As January comes to a close, many people are continuing their New Year’s Resolutions such as being more active and increasing their physical fitness. But sometimes going from zero to high intensity work outs can leave your body especially your feet in pain. Here are some of the common causes of foot pain and as always, if you are experiencing pain, please consider consulting a podiatrist who can properly diagnose you.
- Heel pain (Plantar fasciitis)
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most usual problems in middle-aged patients. The plantar fascia is a band tissue that extends from the heel bone to the back of the foot. It serves as shock absorber and arch support to the leg. The major complaint of plantar fasciitis is pain and clumsiness in the bottom of the heel. The pain grows and spreads gradually over time and usually hurts in the morning hours getting out of bed.
This issue is rampant amongst the overweight and obese, which is why a lot of New Year’s Resolutions go unfinished. Pregnant women can also experience it, particularly during late pregnancy stage due to the burden of excess weight.
Resting the heel, regular stretching, applying ice packs and wearing well-fitted, supportive shoes can help comfort the pain.
- Strains and Sprains
Sprains occur at the joints and affect ligaments, whereas, strains affect muscles or tendons. These are made when there is a sudden change of direction, fall, awkward landing, and by using exercise equipment improperly.
Sprain and strain can cause swelling, bruising and tenderness which definitely contributes to pain and inability to place weight on the feet. Stress and pain can be managed personally by using the PRICE therapy (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) in conjunction with over the counter pain killers like aspirin.
Gout causes sudden bouts of serious pain, redness, swelling and warmth in the joints of the foot, especially, the big toe. Gout is caused by built uric acid in the joints and can form overnight without any warning. Uric Acid builds up in the joint due to several reasons such as arthritis, blood disorders or excessive consumptions of fats. People who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing gout because they produce more uric acid.
While, it’s hard to tell the difference between Gout and a Bunion (see below), the pain caused by gout can usually be treated using ice and over the counter pain killers.
A bunion is the swelling if the bone at the base of the big due to an abnormality of the toe bones in which the big toe is crooked instead of being straight and presses on the metatarsal bones.
Shoes that don’t fit properly are also thought to cause bunions. Bunions can become worse if they are left untreated, therefore, wearing of comfortable, padded, and wide shoes are advisable.
- Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails occur when the boundaries of the toenail grow into the surrounding skin. The toenails pierce the skin, which causes it to turn red and swollen.
Ingrown toenails are caused by cutting toes incorrectly or having toenails that grow irregularly. In addition, footwear that places a great deal of pressure on the toes can cause ingrown toenails. This is why it’s important if you plan on exercising in the beginning of the new year, get shoes that fit your feet properly.
There are several other things that cause foot pain such as splinters or Achilles tendonitis, but these are the most common forms of foot pain for those who just started their new exercise regimen in the beginning of the year.