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Sore foot

Dolores pedis (Latin name)

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

Pain in the foot is a common condition, most often caused by overloading of the foot bones, joints, tendons and muscles. Relief, good footwear and painkillers are often sufficient treatment. If you have pain in the foot the doctor can write a prescription for stronger pain medication or refer to physiotherapy. In some cases - especially bunions - an operation may be necessary.

The foot consists of 26 bones and many joints, which are held together by the muscles and ligaments. Pain in the foot are often caused by an error position in the foot and overloads, resulting in irritation of the structures.

Irritation of foot tendon plate (plantar fasciitis) is one of the major causes of heel pain in the foot. The condition is frequently seen by middle aged that run or walk on a hard surface. The irritation is caused by overloading of the tendon plate that runs from the heel to the toes on the underside of the foot. Every time the foot is pressed against the ground the tendon plate stretches. By repeated extensions can cause damage to the small plate, which may give pain. The damage can become calcified and will then be visible on X-rays and is called a heel spur. 

Irritation of the Achilles tendon (Achilles Tendinitis) is one of the major causes of heel pain at the back of the foot. The Achilles tendon is the strong tendon that run from the peroneus to the heel. Irritation of the Achilles tendon is more common in runners and is due to overloading and small tears in the tendon. Typically, pain occurs when you start to run, after some time, the pain decreases and then it comes back after you have ceased to run. The tendon just above the heel is thickened and sore when you press it. 

Irritation of the heel bursae (bursitis calcaneal spur) causes pain in the heel back. The condition affects mostly the elderly and may be because you've gone in too small shoes that press on the slime bags. Typically, the pain worsens when walking in small shoes that press on the heel. The pain is relieved when walking without shoes. The skin of the heel becomes red, hot and sore when you press it. The condition usually goes away by itself if you avoid shoes with heel or go without shoes. 

Irritation of the heel pad causes pain in the heel and underside due to damage to the fat pad you walk on. Overweight, jump or walk on hard surfaces can lead to crushing of the heel fat pad. There is pain when you strain on the heel and the fat pad is sore when you press it. Relief by using insoles in the shoes with gel pads under the heel can eliminate pain within a few weeks. 

A bunion (Hallus valgus) is very common - especially in women. The big toe turns toward the other toes. This forced the beginning of the big toe outward and become trapped against the shoe. Forming a red, hot and sore bunion and it hurts when you walk. Wide shoes with low heels, which gives plenty of room for the forefoot and toes can relieve pain. Most with a crooked big toe will be operated because of genes. 

Malalignment in the foot (hollow foot, flatfoot and subsidence of the forefoot) can lead to irritation of the foot even at reduced loads. To avoid this, use good footwear, which repeals the error position. 

Gout in the big toe joints (Gout) occurs suddenly and gives very strong pain in the big toe joint. The joint is swollen and hot and red. The reason is high amounts of uric acid in the blood, which precipitates in the big toe joint. The pain is often so strong that ordinary painkillers do not work. Your doctor may prescribe effective medication for gout.

What can you do?

Since most states are due to overload and fault position you can do a lot. Relief where you avoid doing what hurts remove the congestion. Good footwear that supports the foot to rectify a fault position. For pain you can buy painkillers over the counter.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

If you continue to have pain after a few days despite relief and good footwear.
If your painkillers do not help enough.
If your big toe is painful, red, hot and swollen.


Contact the doctor immediately

If your big toe is painful, red, hot and swollen and ordinary painkillers over the counter medications do not help enough.