If there’s one part of our body that works the hardest, yet is the least cared for, it is our feet. Many of us spend hours on our feet or subject them to torture with less-than-comfortable shoes day after day. This often results in pain and discomfort.
While not all foot pain is serious, some of them do signal underlying conditions such as arthritis, peripheral arterial disease, and even diabetes. If left unattended, a minor foot pain can snowball into serious health issues that can disrupt your quality of life.
Here are three most common types of foot and ankle pain that you should be aware of.
- Morning foot pain
Do you feel a sharp or shooting pain in your feet right away after waking up in the morning? If your feet hurts when you take your first steps after getting out of bed, it’s often a sign of plantar fasciitis — inflammation of the tendons that run between your heel and your toes. The condition affects the heel and the bottom of your feet, which makes walking or even standing for long hours painful.
However, plantar fasciitis isn’t the only possible reason for morning foot pain. You could suffer from such a pain due to:
- Flat feet (“fallen arches”)
- Bone spurs
- Tight shoes
Nearly 50% of Australian women have bunions, while 25% of the men have them. It is even more common to find people over 60 years of age suffering from them. But, just because they are common, doesn’t mean they are not serious.
Bunions are essentially a deformity of the big toe bone. It occurs when the front of your toes get bunched up and the big toe gets pulled towards the smaller ones, causing the base of your big toe to protrude like a lump on the side of the foot.
Wearing ill-fitted shoes is the major cause of bunions, but they can also develop due to your foot shape or a medical condition such as arthritis.
Bunions, when ignored, can turn bigger and lead to the formation of calluses. This can make walking or standing painful and, in severe cases, might contribute to back and neck pain.
- Aches on the top or sides of your feet
Are you walking or picked up a fitness activity recently that’s new to your feet? Or have you started a job that requires you to stand on your feet for longer hours? Or maybe you’re wearing a wrong size of footwear?
Whatever the reason might be, it could lead to aches and pains. If the pain is concentrated towards the top or sides of your feet, it could be a sign for a lot of health issues, ranging from joint inflammation and tendonitis to stress fractures to bone spurs, and more.
If you feel this type of pain, it’s important to see a foot and ankle specialist like Mod Pod Podiatry in Sydney to get it treated.
While we’ve listed these three types of foot pain, it’s wise not to ignore any type of ache or pain in your feet. While in some cases, it might not be serious, you’d still want to err on the side of caution. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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