How is foot pain diagnosed?
Feet work hard to support weight and maintain balance. They also act as shock absorbers and are responsible for directing leg movements. Given that most of us take at least 8,000 steps per day, it is not surprising that 75 percent of Americans experience foot pain at some point in their lives. Although minor foot pain can usually be treated at home with ice and elevation, serious foot or heel pain should be evaluated and treated by a foot doctor.
Are There Different Types Of Foot Pain?
Most foot or heel pain is experienced during activity. However, foot pain can occur before and after activity without affecting performance. In severe situations, foot pain can limit or prevent activity altogether.
What Are Some Common Foot Pain Symptoms?
The foot may feel tender when touched or more painful when moved. It may show signs of swelling, bruising, inflammation, or there may be discolored toenails, weakness, or numbness. The foot may become stiff, feel hot, or change color. There may be an accompanying fever and changes in the way you walk. In serious cases, there can be a total loss of function.
What Causes Foot Pain?
Foot pain can be caused by anything from tight shoes or poor posture to bone spurs or broken toes. Because it can be caused by so many things, it should be evaluated and treated by a podiatrist. Here are some other causes of foot pain:
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Flat Feet
- Corns or Calluses
- Ingrown Toe Nails
- Heel Spurs
- Plantar Warts
- Hammer Toe or Mallet Toe
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Peripheral Neuropathy
How Do I Know When It Is Time To See A Podiatrist?
If the pain is severe, it limits your daily activities or makes your life unmanageable, it is time to see a foot doctor. See a podiatrist immediately if you cannot put weight on your foot, if your foot is changing shape, or if your foot feels numb.
What Is Involved In Foot Pain Diagnosis?
After getting your medical history, the podiatrist will ask about your activities. X-rays or imaging tests may be ordered if the cause of your foot pain is initially unclear. Because foot pain can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions, your doctor may also test for things like diabetes, gout, or arthritis.
Be sure to tell your doctor everything you know about your foot pain, including:
- How and when the pain began
- The severity of the pain
- How the pain affects your life
- When the pain is most noticeable
- Whether pain is constant or comes and goes
- If the pain has increased or decreased
Your physician will thoroughly examine both feet visually and physically. They will look for tender spots, deformities, and differences between the feet, as well as examining the muscles, nerves, and bones of the foot and arch. Your podiatrist will measure foot movement and the ability of the foot to bear weight.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Your treatment options will depend on your diagnosis. Treatment may be as simple as wearing better-fitting shoes or stretching the foot muscles. With other conditions, such ingrown toenails, you may require corrective surgery. Depending on the severity of the pain, medication may be prescribed to help you feel better while the condition is being healed.
If you are suffering from foot pain, contact one of our Diagnostic Foot Specialist offices today. With five offices in Houston, and offices in College Station, and The Woodlands, Texas, we are here to get you back on your feet without pain. Call today!