Edge
The fifth metatarsal bone (along the outer foot edge) is a commonly fractured bone in the foot. Pain, swelling, and bruising along the outer foot edge after an injury are symptoms.
Treatment for any foot fracture should include medical attention, X-rays, pain relievers, rest, ice, and elevation. Immobilization and surgery may be necessary for some foot fractures.
Pain that's Anywhere and Everywhere
Neuropathy , or nerve damage in the feet, is most often caused by diabetes. Foot pain can be burning, stinging, or feel like electricity. Neuropathy foot pain can occur anywhere in the feet.
Treatment for neuropathy focuses on the underlying cause, such as diabetes. Medications that act on nerves can also be helpful in reducing foot pain.
Trauma can mean anything from a major crush injury, to the repetitive damage caused by wearing poor-fitting shoes. The foot pain from trauma can occur anywhere on the feet.
Tendinitis is inflammation and irritation of tendons, the bands attaching muscles to bones. Tendons run along all the surfaces of the foot, and can cause foot pain in many different locations. Treatment for tendinitis includes rest and pain relievers; sometimes steroid injections can help. Rarely is surgery necessary for foot pain caused by tendinitis.
This article is taken from WebMD. Click here for the original article.
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