Types of Foot Pain and Common Conditions That Cause It

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Pain in your feet is never a nice experience to have, and there are many potential reasons why you might be suffering from aching feet. From underlying health conditions, to your lifestyle choices, shoes that don’t fit properly, to weight gain, foot pain can be the result of many different reasons. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to get pain relief in your feet straight away and prevent them from causing you the same amount of discomfort and pain in the future.

Common Causes of Foot Pain:

Getting relief for your foot pain will often mean that you have to find out the underlying cause so that you can get the appropriate treatment. How you deal with foot pain will depend on the reason behind it. Our feet act as shock absorbers for our body and cushion up to one million pounds of pressure during just one hour of exercise. When you are walking as normal, your feet support 1.2 times your body weight and even more if you are running. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why feet are a part of the body that can be more susceptible than others when it comes to injuries and pain. Some of the most common reasons behind foot pain include:

  • Gout:

Gout occurs as a reaction to crystal deposits in the joints of your feet. It is a type of inflammatory arthritis and is a result of hyperuricemia, a condition that occurs when the body over- or under-produces uric acid. This results in the formation of a gout crystal that will usually settle in one joint of the foot at a time. Most often this will happen in your big toe, but it can also affect the smaller toe joints, your knees and ankles. In some cases, lumps under the skin known as tophi can be caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals, which can interfere with the normal functioning of the joint and cause damage to the bones and cartilage. If you suspect that this might be why you are in pain, HLES Foot Care can help to investigate your chronic foot pain and provide treatments for gout and other conditions. HLES Foot Care are experts in podiatric health and work with patients suffering from a wide range of foot conditions.

  • Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar fasciitis is the result of irritation or inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a thick connective tissue between the heel and the toe. Pain in the soles of your feet is one of the most common signs that you are dealing with this foot condition. Most people report pain that is close to the inside of the heel. It’s usually more painful earlier in the day and when walking, and tends to get better over time.

  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome:

This foot condition is similar to the wrist condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome, which is commonly caused by repetitive action. In the feet, it is also often the result of repetitive action and includes painful symptoms such as burning and tingling sensations or shooting pain on the inside of the foot.

Pain On the Outside of the Foot:

Pain on the outside of your foot is known as lateral foot pain and can be caused by a range of conditions. If you are experiencing this type of foot pain, it might be the result of:

  • Cuboid Syndrome:

This is a condition that affects the cuboid, a cube-shaped bone that is located in the middle of the foot’s outer edge. The main purpose of the cuboid is to connect the foot to the ankle and provide stability when you are moving around. Cuboid syndrome occurs when the ligaments or joints around this bone become damaged or dislocated. Some of the main symptoms include foot weakness or feeling pain and tenderness around the outside of your foot in particular.

  • Stress Fracture:

Stress fractures are a common cause of pain on the outside of the feet and are the result of tiny cracks in the bone. They are commonly the result of overuse or repetitive action. You will usually feel the pain from a stress fracture when you put pressure on your foot.

  • Peroneal Tendonitis:

This is a condition that affects the peroneal tendon, a tendon that runs from the bottom of your toes and over the outer edge of your ankle to the back of your calf. You may experience this condition if this tendon has become inflamed or swollen as the result of overuse or an ankle injury.

Foot Pain When Walking:

If you mainly tend to feel pain in your feet when you are walking, this could be due to a range of different conditions, including:

  • Turf Toe:

This is a sprain that occurs in the big toe’s main joint. It is often the result of the big toe bending too far upwards and is commonly experienced by athletes who play sport on artificial turf.

  • Calluses:

A callus occurs when parts of the feet are exposed to a lot of friction, which leads to a build-up of thick layers of skin that can be painful when rubbed against footwear.

  • Flat Feet:

Flat foot is a common condition in which your feet press flat on the ground rather than being naturally arched. It is usually present from birth; however, feet can become flatter due to injury or when there is increased pressure put on the arches of your feet. Special shoe inserts can help to relieve flat foot pain.

  • Morton’s Neuroma:

This condition impacts the tissue that surrounds the nerves in the balls of the feet, causing it to thicken. It can lead to a painful or uncomfortable sensation when walking that feels like you are stepping on an object.

There are various conditions that can lead to pain in your feet. If you are having trouble walking, or are experiencing foot pain most of the time, it’s important to see a health professional who can diagnose the underlying cause and provide treatment.