5 Causes of Foot and Ankle Pain and How a Podiatrist Can Help

Foot and ankle pain can reduce mobility and flexibility, interfering with daily activities like walking and standing. Consulting an experienced podiatrist can help treat your condition, improving your quality of life. At Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute, we conduct expert diagnosis to identify the root cause of your pain and offer personalized treatment that suits your condition. Here are five common causes of foot and ankle pain:

causes of foot and ankle pain

1. Stress Fracture

A stress fracture refers to severe bruising or a tiny crack in a bone. The fracture mainly happens when you exert force on the bone by jumping and running. Look for symptoms like swelling, gradual increase in pain during activities, or tenderness at the foot or ankle to determine whether your discomfort is a stress fracture.

If you suspect you’re having a stress fracture, seek medical advice immediately. You can take first aid measures to ease the pain as you await your doctor’s appointment. Rest and avoid activities that put pressure on our injury area. Place ice packs on the ankle or knee at intervals to reduce swelling. You can also wrap a soft bandage around the area for support and put your foot in a raised position to prevent further swelling.

Our specialists may ask for imaging tests like an X-ray, bone scan, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to confirm the diagnosis. They then provide a treatment plan that relieves pain and enables the fracture to heal. Treatment varies depending on the severity and location of the fracture. Severe fractures may need surgical treatments, after which you go home to recuperate.

During recovery, we advise that you refrain from intense activities like working out for a while. This can save you from getting a complete fracture, which may take longer to heal. As you improve, you can gradually return to simple activity to allow bones to develop and bear with the new demands.

2. Strains and Sprains

A sprain refers to the wearing out of ligaments that connect the foot to bones, while a strain refers to the wearing out of muscles and tendons in the foot. Foot strains and sprains occur when your ankle or foot twists, causing bruising, swelling, and pain. Rest, place ice on the affected area, compress to reduce swelling, and elevate your foot for fast aid. If the first aid doesn’t improve the condition, it is time to see your podiatrist.

Our foot specialist will physically examine the points of swelling and tenderness. The pain intensity and injury location may help determine the nature and severity of the damage. You’ll subsequently receive medication that eases the pain and restores your ligaments and tendons.

3. Arthritis

Arthritis refers to inflammation and redness, mostly on the small ankle or foot joints, that can limit your active lifestyle. Our reputable podiatrists have the expertise to diagnose arthritis accurately and recommend an individualized treatment plan. Non-surgical treatments include physical therapy, pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, activity modification, compression, and corticosteroid injection at the affected joints.

If non-surgical alternatives fail to offer you relief, surgery may be recommended. After a successful procedure, we put a cast to protect your ankle or foot and suggest physical therapy or rest for full recovery.

4. Plantar Fasciitis

This condition is where the muscle in your foot swells, causing heel pain. It’s an attachment that extends from the bottom of your heel to your foot and toes, connecting bones to form an arch. This condition occurs when you overuse or apply prolonged stress on your feet. This illness can also be caused by playing sports, exercising without warm-ups, standing or walking barefoot, and wearing shoes that don’t support your feet properly, like flip-flops.

Common symptoms include heel pain, swelling on your heel, stiffness, pain in the foot arch, or tight Achilles tendon. At Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute, we give non-surgical options like physical therapy to relieve pain and support your feet to avoid reoccurrence.

5. Achilles Tendonitis

This tendon connects the heel bone and the calf muscle and may refer to swelling. An injury can result from overuse when jumping or running. Symptoms you can look for are stiffness and pain in your tendon, especially during movements like walking.

This condition can often be treated without surgery. We recommend you change your daily activities and show you stretching exercises that can help your tendon. If the pain persists, we can schedule surgery to remove inflamed tissue.

Schedule a Podiatrist Appointment Today

Pain alters your mobility and reduces your activity. Knowing the causes of the pain can help you find an effective treatment for your condition. Our Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute podiatrists can diagnose, manage, and treat your pain. We have reputable doctors with vast experience who offer customized treatment plans. Contact us today for a consultation with our professional foot and ankle doctors.