Foot pain is something most people will experience in their lifetime. Whether it's stubbing a toe, getting a cramp, or stepping on something sharp, you'll likely experience mild foot pain from time to time. However, sometimes foot pain can be a sign of something more serious that needs attention.
Our feet are incredibly durable parts of our body, designed to bear the brunt of many intense activities like running, jumping, kicking, etc. Most of the time, our feet can take the impact and strain without too much trouble, but they can also get hurt.
If you have persistent pain in a certain part of your foot, it could be a sign that something is wrong and needs to be looked at by a professional. At Orthopedic Comfort , our team of orthotists and pedorthists is trained to identify the causes of different types of foot pain and treat them appropriately.
In this article, we will discuss some of the common causes of foot pain. Remember that this information should not be used as a substitute for proper medical care. If you experience severe foot pain, take appointment with a professional .
When talking about the common causes of foot pain, the first question to ask is: where do you feel foot pain?
Toe pain is a type of foot pain that can have a wide range of causes. Toe pain is often a secondary symptom of other conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, or hyperpronation. Here are some common examples:
- Pain in the big toe often linked to osteoarthritis.
- Peripheral neuropathy (numbness and pain in the extremities) can be caused by diabetes.
- Hallux valgus (bent big toe) is usually caused by hyper-pronation or "flat feet".
Toe pain can also be caused by conditions such as gout, hammer toe, or mallet toe, or can simply be the result of small shoes pinching your toes.
As there are many possible causes of toe pain, it is very important to seek professional help to identify the true cause and ensure that you are following the appropriate treatment plan for your condition.
Foot pain ball
The ball of your foot is the front pad located under your foot, below your toe joints, also known as the "forefoot."
When talking about ball of foot pain, the most common medical term you will hear is metatarsalgia . Metatarsalgia refers to any pain in the general region of the metatarsal heads, which primarily refers to the sole of the foot.
Metatarsalgia is used as a catch-all term for a number of different conditions, including:
- Morton's neuroma (nerve inflammation)
- Sesamoiditis (joint inflammation)
- Capsulitis (joint inflammation)
- Stress fractures
- Plantar plate tears
- And more
Metatarsalgia can have a variety of causes, depending on the specific condition. The most common causes are ill-fitting or inappropriate shoe choices, inappropriate loading or stress on the forefoot, and abnormal biomechanics (i.e. overpronation, morton toe, etc.).
Another cause of pain in the ball of the foot can be severe calluses, which can be created by pathomechanical foot types, misalignment, and/or too much stress and friction on the ball of the foot.
Pain in the arch of the foot
One of the most common types of foot pain is the lower part of the foot where the arch or ball of the foot is located.
The lower part of the foot contains the plantar fascia , a band of connective tissue that extends from the heel to the toes. These tissues can be very sensitive and easily strained - approximately 1 in 10 people will experience this type of foot pain in their lifetime.
The most common condition that causes pain in the arch or sole of the foot is plantar fasciitis . This term refers to any condition that affects the plantar fascia and causes them to become tense or inflamed. It will often occur in conjunction with heel pain (see below).
Another biomechanical problem that frequently causes arch pain is longitudinal drooping of the arch in the foot, leading to overpronation or hyperpronation. This condition is often colloquially referred to as "flat feet" and can be a major contributor to plantar fasciitis.
Foot heel pain
If you experience heel pain, this condition can present in different parts of the heel, as well as be linked to a range of conditions, including:
- Plantar Fasciitis : In addition to affecting the arch of the foot, plantar fasciitis can also affect the heel area, especially the front of the heel, and cause inflammation there.
- Fat pads calcaneal : Calcaneal fat pads are located in the middle of the heel and are designed to cushion your heel. If this fat pad is bruised after landing hard (by jumping or falling), you may feel pain in the middle of your heel.
- Achilles' tendon : The Achilles tendon is the tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This type of pain is localized to the back of your heel or the back of your calf and is often called "Achilles tendonitis". It is an inflammation of the tendon which is generally the result of repetitive efforts on this area.
Foot heel pain is another situation where it is crucial to see a professional. Improper treatment for heel pain can potentially lead to more problems, so you need to make sure your condition has been identified and treated correctly.