Many of our patients are unaware that unexplained foot pain or foot fracture can actually be an early sign of osteoporosis, a bone thinning disease that is blamed for 1.5 million bone fractures each year.
Osteoporosis is referred to as the “silent crippler” since it often progresses without any symptoms or isn’t diagnosed until a person experiences pain from a bone fracture. This is true because bones with osteoporosis are in a weakened state and normal weight-bearing actions, like walking, can cause the bones in the foot to break. In fact, many of our patients visit our office suffering from foot pain only to find out they actually have a hairline break in the bone (stress fracture), without having experienced an injury.
While osteoporosis is most commonly seen in women over age 50, younger people and men are also affected. Early symptoms can include increased pain with walking accompanied by redness and swelling on the top of the foot. Oftentimes we notice patients don’t seek treatment for their symptoms for weeks or even months, thinking the pain will pass. Our best advice: don’t ignore foot pain of any type; early intervention can make all the difference in your treatment and recovery.
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, it’s important to protect your feet from stress fractures. Our office recommends you wear shoes that provide support and cushioning, such as athletic running shoes, to provide extra shock absorption and protection. Custom orthotics may also help to protect the foot from pressure and provide shock absorption, particularly during exercise.
If you are suffering from unexplained foot pain, don’t ignore it. Contact our office for a complete evaluation.