Pain Management in Knoxville, TN
Most people will experience pain in the foot at least once in their life. You are more likely to have foot problems as you get older. A 2011 review published in the Pain journal estimated that 1 in every 4 people over 45 years old suffer from frequent foot pain. In this article, we will discuss the possible causes of pain in the foot and their symptoms and explore treatment options for foot pain in Knoxville.
What are the causes of foot pain?
The foot is a complex structure consisting of 26 bones and 33 joints held together by a web of muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. Combined with the fact that it bears the weight of the whole body, it’s no surprise that there is a wide range of medical conditions that can cause foot pain in the arch, toes, heels, ball of the foot, or the entire foot. It is also possible to experience foot pain on top of the foot.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common foot pain disorders.
Many cases of foot pain are a result of a direct injury from accidents, falls, sports, or sudden movements. This includes sprains, strains, tendon ruptures, bone fractures, and broken bones.
Arthritis is a group of diseases that cause pain and stiffness in the joints. Since there are over 30 joints in the foot, they are often affected by arthritis. The two most common forms of foot arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these are chronic conditions that damage the cartilage of the joint, making movement painful.
Osteoarthritis is caused by the gradual degeneration of the tissues during aging, whereas rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system malfunctions and attacks its own tissues.
Another form of inflammatory arthritis is gout, which often develops in the big toe and is caused by an excess of uric acid in the body. It is a very painful condition, with sudden flares that can last several days followed by months of remission.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects the plantar fascia – a strong ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot. The consistent strain on the plantar fascia from running, long periods of standing, being overweight, and having calf muscle tightness or a low or high foot arch, can result in pain in the bottom of the heel and middle of the foot. Pain is usually at its worst in the morning and at the end of the day.
The Achilles tendon is the strongest, largest tendon in the body that connects calf muscles to the heel bone and helps with running and jumping. Tendonitis is a condition in which a tendon becomes damaged or inflamed from repetitive overuse. Tight or weak calf muscles and loss of tendon flexibility due to aging can contribute to the development of this disorder. Achilles tendon inflammation causes pain just above the back of the heel and can take months to heal completely.
Bursae are small sacs of fluid that cushion and lubricate the joints. Repetitive stress on the feet, such as walking in poor-fitting shoes or high heels, or running and jumping on hard surfaces, can inflame the bursa in the foot, which leads to pain, redness, and swelling – a condition known as bursitis.
People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing foot problems, such as nerve damage, poor circulation, and skin infections. If left untreated, this might lead to a toe, foot, or leg amputation.
Sometimes the tendons that support the bottom of the foot and give it the typical arch shape can weaken and cause the arch to flatten. This can result in foot pain in the arch and make some movements, like standing on your toes, difficult.
Morton’s neuroma is a benign growth that causes burning pain, tingling, and numbness in the toes and ball of the foot. It is thought to be a result of nerve entrapment in the foot that leads to the thickening of the tissue surrounding it.
Other causes of foot pain include corns, calluses, bunions, warts, ingrown toenails, hammer toes, and uncomfortable footwear.
How is the root cause of foot pain diagnosed?
To find the underlying cause of the foot pain, a doctor will take the patient’s medical history and ask about the nature, severity, location, and duration of the symptoms. He or she will then examine the foot for tenderness or swelling and observe the patient’ gait (the way their walk) for any posture or movement irregularities.
In some cases, X-rays might be taken to rule out or confirm conditions such as bone fractures, broken bones, or arthritis.
How is foot pain treated?
Most causes of foot pain are treated with pain management techniques, such as:
- Rest or lower activity levels
- Comfortable shoes or shoe inserts
- Ice pack and feet elevation to relieve pain and reduce swelling
- Supportive bandage for the affected part of the foot or a plaster cast for broken bones
- Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to increase the range of motion for muscle or joint pain
- Over-the-counter medications, such as Naproxen and Ibuprofen
- Corticosteroid injections that relieve pain and inflammation by delivering a combination of a local anesthetic and a steroid medication directly into the painful area
In rare cases of severe persistent pain that doesn’t respond to treatment, surgery might be recommended. Most foot surgery procedures involve correcting the position of the joints by resetting or fusing the bones. For Morton’s neuroma, a portion of an affected nerve or surrounding tissue is removed during surgery. At Omega Pain Management clinic in Knoxville, foot pain and heel pain are treated using the latest techniques to provide immediate pain relief.
Foot pain is a common medical complaint that can severely limit your mobility and affect your daily life. Although most episodes of pain in the foot improve on their own, having persistent foot pain may indicate a more serious problem. If you have a painful foot that is not getting better, you might need to contact a doctor who will identify the underlying reason for your pain, help with pain management, and develop a treatment plan to get you back on your feet.
If you’re experiencing chronic heel or foot pain, you’ll need to learn some pain management techniques. Often you will be taught stretching and other self-care tasks, such as stretching, exercising, or icing to help you take control of your recovery. Often you will be advised to get a pair of orthotic devices, therapeutic foot inserts, or foot sleeves aiming to correct your foot’s position and provide much-needed support to the injured area. These inserts are worn on the inside of your shoes.
Treatment for heel or foot pain in Knoxville, TN
In general, the longer you’ve been in pain, the longer it will take for you to recover. Foot pain treatment in Knoxville Omega Pain Management clinic will focus on limiting impact and stresses on the heel or foot, reducing pain and inflammation.
If you’re experiencing long-term pain and it’s interfering with your daily life, it’s important that you seek out the assistance of a qualified physician. For pain management Knoxville, TN, contact Dr. Igor Smelyansky of Omega Pain Management. Phone (865) 337-5137.
Thomas MJ, Roddy E, Zhang W, Menz HB, Hannan MT, Peat GM. The population prevalence of foot and ankle pain in middle and old age: a systematic review. Pain. 2011 Dec;152(12):2870-2880. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2011.09.019. Epub 2011 Oct 21. PMID: 22019150.