Carolina Foot Care Associates, PLLC

Medical and Surgical Treatment of the Foot

Statesville (704) 873-9797 / Clemmons (336) 766-8400


10 Common Causes of Foot Pain

cornsCorns: Corns on the toes probably cause more foot pain and misery than any other single problem. Most corns are caused by crooked toes that won't lie flat in shoes. The constant rubbing against the shoe leads to a cone-shaped thickening of the skin, similar to a callus. In mild cases the corn may be padded to protect the sensitive tissue. When the pain persists, surgery is used to straighten the toe from its contracted position.

calluses Calluses: A callus is a thickened area of skin. It usually results from recurring pressure and friction. When one foot bone bears too much weight and pressure, a callus quickly develops beneath it. Your foot and ankle specialist can make a prescription support to improve the weight distribution across the bottom of the foot. Surgery may also be used to place the bones in a more ideal position.

bunionsBunions: There are many causes for bunions including injury, arthritis, poor posture and heredity. A bunion is the progressive movement of the big toe toward the second toe, causing a "bump" of bone to form on the side and top of the big toe joint. At worst, the bunion can lead to an arthritic or dislocated toe with arch, leg and back pains. There are many ways to treat bunions, but surgical treatment is the only way to remove the bunion and restore the big toe to its proper position. Most people who elect to have bunion surgery have it performed on an out-patient basis, which permits a relatively quick return to walking and normal activity.

nailsNail Problems: An ingrown nail occurs when a toenail edge imbeds itself into the surrounding skin. It can cause pain, swelling, and redness and often becomes infected. Home treatment may consist of soaking the affected toe in warm Epsom salt water and then packing cotton at the nail edge to keep it from piercing the flesh. Foot and ankle specialists handle ingrown toenails on a daily basis using the most advanced techniques to minimize discomfort and provide rapid healing.

flatfeetFlat feet: The main cause of a flat foot (or low arch) is an abnormal bone structure. The "flat foot" causes muscles, tendons and ligaments to work harder, resulting in pain, cramps and increased fatigue of the foot and leg. Without treatment, the symptoms can increase. If these symptoms linger, you should get professional help from a foot and ankle specialist. The specialist will study X-rays, determine the severity of the problem and begin a treatment program to relieve the discomfort and stop the progression of the abnormality. Treatment ranges from supports to surgical reconstruction of the foot.

archpain Arch Pain: The arch is a bridge between the front and back part of the foot. It bears a lot of weight and is subject to a lot of stress. When you feel pain in the arch it can mean the bones, ligaments and muscles are overworked and tired. Overworking the arch can also cause leg cramps and even low back pain. Arch pain can also mean you suffer from flat feet, have poor circulation, are overweight, have arthritis or are anemic.

Heel Pain: There are many causes of heel pain, and your foot and ankle specialist is trained to diagnose and treat them. Pain may occasionally be relieved by padding the shoe with soft foam rubber. When that home remedy fails, your foot and ankle specialist will prescribe other treatments to relieve your pain. (For more information on heel pain, see What Can I Do About Heel Pain?.)

Sprains and Fractures: Sprains and fractures of the foot and ankle bones are common and can result in long-term disability if not properly treated. A sprain is a tear in the ligament that takes place when the ligament is stretched too far. A fracture is a bone break that can happen in several ways. The most common break results when a ligament rips away a piece of the bone to which it was attached. Pain and swelling accompany sprains and fractures, followed by discoloration due to injury to the small blood vessels around the injury. First aid can include application of ice to the injured area and keeping weight off the foot. You should seek professional help and advice from a podiatrist as soon as possible.

sports Sports Injuries: Our active population is subject to many injuries as they take part in sports, and problems involving the feet are numerous. Among the most common are shin splints, stress fractures, ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis and pains in the arch and ball of the foot. Several of the problems develop over a period of time, resulting from repeated, high stress activity. Participation in sports activities requires careful training and conditioning. Sports injuries of the feet should be attended to quickly by a podiatrist.

skin problemsSkin Problems: Our skin is the most accessible part of the body and often provides visible evidence of what is wrong inside. The most common skin problems seen by a podiatrist include contact dermatitis, warts and fungus. Contact dermatitis is an irritating skin rash caused by a chemical coming in contact with the skin. The chemicals may be materials in shoes and socks. Removing the material from contact with the skin removes the problem. Warts are often mistaken for corns or calluses, but they are growths caused by a virus that enters the skin through a break. Early diagnosis and professional treatment usually eliminates warts. Home treatment often is not effective and can result in greater damage.

"Athlete's foot" is a common fungus that causes itching and irritation. A foot and ankle specialist treats this condition with oral and topical medication.