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Foot Pain

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Heel Pain continued...

A fracture of the heel bone (calcaneus) is the most commonly fractured foot bone. It is most often caused by high impact to the heel -- for example, when  person has fallen from a height or been in a car accident. Injuries can range from a bone crack from a new vigorous exercise plan to a shattered bone from a high fall. Heel pain, bruising, swelling, limping, or difficulty walking are the main symptoms. 

Calcaneus fracture treatment includes: 

  • Rest from weight bearing, often with crutches
  • Thorough padding of the heel
  • Splinting or casting to protect the heel bone
  • Pain relievers
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy

 

Ball of Foot Pain

Metatarsalgia is pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. Strenuous activity, such as running or jumping, or ill-fitting shoes are the usual causes. It is often called a stone bruise, as well. Treatment for metatarsalgia includes: 

  • Pain relievers
  • Icing and resting the foot
  • Change to more comfortable footwear
  • Inserts for the shoes to relieve pressure on the ball of the foot 

Morton's neuroma is thickening of the tissue around the nerve between the bases of the toes (usually between the third and fourth toes). Foot pain, odd sensations, or numbness over the ball of the foot are the usual symptoms.  It is more common in women and can be a result of wearing high heels or tight shoes. 

Morton's neuroma treatment includes: 

  • Shoe inserts to reduce pressure on the nerve
  • Steroid or other injection into the area of foot pain
  • Avoiding high heeled shoes, or ones with a narrow toe box, and activities that put pressure on the neuroma
  • Pain relievers
  • Surgery (occasionally) 

Sesamoiditis occurs when tendons around the big toe are injured and inflamed. Treatment for sesamoiditis includes: 

  • Strict rest
  • Ice
  • Wearing a foot pad under the toe in a comfortable shoe
  • Taping the big toe to immobilize the joint and allow for healing
  • Wearing low-heeled shoes
  • Steroid injections

 

Arch Pain

Arch pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, which can affect the heel, arch, or both. Plantar fasciitis treatment is the same, regardless of the location of foot pain (see above). For persistent plantar fasciitis, an injection with a mixture of a steroid and local anesthetic can be helpful. 

Fallen arches -- or flat feet -- occurs when the arches of the feet flatten out (often when standing or walking), causing foot pain and other problems. Flat feet can be treated with shoe inserts (orthotics), shoe adjustments, rest/ice, using a walking cane or brace, or physical therapy. Occasionally, surgery is necessary.

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