Your feet are arguably one of the essential parts of your body. They carry you to and from each place you go throughout the day. No matter what your age or physical health, foot pain can be extremely painful and inconvenient. If you are experiencing foot pain, getting relief is vital for your everyday life since the pain can be quite disruptive. The causes can range widely depending on where you are feeling the pain. It is usually in one of the following areas: heel, ball of the foot, arch, toes, the outer edge, or even overall pain. While you may want to look online and find a home remedy, there are some conditions related to foot pain that may need treatment from a doctor to ensure proper care. Getting a diagnosis and treatment plan can be the difference between recovery and long-term health issues.
When You Should Contact a Doctor?
It’s important to know when you should contact your doctor about your foot pain. Below you will find symptoms that should alert you to get medical attention:
- Your foot pain has lasted more than two weeks, and the pain lasts for most of the day;
- Your foot or ankle has been swollen for more than two days; or
- You feel tingling, numbness, or burning pain in your foot or ankle area.
If you have experienced any of the symptoms above, you should call your doctor. While it is difficult to know precisely what you may be suffering from based on those symptoms, your medical provider will be able to examine your feet and determine the proper diagnosis.
Foot Pain Management
If you are unable to get an appointment right away and your foot pain and injury is not an immediate emergency, managing your pain is necessary. Below you will find some remedies that may help your foot pain at home or work until your doctor’s appointment.
- Check Your Shoes: Be sure your shoes fit well. Also, make sure you aren’t wearing anything too loose or too tight. If you are experiencing foot pain, wear flat shoes with a supportive arch and ankle support.
- Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: If you need to get through an event or work, take some over-the-counter pain medication until you can see your doctor help with your pain.
- Rest, Ice, and Elevate: If you can take the time to rest and elevate your foot, you should do that as much as you can. Icing your foot can also help with any swelling.
Common Problems That Cause Foot Pain
Some of the more common problems that patients experience include the following:
- Injuries to the Achilles Tendon: There are multiple factors that can lead to a tendon rupture, including flat feet, worn-out shoes, or shoes that don’t fit, weak or tight calf muscles, overuse, not stretching or inadequate stretching, or running on hills or hard surfaces.
- Fractures in the Foot or Ankle: Usually, fractures are from some known injury. However, since fractures are not a full break, most people are unaware they have suffered a fracture and think it might just be a sprain. If you experience continual pain after an injury, you may have suffered a fracture.
- Bunions: Bunions are usually accompanied by a sharp pain in your foot that will not go away. They often start small, but they will become larger, more painful, and will require treatment. The chances of getting a bunion increase as you get older and are more prevalent in women.
- Heel Pain: Heel pain can be a symptom of various conditions. Heel pain is most likely caused by Plantar Fasciitis, Calcaneal Apophysitis, Bursitis, or Posterior Calcaneal Exostosis.
Depending on your specific symptoms, your medical provider will be able to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your needs. The diagnostic process can include several procedures depending on the severity of your injury. Your doctor will most likely start with a physical exam and discuss your medical history to see if any pre-existing conditions or prior injuries could be contributing to your current foot pain. Some of the methods used to assist in the diagnostic process include an X-ray, CT scan, or an ultrasound. These are used if your doctor cannot provide you with a diagnosis based on the examination of your foot from the outside.
Contact Us Today
Dr. Stein is one of the most trusted orthopedic surgeons in Washington, D.C. He specializes in general orthopedics with a focus on comprehensive management of sports-related injuries. He also specializes in reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. Dr. Stein has had years of experience in the field with excellent patient outcomes. If you are experiencing foot pain, contact Dr. Stein’s office to set up an appointment at (202) 835-2222 or contact his office.