Our feet are important as they enable us to move. However, we do not pay much attention to our feet, and often take them for granted.

That is until they hurt and their proper functioning is reduced.

Foot pain and discomfort can occur anywhere in the foot including the heel, arch, toes, the ball and the outer edge of the foot. Some foot discomfort is not centralized to one area of ​​the foot, but is all over the entire foot.

Common causes of heel pain and discomfort include plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, heel bruises and heel fractures.

Metatarsalgia, Morton's Neuroma, and sesamoiditis are common sources of pain in the ball of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis and a fallen arch (flat feet) will most likely cause discomfort and pain in the arch.

There are many causes of pain and discomfort in the toes. Some of these are the most common foot problems that many patients have either experienced or heard of. These include: Gout, bunions, hammer toe, claw toe, ingrown toenail, turf toe, toe sprain, toe fraction, corn and calluses.

Sometimes the source of the foot pain and discomfort can not be located to one part of the foot. The pain and discomfort can seem to encompass the entire foot. Conditions such as tendonitis and neuropathy are such foot ailments.

Feet pain is not fun, but there are ways to treat the pain to help you literally get back on your feet, ranging from simple foot elevation to surgery.

The type and source of the pain will determine the best treatment. Most foot discomfort and pain can be treated at home with rest, ice, elevation, stretches, soaking, pain relievers, and the wearing of flat, wide, properly fitting shoes. If the pain and discomfort continue, one should see his or her podiatrist for possible causes and the best treatment options. Only the most severe foot pain and conditions are best treated with surgery.

Here are foot pain treatment options available:

  • Rest the foot
  • Ice areas of the foot that hurt
  • Take pain relievers
  • Steroid injections
  • Avoid high heels
  • Wear orthotics, foot pads or shoe supports
  • Wear good-fitting shoes that are not tight around the toes
  • Soak the feet in warm water and use pumice stones
  • Elevate the foot
  • Do foot stretches to strengthen muscles, joints and tendons of the feet
  • Undergo physical therapy
  • Wear a splint or cast
  • Tape the toes to provide extra support
  • Surgery

As you may have noticed, many foot pain ailments and conditions can be easily estimated at home. Some conditions, such as tendon tears, bone fractures and breaks, and nerve, bone and toe growth abnormalities may require professional treatment such as steroid injections, physical therapy and surgery.

Your feet are important and it is vital that they are in proper, pain-free, working condition so you can maintain your good quality of life.

Whatever your foot pain and discomfort is caused from disease, over-use, improper use or injury, make an appointment with your doctor or podiatrist as soon as possible to stop the pain and halt further, possible damage to your foot or feet.