Common Causes of Foot and Ankle Pain
The foot and ankle are both complex structures that balance and support the weight of the body while providing mobility. Pain felt in the foot or ankle may only be a minor, temporary nuisance, but chronic or intense discomfort can be a sign of a more serious condition that will require treatment.
Common symptoms of foot or ankle injury include swelling, tenderness, stiffness, or bruising in the affected area, as well as difficulty standing or walking.
Foot and ankle injuries can be acute and caused by single events like a sports injury, or can develop over time from repetitive motion or overuse.
Some of the most common causes of foot and ankle pain include:
- Arthritis – This painful inflammation and stiffness can be brought on by many types of degenerative joint conditions. There are over 100 types of arthritis including rheumatoid, psoriatic, post-traumatic, and osteoarthritis. Symptoms often include swelling, tenderness, sharp pain, and sometimes fever.
- Bursitis – Caused by the inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction in joints, bursitis is often brought on by injury or infection. Pain, swelling, tenderness, or reduced range of motion are common symptoms.
- Fracture – A broken bone can happen many different ways, and symptoms include pain that intensifies when the affected area is moved or pressure is applied, swelling, bruising, and loss of function. Compound fractures occur when the bone protrudes from the skin after breaking. Stress fractures are hairline cracks in a bone that often happen with repeated stress or activity over time.
- Plantar Fasciitis – This is the inflammation of the thick tissue on the underside of the foot, called the plantar fascia. That tissue connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. While the exact cause of plantar fasciitis is often unknown, it can develop from repeated tears in the foot tissue, aging, or other stress in the area.
- Sprains and Strains – Sprains are stretched or torn ligaments, of which there are many in the foot and ankle. Sprains can be painful and rank in three degrees of severity from a slight stretch (first-degree) to a complete tear or rupture (third-degree). A strain is similar to a sprain, but occurs in the muscle as opposed to the ligaments.
- Tendonitis – This is inflammation of the tendons which are the thick rope-like tissues that connect muscles to the bone. Tendonitis is most often caused by overuse, but may be caused by acute injury as well. Symptoms include pain in the affected area and loss of range of motion.
If you are experiencing any of these conditions or other foot and ankle pain, trust the experienced doctors at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine to help you get back to doing what you love. Request an appointment online or call at (904) 825-0540 to make an appointment.