Almost everyone has suffered from foot soreness from time to time. This is completely understandable and normal if you've just spent 16 hours on your feet or run a marathon. But sometimes foot soreness is more than foot soreness — it's a sign of an underlying condition that needs treatment by a foot doctor. So what are the signs that your soreness warrants a doctor's visit? Take a look.
1. The soreness lasts more than two days.
If the soreness is just from over-exertion and tight muscles, it will typically dissipate within two days. You might still have a tiny bit of lingering soreness after the two days, but it will be a huge improvement. On the other hand, if two days pass and your foot soreness is almost as bad as it was on day one, you probably have something more serious going on, such as a stress fracture or tendinitis.
2. You can't walk.
Soreness that makes it a bit painful to walk is one thing. You might feel a little sore for a few steps, but then it dissipates. If you literally cannot walk to the other room without wincing or using a cane, then that's a bigger issue that needs treatment. Trying to walk on feet that are screaming at you does more harm than good as you'll compensate for the painful areas by altering your gait, possibly causing injuries elsewhere.
3. Your foot or feet are swollen.
Do your feet look like puffy sausages? Normal muscle soreness does not cause substantial swelling. Inflammation is typically the result of an overt injury, such as a torn ligament, a stress fracture, or plantar fasciitis. In the short term, you can ice your foot to help reduce the swelling, but you really should see a doctor to figure out exactly what's wrong.
4. Your foot is numb.
If your foot is numb, that is not a good sign. It likely means a nerve is pinched or that swelling is bad enough to pinch a nerve. You could also have a condition like Morton's neuroma, which involves a benign growth pushing on a nerve. Not only do you require treatment to alleviate the numbness, but failing to treat a numb foot is dangerous since you could injure the foot without realizing it.
Foot doctors have the knowledge and experience to diagnose common and uncommon foot issues. There's no reason to keep suffering; seek treatment for the serious symptoms above.
To learn more, contact a foot doctor.