Foot pain is caused by a variety of conditions, diseases, deformities, or injuries. Medications are a common approach in order to gain relief, but there are many treatment options available.
Causes of Foot Pain
Diseases, viruses, fungi, and bacteria can cause foot pain, but one of the most common causes of foot pain is arthritis. Pain in the feet is associated with overuse of ligaments or injuries to the nerves in the feet. These are some other common causes for foot pain:
- Ingrown toenail
- Plantar warts
- Athlete’s foot
- Systemic diseases – such as lupus, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Ill-fitting shoes or high heels
- Bone spurs
If you experience foot pain, it is best to see a specialist right away. Delaying treatment can result in complications, chronic pain, or long-term disabilities.
How to Alleviate Foot Pain
Using OTC pain relievers can help inflammation and pain, but always consult with your doctor before taking anything for your foot pain. At-home remedies may help to minimize the pain.
Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
If your foot pain is due to an injury or overuse, resting it is one of the best ways to help lessen the pain. Rest will allow the tissues to heal and give your body time to process the injury. Ice should not be used for more than 20 minutes at a time. Wrap ice in a towel or plastic bag so that it is not too cold on your skin.
Both compression and elevation help prevent swelling of the painful or injured area. Swelling can cause nerve fibers to stretch, causing more pain. Decreasing swelling often provides some degree of pain relief.
Massages improve circulation, reduce tension, and can help alleviate pain. If you have foot pain, this is a good way to examine your feet and see if the pain worsens, and to notice a problem before it gets worse.
Trying a hydromassage is another way to help relieve pain. To do this, fill one large bowl or basin with cold water, and another with hot water. Place both feet in the cold water for 5 minutes, then move to the hot water. Alternate every 5 minutes.
If your pain lasts longer than 5 days (with home treatments) and does not improve after a few weeks, you schedule an appointment with a medical professional.