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Foot Pain

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Our foot is one of the most used parts of the body. The anatomy of the foot is comprised of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, etc and the pain can occur in any of these parts. We explain you the details below:

Causes behind foot pain

Several conditions contribute to pain in foot. It could be overgrowth of bones, inflammation and injury of ligaments, bones and tendons. Injury to the nerves can also give rise to pain in foot. It could be a symptom of increased levels of uric acid and arthritis.

Some common causes of foot pain are:

  • Fracture in foot
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bone spur
  • Sprain and strains
  • Bursitis
  • Bunion
  • Gout
  • Tendinitis
  • Ingrowth of toe nails
  • Corn and calluses
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetic neuropathy

Signs and symptoms associated with foot pain

Other than pain, you can experience several other uncomfortable sensations in and around your feet. They include

  • Tingling and numbness
  • Swelling, soreness and redness
  • Intense burning pain
  • Fever
  • Warmness in foot
  • Bruised, hard and rough skin

When to see a doctor?

Mild foot pain does not need any diagnosis; it goes away with home care. However, if the pain is severe and you experience any of those aforementioned symptoms, then you must see a doctor.

Diagnosis of foot pain

Your doctor will perform a physical examination on your foot and evaluate the symptoms. You need to explain your doctor since when you are experiencing the pain and if you had any injury. If you already have a history of gout, arthritis, neuropathy, etc. then make sure your doctor knows it.

Your doctor might hold or move your feet against a resistance and you may be asked to move or stand. This test is done to determine the function of your foot muscles. Nerve function will also be tested.

X ray is suggested in most cases. You may also need to undergo MRI, bone scan and blood test to rule out the underlying problem.

Medical Treatment for foot pain

The line of treatment for foot pain is completely dependent on cause. Pain is managed through OTC pain killers while other medicines might be prescribed to control the inflammation or infection.

Once the root cause is treated, the pain automatically subsides. Surgery may be done to repair fractured bones.

Your doctor will suggest several physiotherapy exercises that would not only reduce the pain but also increase flexibility and agility of the feet.

Foot pain can also be managed with acupuncture therapy.

Home care for foot pain

No matter what the reason is, home care always offers some level of comfort. Take the following measures to alleviate foot pain:

  • Apply R.I.C.E therapy – Rest, ice, compression and elevation, until you receive the much needed comfort. Support your foot over a soft cushion or resting pad while sitting or lying
  • Stop wearing heels and ground touching soles. Spend some money in orthopaedic shoes that tone down foot pain  
  • Soak your feet in a warm-water footbath mixed with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of arnica tincture. You can also use peppermint or eucalyptus oil
  • Perform the exercises as suggested by your doctor

We advise you to not neglect the pain, rather try to get rid of the pain. With proper medical treatment and home care your aching foot will speedily heal.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 27, 2015