Foot Pain (cont.)
Jayson Goo, ATC, MA, CKTI
Jayson Goo, ATC, MA, CKTI, a National Athletic Board Certified Athletic Trainer, graduated from the University of Hawaii and earned his master's degree in human performance with a specialty in corrective therapy from San Jose State University. Jayson also is an active Certified Kinesio Taping Instructor.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- How is the foot designed?
- What causes foot pain?
- What other symptoms and signs may accompany foot pain?
- When should I seek medical treatment for foot pain?
- How is foot pain diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for foot pain?
- What follow-up care is needed after foot pain is treated?
- How can foot pain be prevented?
- Foot Pain At A Glance
- Feet Facts FAQs
- Find a local Orthopedic Surgeon in your town
What other symptoms and signs may accompany foot pain?
Pain and point tenderness are the immediate indicators that something is wrong in a specific area. The onset of pain, whether suddenly or over time, is an important indicator of the cause of the problem. The following questions are also important.
- Is there pain with movement of the affected area?
- Is it affected by weight-bearing?
- Does it change your walking motion?
Bones of the foot are joined together by ligaments. A sprain occurs when the ligaments that hold the bones together are overstretched and the fibers tear. Point tenderness and looseness of a joint can be indicators of a sprain.
Injury to the bones of the foot can be caused by a single blow or twist to the arch or also by repetitive trauma that can result in a stress fracture. Fractures are indicated by a focal point of pain that may be exquisitely tender on the bone. There may be a distinguishable lump or gap at the site of the fracture. A rotated toe or forefoot may also be a sign of a fracture or dislocation.
Muscle and tendons move the body tissues around the joints. A strain occurs when a muscle or group of muscles are stressed to the point where there is tearing of the muscle fibers. The muscles and tendons of the foot may be strained by overstretching, overuse, overloading, bruising, or even being lacerated. Weakness in contraction of a joint, difficulty in stabilizing body parts, and pain working against resistance are signs of muscle problems. Swelling, tenderness, loss of function, and discoloration over and around the injury of can be symptoms and signs of a strain.
Bruises (contusions) are most commonly the result of a direct impact injury to the body. A bruise can occur to the foot by a variety of causes, such as having your foot stepped on or by stepping on a rock. Blows to the foot that result in pain, discoloration, swelling, and changes in how you walk may indicate more serious damage such as fractured bone.
Pain and tenderness associated with planter fascia strains are usually felt on the bottom of the foot between the heel and the base of the toes. Plantar fascia pain may be increased or decreased by stretching of the arch. In mild cases of plantar fasciitis, the pain will decrease as the soft tissues of the foot "warm up," however, pain may increase as use of the foot increases. In more severe cases of plantar fasciitis, pain may increase when the arch is stressed. Often the sufferer of plantar fasciitis will feel pain in the morning until the plantar fascia warms up. Foot pain at night may be a sign of plantar fasciitis as well as other possible problems.
A sensation of rubbing or burning on the surface of the foot is usually the first signs of a blister. Itching and burning sensations between the toes or around the foot indicate a skin infection or athlete's foot. Pain and redness at the edge of a toenail are usually the result of an ingrown toenail.
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