You should never ignore any type of pain, but pain in your feet or ankles can take an extra toll. That’s because if you have trouble walking, you are more likely to stop being physically active—which can lead to further health issues down the road.
Pain-free mobility is essential to your quality of life! Learn more about the three types of foot and ankle pain you shouldn’t ignore.
Just because they’re common, doesn’t mean you should ignore them! Bunions are essentially a deformity of the big toe. Patients with bunions have a toe which points outwards, as well as a bump on the inner side of the foot. (Hint: See our pedorthist for help with orthotics and shoe modifications.) As a bunion gets bigger and calluses form, it can force you to shift your weight to avoid pain when you walk—potentially causing back and neck pain. Ignoring bunions can lead to:
- Painful swelling
- Cracked skin
- Overlapping lesser toes (leading to pain elsewhere in your foot)
- Difficulty standing or walking
- Increased risk of arthritis
- Increased risk of falls
2. Pain on the top or sides of your feet
From tendonitis and stress fractures to bone spurs, joint inflammation and more—pain on the top or sides of your feet should always be taken seriously. Have you picked up an activity recently that your feet might not be used to? Or, maybe you’ve been squeezing your feet into shoes that are too tight and/or don’t have much arch support. No matter the cause, it’s important to see a foot and ankle specialist to diagnose and treat the pain.
3. Foot pain right away in the morning
Even if you’re not a “morning person” who jumps out of bed with a smile to start the day, you should not be in pain when you step out of bed. Shooting pain in your foot or ankle right away in the morning is most often a sign of plantar fasciitis. This condition caused by inflammation of the tendons that connect your heel to your toes. Other causes of morning foot pain could include:
- Ill-fitting shoes
- Bone spurs
- Flat feet (“fallen arches”)
While there are aches and pains that don’t warrant a visit to the doctor’s office, it is always better to err on the side of caution. If you have persistent foot or ankle pain that lasts longer than a week, make an appointment to come in and see the experts at Orthopedic Institute.
Not sure you need an appointment right now? Check out these everyday tips for fighting off foot and ankle pain.