If you've ever had pain that showed up unexpectedly and then went away just as quickly, you've no doubt brushed it off as one of those things. In many cases, the cause of odd but temporary pain is minor. But if the pain recurs, even if it keeps going away, then you shouldn't ignore it. Sometimes intermittent pain, especially in the foot, is a sign that something is wrong and about to get worse. And no matter the cause, ignoring intermittent pain in one foot can often affect the other. Here are three reasons not to ignore occasional but recurring foot pain.
Additional Foot Injuries
If one of your feet starts hurting, what is your normal reaction? Chances are you try to keep as much weight off it as possible, and that includes limping so that most of your weight rests on your other foot. But if you do that too much, you can actually hurt your other foot. The stress of having more than the usual amount of weight on the foot, as well as the uneven walking pattern inherent in a limp, can strain the muscles in your foot along with your ankle. Getting the pain in one foot checked out before your other foot sees any effects will help stop additional injuries from occurring.
One cause of intermittent foot pain, especially pain that gets better once you rest the foot, is a stress fracture. This is not a full break; it's a crack or bruise that can expand into a full fracture if you don't let the foot heal. Treatment for a stress fracture can include everything from the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method to casts and possibly surgery in persistent cases. However, if you don't know that you have a stress fracture, then you don't know that you have to treat a stress fracture -- and as mentioned, that can lead to your foot bones becoming fully fractured.
Believe it or not, foot, bone, and joint pain are signs of leukemia, especially in children. A 2001 article in the Emergency Medicine Journal states that between 21 percent and 59 percent of children with acute leukemia have some sort of bone pain, which is sometimes intermittent. The pain is due to the concentration of cancer cells. Even if you're an adult, this intermittent pain is something to watch out for if you have other symptoms, such as excessive bruising and fatigue.
If you want to get that foot pain finally checked out, contact a podiatrist. Most issues behind foot pain are straightforward to solve, and it's better to go and find out you have a minor issue than to let the pain continue and get worse. Contact a clinic like Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine for more info.