What causes foot pain?
The foot is a complex anatomical structure. Foot pain may be caused by many different diseases, deformities, biomechanical conditions, improper footwear, or injuries. Some of the more common complaints about foot pain include:
- Plantar fasciitis — inflammation in the ligament that runs along the sole of your foot. Because the ligament attaches to the bottom of your heel bone, pain is often felt in your heel as well.
- Bunions – an inherited condition in which your metatarsal bones are displaced, causing a “bump” at the base of your big toe.
- Hammertoe - a bending of either one or both joints affecting the second, third, fourth, or little toe.
How does arthritis affect the feet?
Many forms of arthritis and related conditions affect the joints, muscles, or bones in the feet. This can result in pain, stiffness, and swelling. Some possible arthritis-related problems that affect the feet include:
- Osteoarthritis (OA) - a chronic condition characterized by the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones where they meet to form joints. In the foot, osteoarthritis most commonly affects the big toe, but it can also affect the midfoot.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) - a chronic inflammatory disease resulting in joint damage, pain, swelling, inflammation, loss of function, and disability. Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the small joints of the feet, often causing symptoms in several joints of both feet. This can lead to the development of corns and bunions and the curling and stiffening of the toes into positions such as claw toe or hammer toe.
- Gout - a form of arthritis causing excruciating pain and swelling in the big toe – often following a trauma, such as an illness or injury.
- Infectious arthritis - Also called septic arthritis, infectious arthritis refers to arthritis that is caused by an infection within the joint. Sometimes it is caused by viruses or fungi and can affect the joints of the feet.
How is foot pain treated?
The first way to treat foot pain is to get a proper diagnosis. Pandit Foot & Ankle Clinic has state-of-the-art technology such as hi-def and precise X-rays that can diagnose and treat conditions quickly. Their ultrasound exams can diagnose muscle or tendon injuries and is a great alternative for those who cannot have an X-ray or want to avoid a costly MRI.