Foot pain diagnosis

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

There are many conditions that may cause foot pain. Here are the more common causes:

•Poorly fitting shoes. High-heeled shoes exert pressure on the toes.
•Temperature affects the feet: they contract with cold and expand with heat. Feet can change shape and increase in size by as much as 5% depending on whether a person is walking, sitting, or standing. Feet are smaller early in the day and expand as the day goes on.
•Any medical condition that causes mechanical imbalance or decreased circulation can contribute to foot pain.
•Abnormalities in the back, legs, or feet can cause pain.
•High-impact exercising, such as jogging or strenuous aerobics, can injure the feet. Common injuries include corns, calluses, blisters, muscle cramps, acute knee and ankle injuries, plantar fasciitis, and metatarsalgia.

Multiple medical conditions cause foot pain.

Arthritic conditions, particularly osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout, can cause foot pain.

Various forms of tendonitis and bursitis can also occur in the foot and cause pain.

Diseases that affect muscle and motor control, such as Parkinson's disease, can cause foot problems.

Osteoporosis, in which bone loss occurs, can cause foot pain due to stress fractures.

Pregnancy can cause fluid build-up and swollen feet. The increased weight and imbalance of pregnancy contributes to foot stress.

A number of other medical conditions, including heart failure, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism, can cause fluid build-up and swollen feet. A Baker's cyst or blood clot in the leg (thrombophlebitis) can cause one ankle and foot to swell and hurt.

Some medications, such as calcium channel blockers, drugs used for high blood pressure, can cause foot swelling.

A careful history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging procedures such as x-ray, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are all useful in making diagnoses.

An estimated 15% of diabetics experience serious foot problems. They are the leading cause of hospitalizations for these patients.

People with diabetes are at risk for problems, particularly infections. Numbness from nerve damage, which is common in diabetes, makes this a significant problem, since the patient may not be aware of injuries. Even minor infections can develop into severe complications.

Charcot joint (neuropathic arthropathy) is a condition previously seen in patients with lues (syphilis). It is now usually associated with diabetes. The bones in the feet crack, splinter, and eventually dissolve.

Get more information about foot pain diagnosis and related issues as well as...

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Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

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