Many people experience foot pain and fatigue after working on their feet all day and accept this as normal. But the truth is, foot pain is not normal. Since our feet take on a great deal of stress during our normal, daily activities, it is extremely important to take good care of them.
The human foot comprises 28 bones, 35 joints, three arteries, four veins, and five nerves. Due to its complex structure, your foot can be prone to injury and pain. There are a number of different problems that can affect the feet.
Common Foot Problems
Dr. Tea is a foot and ankle specialist, highly skilled in several treatments and procedures to help with foot conditions, including the latest developments in minimally invasive surgery.
Bunions are deformities that occur at the joint at the base of the big toe. The first metatarsal, the first long bone in the foot, shifts outward at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, creating a protruding bump on the side of the foot and causing the big toe to shift toward the second toe.
The medical term for a bunion is hallux valgus or hallux abducto valgus.
Learn More About Bunions
Diabetes affects all body systems. In the feet, it can limit your blood flow, decrease your nerve sensation and cause delayed healing to cuts and blisters, resulting in foot wounds. Commonly, patients end up with these wounds due to attempting to trim their toenails and calluses.
If these patients lose feeling in the feet, coupled with poor circulation, it can also lead to very serious infections.
At Pacific Point Podiatry, Dr. Tea is skilled in diabetic foot care and can help patients with the prevention and treatment of foot problems associated with diabetes.
Learn More About Diabetic Foot Care
Having flat feet, a condition referred to as pes planus or fallen arches, is rarely serious but can cause pain when you do extensive physical activity. If you have flat feet, your feet don’t have a normal arch when you are standing.
Flatfoot can be a complex disorder with diverse symptoms and varying degrees of deformity and disability. There are several types of flatfoot, all of which have one characteristic in common: partial or total collapse (loss) of the arch.
Heel pain is most often caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that is sometimes also called heel spur syndrome when a spur is present. Generally, our feet can take on a lot of stress as we move around throughout the day, but overuse can cause inflammation, or the plantar fascia may tear where it attaches to the heel. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs from the tip of the big toe to the heel. It supports the arch of the foot and absorbs most of the stresses we place on our feet. When plantar fasciitis occurs, the plantar fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed, resulting in heel pain.
The most common neuroma in the foot is Morton’s neuroma, which occurs most often between the third and fourth toes, and less often in the second through fourth toes. It is sometimes referred to as an intermetatarsal neuroma. “Intermetatarsal” describes its location in the ball of the foot between the metatarsal bones. Neuromas may also occur in other locations in the foot.
A neuroma is a thickening of nerve tissue that may develop in various parts of the body. The thickening or enlargement of the nerve that defines a neuroma results from compression and irritation of the nerve. This compression creates an enlargement of the nerve, eventually leading to permanent nerve damage.
If you have Morton’s neuroma, you may have one or more of these symptoms where the nerve damage is occurring:
- Tingling, burning, or numbness
- A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot
- A feeling that there’s something in the shoe or a sock is bunched up
A tarsal coalition is an abnormal connection that develops between two bones in the back of the foot (the tarsal bones). This abnormal connection, which can be composed of bone, cartilage, or fibrous tissue, may lead to limited motion and pain in one or both feet.
The tarsal bones include the calcaneus (heel bone), talus, navicular, cuboid, and cuneiform bones. These bones work together to provide the motion necessary for normal foot function.
While many people with a tarsal coalition are born with this condition, the symptoms generally do not appear until the bones mature, usually around ages 9 to 16. Sometimes there are no symptoms during childhood. However, pain and symptoms may develop later in life.
Foot Pain Assessment at Pacific Point Podiatry
If you have persistent foot pain that doesn’t improve after 2 to 5 days of home treatment, call Pacific Point Podiatry at (831) 288-3400 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tea. For your convenience, you may also request an appointment online.