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Foot pain: Know the signs when it’s time to seek care

Foot pain: Know the signs when it’s time to seek care

From aching to tingling to throbbing, foot pain is a common concern that gets in the way of everyday life. Your feet include a complex network of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and more. So many types of injuries or underlying medical conditions can affect your feet and lead to pain.

Occasional pain from overuse or minor injuries may resolve with care and rest at home. But often, it’s hard to know the source of your foot pain without visiting a doctor. Here are some of the most common causes of foot pain and the signs that you need to see a medical professional.

Common foot pain causes

Like other parts of the body, you may experience muscle strains or sprains, inflamed tendons, arthritis, or fractures in your foot. But there are other conditions that are specific to your feet too. Many of these have similar or overlapping symptoms.

Some common conditions associated with foot pain are:

  • Poor-fitting shoes or overuse injuries
  • Plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain
  • Acute injuries, like a sprain, fracture, or tendon rupture
  • Tendinitis, which is the result of inflammation
  • Bunions, which cause a bump to develop on your big toe
  • Osteoarthritis of the foot or ankle
  • Metatarsalgia, which creates pain in the ball of the foot
  • Morton’s neuroma, which affects a nerve that runs between the toes
  • Underlying infection in the foot
  • Non-orthopedic conditions like diabetes or peripheral vascular disease

7 signs you should visit a foot and ankle specialist

A survey in 2018 revealed that 77% of Americans experienced some type of foot pain. However, many of them put off getting aches and pains checked by a physician — even when these symptoms start to get in the way of walking, exercise, or other daily activities. Look for these signs that your foot pain may need professional care.

You should see a doctor if your pain:

  • Lasts longer than a few days after a foot injury
  • Is accompanied by redness, swelling, or bruising
  • Causes you to limp or hurts more when you walk
  • Includes tingling, numbness, or burning in your foot
  • Continues to worsen over time
  • Comes with visible changes in the structure of your foot
  • Might be caused by a known medical condition or previous injury

While most foot injuries or conditions can be treated at a routine appointment with a specialist, some cases need immediate treatment. Seek emergency care for symptoms such as severe foot pain with a fever, visibly broken bones, inability to walk, extreme swelling, or open wounds.

Put your best foot forward

For many, foot pain starts as a minor annoyance. However, if you have an underlying injury or illness, your foot symptoms may progress over time. With the help of a foot and ankle specialist, you can get to the source of your foot pain and take steps to treat it. And that helps you prevent a minor pain from becoming major. If you are experiencing foot pain and would like to schedule an appointment with our foot specialist, call 972-727-9995 today!