What to Do When Foot Pain Keeps You off Your Feet

Pain in the feet can range from mild and acute to severe and chronic, impacting a person’s walking abilities and daily activities. Fortunately, treatment can provide relief and get you back on your feet. Bergen Medical Associates is a multi-specialty provider of comprehensive medical care in northern New Jersey, including treatments for foot pain and other podiatry conditions. Here, we discuss what to do when foot pain is keeping you on the sidelines.

Person sitting on floor cross-legged and rubbing foot in pain

About Foot Pain

The feet are essential for walking, maintaining balance, and supporting body weight. Each foot has 26 bones and various tendons, ligaments, joints, and muscles to help it work properly. Feet can withstand a lot of stress, but any part of the foot can become overstressed or injured, leading to foot pain. Pain can be felt in the tops, bottoms, and sides of the feet, along with the toes and heels.

Most people will experience pain in their feet occasionally, whether from a lot of walking, wearing improperly fitting shoes, or an injury. Acute instances of foot pain often resolve with rest or at-home care. However, some people have chronic foot pain that may require treatment from a medical professional.

What Are the Causes of Foot Pain?

Foot pain can be caused by a wide variety of injuries, conditions, and behaviors. If it is not the result of a medical condition, foot pain is often caused by factors like foot anatomy, shoe choice, intense exercise, constant walking, or being overweight. If foot pain persists for a long time and does not resolve with rest or lifestyle changes, it may be caused by an injury or medical condition. To understand the most suitable treatment for foot pain, you need to first understand its cause.

Common causes of foot pain include:

  • Achilles tendinitis: The Achilles tendon, the largest tendon in the body, can become inflamed from overuse and cause pain and swelling in the heels.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis and gout, a type of arthritis, can occur in the big toe and cause swelling, tenderness, and pain.
  • Bunions: Bunions are protrusions from the bone or tissue around a joint, often the toes, which can cause pain with activity or when wearing certain shoes.
  • Flat feet: This condition occurs when feet have low or no arches, leading to pain with physical activity.
  • Fractures: Bones in the feet (ankle, metatarsals, toes, etc.) can be broken and cause pain and swelling.
  • Nerve problems: Some nerve disorders like Morton’s neuroma and tarsal tunnel syndrome can result in foot pain.
  • Plantar fasciitis: This common condition causes inflammation of the connective tissue on the bottom of the feet, resulting in pain.
  • Sprains: Sprains are injuries to ligaments in the feet, which hold the bones together, leading to swelling and pain.

Foot pain can also be related to diabetic complications, known as diabetic neuropathy, so patients with diabetes should examine their feet regularly for sores or wounds. Since foot pain can be caused by so many different factors and conditions, patients should consult their medical provider for a proper diagnosis. Visiting a doctor or foot specialist can help you understand the exact cause and find the best treatment.

What Are Foot Pain Treatments?

Treatment helps manage foot pain and can range from mild, at-home care to more involved options for patients with severe pain. These treatments include:

  • Icing the affected area twice a day to reduce swelling
  • Taking over-the-counter medications for pain relief
  • Resting the feet and modifying activities
  • Using orthotics, heel cups, or night splints for support
  • Wearing a walking boot or cast to let the foot heal
  • Working with a physical therapist on strengthening and flexibility exercises
  • Wearing well-fitting, supportive shoes with arch support and cushioning
  • Stretching calves, ankles, and feet before and after running or exercise
  • Taping the affected area with athletic or medical tape for support

Depending on the cause of the foot pain, at-home and non-invasive treatments are often suitable for providing relief. However, severe cases of foot pain may need more involved treatments like steroid injections or surgery to fix the underlying cause and provide relief. The team of practitioners at Bergen Medical Associates includes podiatry specialists who provide proper treatment so patients can return to pain-free living.

Find Relief From Foot Pain by Requesting a Podiatry Appointment Today

If persistent foot pain is stopping you in your tracks, avoid staying on the sidelines. Turn to the experienced team at Bergen Medical Associates, who have a long-standing reputation for providing complete medical care with a whole-person approach. Contact us to learn more about foot pain treatment or make an appointment at one of our locations in northern New Jersey.

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