Summer is in full swing and as you get back to playing golf, hiking, swimming etc., you may find that foot pain is impairing your movement. Don’t assume relief requires surgery.

Some of the most common foot ailments stiffen joints and can cause tissue and nerve damage in your toes, heel and ball of your foot: areas crucial for athletic movements such as a golf swing.

Performing those movements can cause severe pain, but frequently don’t require surgery to treat.

Common causes of foot pain:

The three most common foot conditions that can be the barrier to an active summer are neuromas, arthritis and heel pain.

  • Neuromas are nerves that become thickened, enlarged and painful because they have been compressed or irritated. A neuroma in the ball of your foot can cause significant pain as your body transfers its weight from one foot to the other.
  • Arthritis can cause pain in the joints of your foot making general movement difficult.
  • Heel pain typically results from an inflammation of the band of tissue that extends from your heel to the ball of your foot.

Common (nonsurgical) treatment options:

  • Injections are commonly used to reduce inflammation, reduce pain and support the healing process of an injury.
  • Orthotic inserts and other shoe modifications can be used to cushion sensitive areas of the foot and stabilize movement.
  • Devices that can help stretch or support the foot such as ankle braces help stabilize weakened joints and can help correct imbalances in your feet.
  • Physical therapy can help strengthen areas of the foot, improve mobility, reduce foot pain and often helps avoid surgery.
  • Topical pain creams are often used for mild pain relief.