Why Do My Feet Hurt 10 Common Causes Of Foot Pain
Our feet do the hard work of bearing our weight and getting us from point A to point B. But generally, we dont pay too much attention to our feet until they start hurting.
As podiatrists, we hear the question why does my foot hurt? all the time. There are countless possible causes of foot pain, from stress fractures to nerve damage.
Sotoday were going to focus on 10 of the more common conditions related to foot and ankle pain. Drumroll, please!
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms Include:
- morning foot pain just after waking
- foot pain after intense exercise
- sharp pain in the heel with the first few steps in the morning or foot pain after sitting for an extended period of time
- heel pain when climbing stairs
Plantar fasciitis is known as an overuse injury. Common causes are high-impact activities like running, wearing shoes with high arches, or other activities that put extra tension or stress on the heel.
Leading A Gout Free Life
In order to avoid gout attacks, your gout physician may prescribe a medication to reduce the buildup of uric acid in your blood. In most cases patients take this medicine for their entire life, but there are things that you can do reduce the chances of needing a lifetime of medication. Pay special attention to what you eat. This can help you manage the buildup and uric acid and reduce the frequency and duration of your gout attacks. Eating appropriate amounts of a healthy variety of foods to keep your weight under control and to get the nutrition you need. Try to avoid frequent or daily meals consisting of meat, seafood, and alcohol. As always you should drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
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The Role Of Medication In Prevention Of Gout
Table 3: Medications to pevent attacks of gout
Standard medications in preventing gout attacks
i. Colchicine : using the matches analogy discussed above1, using colchicine can be seen as dampening the uric acid matches. Colchicine does not lower the bodys store of uric acid, but it decreases the intensity of the bodys inflammatory reaction to these crystals. Recent studies have shown that at least one mechanism of colchicines action is by acting to prevent a cascade of reactions that lead to the production of interleukin 1-beta, which is an inflammatory protein , which is important in gouty inflammation.8
ii. Allopurinol: This agent is presently the most commonly used drug for the prevention of gout. Allopurinol blocks the enzyme xanthine oxidase, which blocks the breakdown of purines, thus decreasing the bodys total amount of uric acid. Allopurinol is effective in preventing gout no matter what the mechanism of the elevated uric acid was. Whether a person is making too much uric acid, or has difficulty excreting it via the kidney, allopurinols decrease in uric acid production leads to the same goal: a decreased total body uric acid.
Table 4: Reasons to use medication to lower uric acid
Do You Have Ms Gout Or Ra And Foot Pain
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What causes foot pain without injury? How do I know if its serious? These are two of the most frequently asked questions by people experiencing some type of foot pain but arent quite sure where its stemming from. It can be alarming, especially if you havent engaged in any physical activity that would warrant it.
What you might not be aware of is that foot pain could signal a more serious underlying condition, which at first glance may not appear any way related to your feet. For instance, a problem with your thyroid which is a gland located in your neck may affect the nerves responsible for sensation in your feet. Sciatic nerve damage in your lower back may cause excruciating pain in the backside of your leg to your big toe.
In both cases, the pain in your foot is indicative of a more serious problem that might otherwise go unnoticed. This guide examines the complex relationship between foot pain and conditions like Multiple Sclerosis , Gout, and Rheumatoid Arthritis .
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What Causes The Ball Of Foot Pain
Ball of foot pain occurs towards the front of your foot. This area consists of your metatarsals-bones of the mid-foot-and the phalanges-bones that make up the toes of the foot. In addition to pain, you may also experience burning, or tingling sensations in the area, or in your toes. It may also feel like you have a pebble in your shoe.
You might develop ball of foot pain if you participate in activities that involve running and jumping.
Preventing And Treating Gout
When you first come to AllCare Foot & Ankle Center with gout symptoms, we conduct a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment. We typically prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help control symptoms and prevent further joint damage.
If youve already had or continue to have multiple gout attacks, it can lead to a variety of health complications, including the erosion and destruction of your toe joint and the development of kidney stones. This is why preventing future gout attacks is essential for your overall health and wellness, not just for relieving the pain in your toe.
We recommend the following to help prevent future gout flare ups:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Limit or avoid alcoholic drinks
- Reduce meat, poultry, and seafood in your diet
- Consume more low-fat dairy products for protein
- Lose weight, if necessary
The common symptoms of gout arent something you should ignore, and we can help you get it under control. Give us a call at our Arlington or Dallas offices, or request an appointment online today.
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Symptoms Of Gout In Heel
- Swelling, redness, and tenderness- these conditions become highly pronounced. You will find them mostly in the part where your ankle coincides with the heel. You may also have symptoms in your big toe.
- Gout symptoms turn up at midnight . At this time, the uric acid becomes cool and gets settled, as the activity of your body is low.
- During the gout flare-up, you will feel hot to touch the heel. Moreover, the condition is painful, and you may not be able to wear socks.
- In some cases, it is a less intense pain after the initial gout attack.
- You cannot move comfortably due to the problem in your joints.
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Arthritis In The Heel And Ankle
Several types of arthritis, including OA, RA, AS, and PsA, can affect the heels and the ankles.
Symptoms of arthritis in the heel might include:
- Stiffness upon awakening in the morning
- Recurring pain in the heel
- Swelling of the heel
- Limited movement
- Skin changes, including rashes and growths
Inflammation at the heel from RA, AS, or PsA can lead to conditions that cause heel pain. This might include Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, or retrocalcaneal bursitis, a condition in which the bursa becomes inflamed, causing pain and swelling.
The ankle is not affected by arthritis as often as other joints, but it can be a source of severe pain and instability when it is affected. Additional symptoms of ankle arthritis include swelling and stiffness of the ankle and problems with mobility. Ankle arthritis will eventually affect gaitthe way a person walks.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment And Prevention
While osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the joints, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. As such, there is no real way to prevent RA. At the first sign of symptoms , see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Conservative treatments include shoe inserts, physical therapy, ibuprofen, and steroid injections to the joint. More advanced or severe RA may require surgery.
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If you havegout, youre all too familiar with the sudden, burning joint pain that a gout attack can bring on most commonly in the big toe.
Gout a type ofarthritis is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Usually, having an excess of uric acid isnt harmful. In fact, many people with high levels in their blood never get gout. But when uricacid levels in your blood are too high, the uric acid may form hard crystals in your joints.
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Charcot Arthropathy Of The Foot
Charcot arthropathy of the foot is a syndrome where patients with numbness of their feet, which can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions such as diabetes, develop weakening of the bones in the foot and ankle. Thus they may have fractures and dislocations of the bones and joints that occur with little trauma.
You should visit your primary care physician who will likely coordinate care with a muscle and bone specialist . Treatment usually involves a protective split, walking brace, or cast.
Top Symptoms: joint pain, constant foot swelling, pain in one foot, warm red foot swelling, swelling of both feet
Symptoms that always occur with charcot arthropathy of the foot: warm red foot swelling, constant foot swelling
Urgency: Primary care doctor
What Is The Best Pain Relief For Ra Foot Pain
While theres no known cure for RA, there are medications that a doctor can prescribe to manage the symptoms. They include:
- Biologic Response Modifiers like golimumab, adalimumab, and tocilizumab
- Corticosteroids like prednisone
- Disease-modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs like leflunomide and hydroxychloroquine
- Over-the-counter NSAIDs
If the medication does little to prevent or, at the very least, slow down joint damage, surgery to repair these joints may be recommended. The procedure may involve:
- Joint fusion
- Synovectomy removal of the inflamed joint lining
- Tendon repair
- Total joint replacement
Other remedies for RA foot pain relief may involve physical and occupational therapies to help keep the affected joints flexible. It may also involve the use of assistive devices to avoid straining painful joints.
If you suffer from MS, RA or gout and are experiencing foot pain, weve got your back!
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Causes Of Pain In The Ball Of Your Foot
The ball of the foot absorbs an enormous amount of pressure when you walk, work, exercise, and even when you just stand up. This nearly constant stress can cause the components of the foot to become stretched and pinched, causing conditions like capsulitis and neuroma with severe pain, numbness, and discomfort.
Treatment Of Foot Gout
If you suffer from foot gout, there are many different types of gout treatment approaches you can take to help lessen the flare.
Flares from foot gout can be treated using your regular gout medications. This includes NSAIDs, corticosteroids, and colchicine. These are short-term gout medications and should only be taken during a gout flare.
Then, certain medications need to be taken regularly to maintain low uric acid levels. This is called preventative medication and can include drugs such as allopurinol, febuxostat, probenecid, pegloticase, and lesinurad.
Light Exercise or Rest
This may sound counterintuitive but taking a walk during an attack might help you recover faster. For people who have had gout long enough, theyve lived through the pain and have gotten used to it.
However, if this doesnt work for you dont force it. Sit back, relax, and let your foot rest. Put it in an elevated position and place an ice pack on the affected area.
Buy a Comfortable Pair of Shoes
Find comfortable shoes that you can regularly wear preferably those that have cushioned insoles and a wide toe box. This helps support the feet and prevent contact with the toe which can feel sensitive to touch during the first few days after an attack.
In certain situations, you may need to undergo an operation to remove the liquid inside. This is especially needed if the gout has already progressed into tophi.
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Arthritis In The Toes
Arthritis in the toes is often the result of wear and tear of the cartilage in the toe joints or inflammation of the toe joints. The big toe is most often affected by arthritis, but other toes can also be involved.
Common symptoms of arthritis of the toes may include pain that can take hours or days to resolve and swelling and inflammation in and around the toe joints. Both RA and PsA can cause significant pain and swelling. However, with PsA, the toes become so swollen that they can resemble sausages .
Additional symptoms of arthritis in the toes might include:
- Restricted range of motion due to swelling or cartilage damage
- Development of bone spurs, which can further restrict movement
- Difficulty and pain with bending the toes
- A toe that might bend permanently downward
- Pain that worsens with weight-bearing activityrunning, walking, climbing stairs, etc.
- A bump formation or sore
- Pitted, separated, thickened toenails
- Curling of toeshammertoe or claw toe
What Are Symptoms Of Gout
Chances are you wont even know you have gout until youve experienced your first painful attack, often at night. Symptoms may not develop for years, but these often include:
- Arthritis that develops quickly, resulting in a swollen, red, and warm joint with limited movement
- An arthritis attack in only one joint often the big toe, as well as a foot, ankle, or knee
- Bright red or purplish skin around the affected joint
- More than one attack of acute arthritis
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How Can A Gout Attack Be Prevented
Diet plays a key role diet in gout prevention: Since foods can directly set off gout attacks, patients with gout should receive counseling as to which foods are more likely to induce attacks. Losing weight is often also helpful. However, as important as diet is in gout, for most people with gout diet, and even weight loss, are not enough, and medications will be needed to get to their uric acid goal.
When To See The Experts
If youve experienced a severe, painful attack, especially with warm, tender skin over swollen joints, set up an appointment with Family Foot and Ankle Center as soon as possibleeven if the pain has stopped. Uric acid buildup can significantly damage your joints even after symptoms recede, so its critical to manage the condition carefully.
In addition to your at-home diet modifications and pain management , we may prescribe stronger medications to help you deal with the disease and prevent future complications. In certain cases, you may benefit from medications that block uric acid production or improve your kidneys ability to filter it out of your bloodstream.
Dont put up with frequent, painful attacks. Call us today and set up an appointment at one of our six Greater Cincinnati locations, or request one online. Dial 728-4800 if youre in Ohio, or 282-1572 in Kentucky.
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Foot Gout Symptoms To Watch For
Foot gout usually occurs suddenly, often at night. In most cases, flare-ups happen without warning. The best way to catch foot gout in its early stages is by knowing the symptoms. Symptoms of gout include:
- Acute, intense pain within the joint
- Discomfort for days after the severe pain subsides
- Inflammation or swelling in the joint
- Sensation of heat within the joint
People who suffer from this condition on a regular basis typically know the symptoms of gout and know to seek treatment at the first sign of a flare-up. Sometimes the symptoms are severe enough to bring on a fever of up to 101°F.
Do Home Based Gout Remedies Actually Work
What do you think of when you hear someone talking about a home remedy theyve used to treat an illness?
Does it perk up your ears, or just make you suspicious and skeptical?
Remedies have been used by people for thousands of years with varying degrees of success. Some are based on folklore, while others continue the trend of following what works through trial and experimentation passed down the generational line.
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How Are Gout Attacks Prevented
Maintaining adequate fluid intake helps prevent acute gout attacks and decreases the risk of kidney stone formation in people with gout. Alcohol is known to have diuretic effects that can contribute to dehydration and precipitate acute gout attacks. Alcohol can also affect uric acid metabolism and cause hyperuricemia. It causes gout by slowing down the excretion of uric acid from the kidneys as well as by causing dehydration, which precipitates the crystals in the joints.
How Are Ms And Foot Pain Related
A common complication of MS with regards to feet is a condition that doctors refer to as erythromelalgia. It is a disorder that affects the feet and is characterized by intermittent episodes of intense burning pain in the extremities.
The skin becomes extremely red with an unusually high temperature and is usually accompanied by swelling. Affected individuals also report experiencing tingling pain and other symptoms commonly associated with peripheral neuropathy .
In other cases, some people with MS experience musculoskeletal pain in the joints of the hips, knees, legs, and feet, mainly due to extended periods of immobility and spasmodic pain in the flexors. These make the foot feel like it has a constant dull ache or cramp.
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