Minor aches and pains in your feet are common and usually resolve themselves with hot baths or light stretching, but there are more serious pains that shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re experiencing any of the following, contact a foot and ankle doctor in Scottsdale as soon as possible.
It goes without saying, we put our feet through a lot! Many jobs require standing 7+ hours a day which can lead to strain and stress injuries or pains due to improper footwear. However, sitting at a desk for long periods of time doesn’t reduce the risk of injury either. Especially if you go from minimal activity to intense running or work out sessions.
While there are several types of foot pains that are common and non-threatening, there are a few that shouldn’t be ignored.
Morton’s Neuroma is a type of nerve damage in the foot that most often occurs in the ball-of-the-foot between the third and fourth toe. It is indicated by swelling and inflammation that can be seen and diagnosed by MRI. The leading cause of this kind of injury is overuse and improper footwear which puts extreme pressure on the bones eventually pinching the nerves and resulting in pain and discomfort.
People suffering from Morton’s Neuroma describe sharp pains in the feet or toes, numbness, burning or feeling like they’re walking on marbles. While prevention is key, if you’re concerned that you might be developing Morton’s Neuroma, it’s best to seek out a specialist for the proper treatment plan. For at home care, it’s recommended to switch to shoes with a wider toe box, stretch the feet and toes, and apply a topical anti-inflammatory if needed.
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common type of heel pain. It’s caused by the overstretching of the plantar fascia tissue in the foot which leads to inflammation and discomfort. Most often the overstretching of the fascia is due to flat feet (over-pronation), but can also be the result of obesity, high arches, or a recent increase in physical activity.
People suffering from this type of injury describe extreme heel pain, especially in the morning, that lessens with minor activity. Treatment is directly related to the cause of the problem so it’s best to seek help from a professional.
Peripheral neuropathy is another type of injury related to nerve damage, but unlike the previous pains, this one is more difficult to diagnose. Nerve injury is typically invisible to the eye, making it much harder to diagnose and determine the cause. Furthermore, it tends to have a more gradual onset and the pain symptoms are inconsistent.
There are several causes of neuropathy including diabetes, alcoholism, injuries and possible nutritional deficiencies which makes this condition hard to manage and treat. Peripheral neuropathy often starts out with slight numbness or tingling which is often confused for the pins-and-needles sensation when a limb falls asleep, and can eventually lead to total and permanent loss of feeling.
Due to the seriousness of this condition, seek professional help immediately for proper diagnosis, cause and treatment.