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What is Foot Inflammation?

Foot inflammation is the result of a person’s immune response towards various irritants or injuries to the foot. Based on the type of response, the inflammation can be classified as acute when it occurs suddenly, or chronic, occurring gradually as a result of a long-term disorder.

Causes of Foot Inflammation

Different conditions that may cause foot inflammation include:
  • Repetitive high-impact activities
  • Foot arch problems
  • Obesity or sudden weight gain
  • Having a tight Achilles tendon
  • Wearing soft-soled shoes
  • Surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Pathogens (germs)
  • Effect of chemicals or radiation
  • Broken toe
  • Bunions
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Arthritis

Symptoms

Sign and symptoms of foot inflammation include:
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Loss of mobility

Diagnosis of Foot Inflammation

A diagnosis is made based on a physical examination of the foot and tests to identify the underlying cause. The tests may include:
  • X-rays: These are imaging studies that can detect the presence of fractures in the foot.
  • Blood count: This is used to detect the white blood cell count (WBC as an increased WBC count indicates the presence of infection.

Treatment for Foot Inflammation

Treatments to reduce inflammation and pain include:
  • Resting the foot
  • Applying an ice pack on the injured area
  • An elastic wrap can be used to control swelling
  • Elevation of the foot and ankle to reduce swelling
  • In case of severe pain, the doctor may prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
  • Foot surgery is recommended if non-surgical treatments fail to resolve the inflammation

Prevention

Foot inflammation can be prevented by:
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Improving foot flexibility
  • Wearing shoes that fit correctly
  • Staying hydrated to avoid foot cramps
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • American Association for Hand Surgery
  • American Academy Of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • The American Board of Pediatrics
  • North American Spine Society
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