The human foot is made up of 28 bones, over 100 muscles, and 30 joints. Our feet absorb shock when we walk, run, jump, and dance. Healthy feet are crucial to an active lifestyle. When something goes wrong in our feet, it can bring our lives to a screeching halt.
One of the most common foot problems is chronic foot pain. Chronic foot pain is pain in the foot that lasts for longer than a few weeks or returns frequently. There are a variety of causes of chronic foot pain and finding the most effective pain relief depends on the cause of the pain.
There are a variety of causes of chronic foot pain. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.
- Bunion – A bunion is a bulging bump that grows outside the base of the foot’s big toe. It causes soreness, swelling, and pain in the big toe. If left untreated or managed, the pain can extend to beyond the big toe.
- Fractures – Symptoms of a foot fracture include pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty bearing weight. Fractures in the foot can be difficult to detect. A lot of foot fractures are small cracks that are impossible to detect without an x-ray. In cases like these, patients can go days or weeks without knowing they have a fracture. Untreated fractures can lead to chronic pain that lasts weeks or months.
- Plantar fasciitis – This condition is the most common cause of heel pain and is caused by inflammation in the plantar fascia tissue that connects the toes to the heel of the foot. Symptoms include sharp pain in the heel after waking up, long periods of rest, or after standing for an extended period of time.
- Arthritis – Arthritis refers to the breakdown or deterioration of joints. Arthritis can affect any of the body’s joints. While the hip and knee joints are commonly affected, bone joints in the feet are just as likely to be affected by this condition.
- Achilles tendinitis – The Achilles tendon is tissue that connects the calf muscles to the foot’s heel bone. When it is overused (through activities such as playing sports with intensity or for extended periods of time), the Achilles tendon weakens. Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include pain, tenderness, and stiffness that runs from the calf to the heel.
Diagnosing Foot Pain
If you have chronic foot pain, it’s best to see a qualified podiatrist who has experience diagnosing and treating all types of podiatric problems. When you see a podiatrist about your chronic foot pain, he or she will ask for a detailed account of your symptoms, will perform a physical examination of the feet, and may request imaging tests such as x-rays or MRIs. The imaging tests will help the podiatrist see the inside of the foot to find possible fractures, bone spurs, and other problems. Using all of this information, the doctor will give you a diagnosis and offer effective treatment options to relieve your pain.
Foot Care in South Texas
If you are experiencing chronic foot pain, contact the experts at The Podiatry Group of South Texas to find relief immediately. Make an appointment by calling (210) 227-8700 or request an appointment online.