We all experience foot pain at some point in our lives. But when does foot pain necessitate a visit to a podiatrist?
Podiatrists treat many conditions related to the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg, including:
Bunions: These bumps usually show up on the joint at the base of the big toe, causing pain, swelling, roughened skin and redness. They can be caused by faulty foot development, the way you walk, your foot type, your shoes, or by foot injuries, congenital deformities and neuromuscular disorders.
Corns and calluses: While everyone develops a callus at one time or another, serious calluses and corns can cause foot pain when the thick and hardened dead skin forms pressure and causes friction.
Heel pain: Heel pain can be caused by many things, including heel spurs (protrusions of bone from the heel bone), plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.
Plantar fasciitis: This painful condition occurs when the soft tissue fibers of the fascia on the bottom of the foot are inflamed.
Morton’s neuroma: A neuroma is a benign tumor or growth of nerve tissue that can cause a tingling or burning sensation in the foot, as well as numbness.
Athlete’s foot: Fungus on the feet causes athlete’s foot. According to the APMA, the fungus tends to grow in humid, dark and warm environments, and can cause dry skin, itching, inflammation and blisters.
Flat feet: Feet are meant to absorb the shock of walking and running. Flat feet are less capable of absorbing shock, which leads to foot pain.
Diabetic ulcers: These open sores or wounds affect an estimated 15% of people with diabetes. They usually occur on the sole of the foot and if left untreated can become infected, possibly leading to eventual amputation of the foot.
Fungus nails: Sometimes fungus can grow underneath nail surfaces. This fungus is called onychomycosis and causes the nail to grow darker and smell bad. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other toes, and cause pain that can interfere with daily routines.
Hammer toes: Hammer toes usually affect the first joint of a toe and cause toes to be permanently bent. According to the APMA, they can cause foot pain, redness and swelling in the affected joint, pain in the ball of the foot, formation of corns on the top of the joint and restricted movement.
Warts: Warts are caused by viruses, and when they appear on the foot they are called plantar warts.
Ingrown toenails: When toenails dig into the toes, they can cause considerable pain. Sometimes the nails can grow into the toes and cause infection.
Sports injuries: Podiatrists can help diagnose and treat common sports injuries, including ankle and foot sprains, tendinitis and Achilles tendon ruptures.
If you are experiencing foot and ankle ailments it makes sense to visit a podiatrist.