We are extremely dependent upon the assortment of bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles that are located in our feet, and our need for each foot to function properly occurs on a continual basis. Not only do we expect our feet to lead us as we walk, but we also depend upon them to perform other tasks throughout each day. When we suddenly experience pain in one of our feet, then we quickly realize how critical they are.
There are various reasons why you might contend with a foot problem. But even though the pain may emerge quickly, the issue that resulted in discomfort could very easily have been building for a long period of time.
Your feet make continual contact with surfaces, and some are more challenging than others. You also might make the same movements on a repeated basis, and this is particularly true if you have an exercise regimen, or participate in recreational activities.
However, there are other causes of foot pain that occur with enough frequency to be included on the list of common foot problems. Here are some of the conditions and injuries which can trigger pain.
Common Causes Of Foot Pain
Plantar Fasciitis – one issue of the heel that can cause lingering pain is plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis). If you are experiencing discomfort as the result of this condition, it is very likely that you will become aware of it immediately after waking up in the morning. Those first steps that you attempt when your day begins can be extremely painful, as can your initial steps after prolonged sitting. This discomfort is caused by an inflammation of the tissue that is located at the bottom of your foot. This band of tissue (fascia) connects your toes to the heel bone, and a small tear can develop in the fascia if too much tension is placed on this band. This can occur from overuse during your exercise regimen or other activities, particularly if running or jumping is involved.
Gout – This is another condition that can subject you to unexpected attacks of pain, which can also be associated with swelling, and redness. Gout is caused by a form of arthritis that results from your body generating too much uric acid. If your system is unable to transport the acid through your blood as it normally would, then you might eventually be contending with intense discomfort in the large joint of your big toe, and an inflammation that creates difficulty in being able to conduct your normal movements.
Achilles tendonitis – if you are experiencing pain above your heel or in the back of your leg, you could have this condition. It usually takes place due to repetitive use, as the Achilles tendon is important when you run, jump, climb stairs, or push with your foot. In addition to causing discomfort due to excessive use, this band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your calf muscles can also become painful as you age. You are also more vulnerable for this to take place if you have flat feet, or your muscles become extremely tight.
Achilles tendon tear (or rupture) – if you are experiencing pain in the same area that was just described (above your heel or in the back of your leg), and your symptoms are more severe, then you might have torn your Achilles tendon. These symptoms include not being able to stand on your toes, hearing a popping sound when the pain first occurred, swelling, bruising, and feeling as though you are being kicked in the calf. This injury can take place due to sudden movement while participating in the same sports and activities that were listed previously.
Broken Foot – of course, an injury to your bone that is sufficient to cause a break will lead to pain. Usually, a broken foot (also referred to as a fracture) occurs due to an automobile accident, a fall, or an accidental step into an irregular surface or a hole. This can create tiny cracks in your bones or can be more extensive with breaks that protrude through your skin. Throbbing pain, swelling, tenderness, bruising are common symptoms, as is the inability to walk or put what weight on your foot.
Bunions – if you are dealing with a bump that is located at the base of your big toe then you may have a bunion. This occurs when the big toe is pushing against your second toe, which causes the joint in your big toe to enlarge. In addition to the bump that can be found at the base of your big toe, other symptoms include pain, swelling, redness, and reduced movement of your toe.
Corns – bunions and can lead to corns, which can emerge on the bottom of your foot, the sides or tops of your toes, and occasionally between your toes. In addition to the pain, you may notice a bump with dry skin. If you have a bump that is not painful then you are more likely to be dealing with a callous, as calluses usually do not create discomfort.
Flatfeet – if the arch in your foot is lower than normal then the soles of your feet may extend to the floor while you are standing. That is referred to as having flat feet. This can be painless for some people, although there can also be discomfort involved for others that are dealing with this condition. This is often genetic, although your arches can also collapse due to aging, obesity, arthritis, and diabetes.
Hammertoe – this condition involves the second, third, fourth, and fifth (little) toes, and occurs due to an imbalance with your muscles and tendons. This can cause your toes to bend, and they can eventually become inflexible if the situation remains untreated. Fortunately, there are non-surgical remedies for hammertoe if you visit a doctor before the condition causes your toes to be rigid.
Ingrown toenail – while you might be able to treat this condition on your own it is among the foot problems that can create pain. If the corner of your nail extends downward into the skin you will eventually have discomfort, along with redness, swelling and possibly an infection. Your big toe is the most likely location for an ingrown toenail to occur, and tight shoes or an improper cut of your nails usually results in this condition. It is possible for a more serious bone infection to take place if this is untreated.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis takes place when your body’s immune system attacks your joints. This inflammation becomes a chronic condition that creates pain and swelling. Aging, smoking, and obesity can increase the likelihood of this occurring, and it is also more common in women.
Stress Fracture – Stress fractures were examined in a recent article, and these tiny cracks in the bone occur due to continuous running, and jumping that are often required in certain sports. Increasing the intensity of your workout routine could also result in a stress fracture if it leads to overuse during your regimen.
When To See A Doctor
If your pain is severe, you should seek immediate attention. This is also true for severe swelling, and any evidence of infection including redness. You should also make an emergency visit if you are unable to place any weight on your foot.
During less serious situations, you should still schedule an office visit if you are experiencing pain that has not improved after several weeks or swelling that has lasted for several days. You should also see a doctor if you are dealing with numbness or tingling in your foot.
At Orthopedic Associates We Can Help
If you are experiencing pain for any of these issues of the foot, we encourage you to visit us at Orthopedic Associates. Our collection of board-certified doctors has a combined 183 years of experience. This is beneficial in our ability to design an effective plan of treatment for a wide range of foot conditions. Visit one of Orthopedic Associates two locations or request an appointment today.