October 1, 2020: Referred pain, compensation pain and ingrowing nail pain.
What is causing your foot pain?
Our blogs this month have looked at some of the causes of foot pain.
Now, in the last of this series of blogs we look at some of the causes of foot pain not already covered.
This is where the cause of pain isn’t where the pain is experienced.
Sometimes, pain in the feet isn’t due to a local problem. For example, pain can be referred from the lower back. A bulging disc or degeneration of the spinal structures can lead to pressure on the nerve as it exits the spine. Although the compression is in the back, the pain is experienced in the foot. This is why your Podiatrist or Chiropractor will always take a comprehensive history into account during assessment.
There are many causes of referred pain which is why it is important to disclose full history during your consultation.
This is where the pain is experienced because you are compensating for pain or mechanical malfunction somewhere else. For example, you have a painful corn on your foot. You have tried over the counter products but they haven’t worked. The pain is still there so you don’t put as much weight on the painful area. You are compensating for the pain this is called pain off-loading.
It is an autonomic response the body uses to protect itself. That is why we limp when our foot hurts. It is an autonomic response we can’t control. When we limp though we use the rest of the body in a way it isn’t used to. This can cause muscles elsewhere to fatigue and become painful. That is why when we limp we can find it can make our backs ache.
Your Podiatrist or Chiropractor will also take compensation pain into account during your consultation.
Ingrowing or ingrown nail pain
Ingrown or ingrowing nails come with different degrees of pain and tissue involvement. Some are quite mild with relatively little discomfort. When they are more serious they are often associated with pain and soft tissue structure changes. These changes can include infection, hyper granulation, redness, swelling, and heat.
If you are experiencing any of these changes then it is a good idea to seek professional advice.
It is important that you don’t try and treat this yourself. There are many reasons for ingrowing toenails. First among these is poor nail cutting. This can be compounded by trying to self treat and making things worse. Shoes are the only item of clothing we wear on a daily basis and never clean. The inside that is. When did you last clean the inside of your shoes? This can result in a microcosm of potential infection. Add a cut, scratch, or open skin to the warmth and moisture of the inside of a shoe and infection is often the result.
Remember – pain is a warning – don’t ignore it. If your toes start hurting and you suspect an ingrown toenail seek help from a professional.
Other causes of pain
This list is not at all comprehensive. There are too many other causes of foot pain to be covered here. These include but not exclusively:
soft tissue injuries
skin infection and neuropathic changes
What can I do about my foot pain?
If you are experiencing foot pain and you would like more information give us a call on 01628 773588 and make an appointment with one of our Podiatrists or Chiropractors.
If you would like a comprehensive biomechanical assessment including gait analysis and custom orthotic prescription and manufacture, do give us a call on 01628 773588.