If we sprain an ankle or drop a heavy box on our foot, it’s pretty obvious what’s causing our pain. But what happens if foot pain seemingly develops out of the blue, without an obvious cause? In today’s blog, we take a closer look at four common causes of foot pain that don’t always present with an obvious cause.
Causes Of Foot Pain Without Injury
Here’s a look at four common foot and ankle conditions that we see that don’t always present with an acute moment of injury:
- Ingrown Toenails - One thing you’ll notice with this list is that many of these conditions are slow developing. Instead of developing as a result of an acute moment of stress, they are caused by very subtle changes or damage to the foot. One of these slow-developing conditions is an ingrown toenail. An ingrown toenail is typically the result of a poorly cut toenail that then grows back in such a way to irritate or inflame the skin. Oftentimes they are caused and exacerbated by overly tight shoes or cleats. If you’re starting to deal with pain, redness or discharge where the toenail ends, you could be dealing with an ingrown toenail.
- Bunions - Another condition that won’t develop overnight is a bunion. This occurs when damage or deterioration of the big toe joint causes the joint to shift. This can lead to the formation of a bony prominence on the side of your foot at the base of the toe. Big toe joint shifting is oftentimes the result of poor-fitting shoes, so avoid tight shoes or high heels for long stretches. Bunions take a while to develop, but it’s imperative that you actively treat them, because they tend to get worse if left untreated.
- Gout - Gout is an inflammatory condition that is caused by the buildup of uric acid in your bloodstream. This uric acid can crystalize between your joints, and these tiny crystals irritate and damage sensitive soft tissues. Oftentimes gout is brought upon by a poor diet, which leads to elevated levels of uric acid in the bloodstream, and a lack of exercise, as exercise can help to flush uric acid out of your bloodstream. Improving your diet, eating a little less red meat and exercising more frequently can help to treat foot pain and sensitivity that is caused by a gout flareup.
- Arthritis - Arthritis is another slow developing condition that involves the degeneration of key joints in the foot and ankle. Cartilage helps to ensure fluid movement in the joints, and if this cartilage breaks down, movement becomes less efficient and even painful at times. Arthritis tends to be more common among older individuals who have put decades of stress on their feet, but it can also be exacerbated by untreated injuries or being overweight. Arthritis can’t be reversed, but symptoms can be alleviated and continued degeneration can be slowed, which is very important in order to maintain an active lifestyle. If you’re dealing with new or dull pain in your ankle or toe joints, reach out to a specialist.
If you believe that you’re dealing with any of the above conditions, or you want to talk to someone about a different foot issue you’re experiencing, reach out to the team at The Centers For Advanced Orthopaedics today at (703) 584-2040.