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Foot Pain  Overview

Home > Pain Conditions > Foot Pain Overview

About Foot Pain

Each foot consists of 28 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, all of which collectively provide support, balance, and movement for the foot. As many as 42% of adults suffer from foot pain. Although it cannot be prevented, early identification of possible causes can lead to prevention, intervention, and cure.

What Causes Foot Pain

Your feet bear the weight of the entire body. Sometimes, an accidental sprain can cause foot pain while others are caused by ageing. In summary, foot pain can also be caused by an injury to bones or soft tissue. Some possible risk factors for feet injuries are:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Running-related sports
  • Other health problems (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout)
Achilles Tendinitis
Achilles Tendinitis is pain felt at the heel, also known as the Achilles tendon. Clinically, many people with diabetes have Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendinitis is also common in those who do not sit on the toilet but squat for a long time.
Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the fascia which causes foot pain. About one in 10 people will develop plantar fasciitis sometime during their lives. It often affects young male athletes and middle-aged obese women. The pain usually affects the heel portion of the sole, although it can also present infrequently in the ball of the foot.
Gout
Gout is one of the most common causes of chronic inflammatory arthritis. It is a condition that usually affects the toes or joints. The affected area is usually swollen or red and is known to “flare up”.
Diabetic Neuropathy
As the name of the condition suggests, diabetic neuropathy occurs in diabetic patients. The symptoms of the condition may affect parts of the body such as the feet and hands, cranial nerves or the thorax. Often the symptoms may worsen despite good control of diabetes, patients are offered pain management treatment options to treat the worsening diabetic painful neuropathy.

Symptoms Of Foot Pain

Pain
Pain can be felt in different regions of the feet such as the back of the heel or the middle of the tendon. A long period of standing or plantar flexion aggravates the pain. It may present as an ache being troublesome or a sharp electric current incapacitating walking and standing.
Limited Range of Motion
You may also experience stiffness at the back of the heel, the feet are unable to bend properly resulting in an awkward gait. Sometimes the foot pain may be so troublesome that inhibits walking. Alternatively, it can interfere with the gait of walking, slowing down the patient or causing patient to take breaks between interval of walking.
Tenderness
The affected area is tender to touch, it may also radiate a tingling or numb sensation.
Diabetic Neuropathy
As the name of the condition suggests, diabetic neuropathy occurs in diabetic patients. The symptoms of the condition may affect parts of the body such as the feet and hands, cranial nerves or the thorax. Often the symptoms may worsen despite good control of diabetes, patients are offered pain management treatment options to treat the worsening diabetic painful neuropathy.

Diagnosing Foot Pain

Determining the source of the pain is essential to recommend the right method of treatment and rehabilitation. Here at Singapore Paincare, our team of experienced primary care physicians and pain care specialists will conduct a thorough diagnosis. This includes a physical exam, questions about your symptoms and an evaluation of your medical history. Additional tests like X-ray, CT scan or MRI may be needed to evaluate the condition.

A Message About Foot Pain

Foot pain can be the most debilitating aspect of walking. Any causes of foot pain can interfere with daily activities of walking, standing and jumping. While many foot problems may be caused locally, there are many systemic conditions such as Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Diabetes that can cause significant foot pain. Even spinal conditions such as nerve impingement and compression from the bone spur or slipped disc from the spine can give rise to significant foot pain.

Some causes of foot pain will need rest and protective behaviour, while other foot pain may need engagement of movement and stress loading of the foot. Applying inappropriate principles to the wrong conditions will have a poor outcome. Walking and engaging the pain in Plantar Fasciitis is helpful but not in Gout arthropathy.

Addressing the precise local causes of foot pain with Myospan injection therapy will remove the cause of the pain generator, giving full recovery to the underlying condition. This followed by appropriate rehabilitation will prevent a recurrence.

What Treatments Are Available for Foot Pain?

In many instances, non-surgical treatment methods can provide excellent outcomes. At Singapore Paincare, we aim to treat your pain with the least invasive option possible after accurately identifying the cause of your pain. Our approach to pain resolution focuses on the removal of pain generators via specialised injection and minimally invasive procedures. Combined with pharmacological treatments and cognitive and physical rehabilitative therapies, we help patients improve functions and prevent pain from recurring.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Foot Pain

Orthotics
Our doctors may recommend pads to be worn in shoes to improve the foot problem. Orthotics can be custom-made or standard-sized.
Physiotherapy
Upon review by our specialists, a variety of specially designed exercises can improve the elasticity, strength and support of the feet and ankles. Muscle exercise can also reduce pain and prevent damage from worsening.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs may be prescribed to help minimize pain and inflammation.
Cortisone injection
Injecting steroids can help reduce pain and swelling in certain foot conditions.
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy
The procedure involves using high-energy sound waves to treat the affected area.

Surgical Treatments for Foot Pain

If the condition does not respond well to conservative treatments surgery may be needed. As surgery always comes with associated risks, complications and downtime – it may not be suitable for everyone.

Nerve Decompression
Nerve Decompression surgery may be done to treat peripheral neuropathy, while spine surgeries are used to relieve spinal stenosis caused by the neuropathy.
Radiofrequency ablation
Radiofrequency ablation is the process of using heat to remove structures, which is a simple procedure to treat plantar fasciitis. This is a day surgery procedure under mild sedation.

How Can I Prevent Foot Pain?

You can reduce your risk of having foot pain by:

  • Stretching regularly to keep your foot and heel tendons flexible
  • Wearing properly fitted shoes

Get Your Pain Resolved

Send your enquiries or consult our pain experts today.

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