Find Out What Causes Foot Pain And How To Treat It
An aching foot can sour your mood and take the pleasure out of many daily activities. Foot pain is a common complaint that can affect any part of your foot, from your toes to your heels. It is never normal to experience foot pain, so it is important to see a Seattle podiatrist to seek relief.
The most common causes of foot pain are disease, acute or repeated trauma, or a combination of these problems. Foot pain is often an issue among athletes and those in workplace environments requiring physical activity. The following information can give you an idea of what your problem might be, but you shouldn’t use it for self-diagnosis. See a podiatrist in Seattle to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.
A verruca is a wart on the foot that is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Verrucas thrive in warm, moist conditions and can become tender and painful when you walk if they grow on weight-bearing sites on the feet because the weight of your body can force them to grow back into your skin. Verrucas can be treated with topical preparations containing salicylic acid.
A bunion is a bony deformity on the joint at the base of your big toe. Bunions can be painful and difficult to walk on. They are especially common among women who wear shoes that fit too tightly. Bunions form when your big toe pushes up against your other toes and forces your big toe joint in the opposite direction. Over time, the abnormal position enlarges your big toe joint and further crowds your other toes.
Non-surgical treatments for bunions include bunion pads, painkillers, and orthotics, which are devices you place inside your shoes to realign the bones in your feet. Flat, low-heeled, and wide-fitting shoes are the most appropriate footwear for those with bunions. Avoid slip-on shoes, narrow shoes, and high heels. If left untreated, bunions may become larger and more painful. A Seattle podiatrist may recommend surgery if a bunion is causing you a significant amount of pain.
An ingrown toenail occurs when the corner or side of one of your toenails grows into the surrounding skin. Ingrown toenails usually affect your big toe and can cause pain, swelling, or even infection. Potential causes of ingrown toenails include injury; incorrectly cutting your toenails; wearing tight fitting shoes, tights, or socks; and poor foot hygiene. Surgery might be required to treat a severe ingrown toenail, but there are many things you can do at home to treat mild ingrown toenails and prevent them from worsening, such as washing your feet regularly with soap and water, trimming your toenails straight across, wearing comfortable shoes, and gently pushing the skin away from the nail with a cotton swab.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. If you repetitively stretch or tear your plantar fascia, it can get swollen, inflamed, and painful. One of the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain that you feel when you take your first steps in the morning.
Plantar fasciitis typically affects people between the ages of 40 and 60. Other risk factors include obesity, improper shoes, and occupations that keep you on your feet. Treatments for plantar fasciitis typically include orthotics, physical therapy, night splints, anti-inflammatory medication, and corticosteroids. If the pain is severe and none of the aforementioned treatments are effective, surgery may be required.
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid in the body. Uric acid crystals may form in the joint of your big toe followed by the joints in your other toes, causing you severe pain and inflammation, even when you’re at rest.
Gout is a chronic, progressive disease that is often related to a family history of gout and lifestyle factors, like diet and excessive alcohol use. It can be difficult to tell the difference between gout and a severely inflamed bunion. Prevent future gout attacks by taking medication that reduces uric acid levels and making changes to your diet.
Sprains and Strains
Foot sprains and strains affect the muscles and ligaments in the feet, causing pain and severe swelling. A sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament, while a strain is a stretch or tear in a muscle or tendon. Sprains typically occur when a person falls, twists, or is hit in a way that forces the body out of its normal position. Strains happen when a person twists or pulls a muscle or tendon. Athletes and those who engage in frequent heavy lifting in their workplace are at higher risk of strains.
The symptoms of sprains and strains include pain and inflammation in the injured area, and sometimes bruising. Mild sprains and strains can be treated with Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) therapy. If the pain and swelling do not subside within 24-72 hours, see a doctor.
Have Your Foot Pain Diagnosed By A Seattle Podiatrist
Foot pain has a wide range of possible causes. If you’re experiencing severe or persistent foot pain, see a Seattle podiatrist. The Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington serves the greater Seattle area and has locations in Kirkland, Everett, Redmond, and Renton. Our team of podiatrists can help you effectively diagnose and treat your foot pain. Call 425.822.7426 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment at one of our foot and ankle clinics!