Foot and ankle pain can be extremely uncomfortable and limit your everyday activity, not to mention any exercise that you might enjoy. Thankfully, there are plenty of treatments to relieve foot and ankle pain, including diagnostic injections.
Your foot is a complex structure made up of many bones, joints, ligaments and tendons that bear the weight of your entire body. Normal wear and tear, a previous injury, ill-fitting shoes or being overweight are just a few of the factors that can contribute to foot pain.
This pain may be the result of any one of a number of conditions, including:
- Plantar fascitis
- Joint pain
- Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
- Morton’s neuroma
When you visit your doctor, they will examine your foot to try and find out what exactly is causing your pain. They’ll ask you where your pain is coming from and look for symptoms like swelling, redness and heat in the area. They will ask you questions about when the pain is the worst—all the time or when you put weight on it—and what it feels like. They’ll also likely look at your range of motion and ask if you’ve injured the area before.
If your doctor can’t determine the cause of your pain by examining your foot or ankle, they may draw fluid from the area for testing.
If this is the first time visiting your doctor for foot or ankle pain, they will probably ask you to rest and try some stretches. They might also recommend orthotics (including inserts, pads or braces) and anti-inflammatory medications.
If these treatments don’t help, they may recommend injections to help relieve the pain. These procedures are typically done in the office.
During the procedure, your doctor will ask you to lie down before injecting your foot or ankle with pain-relieving medication. After the injection is complete, your doctor may have you wait in the office for a half hour to make sure you don’t have a reaction to the medicine. They may also advise you to take it easy on your foot for the next couple of days.
Injections can help with foot or ankle pain for up to several months but won’t cure the underlying cause. If and when your pain returns, you will want to visit your doctor again to see what they recommend.