Causes of pain in the foot and ankle
◦ Excessive pressure
◦ Improper footwear
◦ Insufficient support
◦ Nerve problems
Unfortunately, pain can interfere with sleep, work, and daily life.
Treatment of pain
TOPICAL PAIN RELIEVERS. Available in lotion, cream, or gel form, they are spread on the skin to reduce some forms of mild foot pain.
NONSTEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS (NSAID). The medications are available both with and without a prescription. Popular over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). You may feel the pain-relieving effects of NSAIDs almost immediately, but the full anti-inflammatory effects are delayed until there is a sufficient amount of the medication in the bloodstream. Be aware that NSAID medications have a variety of side effects, so it is important to discuss your personal health risks with the doctor.
ANALGESICS. Tylenol (acetaminophen) reduces pain without relieving inflammation. This is even suitable for people who cannot take NSAIDs, as long as there is no alcohol abuse or liver disease.
NARCOTICS (OPIOIDS). Prescription drugs that contain opioids such as codeine are useful for pain that can't be relieved by NSAIDs and Tylenol.
CORTICODTEROIDS. These potent anti-inflammatories are available as pills or injections. Topical corticosteroids, applied directly to the skin, are useful only in treating rashes but not for pain due to musculoskeletal injuries.
ANESTHETICS. Lidocaine or similar is used as a patch or injection to prevent pain signals from reaching your brain.
NERVE PAIN MEDICATIONS. Amitriptyline (Elavil), gabapentin (Neurontin), pregabalin (Lyrica), or duloxetine (Cymbalta) may be prescribed.
NONPHARMACOLOGIC OPTIONS. Physical therapy, bracing, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or acupuncture are usually incorporated in the treatment plan.
Skokie Foot & Ankle Specialists, Ltd.
9933 Lawler Ave., Suite 315
Skokie, Illinois 60077