Foot pain is common, and can be due to a number of reasons. One of the most common causes of foot pain is metatarsalgia. With this condition, one of more of the metatarsal heads become painful and inflamed, due to pressure on the foot for a long period of time. It may be acute or chronic foot pain, and can be made worse by wearing high heels, standing for long periods of time, or over-exercise.
Other Causes of Foot Pain
Other reasons why you may experience foot pain are heel spurs, a sharp, stabbing pain that is often seen in people who stand on their feet a lot. This is due to the stretching and even micro-tearing of foot ligaments.
Dry, cracked skin on the foot may worsen over time, and even bleed and become infected. This may cause severe foot pain, and reasons for dry cracked skin may be obesity (the pressure causes the skin on the foot to crack), prolonged standing, and open-backed shoes.
Achilles tendonitis and Achilles pain are another reason people suffer from foot pain. It occurs in the back of the heel – the Achilles tendon – and may develop suddenly. The tendon may stretch and become painful, or in more serious cases, rupture. If you suspect you have Achilles tendonitis you should see a doctor right away, to reduce the risk of tearing. Athletes often experience this pain, and it is made worse by standing for long periods of time or wearing improper footwear.
A bunion is an enlarged joint deformity by the big toe. A bony lump forms, and the big toe becomes bent inwards. They are more common among women, and are often a direct result of wearing improperly fitting shoes or high heels for long periods of time. The foot begins to take on the shape of the ill-fitting shoe, causing a bunion. If you start to get a bunion, begin soaking your feet in warm water.
People with diabetes are prone to a variety of foot problems, and proper foot care is essential. Diabetics may have poor foot circulation and loss of sensation in their extremities, so they may not even notice that a poorly-fitting shoe is squeezing their toes, or that standing for a long period of time is causing damage. Most diabetics need special orthotics to treat their foot pain.
Treatment of Foot Pain
First, you must reduce the amount of pressure that is placed on your foot for any given period of time. You may need to wear an orthotic footbed that has metatarsal support. There are special shoes designed to help reduce footpain, so spend the extra money for a really good quality pair of shoes.
Stretching exercises can also be extremely helpful when it comes to foot pain. Talk to your doctor about exercises you can do to minimize discomfort and further damage.
In most cases, foot pain can be treated with orthotics, exercise and continued prevention of trauma to the foot. However, always consult a physician if you have foot pain.