Table of Contents
- Foot pain facts
- How is the foot designed?
- What causes foot pain?
- What causes foot pain? (Continued)
- What other symptoms and signs may accompany foot pain?
- When should someone seek medical treatment for foot pain?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose foot pain?
- What is the treatment for foot pain?
- What is the treatment for foot pain? (Continued)
- What follow-up care is needed after foot pain is treated?
- Is it possible to prevent foot pain?
Quick GuideCommon Causes of Foot Pain
How do health-care professionals diagnose foot pain?
Proper evaluation and diagnosis of foot pain is essential in planning a treatment. A good general guideline is to compare the injured side to the uninjured side. Injury may present itself as distinguishable lump or gap felt at that location or a "crunchy" feeling on that spot caused by inflammation. The types, causes, and severity (sharp pain versus a dull ache) also are good indicators of the seriousness of the injury.
There are four grades of pain:
- During activity
- Before and after, and not affecting performance
- Before, during, and after athletic activity, affecting performance
- Pain so severe that performance is impossible
The doctor will ask you several questions to determine how the problem began. It can be helpful to tell the physician about how and when it started, how it affects you, when it bothers you, what you may or may not have done to make the pain better or worse. If necessary, a thorough physical exam may be conducted to evaluate for any other injuries.
- Feet will be physically and visually examined at rest, with weight- and non-weight-bearing movement by the medical professional.
- The foot and arch will be touched and manipulated and inspected to identify obvious deformities, tender spots, or any differences in the bones of the foot and arch.
- The medical professional will examine how the muscles of your foot function. These tests may involve holding or moving your foot and ankle against resistance, you may also be asked to stand, walk, or even run.
- The nerves in the foot will be tested to make sure no injury has occurred there.
- An X-ray, MRI, or bone scan of the foot and arch may be taken to determine if there are abnormalities of the bone and/or soft tissues.
Arnheim, Daniel D., and William Prentice. Principles of Athletic Training. 10th ed. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2000.
Daniels, Jack. Daniels' Running Formula. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1998.
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