Pain in the feet can arise for many reasons; most ailments can be easily treated but some are more serious. Below is a list of common foot complaints with details on the symptoms and treatments.
It’s a rather obvious fact but foot pain often arises from an injury. The most common injuries are sprains and breaks. A sprain is not as serious as a fracture or broken bone, but it can be painful. A sprain or a pulled muscle can often be treated at home using the RICE method; rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Painkillers can also help ease the pain.
However, with a break in the foot, you need to visit a hospital. Symptoms of fractures, as well as pain, including swelling and bruising, plus there is sometimes a grating feeling which comes from the bones rubbing together.
It’s important to keep the fractured foot comfortable and support it, especially if you haven’t visited a doctor or hospital yet. Keep it elevated and rested on cushions or similar.
To stop the pain and heal the fracture, the bones will need to be put back into their normal place by a doctor. This will allow the bones to heal properly. This is often done under general or local anesthetic.
If the fracture is more serious, or open, then the bones will be put back into place during surgery. The bones are then often held in place using metal rods.
The foot is then put into a cast to allow it to heal. Doctors often recommend physiotherapy sessions which will help the bone heal.
If the bone in the foot is broken, not just fractured, then it has the same symptoms as a fracture but with increased pain and often the inability to put weight on the foot.
Broken bones are treated in a similar way to fractures; the bones are put back into place, often with surgery. To ease the pain during recovery it is essential, as with fractures, to rest the foot and keep it supported.
Your shoes should help support the feet and provide comfort. However, often people wear shoes that either doesn’t fit properly or that do not provide any support. This can cause the feet to ache, pinch and in some cases can result in blisters, bunions, corns, goatdee and many more foot ailments.
If the shoes are too small then they can pinch and rub, often causing blisters which can be very painful. Small shoes can also affect the toenails; when the toes are crammed together the nails have no other option but to grow in unnatural directions, this can result in an ingrown toenail, especially when the big toe is pressed against the smaller one. Badly fitting shoes can also cause rams-horn nail as the nail is always hitting the end of the shoe. These can be uncomfortable and often painful.
Bad shoes can also cause athletes foot; this is most often found in people who wear shoes that don’t allow their feet to breath. This causes the foot to become sweaty and warm, perfect for athletes’ foot to breed.
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High heeled shoes are particularly bad as they change the natural weight distribution of the foot and put more pressure on the toes. This can not only cause pain in the toes but also the arch as it strains to take the pressure.
To avoid the pain that comes from wearing ill-fitting shoes, it is important to get your feet measured by a professional. This happened a lot when we were children but as adults, we rarely measure our feet. It’s important as feet often change shape as we get older, also, sometimes one foot can be a different size to another.
Another way to ensure you have good shoes is to see if they allow your feet to breath. Airflow helps reduce the risk of athlete’s foot, plus it will help foot odor!
Some shoes usually sport footwear, have inbuilt cushioning for arches. But often everyday shoes don’t. It’s worth investing in some arch supports to ease pain and help your feet keep their natural shape. These can be slipped into different shoes and are very versatile.
Gout can form in any joint in the body, but it is most often found in the feet, especially the big toe. Gout is a type of arthritis and is caused by too much uric acid in the body, which is a waste product from the kidneys. The acid causes hard crystals to form in the joint.
Many factors can increase the likelihood of developing gouts, such as obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, age, and gender.
Gout usually comes on suddenly and the pain can be severe and incapacitating. A Gout Attack can last from a couple of days to almost two weeks. The pain is often at its worst in the first 24 hours then gradually eases over time.
To ease pain during an attack of gout non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used. These are designed to reduce pain and swelling.
To reduce the risk of developing gout, or more gout attacks, there are some lifestyle changes you can make. These include managing weight and reducing the intake of alcoholic beverages. These lifestyle changes are combined with a drug called allopurinol which lowers the levels of uric acid.
We’ve mentioned that gout is a type of arthritis which causes foot pain, but general arthritis can be a cause too. Two main kinds create pain in the foot; osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis. There are several types of inflammatory arthritis which can all cause pain in different areas of the foot. As the name suggests, they also cause swelling, which can aggravate pain and be a hindrance.
Osteoarthritis can cause the bones in your feet to change shape, which can be painful. It can affect all areas of the foot but can be particularly painful in the big toe joint and can cause stiffness and sometimes lead to a bunion developing.
A bunion is a deformity of the bone on the joint of the big toe. This protrudes from the side of the foot and causes the big toe to point towards the other toes instead of straight up. There are several causes of bunions but the main one seems to be ill-fitting and tight footwear vumoo. Bad shoes will press on the foot and squeeze the toes together, irritating the bone and causing the toe to grow in the wrong direction.
To start with, bunions are not usually painful but if they are left they can become more so, especially if they rub on the side of shoes. They can also make it difficult to wear your normal shoes.
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There are many bunion treatments; the non-surgical ones aim to deal with the pain and pressure, not remove the actual bunion. These include wearing bunion pads to stop it from rubbing and reduce pain, you can also wear orthotics in your shoes which provide comfort and relieve pressure on the area of gclub.
If the bunion becomes too painful then you may need surgery to remove it. There are some different types but they all involve removing the deformity and often require plates and wires to keep the toe in place as it heels.