The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Is Your Chronic Foot Pain Making You Neurotic?

Posted by on Thursday, January 15th, 2015

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Best-selling author Augusten Burroughs once said, “When you have your health, you have everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters at all.” When you are living with plantar fasciitis or other chronic aches in the foot and ankle, the pain can be maddening—literally! Research published in the Foot & Ankle International journal suggests that people suffering from chronic foot pain and ankle pain were much more likely to be clinically neurotic, depressed, or anxious.

chronic foot pain
Is your chronic foot pain making you depressed, anxious, or neurotic? You are not alone, study says. Image credit: Unsplash.com, How-Soon Ngu

The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine offers physical therapy and access to a wide range of acute and chronic foot pain relief therapies. We can also give you a referral to a mental health counselor or cognitive behavioral therapist if you would like extra support while you heal.

Research Shows Chronic Foot Pain is Widespread and Debilitating

While the impact of pain on mental health is well-established, there have been a few studies specific to chronic foot pain. A review and meta-analysis done in 2011 concluded that nearly one-quarter of middle-aged and older Americans suffer from chronic foot pain, with another 15 percent suffering from frequent ankle pain.

For this latest study, 90 participants were recruited and graded according to the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale, and the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale. Half of the patients had chronic foot and ankle pain, while the other half were an age- and sex-matched healthy cohort. Researchers recommended a more holistic approach to foot and ankle pain that includes mental health counseling.

Coping Strategies For Chronic Foot Pain & Ankle Pain

The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine will help you get back on your feet, pain-free, as quickly as possible. A good complement to our treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which teaches a number of effective ways to mentally deal with chronic foot pain and limited mobility.

Web MD explains that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can:

  • Encourage problem-solving. Feelings of helplessness greatly impact our perception of pain. Taking action against the pain makes people feel more in control of their life situations.
  • Involve deeper thinking. Venting thoughts and feelings in a journal can be a great outlet to relieve tension.
  • Foster life skills. Meditation, visualization, and deep breathing are all positive pain-control techniques that will help you in many different situations—where negative feelings of depression or anxiety seem overwhelming.
  • Let you help yourself. It can be very empowering to adopt a new way of thinking that makes life more manageable.
  • Train you to think more positively. Tolerance may vary, but it’s a conscientious decision to ignore the pain and soldier on. This doesn’t always come naturally. With training and repetition, you can learn to activate different parts of the brain, in spite of pain.

A combination of physical and mental therapy also teaches you how to avoid pain triggers and tailor your lifestyle to be more enjoyable. For instance, one arthritis sufferer said she doesn’t let people shake her hands anymore; she only types on the computer with one finger, and doesn’t even attempt to open jars anymore. Instead of using her hands so much, she finds satisfaction walking, exercising in the pool, soaking in a Jacuzzi tub, and volunteering for her local Arthritis Foundation chapter. “I have a cane and a walker in my closet, but I’m walking,” she says, taking a positive view.

New York Chronic Foot Pain Doctors

A simple visit to our office can help you feel like you’re taking a positive stride forward. We try to get to the root of your pain problem, rather than just treating the symptoms. We are equipped with the most advanced machines the industry has to offer in treating foot and ankle pain, such as extracorporeal shockwave therapy and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Injection therapies like biopuncture or platelet-rich plasma are regularly done to prompt natural healing. When necessary, our New York board-certified podiatric surgeons can step in to bring you relief.

Best-selling author Augusten Burroughs once said, “When you have your health, you have everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters at all.” When you are living with plantar fasciitis or other chronic aches in the foot and ankle, the pain can be maddening — literally! Research published in the journal Foot & Ankle International suggests that people suffering from chronic foot and ankle pain were much more likely to be clinically neurotic, depressed, or anxious.

Contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine today for chronic foot pain assistance. We offer physical therapy and access to a wide range of acute and chronic foot pain relief therapies. We can also give you a referral to a mental health counselor or cognitive behavioral therapist if you would like extra support while you heal.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.