10 Causes of Foot Pain

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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Pretty much every day we put our feet through a lot of hard work. They need to be able to take our whole body weight, plus the weight of any extra weight we might be carrying. This is not usually a problem for us, though, because our feet have evolved to excel at the job they are expected to do.

Our feet are quite prone to damage and other problems that can lead to discomfort. A range of problems can lead to considerable pain and this is made worse by the fact that we will still need to put our weight on our feet to walk. Here’s a look at some of the most common problems that can be causing your feet to hurt.

Cause #1: Heel Spurs

Our skeletons are made up largely of a mineral we know as calcium. It helps to give our bones strength and can be found in skeletons, protective shells and other body parts throughout the animal kingdom. It is found in various types of food and humans will likely get a lot of their calcium from dairy products.

As the calcium accumulates, though, it can lead to growths developing on the bone. The heel, in particular, is known for developing small projections of a bone-like material that we know as heel spurs. These can be quite painful for the patient, although sometimes they may go completely unnoticed.

Foot Pain

Cause #2: Fractures

Our feet are quite exposed and are prone to colliding with various objects around the home or outside. It can also be easy to drop objects on them and they can become injured in numerous other ways. This can mean fractured bones within your feet, and this will often be very painful indeed.

Broken bones will often be accompanied with symptoms such as swelling, bruising and of course, pain. If you do suspect that you have broken any bones in your feet then you should arrange to see a doctor as soon as possible. Not dealing with the problem can lead to long-term issues and there is also the risk of getting an infection.

Cause #3: Tendonitis

Tendons are the tough, sinewy ‘strings’ that attach our muscles to our bones. They work by allowing the muscles to pull on the bones and other body parts, causing them to move. This means that they need to be strong enough to be able to withstand a lot of pulling, but they are not impervious.

Tendonitis is a condition where the tendons in the body become inflamed. This can cause them to become sore and they can affect any part of the body, including the tendons in the feet. Medications are available that will help relieve the symptoms and surgery may be required in some cases.

Foot Pain

Cause #4: Bunions

Our toes are lined up quite compactly. While this usually works out pretty well for us, it does mean that things can occasionally be squeezed in a little tight. This can lead to problems, one of which is bunions. Bunions are bumps that usually form on the outside of the big toe as a result of malalignment of the joint between the toe and foot.

Bunions can be quite painful and can also make it very difficult for the patient to wear footwear. It can also become very red and the movement of the toe can be very restricted. While there are various methods and remedies that can help make the patient more comfortable, there is no known way to reverse a bunion. Surgery may be necessary in some cases.

Cause #5: Hammertoe

Our toes are held into place with bones, muscle and tendons. These are balanced in a way that helps keep the toe straight when relaxed and allows them to move with ease. Sometimes, though, these balances can be thrown out, causing the toe to curl up. This is a condition known as hammertoe.

Hammertoe causes the toe to curl up with the end pointing down and the middle knuckle pointing up. This can make it very difficult for the patient to wear footwear and surgery may be required to fix the problem. Hammertoe will start off as a minor deformity, gradually getting worse over time.

Foot Pain

Cause #6: Fungal Infections

Fungi are found everywhere. Their spores are floating through the air and will make the most of any opportunity to take hold and grow. They will often be in damp places such as cellars or leaky roofs. Fungi can also be found taking opportunities to make a home on our bodies. A particular favorite body part for fungi are the feet.

One common fungal infection of the feet is known as athlete’s foot. It can cause the skin to become flaky and cracked and can cause itchiness and pain. It is most commonly found between the toes but can spread elsewhere. It is known as athlete’s foot because it is commonly found in athletes.

Cause #7: Plantar Fasciitis

Connecting the heel bone to our toes is a band of thick, web-like ligament. This helps us to walk by helping to provide support for the arch of our feet. It helps bridge the gap while providing a strong yet flexible platform that we can put our weight on. It can become inflamed and this can be very painful for the patient in a condition that we know as Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis is particularly common among athletes that put a lot of strain on this ligament. It is also more likely to occur in people that are overweight. It can sometimes be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and therapy, although surgery may be required in some cases.

Foot Pain

Cause #8: Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetes is a very common problem worldwide. It occurs when people are not able to self-regulate their blood sugar levels as we would usually be able to do. It can lead to a range of symptoms which can range from being mild to being potentially fatal. One symptom of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, which is damage to the nerves.

Nerve damage can limit the patient’s ability to feel and they could even lose sensation altogether. It is often accompanied with sensations such as a tingling or burning feeling that can be very difficult to bear. Diabetic neuropathy can be very difficult to treat, with treatment aimed at helping to relieve symptoms to make the patient as comfortable as possible.

Cause #9: Calluses and Corns

Calluses and corns are very similar and often mistaken for one another. Corns are patches of thickened skin that form at pressure points such as on the heels. Calluses, however, are found on patches of skin that tend to experience a lot of friction with objects or other parts of the body.

These are harmless in themselves and often painless. If anything, they help prevent pain and discomfort as they help toughen areas of the skin that might otherwise be vulnerable. If they grow too large, though, then they can become very uncomfortable indeed. There are various treatments available that will help remove, or at least reduce calluses and corns.

Cause #10: Ingrowing Toenail

There is some debate over just what our nails are for. Many people think that they help provide a protective covering but others feel that they are simply a redundant remnant from the past. Regardless of their purpose, nails are here to stay for some time. They can also be responsible for some considerable discomfort.

Usually, our nails fit just right on top of the tips of our fingers and toes. If they don’t grow as they should, though, then they can literally begin to grow into the soft flesh below. This can be excruciatingly painful for the patient and surgery is often required to relieve them from their torment.

Foot Pain

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