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Common Causes of Foot Pain

By Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS | Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus DPM, RPhs, FACFAS

Foot painCauses of Foot Pain refers to the discomfort that is felt anywhere on the foot, including the arch, heel, toes, and sole. It can even spread to the ankles. The most common causes of foot pain are injuries. However, foot pain can be caused by a number of conditions, and when it develops it is often difficult to get rid of without proper treatment.

There are a number of lifestyle factors that will increase your risk of developing foot pain, such as wearing improper footwear, being overweight, and standing for exceptionally long periods of time.

Between walking barefoot on scorching-hot sidewalks, heading out at night in four-inch high heels, and spending the majority of the summer in flip-flops that offer absolutely no arch support, there is a lot to be said about foot pain in Boca Raton. Foot pain is a common concern across the country, and South Florida is no exception to this rule. As many as 80 percent of adults over the age of 21 experience some sort of foot problem. While you may think you are the only one trying to hide an embarrassing problem with full shoes in the heat of July, you are far from alone.

The Institute for Preventative Foot Health conducted a study recently to determine how much foot pain Americans are coping with, and their results weren’t too surprising. While 80 percent of adults attest to experiencing some sort of foot condition, only 59 percent of those adults actually pursued treatment from a podiatrist.

This means that just under half of American adults who have foot pain in Boca Raton are not seeking any treatment for their condition. Too many adults cope with their foot pain, thinking that it will go away on its own or that it cannot be treated, but this is usually not true. Talk with your podiatrist to find out what is bothering you. It is highly likely that you are coping with one of the five most common causes of foot pain.

5 Most Common Causes of Foot Pain

The Institute for Preventative Foot Health’s survey found that exercise-related activities like running, dancing, and playing sports like basketball are some of the leading reasons people experience foot pain. Sore feet can leave you on the couch with your feet up watching sports on TV instead of engaging in activity if you are not careful. Most often, there are treatment options available that can put you back in action. There is no reason to let your pain linger and go undiagnosed.

Here are five of the most common foot ailments:

  • Athlete’s foot: This is a contagious condition that is caused by a fungus and marked by itchy, burning skin. Twenty percent of survey participants reported experiencing athlete’s foot at one point in their lives.
  • Foot fatigue: Sometimes your feet can grow sore as a result of overuse. When this happens, soaking your feet in Epsom salts or massaging your feet with lotions or oils can often help. Twenty-six percent of survey participants reported having foot fatigue. While this can be treated at home, it is best to check with your podiatrist to be sure that foot fatigue isn’t hinting towards something more serious.
  • Calluses: These dry patches of thickened skin are especially common in South Florida where sandals are the norm. Twenty-seven percent of participants had calluses at one point, but wearing proper footwear can prevent calluses from developing.
  • Blisters: A common result of improperly fitting shoes, blisters develop most often on the toes, heel, and bottom of the foot. Twenty-eight percent of survey participants reported having blisters.
  • Sprained ankle: One of the more common culprits of foot pain, a sprained ankle could be the result of a fall or a sports-related injury. According to certain estimates, 25,000 ankles are sprained daily. Over 30 percent of survey responders had sprained an ankle at one point.

Other common causes of foot pain include:

Other common foot ailments include bunions, plantar warts, and hammertoes. If you are coping with any of these concerns, know that there are treatment options available that will get you back on your feet in no time.

Of course, missing from this list is one of the most common reasons people experience foot pain: injury. Fractures, sprains and muscle tears can lead to long-term debilitation and pain throughout the foot and ankle.

If you have heel pain, you may have a condition called plantar fasciitis. Bone spurs, tendinitis, and bursitis of the heel are also culprits leading to sore feet. Sore feet can even be related to aging. Arthritis and gout, the latter which is a red, swollen tender condition commonly found to affect the big toe, are frequent sources of foot pain as we age.

Treatment Options for Foot Pain

Some foot conditions can be relieved with diligent home care. Ice often relieves pain and swelling, especially after an activity. Elevating a painful foot also helps relieve swelling and pain.

Foot pads can help relieve the pain of calluses and can prevent them too. Over-the-counter medications may be effective against plantar warts. For heel pain related to plantar fasciitis, try foot stretches and shoe inserts. However, some foot injuries, such as a stress fracture, simply require rest, reduced activity, and removal of pressure until the fracture is healed.

In instances where you have sudden, severe, or prolonged foot pain, seek medical treatment from your Boca Raton or Palm Beach podiatrist. If you have a sore or foot ulcer that isn’t healing or have a fever, you should also seek medical attention. Finally, if you have joint redness or swelling, bleeding or cannot bear weight on your foot, it’s best to see your doctor.

Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS

Known for his expertise in thorough diagnostic testing and a steady surgical hand, Jason M. Gold, DPM, is a leader in modern foot and ankle care and sports medicine. He’s one of a handful of doctors who’s board certified in foot and ankle surgery in Palm Beach County. Dr. Jason Gold cares for patients at Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center, a state-of-the-art practice with locations in Boca Raton and Boynton, Florida.

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus , DPM - Podiatrist in Boca Raton, FL

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus DPM, RPhs, FACFAS

Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus is a foot, ankle, and leg vein specialist practicing in South Florida. She is considered a leader and innovator for various procedures in her field, including fat pad and vein care. Dr. Schoenhaus grew up in southern New Jersey and she considers herself a true Philly girl. After graduating from the University of Michigan, having studied kinesiology and human movement, she went to Temple University in Philadelphia where she got her doctorate.

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