Anytime there is pain in the body, it's usually a warning something is not quite right. It may be minor, such as a sore back from moving, or it may be severe, like that of a gallbladder acting up. One of the most annoying pains is foot pain. It may not always be severe, but it certainly can make life more miserable. Foot pain can make it difficult to walk, work, and exercise. Outside of a known injury, foot pain can be caused by many things. Here is a look at three common foot issues.
1. Plantar Fasciitis
The strip of tissue that runs on the bottom of your foot is called the plantar fascia. It connects your toes to your heel. This ligament is meant to provide support to the enormous amount of strain a person's feet are put under each day. If there is too much pressure, it can tear or become swollen, causing pain.
The pain is usually felt primarily in the heel, but it may be felt in the sole as well. It is a stabbing pain rather than constant, and it is usually worse when using stairs or in the morning. Athletes and runners are good candidates for plantar fasciitis, but so are overweight people. Not wearing shoes with proper arch support or wearing high heels too much can be another cause. Lifestyle changes, medications, rest, and braces can treat this condition.
Gout is a type of arthritis. While it usually occurs in the big toe, it can also affect the ankle, knee, or any other joint. Gout is incredibly painful. An attack can come out of nowhere, and it will often begin at night, causing a person to awaken from the sensation their foot is on fire. The joint will be red and swollen and the pain is so severe, even touching it lightly will cause agony.
Gout is caused by a buildup of urate crystals, which occurs when your blood has too much uric acid in it. This uric acid is usually caused by a diet high in red meats and beer, but it could be from being overweight or undiagnosed kidney disease, which often doesn't have symptoms until considerable damage has been done. Dietary changes and medications can control the condition.
Diabetics have many issues with their feet due to poor circulation and the other adverse effects of high blood sugar. Osteomyelitis is a very serious bone infection. A diabetic who is battling foot ulcers that won't heal is prone to this infection because bacteria can enter through one of the open ulcers. A common site of infection is in the heal, which can then travel up the leg.
In addition to foot pain, a person with a bone infection generally feels quite sick. Long-term intravenous antibiotics, biopsies, and surgery, potentially including amputation, are immediately required. Because diabetics often have nerve damage that inhibits them from feeling pain, it is extremely important the feet be inspected daily for any ulcerations or sores that won't heal. Osteomyelitis can potentially be fatal if the infection enters the bloodstream.
If you are experiencing any foot or heel pain or have an open wound, be sure to see a podiatrist right away. Your feet are way too important to the quality of life to risk ignoring. For more information, contact your local heel pain services.