Monday, September 9, 2013

Common Reasons for Side of Foot Pain

Side of foot pain is quite a common complaint, and whilst it may be clear which event triggered the onset of pain, in many cases finding the exact nature of the injury or condition can be more difficult. This article deals with some of the common causes of side of foot pain, all of which require an accurate diagnosis by a medical professional.

One of the commonest causes of side of foot pain is stress fractures. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in bones, which usually develop over time. The problem is most likely to be caused by overtraining, or taking the feet past their physical limits a little too frequently. In cases where the fracture is small, the pain may not be severe, and the problem may be attributed to simple bruising or strain. However if left untreated, the fractures can grow, resulting in a full fracture of the foot. The reason why this needs to be assessed is firstly to understand whether treatment other than rest is called for, and also to determine any underlying condition which could have led to their formation.

Stress fractures are often associated with the female athlete triad, a collection of three problems which often leads to the formation of small hairline cracks in the bone. The triad consists of irregular periods, eating disorders and osteoporosis, and these all require addressing. Due to the nature of these contributing factors, it often takes a doctor to highlight them, as osteoporosis cannot be seen, irregular periods often thought nothing of, and eating disorders rarely spoken about.

Arthritic joints too cause side of foot pain, and whilst the condition is often associated with the elderly, the young too can have joint problems. Early identification of the problem is all important in preventing excruciating pain later in life. Whilst there is no cure, the problem can be effectively managed, and deterioration limited. There is an important difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and whilst the symptoms may be similar, it is of paramount important to get the former accurately diagnosed.

Cuboid syndrome also causes side of foot pain, and whilst it is believed to be common, it is one of those conditions which can easily escape diagnosis, especially if foot pain is assessed by someone who is not well versed, or practiced in spotting the condition. The symptoms can be similar to other foot disorders, hence the ease of an initial misdiagnosis. Cuboid syndrome specifically affects the joint between the calcaneal or heel bone, and its neighboring cuboid bone. It is an irregularity with the joint itself, and if caught early can be treated by simple manipulation, usually by an osteopath. Left untreated it can cause permanent damage and reduced foot function.

So if you are experiencing side of foot pain, or in fact any foot problem, remember that a trip to a podiatrist or doctor is advisable sooner rather than later. Finding out the cause of the pain can mean the difference between making a quick recovery, and enduring pain and longer lasting damage when it can easily be avoided.

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