ZOOM+Care DIY Health Articles
Symptoms, causes, and treatments for Foot Pain
Symptoms of Foot Pain
Dozens of different conditions can cause foot pain. Proper diagnosis and treatment require identifying the part of your foot that’s hurting the most, as different conditions and diseases affect different parts of the feet.
It’s also possible that your foot pain is simply caused by the shoes you wear. A recent survey suggests up to 90% of American women aren’t wearing the right shoe size.
But if your shoes aren’t the source of your issues, your pain could be caused by one of the more common medical conditions ZOOM+Care treats on a daily basis: plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, or ankle sprains.
Plantar fasciitis is pain in your heel or the bottom of your foot caused by damage or strain to your plantar fascia tendon, which runs from the heel to the front of the foot.
Symptoms common to plantar fasciitis sufferers include:
- Pain from shoes with soft soles or inadequate arch support
- Pain when climbing stairs
- Pain when standing awhile
- Worsening foot pain throughout the day
Have you ever clipped your nails and the regrown nail started digging into your skin? That’s the start of an ingrown toenail. If you let a nail keep growing, it can infect your toe and cause foot pain.
You have an ingrown toenail if:
- Bleeding from the ingrown nail
- Fluid pools around the toe
- Red skin around the toe
- Toe skin near your nail is swollen or sensitive to touch or any amount of pressure
If you injure your ankle you could create a lot of pain around the ankle joint.
Some symptoms common to sprains include:
- Discoloration around the ankle and foot near the ankle
Causes of Foot Pain
General foot pain, which most people will feel at some point in their lives, can be temporary. If you just went for a 10-mile hike, you’ll probably feel a little soreness in your feet.
However, it’s important to know the causes of plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, and ankle sprains so you can do your best to avoid these conditions.
Common causes of plantar fasciitis include:
- Highly physical work environments
- Inherent foot issues like flat feet
Common causes of ingrown toenails include:
- Incorrect toenail cutting technique
- Shoes adding extra pressure on your toes
- Toenail injuries
- Unclean feet
Sprains occur when there’s a sudden twisting or rolling of your ankle, usually while you’re being physically active. You could injure your ankle from sports or just tripping on a curb while walking downtown.
Should I Be Worried?
If you suffer from frequent plantar fasciitis you should talk to a doctor about your options. Some people may need corrective surgery to correct their tendons, but it’s possible to correct the underlying problem with a treatment plan after an assessment and evaluation.
Ingrown toenails aren’t automatically something to worry about. But if the nail grows too deep into your skin and an infection occurs, you should seek medical attention. Look for the following signs of infection:
A foot infection is just as serious as any other infection if left untreated.
Ankle sprains aren’t normally a condition you need to see a doctor for, so long as it’s a sprain and not a fracture. Do your best to wrap and ice a sprain immediately after the injury. If you start suffering from severe pain and major swelling, that sprain might actually be a fracture. For ankle and foot injuries more severe than a sprain, you’ll want to see a doctor right away for proper treatment and ensuring the bones in your ankle and feet are OK and heal properly.
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Foot Pain Prevention Tips
Consider these tips to help prevent foot pain:
- Warm up. Stretch properly to avoid injuries in general, but target your ankles and leg muscles in particular to avoid ankle sprains. You don’t want to freeze up or overextend your body, creating sudden twisting movements that can lead to a sprain.
- Invest in supportive shoes. Arch support and proper shoe insoles can absorb more of the impact from walking and running, reducing the your chances of developing plantar fasciitis. Even if you’ve developed plantar fasciitis, quality footwear can reduce the severity of your condition.
- Soak those piggies. If you’re noticing the start of an ingrown toenail, you can attempt soaking the toe in a bath of warm water and Epsom salt. Then, if you’re feeling brave, you can carefully cut the nail with a sterilized nail clipper after your skin is properly softened and pliable.
- Clip straight across, not at an angle. Soaking ingrown toenails is one option, but the best strategy is to prevent ingrown toenails entirely by trimming your toenails straight across. Trimming at an angle or arched shape can cause the nail to regrow in an awkward way and create an ingrown nail.