What is Foot Pain
The feet are arguably one of the most important parts of the body, in terms of movement. Feet give the body a foundation for movement. Feet are intricate structures that are made up of many complex components in terms of the muscles, bones, tendons, joints, and ligaments.
Foot pain can be debilitating and can affect our everyday lives. An excess of movement or walking can be the source of foot pain, as well as arthritis, tendonitis, and trauma to the feet.
Causes of Foot Pain
Most cases of foot pain are not caused by some kind of direct trauma or impact directly to the foot, although those are definitely sources of foot pain. Many cases of foot pain can be traced back to the sensory nerves that are connected to the feet. Pain in the feet can be caused by a lower back injury or inflammation of the spine in the areas connected to the nerves in the feet.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a condition that is characterized by reduced motion or mobility, chronic pain, and sensory deficits that can affect areas like the feet. Tumors and even treatments or surgeries to reduce the size of tumors can cause damage to the nerve endings connected to the foot, which can become a source of chronic pain. Failed Back Surgery Syndrome is another condition that can cause pain in the feet.. This condition involves nerve damage associated with spinal surgery that causes pain in the feet.
Many foot injuries can be caused by direct trauma to the foot. Foot pain can also be caused by standing for prolonged periods of time, especially when wearing uncomfortable footwear like high-heeled shoes. You can also suffer from foot pain that is related to strenuous strength and endurance training.
Genetic disorders like Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome can cause deformities in the foot and can be a source of chronic pain. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis which describes excessive inflammation may also be associated with foot pain.
What is Achilles Tendonitis?
The Achilles tendon is commonly known as the most durable tendon in the entire body. This tendon is also one of the longest tendons in the body, and it stretches from the heel to the middle of the calf. The Achilles tendon is what is responsible for our ability to flex the foot and point our toes. Your Achilles tendon is what makes activities like walking, running, and jumping possible.
The biggest downside of the Achilles tendon is that since it is used so frequently, it is one of the most commonly injured tendons in the body. Even though this tendon is strong and built for activities like walking, jumping, and running, it is really prone to developing tendonitis. Achilles Tendonitis is the inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendonitis is a condition that occurs from the overuse and/or deterioration of the Achilles tendon.
Some of the most common symptoms that are associated with Achilles tendonitis are
- Pain and swelling of the ankles
- A decrease in the ankle’s range of motion
- A decrease in strength of the ankle or calf
Pain from Achilles tendonitis can range from mild to severe, and symptoms may have a slow or quick onset, depending on the case. Most patients will have stiff ankles in the morning and will report an increase in the amount of pain when physically active.
If you have been suffering from these symptoms, make an appointment with a medical professional for a proper diagnosis of symptoms. A medical practitioner will conduct a series of tests which may include a strength test, reflex test, sensation testing, orthopedic testing, and further tests in order to assess symptoms. An X-ray or an MRI of the affected area may be ordered.
Causes of Chronic Ankle Pain
If you are suffering from chronic ankle pain, there are several different conditions that could be causing that pain.
There are several different causes of ankle pain:
- Damage after a previous injury
- Rheumatoid or osteoarthritis
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
1) Chronic Ankle Pain after Strain or Injury
Some of the most common sources of ankle pain stem from a previous injury
- Lack of early immobilization of the joint in severe cases of injury
- A lack of the prescription and use of mobility and strengthening exercises
- The growth of scar tissue around the ankle
- The development of late hypermobility
- Continuing agitation of the ankle because of unrecognized or untreated hyperpronation
- Too much immobilization
2) Ankle Arthritis
Any joint in the body can develop arthritis. Here are some statistics that you related to arthritis, ankle pain, and foot pain.
- Nearly 50% of individualsbetween 60 and 80 years of age suffer from some kind of foot pain that is related to arthritis
- 90% of individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis will have some kind of pain in their feet or ankles
- An injured ankle or joint, especially in terms of a chronic injury, can make a person seven times more likely to develop arthritis later on
There are two different types of arthritis
- Rheumatoid: Causes the joints to become red and swollen. This can cause outgrowths and deformities of the joint.
- Osteoarthritis: Typically develops gradually and affects mostly older people. Pain will get progressively worse over time, and worsen with inactivity
Ankle tendonitis occurs when the tendons in the ankle become inflamed. This can usually occur when patients don’t properly care for an injury or sprain. Medical professionals have reported that 40% of people who have sprained their ankle will have chronic ankle pain at some point in their lives, even if they properly treated and cared for their injury.
Common symptoms of ankle tendonitis:
- Ankle pain that lasts for an extended period of time or does not improve with treatment
- Tenderness and swelling on the outside of the ankle
- Pain that moves from the ankle down to the foot
5) Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome can occur as a result of nerve compression in the ankle. This condition can either be caused by a previous ankle injury or be a byproduct of other diseases and conditions like arthritis and diabetes. The natural shape of the foot also affects the proneness or aversion to developing tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Some common symptoms of this condition include
- A burning pain in the sole of your foot
- Pain that gets worse when standing or during exercise
- A sensation of numbness or tingling at or near the bottom of your foot
- Pain that worsens at night
- A pins and needles sensation on your foot
- Decreased sensitivity
Synovitis defines ankle pain that occurs from the result of inflammation of the synovial membrane. This involves the buildup of fluid in your join. Symptoms include pain when moving your ankle and swelling around the ankle joint.