Foot pain is a common issue that affects many people all over the world. When your feet ache, it becomes unbearable to follow your regular schedule, enjoy walks, and exercise. It is important to understand that each type of pain has an underlying cause that may require timely and proper treatment. In this article, we gathered five dangerous causes of foot pain you should know.

1. Ingrown toenails

The problem of ingrown toenails can affect any toe but a big toe is the most common area. This condition occurs when the nail becomes to grow into the surrounding skin. In this case, the skin becomes red, swollen, and painful. When the pain gets too deep, it can cause a wound that may easily become infected. 

The most common causes of ingrown toenails include:

  • Toe damage

  • Arched nail

  • Narrow shoes

  • Poor nail care

In order to prevent further damage, you should cut the nails straight across and slightly round the corners to remove sharp edges that can damage the skin. It is also recommended to make a foot bath with Epsom salt. After soaking, you will be able to easily push the skin away from the nail and cut the ingrowing part. If the skin near the ingrown toenail becomes red, swollen, and you experience pain, it is better to consult the foot doctor in order to avoid further complications. In advanced cases, the wound can become inflamed and fester.

2. Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis tends to be one of the most common causes of heel pain. It usually manifests itself through severe pain in the heel when you make the first steps in the morning. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that means inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a strip of tissue that connects your heel with your toes. It also supports the foot arch. 

Despite the fact that plantar fasciitis occurs because of repeated foot loads that tighten the fascia, the pain usually occurs after the prolonged period of inactivity. The reality is that the fascia relaxes when you have a rest and becomes swollen. The most common treatment options for plantar fasciitis include:

  • Rest

  • NSAIDs

  • Massage

  • Shoes with arch support

  • Physiotherapy

  • Cortisone injections

3. Heel spur

A heel spur is a condition that means a growth of excess bone that protrudes from the heel. Despite the fact that symptoms and treatment of heel spur are similar to plantar fasciitis, these conditions are different. Heels spur can be asymptomatic and cause only a slight discomfort. However, in some cases, it can lead to the irritation and inflammation of the surrounding tissues. Heel spur often affects the attachment of the plantar fascia to the calcaneus that makes people confuse these issues. The most common causes of a heel spur include heredity, ill-fitted shoes, obesity, and foot injuries.

4. Bunions

A bunion is a bony bump that most often occurs near the big toe. This condition occurs when the big toe joint shifts out of its place. Despite the fact that bunions are hereditary, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to their development. The most common of them are:

  • Shoes with a narrow toe box

  • Hight heels

  • Obesity

  • Excessive pressure on the big toe

  • Certain medical conditions (flat feet and low arches)

In many cases, bunions are asymptomatic and don’t require immediate treatment. In order to avoid further complications, it is better to avoid narrow shoes and excessive load on the big toe joint. However, if you experience severe pain while walking, you should seek medical attention. The doctor can recommend performing cortisone injections to relieve inflammation but you should know that bunion surgery is the only effective way to get rid of bunions. 

5. Gout

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can cause severe pain, stiffness, and swelling. An excess of uric acid is the main cause of this condition. This acid occurs naturally in the body, but its excessive amount can create crystals that affect joints. Painful sensations due to gout usually appear at night and become more severe till morning. The relief occurs within a few days. In order to avoid gout attacks, ask your doctor about available treatment options. You should also know that certain dietary changes can also help relieve pain and decrease the level of uric acid in your blood.