Foot Pain Foot comprises of 26 bones that form two crossing arches. Bones of foot are held together with ligaments. Foot muscles along with plantar fascia provide additional support.

     Trauma, disease and injury are common causes of foot pain. Poor biomechanical alignments and footwear type also provide pain and discomfort.

     Some of foot pain examples include poorly fitting shoes, prolonged period standing on feet, overuse (as long walks or running a marathon), sprains, strains or trauma.

     Common foot pain conditions,

1. Muscle strain:

     It is a condition in which, a muscle is overstretched or torn. This usually occurs as a result of fatigue, overuse or improper use of muscles.

     Strain can occur in any muscle of your body. It is very common. Most affected age is above 14 years.

Symptoms are,

Tenderness, pain, swelling, muscle spasm, cramping and limited ability to move the muscle.

2. Ankle sprain:

     The ankle joint connects the foot with the lower leg, is often injured. An ankle sprain occurs when the strong ligaments that supports the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear.

     An unnatural twisting motion can happen when the foot is planed awkwardly, when the ground is uneven, or when an unusual amount of force is applied to the joint.

     It is very common. Most affected age is above 10 years.

Symptoms are,

Swelling, pain, limitation of range of motion, ankle instability, limping, tenderness or brusing.

3. Plantar fasciitis:

     It is an inflammation of the fibrous tissue of sole. It causes intense heel pain.

     It is very common. Most affected age is above 30 years.

Symptoms are,

Stabbing pain that usually occurs with first few steps in the morning. Also pain increases with prolong standing, running and jumping.

4. Peripheral neuropathy:

     It is a disorder of nerve(s). It occurs when your peripheral nerves malfunction because they are damaged.

     It is common in diabetic. Most affected age is above 40 years.

Symptoms are,

Pain, pins and needle sensation, burning, numbness and weakness of foot. Also poor balance, slow reflexes, cramping, difficulty in walking, poor co-ordination, muscle atrophy.

5. Gout:

     It occurs when urate crystals accumulate in your joints, it is a type of inflammatory arthritis. 

     Most affected age is above 40 years.

Symptoms are,

Red, tender, hot and swollen joints, lump, stiffness, swelling.

6. Arch pain:

     Causes are structural imbalance dur to an injury to foot.

7. Metatarsalgia:

     It occurs due to excessive pressure over a long period of time or participating in high impact activities without proper footwear and/or orthotics. Also using shoes with heels that are too high.

Symptoms are, 

Inflammation at the ball of foot. Usually at 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metatarsal heads.

8. Pregnancy:

     Common foot problems during pregnancy are over pronated foot and oedema which lead to heel pain, arch or ball of foot pain.Symptoms are,Cramps, varicose veins.

9. Diabetes:

Symptoms are,

Loss of sensations, pain, non-healing wounds & ulcers, numbness & tingling, swelling & dryness.

10. Heel spur:

     Chronic plantar fasciitis can turn into heel supr. It is abnormal bone growth of calcanium.

Symptoms are,

Pinching pain under or behind calcanium bone, swelling, redness.

11. Fractures:

     Most commonly after major trauma. Sometimes stress fractures accurse after prolong standing or walking or running.

Symptoms are,

Swelling, severe pain, unable to weight bear.

12. Achilles tendinitis:

     Inflammation of Achilles tendon due to over activity, stress or tear.

Symptoms are,

Swelling, pain.


Treating foot conditions can get tricky because of the complexity of structure and verity of different conditions that causes pain. Many times, foot pain can be treated conservatively (home management) or with minimum efforts. But sometimes, it is mandatory to seek medical care.

a. Self-treatment:

- Resting the foot as much as possible.

- Avoid activities that worsen pain.

- Icing the area for 10 to 20 min, several times a day ( for acute pain)

- Hot water fomentation or emulsion ( for chronic pain or muscle tightness)

b. Medical care:

- Have swelling that doesn’t improve in 2 to 5 days.

- Pain persists or worsens.

- Inability to perform activities of daily living.

- Burning or tingling sensation or numbness present.

c. See doctor immediately if,

- Have an open wound or visible deformity.

- Experience severe pain or swelling.

- Can’t bear weight on foot.

- Signs of inflammation (redness/ fever).

- Have wound that isn’t healing.