Did you know that 75% of all Americans will suffer from foot pain at some point in their lives? A recent study by the American Podiatric Medical Association showed that the feet are the most overworked and also the most neglected part of the body. Unfortunately, many people ignore their feet until they are in pain. If you are experiencing acute or chronic foot pain, it is important to consult an experienced foot doctor in Houston to help get you moving again. Read on to learn about the top 8 most common causes of foot pain.
A bunion is a bony bump on the base of the big toe. This bump develops when the big toe pushes against the adjacent toe, causing the joint to swell and become enlarged. Bunions may develop as a result of wearing narrow shoes, but can also be caused by a genetic abnormality, stress on the foot, or arthritis. Bunions can be extremely painful and are typically treated with the use of orthotics, splinting, padding, or surgery.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thin band of connective tissue that connects the front of your foot to your heel and supports your arch. The plantar fascia acts as a shock absorber for the foot and can develop small tears when damaged. This painful condition is common among individuals who are middle aged, athletes, or overweight. Treatment may includes ice, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, orthotics, steroid injections, and surgery.
Heel spurs are tiny calcium deposits that form on the heel bone. These painful protrusions are often associated with plantar fasciitis as they typically develop when the plantar fascia pulls away from the heel, but are also common in women and individuals with flat feet. Treatment for heel spurs may include anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, orthotics, steroid injections, and surgery.
Osteoarthritis of the Foot and Ankle
Osteoarthritis is the gradual degeneration of the cartilage and bone in a joint. This type of arthritis is commonly found in the foot or ankle and caused by simple wear and tear. Treatment for osteoarthritis may include anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, and joint replacement surgery.
Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes that causes nerve damage. This condition causes a tingling or burning pain and sometimes numbness in the feet. Treatment of diabetic neuropathy may include pain medication and the use of supportive shoes and braces.
Hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third, or fourth toe of the foot. This condition causes the toe to become bent at the middle joint, so it looks like a hammer. Hammertoes are commonly caused by a tendon imbalance or wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Treatment for hammertoes may include wearing proper shoes, using orthotics or splints, and surgery.
Morton’s neuroma is a benign growth of nerve tissue found on the ball of the foot between the third and fourth toes. This condition is caused by injury, irritation, excessive pressure on the nerve that leads to the toes. Treatment of Morton’s neuroma may include the use of orthotics, pain medications, decompression surgery, or surgical removal of the nerve.
An ingrown toenail is an extremely painful condition that occurs when the corner of a toenail grows into the skin adjacent to the nail. This condition causes redness, swelling, pain, and infection around the toenail. Treatment for this condition includes removing the affected portion of the toenail and the use of pain and antibiotic medication. Minor cases of ingrown toenails may be treated at home, but more severe cases should be seen by a foot doctor in Houston for professional treatment.