Foot Fix: Massage And Stretch Your Feet And Calves
Not only can a good massage help relieve inflammation by prompting a fresh supply of oxygenated blood to rush to the area, but it, in combination with stretching, may also lengthen the plantar flexor muscles, helping them move more freely and with less pain, says Rachel Scott, a medical massage therapist in Lynnwood, Washington.
People tend to focus solely on the bottom of the foot and forget that the plantar fascia is part of a system that starts with the calf muscles and continues through the Achilles tendon, says Scott.
And while switching up your footwear or trying new insoles wont cure your plantar fasciitis, it can certainly help make things more comfortable. Try these podiatrist-approved optionsall of which have ample arch support, a firm but flexible midsole, and forefront cushioning:
You’re Stuck With An Ingrown Toenail
Out of everything on this list, this is probably the most visually apparent symptom of foot pain. Usually, ingrown toenails are inflamed, very sensitive, and may also develop calluses or even pus-filled deposits around the toe in question. For those who try to straighten their nails out at home like soaking in warm water with Epsom salts or white vinegar, or more perilously, cutting nails or rounding them out an ingrown nail can actually go incognito. A fraction of the nail may continue to grow in your nail bed, and any pressure may cause significant pain, even if there’s nothing left to cut away, explains Dr. Robbins. In this case, a podiatrist may have to surgically correct the nail in an office setting to truly cancel out any long-term damage.
You’ve Developed A Bunion
A bunion is a large, inflamed bump at the joint of the big toe or conversely, on the other side of the foot on your pinky toe, which is called a bunionette. It will only get worse if you continue to wear the same shoes that caused it to develop, Dr. Holmes explains. Bunions are often caused by shoes that are too tight but they become a severe problem when they’re left to grow over time, and at some point, they may well need to be surgically removed. “It’s best to have surgery early on rather than to wait, because as the bunion worses, the surgery becomes more invasive,” says Carly Robbins, DPM, a podiatrist with the Foot & Ankle Specialists of Marysville in Ohio. “Fortunately, if you have them removed, and then wear proper footgear, they usually don’t come back.”
You May Like: Left Foot More Swollen Than Right
How Is The Pain Diagnosed
If you have persistent foot pain that lasts longer than a week despite home treatment, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. You should also call your doctor if your pain is severe enough to keep you from walking, or if you have burning pain, numbness, or tingling on the affected foot. You can call your general practitioner, who may refer you to a podiatrist.
When you make an appointment with your doctor, theyll ask you about any other symptoms and potential ways your foot could have been injured. They may ask about your physical activity and any past injuries to your feet or ankle.
Your doctor will then examine your foot. They may press on different areas on the foot to see where you feel pain. They may also ask you to walk and perform exercises like rolling your foot to evaluate your range of motion.
To test for extensor tendonitis, your doctor will ask you to flex your foot downwards, and then try to pull your toes up while you resist. If you feel pain, extensor tendonitis is likely the cause.
If your doctor suspects a broken bone, fracture, or bone spurs, theyll order an X-ray of the foot.
Other tests your doctor may run include:
- blood tests, which can identify conditions such as gout
- an MRI to look for damage of the peroneal nerve
Because our feet support our entire body weight, a mild injury could become a more extensive one if it goes untreated. Seeking prompt treatment if you suspect an injury is important.
How Is Ball Of Foot Pain Treated
There are many home remedies for ball of foot pain. If your symptoms arent caused by a larger health condition, such as Freibergs disease or diabetes, your doctor will probably recommend some or all of the following. You could experience relief in a matter of days.
Rest your foot when you can, especially after periods of activity. Use an ice pack for 20-minute intervals every 2 to 3 hours. The ice may help alleviate inflammation and reduce swelling.
Wear comfortable shoes. If you wear high heels, your doctor will probably recommend that you change your footwear. Youll also want to make sure that your shoes fit properly. Tight shoes can cause your feet to misalign while you stand and walk, creating improper balance.
Exercise. While you may not want to participate in running or certain high impact sports during this time, targeted stretches might ease pain and increase flexibility and strength. You may want to practice your stretches a few times a day until you feel pain relief.
Use orthotic inserts. Depending on the level of severity, your doctor may prescribe orthotic inserts or recommend commercial shoe inserts. Orthotic inserts are made to help align the foot and provide extra cushioning. A pad under the ball of the foot may ease pain as well.
Read Also: Black Hills Orthopedic & Spine Center
What Are Possible Treatments For Foot Pain At Night
If home remedies for nighttime foot pain arent stopping the throbbing or stinging, talk with your doctor about other remedies.
- Plantar fasciitis: Shoe inserts or orthopedic pads can help support the tissue in your feet. A specialist will measure your feet and factor in how you stand and walk to produce an insert thats custom to your needs.
- Mortons neuroma: Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medicine or steroid injection to reduce inflammation. You may need to help prevent pinched nerves by wearing shoes that dont crunch your toes together.
- Pregnancy: You may need blood tests to see if your calcium levels are elevated or low. A supplement may be required if you need more calcium or other minerals.
- Diabetes: Proper management of blood sugar can help reduce foot pain.
- Fibromyalgia: There are no cures for this condition, but some medications can help reduce foot pain and swelling.
- Pinched nerves:Pinched nerves are often temporary. Several at-home treatments can help ease the pain and discomfort caused by this. Sometimes, however, physical therapy is required.
How Is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Treated
Having tarsal tunnel syndrome does not automatically mean you will need surgery. Wearing special medical shoes and/or insoles can minimise pressure on the posterior tibial nerve. Your consultant may also suggest you take anti-inflammatory pain relief and possibly also have steroid injections to tackle tendon inflammation. Your consultant may recommend a personalised programme of exercises, supervised by a physiotherapist. If your condition persists despite non-surgical treatment, surgery to remove the tissue responsible for the nerve compression may be carried out.
Recommended Reading: Pain On The Right Side Of Foot
When Should You See A Doctor
Occasional arch pain is typically no cause for concern. In these cases, you may be able to find relief from home remedies, like soaking your foot, massage, or rest.
If you frequently experience pain, of if the pain doesnt improve or gets worse with home remedies, talk to your doctor. Arch pain can progress to more serious foot condition, and may even lead to damage in your back, knees, and ankles. If you have diabetes, its especially important to stay on top of foot injury or pain.
Foot Fix: Rest Ice And Take Anti
RICE is a good solution, Dr. Cunha says, adding that you can take anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation. Physical therapy may also help reduce your pain, and it also doesnt hurt to get orthotics that can help support your foots arch and take the stress off of your tibial nerve , Dr. Cunha says.
You May Like: Physical Therapy For Ankle Fracture
Turf Toe Treatment And Prevention
Physical therapy can alleviate inflammation around the toe and restore mobility. Turf toe can be difficult to prevent, as its caused by accidents. However, wearing stiff-soled shoes when exercising will help protect the big toe joint from injury. And stretching thoroughly before exercise or sports can decrease your chances of severe injury.
What Causes Pain In The Heel Of Your Foot
Plantar fasciitis in one of the most common causes of heel pain. What is it? Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects your heel to your toes. This inflammation is usually the result of strain, which can be caused by anything that puts a lot of pressure on the arch of your foot.
The most common plantar fasciitis symptoms are sharp pain near your heels after exercising or standing up for long periods of time, and pain during the first few steps after sleeping or rest. As the foot and calf muscles loosen up, the pain may lessen.
Sturdy shoes with good arch support whether built-in or from inserts are one of the best ways to relieve plantar fasciitis pain. Doing stretches to keep the surrounding muscles flexible can help, too.
If pain begins to worsen and increasingly affects daily activities, a podiatrist may recommend a night splint or a cortisone injection. In more serious cases, surgery can be an option after other treatments have stopped working.
Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects your heel to your calf muscles, and helps make most foot movements possible. Achilles tendinitis is generally an overuse injury, and it can often be linked to an increase in activity frequency or intensity.
Read Also: Treatment For Neuroma In Foot
Can You Get Tendonitis From Driving
Drivers are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis of the right foot because of repetitive plantar flexion of the foot when pressing the gas and brake pedals. This condition is particularly common in people who have a lack of flexibility of the calf muscles.
Can driving cause foot pain?
Along with the headache of sitting in traffic comes Drivers Foot, a foot pain condition caused by driving. Drivers foot is a common foot problem, with experienced drivers, as well as new drivers. Pain is usually felt in the heel of the foot, across the big toe, or the ball of your foot near the big toe.
Can you sprain your ankle while driving?
Running: or any form of exercise that could cause more damage. Massage: which will increase bleeding and swelling. Driving: if you have sprained your ankle you should avoid driving until the strength and mobility has returned to your ankle.
Treating With Ice Or Heat
Heat or ice can be beneficial in the management of musculoskeletal pain.
Ice is most beneficial if your foot problem is related to an injury. You can try heat to help your pain levels if there’s no swelling and your symptoms are not related to a recent injury.
Never place ice or heat directly on your skin. Use a barrier, like a towel, to protect your skin from a burn.
How long you use ice as a treatment can vary. However, you should generally apply heat or ice for up to 15 minutes. You should also leave a few hours between treatments.
You should stop treating the area with ice or heat and seek advice from a medical professional if you notice an increase in redness, discolouration or blistering of the skin.
If you have any issues with circulation or sensation, you shouldn’t use ice or heat as a treatment for foot pain.
Don’t Miss: Pain In Bottom Outside Of Foot
What About General Ankle Or Foot Pain
If you have diabetes, high blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage. This is known as diabetic neuropathy, and often affects the nerves in the feet and legs first.
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy in the feet can include decreased sensitivity to temperature and pain. But it can also be signaled by increased sensitivity, including tingling, burning or sharp pain.
Once nerve damage has happened, it cant be reversed. But careful management of blood sugar levels can prevent more from happening. Paying special attention to your feet is important as well, since any numbness resulting from nerve damage may make it harder to tell when your feet are injured or infected. One example of this are foot ulcers, which can be common for those with diabetic neuropathy.
A podiatrist can provide specialty foot and ankle care for diabetic neuropathy. They can also coordinate care with your primary care doctor whos helping manage your diabetes and overall health care.
Sprains or fractures
If youre experiencing pain following a sudden injury, a sprain or fracture of the foot and ankle may be the culprit. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of the ligaments that connect bones, and a fracture is a break in a bone.
More severe sprains or fractures come with higher levels of pain, swelling and bruising. You may be able to move a sprained foot or ankle more than a broken one.
Why Do My Feet Hurt 10 Common Causes Of Foot Pain
Our feet do the hard work of bearing our weight and getting us from point A to point B. But generally, we dont pay too much attention to our feet until they start hurting.
As podiatrists, we hear the question why does my foot hurt? all the time. There are countless possible causes of foot pain, from stress fractures to nerve damage.
Sotoday were going to focus on 10 of the more common conditions related to foot and ankle pain. Drumroll, please!
Read Also: Womens Ankle Booties Low Heel
Foot Fix: Get New Shoes Consider Orthotics And Rest Up
Your doctor will likely want to do an X-ray first to make sure your bones and joints look okay, and that youre not actually dealing with a stress fracture, Dr. Cunha says.
If your shoes are worn out, its best to get a new pair. Footwear designed with a high, wide toe box and a rocker sole is ideal for treating metatarsalgia, Dr. Cunha says. The high, wide toe box allows the foot to spread out while the rocker sole reduces stress on the ball of the foot. Orthotics that are designed to reduce pain on the ball of your foot can also help, he says.
Other than that, resting, icing, and using oral and topical anti-inflammatories can help, Dr. Cunha says. If you do all of this and youre still in pain, your doctor might recommend surgery.
Extensor Tendonitis Treatment At Home
If the tendons in the top of your feet are hurting, you can try treating them at home by using your feet as little as possible for two to three days. You can also elevate your feet and apply ice to the affected area for no longer than 20 minutes. Do this every two to three hours to help reduce inflammation and soothe the discomfort.
Loosening your shoelaces or adding a small amount of padding to the underside of the tongue of your shoe can also help. If your shoes feel tight, it may be in your best interest to wear footwear that isnt so restrictive. Wearing shoes with a little more wiggle room can help reduce your risk of recurring extensor tendon inflammation.
You May Like: St Francis Orthopedic Urgent Care
You’ve Developed Some Form Of Arthritis
There are multiple forms of foot-related arthritis that could be affecting you gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or metatarsalgia , but most cases are age-related . Wear and tear in your ligaments and tendons over the foot can affect your foot’s joints and cause constant pain, Dr. Holmes explains. Often, a foot specialist referred by your healthcare provider will work with you to find the best footwear for you to wear, and in some cases, physical therapy may be necessary to manage this wear and tear overtime.
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.
Recommended Reading: Bone Spur Ball Of Foot