When your feet hurt, you feel miserable all over. If you have chronic foot pain, you may be so used to feeling bad that you begin to think it's normal. However, foot pain is a sign something is wrong, and a podiatrist can diagnose the problem and help you overcome or manage your pain. Don't let foot pain interfere with your life. Instead, see a podiatrist when you notice these problems.
Lingering Heel Pain
Heel pain is fairly common, and it's often the result of wearing shoes without support or overtraining. The cause might be slight damage to the fascia or tendon. In either case, resting might be enough to allow the tissues to heal so you can resume normal activities. If heel pain develops into plantar fasciitis or tendonitis, then recovery will take longer, and seeing a podiatrist will help you heal properly. You might need to wear inserts in your shoes or a brace at night when you sleep to help with the pain.
Bunion And Toe Pain
Toe pain is often caused by wearing high heeled shoes that squeeze the toes together. Arthritis could be another cause. A bunion, or bump, can develop on your big toe that's painful and gets worse as it gets bigger. A podiatrist can advise you on proper footwear for slowing the progression of a bunion. Surgery could be needed in the case of a bunion that's painful and interfering with your life.
Pain With Uneven Wearing Of Shoes
If your shoes wear down unevenly, such as the outside of the heel wearing down before the inside does, that signals a problem with your gait. A gait problem can lead to foot pain, and it can also cause hip pain, back pain, knee pain, and ankle pain. A podiatrist can test your gait to determine if you have an abnormality that's the cause of the pain you're experiencing in your foot or leg. If so, the problem may be corrected by prescribing custom orthotics that support your foot and stabilize your gait.
Pain With Flat Feet
If you suddenly develop flat feet, you should see a podiatrist. Fallen arches can happen due to an injury, arthritis, or a muscle or tendon disorder. Flat feet aren't always a problem, but if your arches are painful or if your flat feet cause ankle or back pain because of changes to your gait, then a podiatrist can help. You might be taught exercises to strengthen your feet and increase flexibility. You might be given orthotics to wear that support the arches in your feet. You might also be given an ankle brace to wear or be encouraged to lose weight so there is less stress on your feet.
When you have pain, inflammation, or an infection that affects the joints, skin, tissues, or bones in your feet, consider seeing a podiatrist for help. Minor problems can clear up on their own after you've had a period of rest, but when pain or other symptoms linger, it's a sign something is wrong and you could need medical care.
To learn more about your feet, contact a podiatrist in your area.