Causes of Sharp Foot Pain

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Causes of Sharp Foot Pain
Causes of Sharp Foot Pain (Image: Causes and Treatment for Sharp Foot Pain)

Patients who experience pain in the foot or heel may find everyday activities uncomfortable, but with the proper diagnosis and treatment, patients can resume their normal lives. Because foot pain is generally a symptom of a greater condition, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your specific pain.

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Sharp pains in the foot are generally the result of improper use of the foot, or improper footwear. Repetitive activities that put a large amount of stress on the foot--including running, jogging or jumping--can cause or worsen sharp pains in the foot. If you experience sharp pains in your foot, it is essential to contact a physician immediately, as this may be the sign of a greater medical condition.

General Causes

Sharp pain in the foot pain can be caused by a wide variety of factors. Shoes that do not fit properly or do not provide good arch support may cause or worsen sharp foot pains. In addition, torn tendons, nerves or ligaments may cause sharp pains in the foot. Fractured or broken bones--including bones in the heel or toes--may also cause sharp pain, as may joint conditions. It is important to talk to a doctor for a proper diagnosis before attempting to treat the pain.

Heel Spurs

Sharp foot pain may be caused by heel spurs. Heel spurs are caused by bone growth on the heel bone, generally on the bottom of the heel bone, where the bone connects to the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a long band of connecting tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. If overstretched or overexerted, the plantar fascia can cause a spur to develop, exerting the connective tissue to pull on the bone. Generally, this condition is treated by increasing bone and joint support by wearing footwear, receiving steroid injections to relieve the inflammation, and undergoing surgery if the condition is severe enough.

Injury to Achilles Tendon

Sharp heel pain may also be caused by an injury to the Achilles tendon. This tendon is the largest in the body, but it is also the most common site of rupture. When the Achilles tendon or calf muscles become inflamed, the patient may experience sharp jolts of pain in the foot. This condition is generally treated by rest, massages, physical therapy, stretching and strengthening exercises and anti-inflammatory injections. Surgery may be required if the sharp pain persists.

Treatment

After properly diagnosing your condition, a physician will likely recommend physical therapy, massages or stretching exercises. In addition, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed. While recovering, it is essential that a patient refrain from strenuous activity that places stress on the foot. Ice may also be applied to the foot to numb pain, though it is essential not to put the ice directly on the skin. Instead, wrap the ice in a washcloth or napkin. Alternate with 20 minutes of ice and 20 minutes without until pain and discomfort subsides. Surgery may be required in severe conditions.

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