While conservative treatments may be helpful in alleviating foot problems like bunions, hammer toe or fallen arches, such non-invasive techniques will do little to cure foot pain if they’re not actually getting to the root of the problem.
For example, patients who believe they have plantar fasciitis – also known as fallen arches – may wear orthotics in order to correct their condition. However, if the problem is actually something like gout or arthritis, the use of insoles may be in vain.
An article in Lower Extremity Review Magazine states that proper diagnosis is integral to effective treatment of foot pain. According to physical therapist Michael Gross, Ph.D., an assessment of the foot is the first step.
“I want to know how they came to have this condition,” Gross said, quoted by the magazine. “Is it related to increased activity, or a gain in body weight? Have they been pregnant – and if they’ve delivered the child, are they carrying the child around as the child grows and gets heavier?”
The Mayo Clinic reports that bunions are relatively simple to diagnose, as it typically involves little more than a foot exam and, in some cases, an X-ray.