What is Chronic Lateral Foot Pain?
Chronic lateral foot pain is the term used to describe recurring pain that runs along the outside of the foot and along the outside of the ankle. It can present itself before, during or after activities that use this part of the foot, such as during exercise and walking.
Symptoms of Chronic Lateral Foot Pain
There are numerous symptoms, most of which depend upon what part of the foot is causing the pain. The most common symptom is pain on the outer side of the ankle. It may remain for a moderate duration or require pain management before it goes away. Other symptoms include instability of the foot, difficulty walking, a susceptibility to ankle sprains, inability to stand properly on the foot, swelling and tenderness.
What Are the Causes?
There can be numerous causes to chronic lateral foot pain. Many of the causes stem from seemingly minor but untreated conditions such as: hairline fractures in the ankle and bones of the foot, arthritis, inflammation of the ankle joint, scar tissue in the ankle joint, or an inflamed tendon. Pinched, stretched or torn nerves, particularly those that pass through the ankle, can also be the source for chronic foot pain.
Many of these causes will worsen as time goes on. It’s possible that they will leave the patient unable to move their foot or leave it too painful to even stand. If the issue is with pinched nerves, it’s possible to lose all or part of the ability to feel in the affected foot.
How is Chronic Lateral Pain Diagnosed?
A physician will diagnose chronic lateral foot pain. She will first check the mobility and stability of the foot while looking for any symptoms of swelling or pain. You will then likely be sent for x-rays and any other diagnostic tests that might be helpful in determining the cause of your foot pain.
What Are The Treatment Options?
Some chronic lateral pain can be treated with rest and over-the-counter pain medications to help reduce the swelling. If rest and anti-inflammatories are not affective, physical therapy may be the next step in your pain management plan.
Physical therapy can help relax the muscles, improve blood flow and encourage the body to heal the foot properly. Your physician may also prescribe ankle braces or supports to help stabilize the ankle and prevent the injury from getting worse.
Steroids are another treatment option, particularly when there is damage to the softer tissue of the ankle and foot. Your physician may recommend immobilization of the foot if there is damage to the bone.
Chronic Lateral Foot Pain Help
Chronic lateral foot pain is a recurring pain on the outside of the foot. The condition can make standing or walking difficult. Some of the main symptoms include, pain on the outside of the foot, swelling and tenderness. Chronic foot pain is a serious condition that can worsen over time, however we can help reduce or eliminate the pain. If you have any of the above symptoms, then do not hesitate to contact an IBJI podiatrist.