There are two basic types of pain; acute and chronic. Whether your foot and ankle pain is the result of work or sports injuries, an orthopedic doctor will help you find the source of your discomfort and offer treatment options that will help you obtain relief. If you are experiencing pain, the information below may help you understand its type, so you can take the right steps to manage or eliminate it.
What Type of Foot & Ankle Pain Do I Have?
When pain is acute, it tends to come on suddenly via an easily identifiable cause. This form of pain is also characterized by its ability to go away relatively quickly, especially in comparison to chronic pain. Acute foot and ankle pain can come from something minor, such as wearing uncomfortable shoes, to more serious incidents, like a slip-and-fall episode. Though these can cause more intense sensations, pain resulting from fractured bones, muscle strains and sprains, and tendon injuries are all sources of acute foot or ankle pain.
Unlike acute pain, which typically goes away after a few days or weeks, chronic pain is prolonged discomfort and lasts months with little to no relief. Numerous conditions can lead to chronic foot and ankle pain, including arthritis, which causes swelling and tenderness in the joints. Chronic aching can develop from injuries or conditions you may not realize you have. For example, Achilles tendinitis and ankle instability can cause ankle pain that lingers. Osteoporosis can weaken bones in the feet and cause stress fractures. Plantar fasciitis is another chronic pain condition that can cause a sharp, stabbing sensation in your heel due to inflamed foot tissue around the bottom of the foot. Deformities like bunions and hammertoes and nerve problems like neuromas can also cause chronic pain.
How Can I Address Chronic Foot & Ankle Pain?
Determining whether or not the pain you are experiencing is chronic or acute is critical in establishing an accurate diagnosis and ultimately an effective treatment plan. To do this, your orthopedic doctor will assess your patient history and perform any necessary physical exams, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and blood work to identify the pain’s source. Once the pain is diagnosed, they can offer pain-management solutions to either minimize or eliminate pain symptoms over time. Over-the-counter or prescription medications, physical therapy, exercise, and dietary changes can relieve chronic discomfort. Depending on the complexity of your diagnosis, the doctor may even recommend surgery.
If you’re experiencing acute or chronic foot and ankle pain, the skilled and compassionate orthopedic doctors at Advanced Orthopaedic Associates in Wayne, NJ, are ready to help you obtain relief. These dedicated specialists offer more than 25 years of experience and a unique, two-phase approach to medical care that is designed to maximize your healing and encourage long-term wellness. Take the first step toward ending your pain by calling (973) 839-5700 to schedule an appointment. You can also visit them online now to learn more about their services.