Since we abuse our feet so much throughout the day, it is common for them to be sore from time to time. But sometimes that soreness extends past the normal threshold of discomfort and becomes pain. If your feet actually hurt, it is a symptom that something much more serious could be wrong that needs to be addressed immediately before the situation worsens.
Ruling out certain conditions
Your pain specialist will thoroughly examine your feet in order to rule out certain conditions. The first thing that they will consider is a common condition known as plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of the bottom of the foot due to overexertion or over-stretching.
If this condition is excluded, your doctor will then look into evaluating the actual mechanics of your feet, looking for possible flaws. People who are born with flat feet or high arches are much more prone to having discomfort under certain conditions. Runners, especially long-distance ones, can also develop conditions that others will not simply due to the extra exertion that they are placing on their feet.
If the discomfort is isolated to only one area, such as the big toe, it is possible that it could be something such as gout or nerve damage from shoes that do not fit properly. Shoes that are not properly suited for the shape of your foot can easily create a wide range of pain.
What your pain specialist can do to help
The course of treatment depends on what is causing the pain in the first place. For example, since plantar fasciitis is an over-stretching of the bottom of the foot, then these individuals would need to stay off of their feet as much as possible in order for the inflammation to subside. Physical therapy, such as stretching, is also commonly prescribed.
Patients whose feet display mechanical issues often do well with the implementation of orthotics. Orthotics uses different braces and devices to straighten and align an area whose misalignment is the source of pain.
Sometimes the course of action also involves having the patient wear shoes that are specifically-shaped and which utilize specific contours to compensate for the way the individual's foot is formed, such as high arches or flat feet. Oftentimes, stretching and other forms of physical therapy may also have to be used to supplement these devices until the discomfort subsides. Your doctor can recommend the best course of action once they have conducted an examination of the area.