What is Causing My Foot Pain?
Some of the most common questions I get asked is what is causing the (foot) pain on the:
- top of my foot;
- in my arches;
- in my left foot;
- in my right foot;
- in the heel of my foot;
- on the outside of my foot;
- on the bottom of my feet; and
- when I'm walking slowly?
Our feet have to bear out entire bodies weigh every day, making it one of the most stressed parts of the body.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that your feet can easily become sore from the daily wear & tear, which can be made even worse when you experience a foot injury.
Within the foot are a number of different structures that are vulnerable to injury.
These include bones, ligaments, nerves, bursa, muscles, and tendons.
Foot pain can also occur due to poorly fitting footwear, inappropriate footwear or training errors.
So....what is causing my foot pains?
Below, we've listed 7 common causes of your foot pain:
Tendinopathy refers to excess stress and irritation of the tendons of the foot.
At times there can also be inflammation present surrounding the tendon or “tendon sheath”.
The largest tendon working on the foot is the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.
Tendinopathy can occur due to an overload of the tendon during regular day to day activities or during sport.
The pain is usually aggravated by movement and can limit mobility remarkably.
Rest, ice pack application, massage, dry needling, exercise programs, stretching programs, strapping, activity modification and anti-inflammatory therapy are common treatment options that Podiatrists will advise patients with Tendinopathy.
Bunions are a deviation of the bones around the big toe joint of the foot.
They can range in size and may present as a large bump on the medial (inside) of the forefoot.
They are more common in women and are aggravated by poor footwear choices.
Bunions are caused by a range of different factors including excessive wear of high-heeled or narrow shoes, poor foot mechanics, and genetic factors.
Bunions can also lead to the development of corns and callous as a result of pressure re-distribution in the foot. Bunions can be rather painful, especially with direct pressure from footwear.
There is a large spectrum of treatment options available for bunions, from conservation methods right through to surgical intervention.
- Ingrown toenail
This is a well recognised condition that Podiatrists see regularly.
Here, the toenail grows into the skin (or sulcus) either side of the toenail, causing pain and discomfort.
The area can very tender to touch, and is often infected. A Podiatrist can remove the offending section of the nail, under local anesthetic where required.
- Plantar Fasciitis (Fasciosis)
This is a common clinical condition characterised by pain through the heel and/or arch of the foot.
The Plantar Fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that joins from the heel to under the ball of the foot.
The Plantar Fascia acts as a shock absorber in the foot and supports the medial longitudinal arch.
The pain associated with plantar fasciitis is often worse after a period of rest (for example first few steps in the morning) and then ‘warms up’ with activity.
Due to constant trauma and a number of other biomechanical factors, the plantar fascia is subject to constant trauma and injury, resulting in irritation or inflammation of the surrounding structures.
Conservative treatments such stretching, icing, massage, exercises, and arch supports help the condition immensely, and will likely be advised by podiatrists.
Gout is an inflammatory condition where tiny crystals of uric acid deposit in the joints.
It commonly affects the big toe and can cause swelling, significant pain and redness.
Gout can also involve other joints as well.
Medical therapy is the mainstay of treatment for Gout.
This is a degenerative problem where the joints become stiff and painful.
The foot is often involved, due to very small joints taking large amounts of pressure with day to day activities.
Treatments are conservative and often include painkillers, calcium tablets, and vitamin D supplements.
Also called plantar warts, these are small tumour like growths that are seen on the skin of the foot.
Commonly located on the plantar surface or sole of the foot, they can become uncomfortable with pressure.
They are caused by viruses and can be treated by podiatrists with specialist treatments such as salicylic acid and cryotherapy.
There are a number of different causes of foot pain.
All of these are diagnosed and managed in different ways by Podiatrists.
If you need a Podiatrist in Melbourne to treat or diagnose your foot pain, please call (03) 9939 3339.