If you have frequent pain in your feet and ankles, you could be developing ongoing problems if you don't get them examined by a foot doctor or orthopedist. There are a number of non-invasive treatments available for painful foot and ankle problems. But if you don't get treatment early, your pain could reach a point where surgery is your only option. Here are some of the common issues that you should get addressed right away.
Achilles Tendon Strain
This large tendon attaches the calf muscle to your heel. It is responsible for moving your foot up and down. If you overwork this tendon or stretch it beyond its limits, it becomes swollen and painful. The pain can be so severe that you can't put weight on your foot. If left untreated and you re-injure the tendon, the tendon and muscle will contract, causing your foot to drop. You'll have difficulty pickup up your foot.
Your doctor will prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medication. Physical therapy will be used to gradually stretch the tendon out so you can move your foot again. Custom orthotics may be ordered (from outlets such as Hager Orthopaedic Clinics) to support your foot and ankle while the tendon heals and the inflammation goes away.
The plantar fascia is a small band of tissue running along the bottom of the foot. It helps to create and hold the arch in your foot. When it is irritated or overworked, this tissue becomes inflamed and painful to touch. Stepping on your foot will be painful.
Medication for pain and swelling will be used along with hot and cold packs. You may be given an insert for your shoe that supports your foot while this tissue heals.
If you've repeatedly damaged the tiny ligaments that hold the bone in the lower leg and ankle together, you may develop ankle instability. This often feels like your ankle will give way should you put weight on it. The ligaments and other soft tissues in your ankle need time to heal to let your ankle support you normally.
Physical therapy and range of motion exercises may be prescribed to keep your ankle strong and limber. An orthotic device to prevent your ankle from turning and rotating may be ordered to support your ankle while it becomes stronger.
Tiny bone growths can occur on your heel bone from the pull of the tendons on it. These can be quite painful when you press directly on them. If the bone spur occurs on the bottom of your heel, you may have difficulty walking.
A support for your foot can be made for your shoe to take the pressure off of the painful spot. With the irritation gone, the bone spur will go away.
If you hesitate to see your doctor about a foot problem because of potential surgery, there are several things that can be done to relieve your pain before surgery is even considered. See your doctor and have these painful issues treated before they become a more serious health problem.Share