A person's feet are considered to be the most overused part of the physical anatomy. A person can experience extreme foot and ankle pain if they do not wear the proper shoes or take good care of their feet. A few of the most common causes of foot pain include arthritis, bone spurs, diabetic nerve pain, neuropathy, gout, sprains, ingrown toenails, and fractures. Whether the pain is injury or illness related, it can have a dramatic effect on a person's quality of life. Most healthcare professionals recommend seeing a doctor immediately if foot pain occurs to prevent further damage or injury to the area.
Diabetes can damage the feet in many ways. It reduces the blood flow to the extremities which deprives the tissues of the nutrients and oxygen they need to function and remain healthy. With limited oxygen and nutrients, wounds and blisters that appear on the feet take much longer to heal. The lack of oxygen also has an impact on the nerves of the feet and hands. As the nerves begin to deteriorate, neuropathy and other nerve disorders can begin to appear that can lead to extreme pain and discomfort. In the beginning, the sensation may be characterized by numbness and tingling, but over time, it can turn to a dull ache and gradually progress to throbbing pain.
One of the most common causes of foot pain is wearing shoes that fit poorly. Shoes that are too tight can hinder blood flow into the foot and trap blood from traveling back up into the leg. Shoes that are too loose on the foot can be a tripping hazard. They can also slide on the foot, causing blisters on the toes, heel, and along the sides of the foot. Individuals who have deformities or abnormalities in how their feet formed may need to see a doctor to determine if an orthotic is needed. Shoes that do not fit the foot in the proper fashion can lead to various health conditions such as fallen arches and plantar fasciitis.