Chronic foot pain is all too common, but it can make daily living difficult, which is why efforts must be made to relieve it. Common underlying conditions that cause chronic foot pain are Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and arthritis. In order to get an accurate diagnosis and the highest quality treatment for these conditions, consult a board-certified foot and ankle doctor, or a podiatrist.
Below, we give you a comprehensive guide to treating chronic foot pain, some of which you can do at home, while others are administered by a podiatrist.
Rest and Ice Therapy
One of the first steps in treating chronic foot pain is to rest your feet and apply ice. If you continue to use your foot excessively, you could aggravate the pain. Along with resting your foot, apply ice to the area or wrap an ice pack around it for 20 minutes at a time. The cold will help reduce inflammation in the foot and help produce a numbing effect, lessening the severity of pain.
Along with rest, it is important to start stretching your feet and the muscles in your calves on a daily basis. Tight calf muscles are a common cause of foot pain, as they prevent your ankle from bending, which strains the heel bone and plantar fascia. Gentle stretches, as well as toe curls and ankle rotations can be effective in improving strength and flexibility.
Wearing proper footwear is another important step in treating chronic foot pain. Shoes that provide good support, cushioning, and stability can help reduce stress on the feet and alleviate pain. There are many shoes without proper arch support, such as flip-flops, wedges, high heels, and leather boots, that can directly cause chronic foot pain. Choose footwear brands that specialize in shoes with great support, have flexible soles, and are light on the feet.
Custom orthotics or shoe inserts are very effective in correcting structural problems and provide additional support to aching feet. These are made according to your foot’s unique structures and are available at the podiatrist’s clinic. Custom orthotics are considered a conservative yet highly effective treatment for chronic foot pain caused by high arches, flat feet, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and other podiatry issues.
Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option for chronic foot pain. A physical therapist can develop an individualized treatment plan that includes targeted stretching and strengthening exercises, as well as other modalities that relieve foot pain. Physical therapists can also provide education on proper body mechanics, posture, and ergonomics to help reduce stress on the feet, ease foot pain, and prevent future injuries.
Night splints are a type of orthotic device that is worn at night to keep the foot in a neutral position while sleeping. It relieves pain because it stretches out the plantar fascia and prevents it from becoming tight.
Corticosteroid injections may be recommended by a podiatrist for longer-lasting relief from chronic foot pain. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which continues to work for several weeks or months.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive medical treatment that uses high-intensity sound waves to stimulate healing in the foot for patients with plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. A podiatrist can perform this treatment in-house and is recommended for patients with persistent foot pain even after six months of treatment.
In some cases, surgery may be recommended to treat chronic foot pain. Surgery may be necessary to cut the plantar fascia ligament to release the built-up pressure in the tissue and remove bone spurs that may have developed. A foot and ankle surgeon can perform this, if after six months, symptoms still persist with non-surgical treatments.
Chronic Foot Pain Treatment in San Antonio, Boerne, Floresville, Hondo, Kenedy, Live Oak, TX
To find out what treatments are available to you, contact the board-certified foot and ankle surgeons at The Podiatry Group of South Texas. We are highly experienced in the treatment of the most common and complex foot problems and provide comprehensive podiatry services that can bring you lasting relief from symptoms.