What Are the Symptoms of Swollen Feet?

Dhealthwellness.com – Many people get swollen feet at the end of a long day and this is usually remedied by sitting down and elevating them. But sometimes the swelling can be a sign of a serious health problem such as heart failure, deep vein thrombosis, kidney disease or gout.

Changes in Foot and Toenail Sensation Indicate a Problem

Changes in sensation of the foot and changes to a toenail can also indicate problems. A band of tissue called the plantar fascia stretches from your heel bone, through the arch of your foot, and to the base of your toes. Pain in this area can result from overuse and injury. It may feel like a constant ache, a sharp stabbing pain, or a burning sensation. Heel spurs are also common in this area and can be caused by shoes that don’t fit well or an abnormal walk or posture. They are often accompanied by a sharp, stabbing pain that is more intense when you stand or walk.

Your healthcare provider will ask you about your symptoms and examine your feet. They will look for areas of tenderness and inflammation, check your range of motion in the affected foot, and watch you stand and walk. They might recommend X-rays, MRI scans, or other imaging tests to help find the cause of your pain. They might also refer you to a podiatrist or a doctor who specializes in nerve conditions like peripheral neuropathy or Guillain-Barre syndrome. The big toe joint, also known as the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, helps to propel you forward when you walk and run. Conditions that affect this joint can cause pain and swelling in the area.

Over time, the cartilage (a rubbery substance on the edges of bones that lubricates the joint) can wear down in the big toe joint. This may cause the joints to rub together instead of moving smoothly. Bone spurs can also develop in the area which restricts movement. If you have pain in your big toe joint that gets worse and doesn’t improve, see a podiatrist.

Ibuprofen Can Relieve Pain and Reduce Swelling

Over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen can relieve pain and reduce swelling. Ice packs and elevating your foot from time to time can also help. Proper shoes that are wide enough to accommodate the toes can also be beneficial. If the problem is a result of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, corticosteroid injections can help.

Foot pain in the middle of the foot can be caused by a variety of things. Muscle strains or sprains, minor overuse injuries, or tense muscles in the calves can all cause this type of pain. A rare condition called Freiberg’s disease can also affect this area. This causes reduced blood supply in the bones at the front of the foot near your toes. This can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Wearing shoes that are too tight can cause foot problems. This is especially true for high-heeled shoes. This can squeeze and pinch the feet causing pain and swelling. Getting rid of the pain and preventing it from returning is the goal. Resting, using ice packs, and stretching can help. Decreasing or stopping activities that pound on the feet can also reduce pain. Wearing softer, cushioned shoes can also help.

Have a Small Curved Toe (Hammer Toe) or a High Arch

Pain in the ball of your foot is called metatarsalgia. This is a common problem that can be caused by ill-fitting shoes and activities such as running and jumping. It can also be due to having small curled-up toes (hammer toes) or high arches. It can also be a sign of some types of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, and in rare cases, surgery may be recommended to help with this condition.

People who spend a lot of time on their feet, like dancers or runners, are more prone to ball of foot pain. Symptoms such as burning, tingling and pins and needles in the foot are very important and should be investigated by a doctor immediately. If left untreated severe injuries in the feet can cause permanent damage to the bones and muscles. This can lead to disability in later life. A doctor can treat many problems with simple home treatment or medication but severe injuries and persistent symptoms may require medical attention.

Reference :

Hale, W. E., Perkins, L. L., May, F. E., Marks, R. G., & Stewart, R. B. (1986). Symptom prevalence in the elderly: an evaluation of age, sex, disease, and medication use. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society34(5), 333-340.

Miller, Kathleen H., and Cecelia Gatson Grindel. “Comparison of symptoms of younger and older patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery.” Clinical Nursing Research 13.3 (2004): 179-193.

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