Oh, those aching feet! Considering how much we depend on our feet for even simple, everyday activities, it’s not surprising that even a “little” foot pain can put a big crimp in your life.
Unfortunately, chronic foot pain is widespread, and it gets more common with age. The American Podiatric Medical Association says as many as 77% of Americans suffer from foot pain at some point in their lives.
That’s the bad news. The good news: Dominique Nickson, MD, and the team at Next Step Orthopedics are skilled in diagnosing and treating foot pain in patients at their practice in McKinney, Texas. If you have foot pain, here’s why it’s crucial to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Common causes of foot pain
Just one foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and dozens of muscles, ligaments, and tendons, plus nerves, blood vessels, and (of course) skin. Any one of these structures can cause foot pain — which is why diagnosing and treating foot pain on your own is almost impossible.
Some of the most common causes of chronic foot pain are:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Bone spurs
- Flat feet
- Big toe problems (like hallux rigidus or hallux varus)
- Fractures or sprains
Sometimes, the pain you feel in your foot is actually due to a problem with your ankles. Diabetes can also cause chronic foot pain, especially when it affects your nerves or your circulation.
The importance of prompt medical care
Sometimes, foot pain is temporary, like after a day of running or overexertion. But chronic foot pain — painful symptoms that persist for weeks or months — is almost always a sign of a severe underlying problems.
Relieving your painful symptoms (and preventing them from getting worse) is probably the most obvious reason to seek medical treatment. After all, even a little foot pain can interfere with your ability to do lots of things, including any activity that requires walking or standing. Decreased activity can lead to social isolation and depression, along with an increased risk of obesity and related health problems.
Beyond the psychosocial implications of delaying care, putting off medical treatment can allow an underlying problem, like diabetic foot problems, to get worse. Sometimes, putting off treatment can result in a permanent deformity or other long-term or permanent problem. Not only do those problems take longer to treat, but they could lead to serious health risks, like deep infections or even amputation.
Treating chronic foot pain
The good news: A lot of chronic foot pain can be treated conservatively, which means that with a combination of medication, physical therapy, or other nonsurgical interventions, you could find the relief you need to keep active. In more severe cases, minimally invasive surgery can help relieve pain and restore normal, pain-free foot function.
At Next Step Orthopedics, we know the serious toll foot pain can take on your life — and we also know that patient-centered treatment is the key to healing and recovery. To get started on your own custom treatment plan with Dr. Nickson, call us at (972) 547-0047 or book an appointment online today.