Did you know that your feet “talk”?
Well, it’s not exactly something that you can hear, but they sure do their best to alert you when something is wrong. We often ignore our feet – perhaps because they seem to be so far away – but they are the foundation of our whole bodies and keep us on the move every day.
Here are some of the ways that your feet can help warn you that something isn’t quite right:
Pain in your foot or ankle is not normal! Whether persistent discomfort or a new, sharp pain, something is definitely wrong:
- Pain in the morning – if you have foot pain when you first get out of bed that eases during the day, you may have plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia that runs along the bottom of your foot) or arthritis. Plantar fasciitis often affects runners, those who are overweight or those who wear shoes with inadequate support or high heels. Rest, stretching and night splinting can ease the plantar fascia and custom orthotics can help redistribute weight to lessen pressure.
- Pain later in the day – you may have a fracture if pain gets worse during the day. Overactivity or a big change in activity can cause fractures as can osteoporosis. Immobilization or even surgery can help fractures heal.
Numbness in the feet can be caused by:
- Neuropathy – those with diabetes often suffer from neuropathy, or nerve damage. When neuropathy causes numbness and loss of sensation, any small injury to the foot can cause infections and dangerous ulcers.
- PAD or peripheral artery disease – PAD causes narrowing arteries and reduced blood flow to the legs causing foot numbness and leg pain.
- Numbness can also be caused by alcoholism, arthritis or neurological problems.
Swollen feet can indicate stress fractures, tendon tears or a vascular problem in the arteries or veins. Foot swelling without an injury can be a sign of thyroid problems or even congestive heart failure.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer appearing in the foot. Check your feet every day for an unusual mole or lump. Watch your toenails too, including underneath the nails.
Itchy, flaky skin on the feet often means an athlete’s foot fungal infection. This infection is highly contagious and thrives in damp, warm places like sweaty feet. Athlete’s foot can spread to fungal toenails.
So be sure to “listen” to your feet! If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t ignore them. Call Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM for an evaluation appointment. We’ll carefully examine your feet and discuss any treatment options with you.
Let Us Help Your Foot Problem
Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to treat all kinds of foot and ankle problems. Many treatments and surgeries can be addressed right here in our office. Please call our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. Chronic heel pain does not go away by itself – call us today!