Foot pain often goes ignored. However, pain in the feet can greatly affect your day to day living. There are many causes of foot ache including arthritis, stress fracture, plantar fasciitis, and other more serious medical conditions. PT doctors can diagnose the cause of your foot pain, prescribe a treatment plan, and get you on the road again.
What are the causes of foot pain?
The more common foot issues include:
- Sprained or strained foot – foot ligaments stretch and tear. Often happens when your foot twists or lands awkwardly. A strain happens when a muscle or tendon gets stretched.
- Heel spurs – calcium growth around your heel bone. Can cause heel pain.
- Heel pain – while several reasons for heel pain exist, the pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.
- Plantar Fasciitis – inflammation of the ligament that runs on the bottom of the foot from the heel to the ball of the foot. Can be caused by heel spurs, improper footwear, structural problems like high or low arches, increased stress on the foot from running or standing for long periods of time, and tight calves.
- Fractures – bones in the foot or toes break due to trauma or increased stress.
- Osteoarthritis – degeneration of the protective cartilage that lines the ends of bones (that make up joints), usually caused by wear-and-tear from aging.
- Balance Disorders – If the balance disorder is the result of or cause of structural changes in the foot, it is likely to cause pain when trying to stand or walk. Also, if someone has a balance disorder that causes falls, the person might develop fractures or sprains that cause pain.
- Tendinitis – inflammation of the tendon, often from overuse.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome – compression on posterior tibial nerve. Can cause numbness, tingling, and pain.
- Fallen arches – also known as flat feet. Can cause pain in the heel or arch. Often associated with plantar fasciitis.
- Bursitis – inflammation of bursa sacs. Can lead to pain, inflammation and bruising in your foot.
How a sore foot affects your day to day living
The impact of a sore foot can be felt from the moment you get up in the morning. You may experience difficulty walking, increased pain when standing for an extended period of time. Even wearing tight shoes becomes difficult and painful.
Foot soreness affects weight bearing activities like squatting or stair climbing. This can be debilitating if you need to be on your feet for work or other daily activities.
How we diagnose foot pain
A physician can perform a physical exam to determine more simple causes of foot pain, but x-rays or MRI’s can also be conclusive for bone or soft tissue injuries.
How physical therapy solves foot and ankle pain problems
Modalities like hot/cold therapy, ultrasound, taping, and manual therapy can decrease pain, swelling, or improve range of motion. An exercise program that includes strengthening, balance, and stretching can all contribute to decreasing foot and ankle pain too or preventing more issues in the future.
Don’t ignore and leave your foot or ankle pain untreated. The sooner you receive treatment, the better your of your aching feet will feel.