We usually tend to ignore our feet, but if you get foot pain, you are reminded of them every step you take. Feet act like shock absorbers and support 1.5 times our body weight during walking and running activities. That’s why our feet are highly prone to injuries. There are around 26 bones, 33 joints, and 5 ligaments and injury can happen to any structure.
Conditions that may lead to foot pain may include:
A thick band of tissue called plantar fascia runs across the bottom of your feet from the heel to the toes. When plantar fascia gets inflamed due to an injury or overuse, it causes sharp stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel that usually starts in the morning. As you move around more, the pain starts to decrease, but it may return after standing or walking for a long time.
Athletes, who participate in sports such as tennis, basketball, running, dance, and gymnastics usually have a higher risk of foot and ankle stress fractures because of continuous strain on the feet. Lack of proper conditioning, warm-up exercises, or technique can disrupt the foot mechanics and result in stress fracture. Unlike a fracture, in which the bone breaks, in stress fracture, there are small cracks in the bone. It leads to dull pain during weight-bearing activities with swelling and redness.
When the pain is in the area just before the toes or on the ball of the foot, it is usually due to Metatarsalgia. The bones in this part of the foot are named as metatarsal, that’s why this condition is called Metatarsalagia. It happens due to prolonged jumping or running activities, which puts increased stress on this part and causes pain and swelling.
Posterior Tibial Tendonitis:
The posterior tibial tendon runs down your inner lower leg and attaches to the bottom of the foot near the medial arch. This tendon supports the arch of the feet and inflammation here may cause pain, flatfoot deformity, and limited walking ability.
When a sprain occurs at the base of the great toe it is called Turf toe. Usually, it occurs when the big toe bends back beyond its normal range of motion. This often happens while kicking a soccer ball (missing the ball and hitting the ground/turf).
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome:
It occurs due to the compression of the posterior tibial nerve, which travels from the leg to the foot through the tarsal tunnel. The tarsal tunnel is a narrow passage inside the ankle through which blood vessels, tendons, and nerves run. Any activity that causes inflammation of the tunnel can compress the nerve and lead to pain, tingling, and numbness on the inside of the ankle or bottom of the foot.
If Plantar Fasciitis is not treated for a long time, it leads to calcium deposit on the heel bone, where the fascia connects. These deposits are called heel spurs, and they result in a bony protrusion on the heel bone. It causes pain while walking and standing for long. Athletes with flat feet or high arches are more prone to this condition. Other contributing factors include improper footwear, running on a hard surface, excess body weight, and diabetes.
If you are experiencing pain in the Boise, Idaho region regarding knee pain, contact Boise's top orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Gustavel.