Is It Possible To Prevent Foot Pain
To prevent injuries and pain, the following issues should be addressed before starting an exercise routine. Are you in good health? A general physical exam by a physician will help to evaluate your cardiovascular function, the possibility of disease, or any other general medical problems that you may have. Before beginning activities, diseases such as gout, diabetes, certain types of arthritis, and neuropathies should be treated.
Physicians with sports medicine, physical medicine, podiatric, or orthopedic backgrounds may also help you choose an appropriate activity. After choosing the sport or activity that you wish to participate in, proper preparation will help minimize the initial aches and pains of that activity. Proper technique in any activity will help you to properly and safely perform your chosen activity and avoid injury. Good coaching can help you develop good biomechanics that can prevent foot pain.
Shoes and socks appropriate to your activity will also be a deterrent to foot pain. Properly fitting shoes and proper foot hygiene can prevent blisters, ingrown toenails, corns, , bunions, stress fractures, metatarsalgia, Morton’s neuroma, mallet toes, and plantar fasciitis. Poorly fitting footwear can make poor biomechanics worse, and properly fitting footwear can help to minimize the effect of bad biomechanics.
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Why Do I Have Pain In My Foot Or Ankle
Most people experience pain in and around their feet or ankles at some point in their lives.
Its one of the most complex, hard-working regions of your body. It has 26 bones and 33 small joints, all held together by a network of soft tissue made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels.
Most cases of foot or ankle pain are short term and are caused by soft tissue injuries, such as sprains or strains.
These should gradually heal with the help of simple self-care measures. Though some could take a few months to fully recover, you probably wont need to seek treatment from a healthcare professional.
However, some pain can have no obvious cause or may not improve significantly with self-care.
Pain that seems to be getting worse, does not improve, or lasts longer than a few months could be due to structural changes in the foot or ankle, or an underlying condition.
There can be several explanations for long-term pain in and around the feet or ankles, such as:
- badly fitting footwear
Frostnip Of The Lower Limbs
Frostnip is damage of the outermost layers of the skin caused by exposure to the cold . It is most commonly found in people doing leisurely activities like camping, hunting, or snow sports.
Those with suspected frostnip should have wet clothing removed. Rubbing affected areas worsens damage to the tissue. You should go to an urgent care. If rewarming can occur without chance of refreezing, it can be tried in the field. At urgent care, the doctors will guide you in gently re-warming the wounded area in 98-102F water. Further, ibuprofen, antibiotics, and a tetanus shot may be necessary
Top Symptoms: foot pain, swollen foot, foot numbness, foot redness, limping
Symptoms that always occur with frostnip of the lower limbs: cold toe
Urgency: In-person visit
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Weeks On Minimal Arch Pain
Mrs X reported that her arch pain had virtually gone. There was some mild discomfort if she was standing still, without walking, for extended periods, as she had recently done at a work conference. However, she was very comfortable and free from pain at all other times. When palpating her arches, she did not flinch and reported mild tenderness but to pain.
Mrs X was asked to continue her change in eating habits but to now introduce walking. 3 ks to commence and only twice a week. Her stretching must continue and her training programme would be modified in due course, increasing gradually.
PLEASE NOTE: The information in this case study is specific to one individual patient and should not be taken as general advice. If you have arch pain or a condition causing discomfort in your feet, you should seek the help of a Sports Podiatrist.
For more information, click here: Plantar Fasciitis
A online treatment plan by Dr. Karl Lockett from Sydney Heel Pain Clinic
Learn how to treat Plantar fasciitis and heel pain with a treatment plan that allows you to take home Karls clinical experience and resolve this condition in the comfort of your own home.
Bursitis In The Foot Or Ankle
Bursitis causes pain and inflammation, commonly around hard-working joints such as in the big toe, ball of the foot, heel, or ankle. It can also affect any part of the body.
It is caused by swelling in a small pocket of fluid, known as a bursa, or bursae if more than one is affected. Normally these small pouches cushion and protect your bones, joints, and tendons from impact, rubbing or pressure.
However, repeated rubbing, friction, excessive pressure, or injury can cause the fluid inside to increase making the affected bursa inflamed and tender.
For example, you can get bursitis between your ankle and heel if you keep wearing shoes that rub, pinch, or press down on the area. Shoes that are too tight and high heels regularly cause bursitis.
It often appears as a red, painful, swollen lump. However, it can also cause general swelling that you only notice because of the pain, for instance on the bottom of your heel.
People with bunions or irritated joints can be prone to bursitis. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause bursitis, particularly in the ball of the foot.
The self-care tips recommended earlier should help relieve your pain and inflammation. However, instead of bandaging the area, try using adhesive padding on the swelling to protect it from further friction and pressure. Resting it on a cushion can also help.
If you find self-care treatments are not helping speak to a healthcare professional.
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What Is Physiotherapy Treatment For Foot Muscle Spasms
When the muscle spasm is not relieved after the home treatment & pain medication then the doctor has advised physiotherapy treatment to release the muscle spasm.
Physiotherapy treatment is help you relieve pain, swelling, muscle spasm & tightness of the muscle pain.The physiotherapy treatment includes massage, electrotherapy treatment & exercise therapy.
Treatment Of Nerve Damage:
- When your foot spasm occurs due to nerve damage first you want to pinpoint the reason for this condition.
- The doctor advises medications for pain relief, antidepressants, topical creams & medications that are also used for epilepsy which help to ease nerve pain from peripheral neuropathy.
- Other treatments for neuropathy may include:
- IV immune globulin
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Common Causes Of Foot Muscle Pain
There are, in fact, dozens of various causes of foot pain muscle pain to be sure, but this is often caused by a related injury, irritation, or inflammation elsewhere though connected. For example, the muscles in the planum region of the foot can experience pain that is triggered from the occurrence of plantar fasciitis.
According to the Mayo Clinic,
Injury, overuse or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot can cause foot pain. Arthritis is a common cause of foot pain. Injury to the nerves of the feet may result in intense burning pain, numbness or tingling .
Here are the three most common causes of foot muscle pain:
Causes Of Top Of Foot Pain
While many conditions can lead to pain on the top of the foot, several are more common. The typical causes of this issue can generally be divided between acute injuries and more chronic health concerns. Among the more frequently seen acute causes are:
- Midfoot osteoarthritis
Injuries to the top of the foot usually happen during a distinct painful event or due to excessive repetitive activities . For example, Lisfranc injuries occur when the midfoot joints dislocate after the ligaments in this region are torn. This injury commonly happens when the foot is in a downward pointed position, and someone lands on top of it. It can also occur after an auto accident or a fall.
Overuse injuries usually occur over time after the volume or intensity of a repetitive activity is quickly increased. This can include extensor tendonitis, where the tendons that help lift the foot and toes become overused and painful, or metatarsal stress fractures, where a small crack gradually develops in one of the bones at the base of your toes.
In the case of chronic health conditions that lead to dorsal foot pain, the causes are more varied. For example, gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that leads to sudden, severe pain in the foot or base of the big toe. This condition occurs when high levels of uric acid cause a buildup of irritating urate crystals in a joint.
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How Is Plantar Fasciitis Treated
Over 90% of those who have plantar fasciitis will improve within 10 months with the following at-home remedies. They include:
- Stretching your calf muscles.
- Wearing supportive, sturdy, well-cushioned shoes. Dont wear sandals or flip-flops that do not have a built-in arch support. Dont walk with bare feet.
- Using appropriate shoe inserts, arch supports or custom-made foot orthotics.
- Using a night splint to reduce tightness in the calf muscle.
- Massaging the area.
- Physical therapy for stretching and exercises.
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy . Shockwaves stimulate the healing process. This procedure is not commonly used.
- Seeing a podiatrist for recommendations regarding insoles and shoes.
Occasionally, if none of the above solutions are effective after 12 months, surgery may be considered. There are two types of surgeries:
- Gastronemius recession. This surgery lengthens the calf muscles. Tight calf muscles put additional stress on the plantar fascia.
- Plantar fascia release. The plantar fascia is cut, partially, to relieve some of the tension.
Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
PTTD, also known as adult-acquired flatfoot, occurs when you have an injury or inflammation to the posterior tibial tendon. The posterior tibial tendon connects the inner foot to a muscle in the calf. PTTD can cause arch pain if the posterior tibial tendon is no longer able to support the arch.
With PTTD, arch pain is likely to extend along the back of the calf and inner aspect of the ankle. You may also have ankle swelling. Pain typically occurs during activities, such as running, not afterward.
You may need to wear an ankle brace or custom shoe insert to treat PTTD. Physical therapy may also help. In some cases, you may need surgery to treat the condition.
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Rare Causes Of Bottom
Though less common, additional causes of foot pain must also be considered.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space on the inside of the ankle. Many arteries, veins, tendons, and nerves that allow the foot to move in different directions run through the tarsal tunnel.
One of these nerves is the posterior tibial nerve, which is responsible for the sensations you feel on the bottom of your foot and in your toes. Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the posterior tibial nerve gets compressed in the tarsal tunnel. This causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the foot.
Factors that increase your chances of developing tarsal tunnel syndrome include:
This rare autoimmune disorder can come in several different forms. The most common form in the United States is acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy .
AIDP is often triggered by an infection, such as the flu or a respiratory illness. It can also be triggered by an immunization, but this is extremely rare.
As many as 40% of Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome cases are triggered by a bacteria called Campylobacter jejuni, which causes diarrhea. It’s often found in undercooked poultry, putting people who eat it at an increased risk of campylobacter infection. GBS tends to set in a few weeks after the infection took place.
Which Exercises Can I Use
Regular, gentle exercises can help loosen up muscles and tendons to get your foot moving normally again and reduce pain. Research has shown that exercises are effective at reducing symptoms in plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and ankle sprains.
Frequency is important to make the exercises as effective as possible, so aim to do your chosen exercises three times a day. You can increase the frequency and the number of repetitions over time but keep the intensity low.
Below are nine exercises to relieve foot and ankle pain. These exercises can be used in any combination or on their own, so choose the ones that work best for you. Exercises 1-7 can be done seated, while 8 and 9 are done standing up:
1 Achilles tendon and plantar fascia stretch
This exercise is first on the list as it soothes two of the most painful areas: the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia. To begin, loop a towel around the ball of your foot and pull back towards your body with the knee kept straight. Hold for 30 seconds for each foot.
2 Sitting plantar fascia stretch
Cross your foot over the opposite knee. Hold the base of the toes and gently pull back until you feel a stretch along the underside of your foot. Hold for 15-20 seconds per repetition. Repeat 3 times on each foot.
3 Towel pickup
4 Plantar fascia stretch
Put your foot on top of a rounded object . With light pressure, roll the arch of your foot back and forth over the object for a few minutes.
5 Seated foot and heel raise
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How To Treat Top Of Foot Pain
Some conditions that cause pain on the top of the foot can be treated with common at-home remedies. For example, avoiding irritating activities and using ice and NSAID medication can help improve the symptoms of extensor tendonitis or midfoot arthritis. This same treatment is also commonly needed for metatarsal stress fractures, along with using crutches to avoid weight-bearing through the injured area.
Other conditions require the use of prescription medications. A gout flare-up, for instance, is typically treated with colchicine, a medication that helps lower uric acid levels, or oral steroids. Certain classes of medication, including anti-seizure, antidepressant, and antiarrhythmic drugs, are also commonly used to address peripheral neuropathy.
Finally, a more invasive intervention may also be utilized for your dorsal foot pain in certain situations. For example, the pain from gout or midfoot arthritis is occasionally severe and needs to be treated with a pain-relieving cortisone injection. Surgeries may also be needed in some cases, including many types of Lisfranc injuries, and infrequently for midfoot arthritis or certain types of stress fractures.
Video: An Exercise To Reduce Pain In The Top Of The Foot
This video shows an exercise that can help with pain in the top of foot.
The exercises in this video are suitable for most people. They are general exercises only and are not aimed at treating any specific cause of pain or condition.
Get advice from a GP or health professional before trying it, especially if:
- you have any concerns about your health
- you are not sure if the exercises are suitable
- you have any pre-existing health problems or injuries, or any current symptoms
Stop the exercise immediately and get medical help if you feel any pain or feel unwell.
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How To Get Moving
Within the first 24 to 48 hours of symptoms starting you should try to:
- reduce your activities but move as much as your symptoms allow
- rest your foot but avoid long periods of not moving
- move your foot gently for 10 to 20 seconds every hour when you’re awake
- avoid long periods on your feet
When using stairs it may help to:
- lead with your good leg when going upstairs to reduce the strain on your foot
- lead with your problem leg when going downstairs to reduce the strain on your foot
- use a handrail when going up and downstairs
After 48 hours:
- try to slowly return to normal activity by gradually building your activities up
- do whatever you normally would and stay at or return to work – this is important and is the best way to get better
It’s beneficial to do specific exercises that can help in your recovery. They may be challenging at the beginning so just do what you can and try to build it up over time.
Keeping active’s the single best thing you can do for your general health.
Being physically active can:
- maintain your current levels of fitness even if you have to modify what you normally do, any activity is better than none
- keep your other muscles and joints strong and flexible
- prevent a recurrence of the problem
Avoid sports or heavy lifting until you have less discomfort and good movement.
Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy refers to the feeling of numbness, tingling, and pins-and-needles sensation in the feet. Idiopathic means the cause is not known, and chronic means the condition is ongoing without getting better or worse.
The condition is most often found in people over age 60. Idiopathic neuropathy has no known cause.
Symptoms include uncomfortable numbness and tingling in the feet difficulty standing or walking due to pain and lack of normal sensitivity and weakness and cramping in the muscles of the feet and ankles.
Peripheral neuropathy can greatly interfere with quality of life, so a medical provider should be seen in order to treat the symptoms and reduce the discomfort.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination blood tests to rule out other conditions and neurologic and muscle studies such as electromyography.
Treatment involves over-the-counter pain relievers prescription pain relievers to manage more severe pain physical therapy and safety measures to compensate for loss of sensation in the feet and therapeutic footwear to help with balance and walking.
Top Symptoms: distal numbness, muscle aches, joint stiffness, numbness on both sides of body, loss of muscle mass
Urgency: Primary care doctor
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