When your feet hurt, your entire life is affected. Foot pain can stop you from doing what you want to do, it can make it more difficult to move around, it can lead to depression. It is unfortunately all too common for people suffering from foot pain to do just that, suffer through it, hoping it will get better. The trick to getting better at home is taking the time to rest, but almost no one feels like they can take time out, and subsequently, they end up with an advanced condition and even more pain.
Over the years, we’ve answered a lot of questions about foot pain and the most important is “when should I see a podiatrist for foot pain?” The answer? As soon as you can.
Your feet bear all of your weight and the stress of moving your body and are essential to your life and normal daily activities. So if your feet hurt, get them checked out by a professional. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of your feet.
Some of the other questions we are asked regularly, and their answers, are detailed below.
Why does my foot hurt?
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of foot pain. This condition is caused when the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that extends from your heel to the toes, becomes irritated and inflamed. The pain is usually worst first thing in the morning and after periods of rest.
Another common cause of foot pain is a fracture. The bones of the foot are surprisingly delicate and are at risk of stress fractures, especially in patients who participate in high-impact activities like running. Many patients also experience foot pain from arthritis. If you experience foot pain, make an appointment at Nagy Footcare for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.
I think I’ve broken a toe, what should I do?
If you think you’ve broken a toe, you should see your podiatrist as soon as possible. When fractures are left untreated, patients can experience chronic foot pain, develop arthritis, and struggle to walk. While you are making the appointment, you should elevate and ice your foot to control swelling. Avoid putting any weight on the foot with the potentially broken toe.
Dr. Nagy will examine your foot for swelling, bruising, deformity, open wounds, and a loss of sensation. He may order x-rays to confirm the fracture and its severity. Most fractures are treated by moving the toe into the correct position, if necessary, and taping it to its neighbor. You will need to wear wider than normal shoes while your toe heals.
What should I do about an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails can be quite painful, especially if the toe becomes infected. To manage any swelling, you can soak your feet in a warm bath with Epsom salt. You should make an appointment for the ingrown toenail to be addressed with your podiatrist before an infection develops or the condition becomes more painful.
Your doctor will trim the toenail to the extent necessary to get it out of the nailbed. Some tips to avoid ingrown toenails include trimming your toenails straight across and wearing shoes that fit correctly, especially for any kind of physical activity that puts a lot of stress on the feet.
What can I do to ease arthritis pain in my foot?
In most cases, arthritis in the foot is treated with stretches and exercises to improve mobility and custom orthotics or braces to provide additional cushioning and support to the foot. You may also benefit from over-the-counter painkillers, regular foot massages, and wearing comfortable, supportive shoes.
Can I exercise with a stress fracture?
If you have a stress fracture in your foot, you should avoid high-impact exercises while you heal. The healing process can take several weeks or months. Dr. Nagy will give you advice specific to your condition, but in most cases, you will be able to swim, bike, practice yoga, and do resistance exercises. You may also need to attend physical therapy.
The important thing is to follow the advice of the doctor and to listen to your body and rest if you need to. If you over-do it, it can extend your injury and prevent you from getting back to your normal activities for even longer.
There are many varieties and causes of foot pain, if your questions weren’t addressed in this blog post, please contact a New Hampshire podiatrist at Nagy Footcare. Dr. Nagy and his staff are always willing to answer questions about protecting and improving the health and condition of your feet. We believe that no one should need to live with foot pain and are dedicated to providing the best possible diagnostics and care to our patients.
At Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.