Foot pain is the biggest reason patients see a doctor. There are a lot of potential causes, but here are some of the most common ones.
We start out being carried and coddled but eventually most of us end up pounding the pavement. Our feet take a beating. For one patient stepping on a nail and just putting peroxide on it was a bigger deal then he thought. He wound up having IPK or an intractable Panter Keratoma. It's like a very painful corn.
About 15-20% of patients seen at the New York college of Podiatric Medicine have IPK's. Doctors usually shave them down, which is not as painful as it sounds. Then doctors make an insole to take weight off the IPK. But it's often a losing battle. As soon as a person with IPK begins to go out and walk again it will start to build up.
Bunions on the other hand or foot can be fixed. The problem is due to the malpositioning or a shifting of the bone at the base of the big toe joint. This bone moves over and creates a prominence, then the side of the bone rubs on the shoe.
A lot of people think bunions are caused by wearing high healed shoes with pointed toes, but the truth is most of the time bunions are genetic. Surgery is often the best way to fix bunions. The treatment for bunions would involve cutting the bone somewhere along the shaft of another bone to reposition it and to narrow the foot.
If your heel hurts it could be due to stretching or swelling of the ligament at the bottom of the foot. Doctors call this Plantar Fasciitis and usually treat it with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory pills.
Another common condition is an ingrown or infected toenail. It sounds simple but it can cause a major problem in a diabetic or someone with a circulatory problem. An infection in the foot can lead to gangrene which can lead to amputation of the foot.