The most recent survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association found that more than three-quarters of Americans have experienced foot pain. While only a third of those seek professional care to treat it, foot pain can have a significant impact on the quality of life, with many noting that it restricts their ability to walk, work, exercise, or take part in other activities.
Here’s a long at the most common foot injuries and how they can be addressed.
One of the most common foot injuries, plantar fasciitis occurs with the plantar fascia, which is a band of tissue running across the bottom of the foot, linking the toes and heel bone, becomes inflamed. If you have stabbing pain in your heel that usually occurs in the morning and gradually improves over the course of the day, but sometimes returns after long periods of standing, it’s likely plantar fasciitis.
Runners commonly develop it, and those who are overweight or wear shoes with inadequate support can experience this too.
If you think you may have this foot problem, there is a simple plantar fasciitis test you can when you first get out of bed in the morning to help your healthcare provider give you a proper diagnosis. If you experience a lot of pain near the heel of your foot when you take that first step, and that it gradually fades to a more reasonable level as you walk, there’s a good chance that you have plantar fasciitis. If chronic heel pain results it can be significantly lessened through foot exercise and deep foot massage.
While a stress fracture may not be as serious as a broken bone, these tiny cracks in the bone can be just as painful. They’re common among runners who land improperly or increase mileage too soon, although those who constantly work on hard services can develop a stress fracture too. At first, you might barely notice the pain, but it tends to worsen with time. Most stress fractures heal on their own by reducing activity and wearing protective footwear but if severe pain develops or it doesn’t go away you may need to see your doctor as a medical boot may be necessary to avoid putting weight on the affected foot.
Heel spurs can occur when calcium deposits build up on the bottom of the heel bone. While they usually don’t cause pain themselves, they can usually trigger pain along the heel and arch by irritating the plantar fascia. Foot and calf stretches are very effective at relieving it.
Bunions can lead to pain that’s so severe it limits the ability to walk. While some experts say they’re the result of shoes that are too narrow or high heels, others say it’s a hereditary condition. They occur when the tissue and bump of fone at the base of the big toe forms when the joint linking it to the foot shifts out of place. Treatments like ice, foot pads, and wearing shoes that have wider toe boxes are helpful for relief, but if it severely impacts the quality of life, surgery may be an option.
Neuromas can compress the nerves between the toes resulting in tingling, numbness, and/or pain that can be relieved with ice, padding, or orthotics combined with wearing shoes that have low heels and a wide toe box.