A quick search on the internet would reveal that foot and ankle pain is disturbingly common. A study shows that 77% of people disclosed that they had experienced pain in their foot. Yet, only one-third of those surveyed say they would seek medical attention for their condition.
Our feet could be one of the hardest working organs in our body. Be that as it may, they are the ones that we neglect the most. After all, doesn’t everyone’s feet hurt now and then? However, if the discomfort has persisted for quite a while and continues to go untreated, you could find yourself in situations worse than just an ache in your feet.
Pain in the feet can be signs of various conditions from fractures to muscle tears, plantar fasciitis to arthritis. Below are three points to help you quickly identify the underlying cause of your foot or ankle pain.
Pain in the morning when you first get off your bed
Such symptoms point to arthritis or plantar fasciitis, also known as heel pain. For both conditions, the pain tend to recede as the foot loosens up throughout the day. Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that causes severe pain in either the mid-arch region, the inside heel and sometimes though less commonly, the outside heel.
In most cases, plantar fasciitis can happen with no obvious cause, but there are certain factors such as obesity, being flat-foot, having a high arch or unnatural pattern of walking, can increase the risk of developing the condition. Repetitive impact activities or sudden increase of activities that is demanding on your feet can cause tension and stress on the fibrous tissues of the sole until it tears and gets inflamed.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your podiatrist may advise you on stretching activities, strengthening exercises, to ease the pain and suggest customized in-soles as part of your treatment.
Pain that gets worse throughout the day
Continuous pain that worsens as you work through your day indicates that there could be a fracture. Pain caused by a fracture will recede while given an opportunity to rest, and worsens when bearing weight. Healing fractures or small cracks in your bone requires immediate medical attention so that the condition does not deteriorate, afflicting more pain and requiring extensive healing efforts.
Pain that feels like a dull ache
And with a mild swelling most times immediately afterth offending activity. Such symptoms are signs that you might have tendinitis an inflammation of a tendon, typically due to wear and tear caused by the lack of support and exercising on hard surfaces.
Neglecting proper warm up stretches before your exercise could also contribute to the development of tendinitis. Persons with flat feet, high arches or tight Achilles tendons tend to be more prone to developing this condition.
The best cure for this is rest and physical therapy. However, should the pain lasts for more than a few days, it is best to make a visit to your podiatrist. Delaying treatment for tendinitis can become a chronic issue and thus more difficult to manage and cure.
Don’t immediately think less of your foot condition even if your symptoms are not represented in the above list.
From head to toe, our bodies are like a chain with one bone connecting at a joint to another. Think back during the times when you played Uno Stacko what happens when one brick (or link) gets moved out of position?
Well, the level of blocks at which it meets the next would have weakened some way or another. Just as in our skeletal structure, the link which meets the next joint would have to bear more weight and eventually affect the entire chain.
The above is the scenario when we have foot pain. As agony is experienced when we walk as per usual, we instinctively change our walking patterns. For example if you are experiencing pain in the arch of your right foot when you walk, you will try to land your steps on the outer side of your right foot. While doing so, you would be adding stress on a region of the feet that is not meant to withstand and balance your body’s weight. Apart from that, you could be straining on your calf muscles and putting extra pressure on both your left and right knees.
Restriction to normal walking patterns change the mechanics of your lower limbs, eventually causing injury to the knee. Such a change could also affect the whole chain of your lower body from the knee to the hip, and then to your lower back.
Therefore, don’t be tip toeing around when it comes to your foot health. Visit a podiatrist as soon as you’ve realized the problem.