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Common Causes Of Foot Pain And Their Treatments

February 27, 2023

Foot pain may not seem like a big deal, but it can make everyday living and mobility more difficult, and there are so many kinds of foot pain, each with their own causes and treatments. Approximately three out of every four Americans will experience a common foot problem in their lifetime.

Some common causes of foot pain include heel spurs, fractures, bruises, fallen arches, gout, and bunions. Whatever the reason for the pain, there is a solution or treatment that may ease traveling and walking every day.

Heel Pain

There are many possible causes for pain in the heel including heel spurs, fractures, plantar fasciitis, and deep bruises, each with their treatments. To treat plantar fasciitis and other instances of inflammation, rest the foot, do heel and foot stretches, wear shoes with proper arch support, and use ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, or acetaminophen for temporary pain relief.

Heel spurs are another typical pain in the foot. A spur is an abnormal growth of bone, but when it is on the heel, it can cause pain and an unusual walk or posture. They can be caused by just not wearing appropriate foot attire. Some ways to treat heel spurs include resting the feet, use custom-made orthotics, physical therapy, wearing properly fitted shoes, and taking pain relievers. If there is still pain, it is possible to get a medical procedure to remove the spur. Other common causes of heel pain include fractures and deep bruises.

Pain Within The Ball Of Foot

Metatarsalgia may cause pain, discomfort, and inflammation within the ball of the foot, usually caused by wearing improperly fitted shoes but can also be the result of strenuous physical activity. Ways to treat metatarsalgia include resting and icing the affected foot, wearing comfortable footwear, using custom orthotics, and pain relievers.

Another cause of pain within the ball of the foot is Morton’s neuroma which causes the tissue around nerves between the toes to begin thickening. The thickening of tissue causes pain, numbness, and odd sensations that may need to be treated with orthotics, pain relievers, steroid injections, and possibly surgery.

Arch Pain

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of arch pain, but can also affect the heel, or a combination of the heel and arch. Treatment for plantar fasciitis remains the same no matter the location; rest the foot, do heel and foot stretches, wear shoes with proper arch support, and use ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, or acetaminophen for temporary pain relief. Steroid injections may also be helpful if the plantar fasciitis is persistent.

The other common cause of arch pain is fallen arches, also known as flat feet, which occurs when foot arches flatten over time, causing foot pain. Fallen arches can be treated by using orthotics, getting shoe adjustments, physical therapy, using a cane or brace, and resting and icing the affected area. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

Toe Pain

Gout, a form of arthritis, happens to be one of the most common causes of toe pain. To treat gout, rest the foot and ice the affected area, avoid foods that may aggravate gout, and take medications such as colchicine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or prednisone.

Another common cause of pain in the toes is bunions, which are bony bulges along the side of the foot, next to the base of the big toe. Bunions tend to appear as people age and can be caused by wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Ways to treat bunions include wearing comfortable shoes, orthotics, and sometimes getting surgery to remove it. Some other causes of toe pain include ingrown toenails, sprains, fractures, and calluses.

Pain On The Outer Edge Of The Foot

Pain on the outer edge of the foot, the fifth metatarsal bone, is most commonly caused by a broken bone in the foot. The symptoms that occur after an injury are typically pain, swelling, and bruising along the outer edge. To treat the pain use pain relievers, rest, ice, and elevate the affected foot, try not to walk on it, use crutches if needed, and possibly a cast. If the bone is broken, see a doctor to obtain an x-ray and possibly some other tests.

Anywhere And Everywhere: Uncontained Pain

Neuropathy, otherwise known as nerve damage, can cause pain as a burning, stinging, or a feeling of electricity that can occur anywhere in the feet. Common treatments for neuropathy include physical therapy, topical creams, antidepressants, and pain relievers. Another common cause of foot pain that may occur anywhere in the foot is inflammation and irritation of the tendons, known as tendinitis. Ways to treat tendinitis include resting the feet, using pain relievers, and sometimes steroid injections. Surgery is rarely required to manage it. This kind of foot pain can also be prevented early on by wearing proper shoes and getting checked to see if orthotics are necessary.

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