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Foot Pain
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One of the nation's top academic medical centers, the University of Rochester Medical Center forms the centerpiece of the University's health research, teaching, patient care, and community outreach missions.
Our mission is to empower people to manage their health. We accomplish this by providing useful and up-to-date information and tools that reflect the expertise and standard of excellence of Mayo Clinic.
MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, it brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand.
Episode number: 
903

Topics:

Transcript: 
Foot Pain (transcript)

(Source: Mayo Clinic)  Your foot is an intricate network of bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Strong enough to bear your body weight, your foot can be prone to injury and pain. Foot pain can affect any part of your foot, from your toes to your Achilles tendon at the back of your heel. Although mild foot pain often responds well to home treatments, it can take time to resolve. Severe foot pain should be evaluated by your doctor, especially if it follows an injury.

Injury, overuse, or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot can cause foot pain. Arthritis is a common cause of foot pain. Injury to the nerves of the feet may result in intense burning pain, numbness or tingling (peripheral neuropathy).

Some common causes of foot pain include:

  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Avulsion fracture: How is it treated?
  • Bone spurs
  • Broken ankle/broken foot
  • Broken toe
  • Bunions
  • Bursitis
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Corns and calluses
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Flatfeet
  • Gout
  • Hammertoe and mallet toe
  • High heels or poorly fitting shoes
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Morton's neuroma
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Paget's disease of bone
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Plantar warts
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Stress fractures
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Tendinitis
  • Tumors

Even relatively mild foot pain can be quite debilitating, at least at first. It is usually safe to try simple home remedies for a while.

Seek immediate medical attention for foot pain if you:

  • Have severe pain or swelling
  • Have an open wound or a wound that is oozing pus
  • Have signs of infection, such as redness, warmth and tenderness in the affected area or you have a fever over 100 F (37.8 C)
  • Are unable to walk or put weight on your foot
  • Have diabetes and have any wound that isn't healing or is deep, red, swollen or warm to the touch.

Schedule an office visit if you:

  • Have persistent swelling that doesn't improve at all after two to five days of home treatment
  • Have persistent pain that doesn't improve after several weeks
  • Have burning pain, numbness or tingling, particularly involving most or all of the bottom of your foot

Self-care

Even with the best of care, you may have some foot stiffness or pain, particularly first thing in the morning or after you've been active, for several weeks. If you are unsure of the cause of your foot pain, or if it is widespread or involving both feet, and particularly if you have diabetes, see your doctor before trying home remedies.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Key Point 1

A thorough evaluation to determine the cause of foot pain is necessary for successful treatment.  When it comes to treatment of foot pain, one size does not fit all.

Key Point 2

There is a lot you can do to keep your feet healthy and pain-free, such as wearing good shoes appropriate for the season, trimming nails straight, not sharing pedicure tools, and taking care of the skin and calluses on your feet.  Finally, listen to your feet – consult a professional when unresolved pain or other problems impact your ability to walk and perform your everyday activities.

Medline Plus

Medline Description: 

Interactive Medical Search logoConduct an off-site search for Foot Pain from MedlinePlus.  These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.

Foot Injuries and Disorders - main page – all aspects.  Includes overviews, diagnosis, treatment, coping, alternative therapy, related issues, etc.

Foot Health - main page – all aspects.  Includes overviews, diagnosis, treatment, coping, alternative therapy, related issues, etc.

Toe Injuries and Disorders - main page – all aspects.  Includes overviews, diagnosis, treatment, coping, alternative therapy, related issues, etc.

Heel Injuries and Disorders - main page – all aspects.  Includes overviews, diagnosis, treatment, coping, alternative therapy, related issues, etc.

Diabetic Foot - main page – all aspects.  Includes overviews, diagnosis, treatment, coping, alternative therapy, related issues, etc.

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