Foot pain can be a sign of something more serious going on in your body. It is important to determine what is causing the pain and get treatment if needed. Common causes of foot pain are improper footwear, overuse, and age-related wear and tear. However, if the pain persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it could indicate a more serious issue, such as gout, arthritis, or an infection. Talking to a doctor if you experience persistent or severe foot pain is important to ensure you get the right diagnosis and treatment.
Here are some more serious issues causes of aching feet and when to go see a doctor:
Acute injuries are injuries that are sudden and short-term. They are usually caused by overuse or strain and can be treated at home or with minor medical treatments. Examples include Achilles tendonitis, athlete’s foot, muscle sprains, ligament sprains, fractures, and bruises. Treatment of these injuries usually involves resting, compressing the affected area, keeping the area elevated, and sometimes physical therapy. Surgery may be required in cases with more serious injury, such as Achilles tendon rupture.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused by posterior tibial nerve compression in the ankle. Sprained ankles, deformities such as flat feet, or any other injury can damage the nerve and cause it to become compressed. To diagnose this condition, medical tests and examinations are necessary. Treatment usually involves steroid injections, a foot brace or cast, and custom shoe inserts. Occasionally, surgery is needed to relieve the pressure on the nerve and alleviate the symptoms.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue in the base of the foot that can become inflamed and irritated, a condition known as plantar fasciitis. There are several causes of this condition, such as overuse from prolonged standing, walking, or running, being overweight, wearing improper shoes, and deformities of the feet such as flat feet or high arches. Surgery isn’t usually recommended for this issue, and instead, people are encouraged to reduce their activity and wear special shoes or shoe inserts. Severe pain may require a steroid injection from a medical professional.
Morton’s neuroma is characterized by swelling and thickening of the tissue around the nerves between your toes. The pain is typically felt as a sharp ache in the football and can even extend to the toes. The cause of this condition is unknown, but it is thought to stem from wearing high-heeled shoes or existing foot deformities. Surgery is usually the last option, but wearing supportive shoes can usually provide relief.
Osteoarthritis is a condition where the cartilage within a joint deteriorates due to excessive strain or use. This can result in unbearable pain and stiffness that can even limit a person’s mobility. To alleviate the pain, lifestyle modifications, physical therapy, and assistive devices may be employed. Surgery may be necessary if the symptoms become severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Various factors, including overuse, injury, infection, or medical conditions, can cause aching feet. While most cases of aching feet can be managed with rest, stretching, and over-the-counter medications, it is important to know when to seek medical attention. If the pain is severe or is accompanied by swelling, redness, tingling, numbness, or other unusual symptoms, a doctor should be consulted. Also, medical attention should be sought if the pain persists for over two weeks without improvement.
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