Foot Pain: Common Causes And When To Seek Medical Help
The cause of foot pain can vary from overuse or injury. Only a foot doctor can determine the root cause of foot pain. A doctor also assesses severity and treatment options.
Before deciding if you should seek medical attention, you need to understand a few facts about foot pain.
Causes Of Foot Pain
Your feet are made of bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Any of these parts can become inflamed and cause pain whether due to overuse or injury. Two of the most common causes of foot pain include arthritis and peripheral neuropathy.
Arthritis of the feet causes pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints of the foot. You may also experience difficulty walking, tenderness, and reduced range of motion.
Neuropathy symptoms include tingling, burning pain, and numbness in the feet. The burning pain is often intense. Diabetes is a common cause of neuropathy in the feet.
Injuries That Cause Foot Pain
Plantar fasciitis is a common overuse injury. It is a repetitive strain injury causing inflammation and pain along the bottom of the foot. This pain stems from overusing the fibrous tissue that runs along the foot from the heel to the toes.
People who do a lot of walking, running, and jumping and do so wearing inadequate shoes often suffer from this condition. Other overuse conditions include:
- Stress fractures
- Heel spurs
- Achilles tendinitis
These conditions are common among athletes and others who are on their feet a lot.
When To Seek Medical Care
You can treat many foot injuries at home with rest, ice, and over-the-counter medication for pain and inflammation. Many types of foot pain respond well to cold therapy and rest.
If the pain is persistent or you have other more serious symptoms, you should seek medical assistance.
- Severe pain
- Warmth and redness
- Unable to bear weight
- Burning pain or numbness
Pain, burning, and numbness in both feet is a sign of neuropathy that needs medical attention to determine the underlying cause.
Seek emergency medical care if you have diabetes and an open wound that is not healing, you see pus coming from a wound, or have any other signs of infection.
Foot doctors have expertise in simple and complex foot problems. They can assess the problem, take x-rays, and perform other tests and procedures to determine how best to treat each patient.
Anytime you are unsure about how serious your foot pain is, it's best to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention.
For more information, contact a foot doctor.