Foot Pain Diagnosis

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Foot pain is a common complaint that increases as people get older. It has a multitude of causes, including gout, ingrown toenails, ankle injuries and stress fractures. Any structural abnormality in the foot can make it hurt, and that pain can cause the knees, back and other areas of the body to hurt as well.

Foot Pain
Foot Pain (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Symptoms

Symptoms of foot pain vary depending on which part of the foot is involved but can include redness, swelling, numbness and tingling.

Redness and swelling
Redness and swelling (Image: wjarek/iStock/Getty Images)

Diagnosis

Diagnosing foot pain involves a physician taking a medical history to determine if gout, arthritis and structural problems are contributing. The doctor will conduct an exam of the painful foot or feet, plus legs, back and posture.

Foot Doctor
Foot Doctor (Image: miriam-doerr/iStock/Getty Images)

Diagnostic Tests

Foot pain may be diagnosed using blood tests to detect conditions such as arthritis, and imaging tests like X-rays to check bone density and for bone fractures.

X-ray
X-ray (Image: shironosov/iStock/Getty Images)

Conservative Treatment

Foot pain treatment depends on what’s causing the pain. Treatment can include wearing comfortable shoes, using shoe inserts, resting the painful foot and over-the-counter pain medication.

Shoe Insterts
Shoe Insterts (Image: zilli/iStock/Getty Images)

Progressive Treatment

Foot pain that is more severe may require more intense treatment, including cortisone injections, physical therapy, custom-prescribed footwear or surgery.

Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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