Chronic foot pain is a very common problem that can be triggered by a number of different causes.
People who experience pain in one or both of their feet often find that the discomfort can interfere with regular day to day activities, including work.
As a result it is extremely important to ensure that chronic foot pain is properly dealt with, and the following article shall examine common causes and treatments.
Understanding the Foot
Our feet are comprised of twenty-four bones per foot, varying in size and strength. These bones form two crossing arches that are held together by bands of strong tissue known as ligaments.
The muscles in our feet provide protection to the bones against stress and absorb impact, and the small pads of fat on the base help to distribute weight evenly throughout our legs.
Chronic pain and discomfort is a sign that something is wrong, and we can locate the problem by identifying the type of pain experienced and the rate at which it occurs.
Causes of Foot Pain
There are many different reasons why people experience foot pain, and these range from ill fitted footwear to problems relating to sprains.
Depending on the level of pain experienced, you may or may not need to visit a Doctor. Some causes are easily identifiable and can be quickly treated.
However, other causes are a result of poor biomechanical alignment, and in these cases it is extremely important to visit a Doctor or licensed Podiatrist.
Wearing the wrong size shoe or tying your laces too tight is a common cause of chronic foot pain in the top of the foot.
High heels are often associated with pain found in the heel due to the elevated position of the foot and the smaller area of pressure distribution.
It’s important to have your feet measured every few years, and to buy footwear appropriate for your size.
People experience pain from wearing high heels should consider buying flats, and if this is not an option then they can consider wedges or similar types of shoes with a less raised platform.
Sprains are also extremely common, and this type of discomfort affects the muscles and ligaments of the foot.
A sprain occurs when we engage in more activity than we are used to and the ligaments in our foot become twisted and stretched.
This damage is not permanent, and simply resting your foot for a few days should solve the problem.
A verruca is a growth found on the sole of the foot that can become quite painful if left untreated, as the pressure from the weight of your body can force the verruca to grow into your body rather than out of it.
Verrucas are easy to identify; they consist of small and flat white circles that often encase a small black dot in the centre.
This dot is a blood vessel that has become trapped by the verruca. Verrucas are generally straightforward to treat and most can be cured through use of over the counter medicine.
However, larger verrucas and those that persist even when treated may need cryotherapy (a special treatment that involves applying liquid nitrogen to the affected area).
Planter fasciitis is the most common form of chronic heel pain, and is often brought about by running, jogging and walking.
The planter fascia is a band of tissue that connects our heel to our toes. Although this band of tissue is considerably tougher than the other ligaments we find in our feet, repetitive exercise and activity can wear it down and over time it will become irritated and inflamed.
This discomfort is typically worst in the morning, after getting out of bed. This type of foot pain can be treated through rest and anti-inflammatory medicine.
A bunion is a joint deformity located at the base of the big toe. A bunion will cause the big toe to begin pointing towards the other toes of the same foot, forcing the bone attached to the big toe to stick out at an angle.
This is obviously extremely uncomfortable, and over time it can cause serious pain and damage.
A bunion can change the shape of your foot, resulting in swelling and tenderness in the area around the big toe.
These symptoms can worsen over time, so make sure to visit a Doctor if you believe you may have a bunion.
There are a number of methods employed to treat the pain associated with this deformity including painkillers and bunions pad, but if the deformity is severe and non responsive to these treatments then surgery may be needed.
Ingrown toenails are a problem that can occur when a toenail begins to grow into the surrounding skin, resulting in tenderness and pain when pressure is applied to the nail. There are a number of reasons why you may experience an ingrown toenail.
Incorrectly cutting your toenails can cause the nail to grow at an angle resulting in jutting out into the skin.
Wearing tight-fitting shoes and socks pull the skin around the nail in closer against the nail, which will cause it to grow into the toe.
Fungal infections affect the shape and size of the nail, and increase the thickness causing it to spread out.
Countering either of these problems will reduce the likelihood of a recurring ingrown toenail, but if the problem persists or becomes notably painful then you will need to visit a Doctor.
Your Doctor may option the nail for surgery, or if it is infected they may put you on a course of steroids to kill the fungus.
Diabetics may find themselves particularly at risk as their condition can affect the rate at which the nail grows.
There are a number of different reasons why people experience chronic foot pain, and the most important thing you should do if you experience discomfort is identify the cause of the pain.
If you are having difficulty this, or if the pain becomes unbearable visit your local Doctor or Podiatrist.