Feet, they carry you from here to there every day. But you may not think much about them until they get hurt. And when they do, you want help. To get the right treatment, you need to know the cause. The first thing to ponder about is where your pain is located.
If your pain is located in your heel, you may have plantar fasciitis. That’s an irritation or swelling of the band of tough tissue linking the heel bone to the toes. Usually, it hurts the worst in the morning when you’re getting out of bed. You can feel it in your heel or in your arch.
How to treat it:
- Rest your foot.
- Do heel and foot muscle stretches.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Wear shoes with good arch maintenance and with a cushioned sole.
Ball of Foot Pain
Metatarsalgia: This pain and inflammation can be felt in the ball of your foot. Ill-fitting shoes are the most common cause, but you might get it from vigorous activity, such as running or jumping. It’s also called a stone bruise.
To treat it:
- Take pain relievers.
- Place ice and rest your foot.
- Wear comfortable footwear.
- Try shoe inserts to release pressure on the ball of your foot.
Plantar fasciitis is the most typical cause of arch pain. Plantar fasciitis can affect the heel, arch, or both. Treatment is the same regardless of the location. For stubborn plantar fasciitis, an injection with a combination of a steroid and local anesthetic can be helpful.
Fallen arches, or flat feet, occur when the arches of the feet flatten out, causing foot pain and other problems. This can be treated with shoe inserts, shoe modifications, rest, and ice, or by using a walking cane or brace, or physical therapy. Sometimes surgery is required.
Gout, which is a form of arthritis, can cause pain in the toes. Crystals gather in toe joints, causing severe pain and inflammation. The big toe is frequently affected.
Ways to treat it:
- Rest the foot.
- Ice the area.
- Take medication such as colchicine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or prednisone
- Avoid foods that can make gout worse.
Claw toe is when your toe points down or up and cannot straighten out. It’s often the result of nerve damage from diseases like diabetes or alcoholism, which deteriorates the muscles in your foot. Without special footwear to accommodate the claw toe, you may develop exasperation and calluses.
How to treat it:
- Change to better-fitting footwear. Avoid high heels and tight shoes.
- Do stretches for your toes and toe joints.
- Try shoe inserts.
- Ask your doctor about surgery.