When pain in the feet and ankles begins to interfere with daily living activities, then the sufferer should consider seeking some type of medical attention. It can be quite difficult to know it is time for medical care, especially if the foot pain is a chronic issue.
Some indications a person should acquire medical care for foot issues includes:
- Significantly tender to touch
- Affected area is warmer than other areas
- Change in the toenail or skin
- Excessive pain or swelling
- Change in sensation of the foot or ankle
- Loss of function
The fact is, proper evaluation and an effective diagnosis for foot pain is the only way to ensure a successful treatment plan is created. Generally speaking, the injured side or foot should be compared to the uninjured one. An injury or issue can show as a gap or lump in a location, or a ‘crunchy’ feeling due to inflammation. The severity of pain (from dull ache to sharp pain), causes and types of issues are also good indicators when considering how serious the issue actually is.
There are four pain grades related to foot issues, which can help someone determine whether or not medical care is required:
- Pain that occurs during activities
- Pain occurring before or after an activity that does not affect it
- Pain before, during or after activity, which affects performance
- Impossibility of performance due to severe pain
The doctor will evaluate a person by asking questions about the issue, how it started and how severe it seems to be. In some cases, a doctor will run tests and provide a more extensive physical exam to ensure proper medical care is provided.
For more information about when it is time to seek medical care for a foot related issue, contact Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic at (425)482-6663.