Be A Foot’s Best Friend: Pay Attention When It’s Hurting

People are often surprised to learn about podiatry. It's interesting to discover that there's a medical specialty devoted entirely to feet.

But your feet are complicated little appendages. They contain 25 percent of the body's individual bones. The general condition of the feet mirror problems in the rest of the body.

Whenever you have foot pain, you should consult with a physician to determine the cause. The majority of foot pain in healthy patients is due to simple, treatable issues. However, some foot pain may indicate that a more serious medical condition is the unpleasant culprit, so always seek medical advice for recurring, continuing, or intense pain in one or both feet.

Toe Pain

If you stub your toe, you know why it hurts for a while. If you stub your toe and it keeps hurting weeks longer than it should, you may have a serious medical condition.

Toe pain may signal that you're suffering from problems due to nerve damage from too-tight shoes. Or a disease that affects the nervous system may be creating strange sensations in your toes. Toe pain may indicate a bacterial infection from an ingrown toenail, or a dangerous blockage in the artery of the leg.

Arch Pain

Your foot arches can experience a range of pain sensations from a dull ache to stabbing pains depending on the cause. If you suffer from flat feet, you may find that vigorous or extended walking or time spent working on your feet may cause strain and soreness.

You may have strained one of your plantar fascia—which extend from the balls of your feet to the heels and provide support for the arches. Playing sports or engaging in other strenuous activity is often a cause of this condition.

Pronation may be causing the arch pain. This is when you allow your foot to roll to one side or the other, putting strain on the arch.

Outer Foot Pain

This condition may be caused by pronation, too. You may experience bruising in this area if you have an accident with a bike or skateboard or if something falls on the side of your foot. Doing a repetitive task, where you're up and down on your tiptoes all day, may cause pain on the side of the foot.

A condition called peroneal tendonitis can also cause pain on the side of the foot. This condition is often misdiagnosed as a sprained ankle, but it's actually due to strain and inflammation of the tendons attached to the long peroneal muscles that help support the ankle. Too much exercise, trauma to the foot, or a degenerative disease can cause swelling in the tendons of these muscles.

Take foot pain seriously, even if you don't engage in sports or heavy physical activity. Pain may also be a symptom of diabetes, circulatory issues, or ill-fitting shoes. Consult with a podiatrist to get to the bottom of your sore feet, and you'll stay in top health above your tootsies, too. Visit websites like to learn more.