If you are like many of our patients, you have probably suffered in silence with foot or ankle pain for a very long time. Many people feel like heel pain, ankle aches, and bunion discomfort are just struggles to be endured, not problems that can be resolved with the help of the right professional.
At Forward Foot & Ankle Center, we don't believe in suffering in silence. Instead, we believe in proactive solutions that resolve pain and allow our patients to pursue the activities they love—and maybe even discover new activities they never thought they'd be able to try. Take the first step forward by contacting our office in Livermore to schedule an evaluation of your feet or ankles.
Common Causes of Foot and Ankle Pain
The foot and ankle are complex structures that work hard to keep you moving, even when you are totally unaware of them. When something goes wrong, however, and you feel pain with every step, you suddenly become very aware of what your feet and ankles do for you. In our podiatry clinic, we diagnose and treat all causes of foot and ankle pain and discomfort, including the following.
Pain in one or both heels can be caused by several different conditions. Once a diagnosis is made, you can proceed with the most effective treatment. Heel pain can be caused by the following:
- Plantar fasciitis. When the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot becomes tight and inflamed, you might feel pain in your heel, particularly when you take your first few steps in the morning.
- Achilles tendonitis. The Achilles tendon runs down the back of your leg and inserts into the back of your heel. When the tendon is strained or torn, you will feel pain in your heel.
- Bursitis. Bursa are fluid-filled sacs that cushion irritated areas. When the bursa in the back or bottom of the heel become inflamed, every step you take can cause pain.
- Bone spurs. Heel spurs are calcifications that can occur when the tissue that attaches to the heel bone becomes irritated. Heel spurs can cause pain and discomfort.
- Haglund's deformity. Often caused by the heel rubbing against a rigid shoe, this bump on the back of the heel can make it painful to wear any type of shoe.
Treatment for these heel complaints depends on the severity of the condition and how early we are able to intervene.
Misalignments and bumps involving the toes can develop over time and be caused by the kind of shoes you wear, the activities you do, or by simple genetics. Common toe deformities that can range from uncomfortable to painful include:
- Bunions. While it looks like a bump at the base of the big toe, a bunion is not actually a growth but a misaligned bone. As the metatarsal bone moves out, the big toe is forced in, sometimes ending up over or under the second toe. As the bunion gets worse, it can be difficult to wear shoes and painful to put any weight on the ball of your foot.
- Hammertoes. When one of the smaller toes buckles at a joint, the toe can become misaligned to the point of pain. A hammer toe can bend down, to one side, or contract into a claw shape.
Toe deformities can only be permanently corrected with surgery, but it is often possible to find conservative measures to alleviate pain and make activities possible again.
Uncontrolled diabetes causes all kinds of problems, including problems with the feet. While your primary care doctor will help you get your blood sugar under control, a podiatrist can also be an important part of your care team. We can help treat:
- Peripheral neuropathy. Diabetes can damage the peripheral nerves in the legs and feet. It causes tingling and numbness in the feet that might start out as just an annoyance but can become dangerous if it continues unchecked.
- Foot wounds. When peripheral neuropathy is advanced, a patient with diabetes might not know they have an ulcer on the bottom of their foot because they cannot feel the pain. A podiatrist can regularly examine diabetic feet and treat wounds to avoid a dangerous infection.
- Toenail care. It is particularly important for people with diabetes to avoid ingrown toenails by trimming their toenails properly. When that is difficult due to age or incapacity, our team can help.
Regular visits to a podiatrist can avoid foot-related complications for people with diabetes.
Ankle sprains and strains, broken toes, stress fractures, and other injuries caused by trauma can best be treated by a doctor who specializes in foot and ankle care. Forward Foot & Ankle welcomes athletes who have suffered a traumatic injury.
Cutting-Edge Treatment in Livermore
You do not need to make the trek into the city for access to state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment of your foot and ankle conditions. At Forward Foot & Ankle, we offer advanced diagnostics and cutting-edge therapies to resolve your podiatric problems.
We serve the entire East Bay area, including Pleasanton, Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, Tracy, and Stockton. You don't have to live with pain any longer! Call us at (925) 532-0099 or fill out the contact form on this page, and we will be in touch to discuss your options for fast, effective treatment.