Foot pain is a common symptom that can have many different causes. Most of these can be attributed to injury or overuse, and some can be treated with custom orthotics or similar medical treatments over time. Others might require more immediate medical attention or treatment for a seemingly completely different medical condition. In any case, it's important that you identify the reason for your foot pain, something that the Health Network or your local London Ontario physician will be able to help you with.

Here are some of the more common reasons why your foot might hurt.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thin ligament that attaches your heel to the front of your foot. These ligaments support the arches of your feet and help you walk, but they are also subject to a lot of wear and tear. When too much pressure is applied to the plantar fascia ligaments, they can become inflamed and cause a dull pain and stiffness at the bottom of the heel. Plantar fasciitis is particularly common among long-distance runners, those who must wear steel-bottomed boots for work, and those who are overweight. Treatment for plantar fasciitis can include applying ice to your feet for 15 to 20 minutes at a time three to four times a day, staying off your feet when symptoms get severe, or wearing custom orthotics to better support your arches.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are injuries that are usually caused by physical activity. Sprains are injuries to joints and ligaments, while strains are injuries to muscles that are placed under too much force. Ankle sprains are very common and can occur while stepping or falling off of a higher platform. Strains can occur when a muscle is stretched too far or if a muscle is overused. In any case, these injuries are relatively minor and often don't require medical care. Symptoms include limited mobility, pain, swelling and bruising. They are usually treated by icing and elevating the injured foot, applying pressure and generally limiting physical activity.

Arthritis

Arthritis refers to more than 100 different conditions that cause an inflammation of the joints, but the most common that affect the feet are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by the normal wear and tear of the joints, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a disease that can damage or destroy a joint. Symptoms of arthritis include joint pain, stiffness, swelling and a decrease of your range-of-motion. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause fatigue and a loss of appetite. In any case, arthritis is generally treated with medication to control pain, physical therapy to improve range-of-motion and even surgery to reduce the damage caused by the condition. These are some of the more common causes of foot pain, but there are many other causes that will require a diagnosis from your doctor. If you are in the London Ontario area and you are experiencing foot pain for any reason, contact the Health Network today. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have and help you find a treatment for whatever may be causing your pain.