Foot Pain: Indirect Symptoms and Related Health Risks

November 27, 2008

The condition of your feet may reflect upon your health in general. If you experience foot pain, this can be a sign of other health conditions that are more serious. That is the reason why foot care is significant in order to maintain good overall health.

If you encounter severe foot problems, it is advisable that you seek professional help from a podiatrist to better assess your condition. Some foot ailments can be early indicators of severe medical issues such as arthritis, nerve and circulatory disorders, diabetes, and other related conditions.

  • Diabetes. If you suffer from diabetes, or due to being part of a high-risk group you are in danger of being diagnosed with this disease, you have to pay special attention to your feet. The American Podiatric Medical Association advises that diabetes may impair the circulation as well as the nerve sensations in one’s feet, which greatly heightens the possibility of injuries while decreasing the ability to heal.  It is important to keep an eye on symptoms like tingling, lower leg pain, and numbness, because you might be suffering from diabetes or other related health conditions.
  • Arthritis. It is considered one of the leading diseases, affecting about one out of seven Americans without being limited to a specific age group.  The symptoms may include pain, tenderness, and limited motion of the joints. It may also be characterized by swelling of the joints of your feet that intensifies in a period of time it is advisable that you see your physician. When it concerns the joints in your feet, the possible treatments used to restore normal foot functions should include the following:
    • Moderate exercise
    • Physical Therapy
    • Medication
    • Orthotic insoles for arch support
    • Orthopedic shoes
    • Braces
    • Surgery
  • Gout. If you are older than thirty years old, frequently experiencing minor attacks of joint pains and sometimes big toe pain, this should be a sign that you are suffering from gout. If this condition is left untreated, the pain may last for a few days, or even a week at a time. In extreme cases, the pain becomes chronic. Gout is a complicated disease that has no certain origin, and is caused by increased uric acid levels within the bloodstream. It is very important to seek medical attention promptly if you suspect that you have gout in order to get appropriate treatment for this condition.
  • Obesity and Other Weight Problems. The feet provide support for the whole weight of the body. Individuals who are obese have higher tendencies of acquiring foot problems. An obese person may not necessarily have flat feet, but when you are simply walking, the pressure on your feet can go beyond the weight of your body, so the pressure on your feet is significantly increased. As a matter of fact, when you run the pressure is four times your body weight. If you are significantly overweight, make it a point to discuss any discomfort and foot problems you may have with your family doctor so there can be early detection of any underlying condition leading to your foot pain.
  • Other Health Conditions. Other conditions involving your feet may also indicate other seemingly unrelated problems. These may include blood circulation as well as nerve disorders. Failure to take notice of these problems may further result in more severe health issues, so it is of utmost importance to be proactive. As much as possible, look for medical attention when pain and other health abnormalities are observed.

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