The foot is a complex structure of 26 bones, 33 joints, and many muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Only a small number of Americans are born with foot problems. Most problems develop due to neglect and poor care, including ill-fitting shoes. Some disorders begin early in life and are affected by heredity, walking patterns, and geography. However, most foot pain occurs as feet change with age or diseases develop over time. Most Americans will have foot pain at some point in their lives.
Normal Anatomy of the Left Foot
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Common causes of foot pain include:
Foot pain may also be caused by systemic disease, such as:
For descriptions of many common types of foot pain, click here.
What are the risk factors for foot pain?
What are the symptoms of foot pain?
How is foot pain diagnosed?
What are the treatments for foot pain?
Are there screening tests for foot pain?
How can I reduce my risk of foot pain?
What questions should I ask my doctor?
What is it like to live with a bunion?
Where can I get more information about foot pain?
Foot care. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications/foot-care.html . Accessed December 28, 2012.
Foot care. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/foot-care . Updated April 18, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.
Foot care 101. American Podiatric Medical Association site. Available at: http://www.apma.org/files/FileDownloads/myFEETFootCare101.pdf . Accessed December 28, 2012.
Foot care basics: preventing and treating common foot conditions. Harvard Medical School website. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/special_health_reports/Foot_Care_Basics . Accessed December 28, 2012.
Last reviewed February 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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