Older Adults_Bars-Geriatric Pain



Foot Pain

The foot is an extremely complex structure made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles, 107 ligaments plus nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. The American Diabetes Association reports that about 50% of people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage that may cause numbness or a burning sensation in the feet, called peripheral neuropathy.

  • Causes of Foot Pain
    • Injuries such as sprains, strains, bruises, & fractures
    • Diseases such as diabetes, Hansen disease, peripheral vascular disease
    • Infectious causes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi
    • Inflammation such as gout, calcaneal spurs, plantar fasciitis, arthritis
    • Structural problems such as ingrown toenails

  • Possible Interventions
    • Treatment will depend on the cause of the pain and may involve medication, strengthening, stretching, and possibly the use of physical therapy
    • Non-Drug Treatments (for minor pain)
      • Rest and/or elevation of the limb
      • Ice to affected area
      • Compression
    • Over the counter (OTC) Drugs (for minor pain)
      • Acetaminophen
      • Ibuprofen

  • Prevention
    • Encourage mobility, good hygiene, and weight loss if appropriate
    • Routine foot care including nail trimming

  • What You Can Do
    • Write down and share information about your pain with your Healthcare provider
    • Use a Pain Diary to note important information useful to your Healthcare provider
    • Try a non-drug treatment to decrease minor pain

Revised 3/2020

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