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4 Risk Factors for Foot and Ankle Pain

ankle painYou might experience foot pain and ankle pain temporarily if you injure yourself somehow, like in a car accident or a sports collision. However, if your foot and ankle pain is persistent, there may be a problem. Here are some of the reasons you might be experiencing chronic foot and ankle pain.

Age
Children and the elderly are at a higher risk for foot and ankle pain than the rest of the population. For children, heel pain is common because children are very active. The high-impact exercise they participate in can irritate growth centers of the heel. This is especially true for children aged eight to 13 years old.

For the elderly, feet flatten and widen with age. The fat padding on the sole wears down. Their skin also thins and dries out, leading to less blood flow to the foot. Foot and ankle pain can also be a sign of arthritis, diabetes, and circulation problems for the elderly.

Weight
According to recent research, 90% of people who deal with heel pain are overweight. Being overweight can also cause problems in the feet and ankles like swelling, stress fractures, bunions, weak tendons, and an increased risk for sprains. This is because the extra weight of the body puts a lot of added pressure on the bones, ligaments, and tendons of the feet and ankles.

Bunions
What is a bunion? A bunion is a problem with the joints in the first toe. It can cause joint pain, stiffness, burning, swelling, and deformity at the base of the big toe.

Footwear
People wear shoes often, and the wrong shoes can cause serious pain for your feet and ankles. Wearing ill-fitting, high-heeled, or narrow shoes regularly can put unnecessary stress on your bones, causing strains and pain.

If you identify with any of these problems, you might be thinking, “Do I need a podiatrist?” You probably do. Roughly 19% of the American population has, on average, 1.4 foot problems every year. No matter what the cause of your foot and ankle pain is, whether it’s age, weight, bunions, or your footwear, a podiatrist will be able to help you get back on your feet without any pain.

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