Yourfeetcarry you throughout the day. Aches and pains might appear normal after a long day at work, exercise, or play. Foot pain isn’t always normal though. It could be the sign of another condition you’re overlooking.
Understanding Your Foot
The foot is a marvelous part of your body. Your foot contains 26 bones, 18 ligaments, 40 tendons, 20 muscles, over 200,000 nerve receptors, and 30 joints. Double those numbers to account for both of your feet.
Pain can be on the surface or radiate from deep within. Your pain can be linear, meaning occurring on both feet at once. It could also only affect one foot.
Daily wear and tear alone can cause aches and conditions, such as blisters, corns, and bunions, which increase the pain you feel. However, pain in your feet can also signal an underlying condition.
Top 10 Symptoms of Foot Pain
Your symptoms might vary depending on the cause. Some complaints are worth contacting your doctor for evaluation, but many of these you can treat at home.
1. Swelling, including toes and ankle
2. Tingling sensation
4. Sharp, shooting pain
5. Dull ache
6. Blisters, warts, eczema, rash, or broken skin
8. Sensation of an object lodged in your foot
9. Inflamed skin
10. Tightness when flexing the foot
10 Causes and Treatments for Foot Pain
1. Ill-fitting Footwear and High-heeled Shoes
Second to wear and tear for causing pain is wearing thewrong footwearfor your feet. They might be the wrong size, width, or style for your feet. This leads to pain after short or prolonged wear.
• Pinching of the toes
• Pain anywhere on the foot, toes, and ankle
• If you have blisters, keep them clean and let them heal.
• Soak sore feet in warm water, Epsom salts, and 10-20 drops essential oil.
• Ditch the shoes.
You cannot alter the majority of shoes aside from using inserts, which could help if the issue is arch support. However, you cannot make shoes that are too small or large fit your feet better. Don’t believe a slightly tight shoe will expand with wear. The material and stitching on a shoe determine the stretch.
Be sure to have your foot professionally measured when possible. Try on shoes before leaving the store. Don’t wear the same shoes every single day.
2. Extensor Tendinitis
These tendons help your feet flex, so an injury to one can lead you with a tightness and pain that develops over time. A major cause of extensor tendonitis is prolonged periods on your feet. The second cause is wearing tight shoes.
• Pain on the top of your foot that worsens with use
• Ice therapy
• Stretching exercises, such as calve stretches
• Foot massage with pain relieving essential oils, like eucalyptus or lemongrass (1)
Severe cases might require physical therapy, steroid injection, and over-the-counter pain relief medications. Don’t forget, you can tryalternatives to pain medicationtoo. Speak with your doctor if remedies don’t bring you relief.
3. Foot Injury
Common foot injuries include:
• Broken bone
• Stress fracture
You will need to visit your doctor for a correct diagnosis. Unless you have a compound fracture, you might be unaware if you’ve experienced a broken bone or fracture. Your doctor will likely order an x-ray to rule one out, as treating a break requires special treatment different from a sprain or strain.
• Pain when the foot flexes
• Pain when you apply pressure
• General shooting pain
Your treatment will vary depending on the cause.
• Casting for breaks might be necessary to mobilize your joints and allow your break to mend
• Physical therapy
• At-home stretches and strengthening exercises
• Wrapping with an ACE bandage
• Ice therapy
• Rest with elevation
Sprains, strains, and breaks can take weeks or months to properly heal. Rushing your recovery will likely lead to re-injury or worse. In severe cases, you might require surgery too.
Types of Arthritis that Cause Foot-related Pain (3):
• Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
• Septic arthritis
• Psoriatic arthritis
• Gout (4)
Different types of arthritis affect your feet differently. You’re already at risk for foot related pain if you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis. For many, this could be the first symptom that leads to their diagnosis, so it’s important not to ignore it.
• Pain at varied degrees
• Swelling of the toes or ankle
• Rest with elevation for swelling
• Foot rubs with pain relieving essential oils
• Foot soaks
• Ice or heat therapy
Prevention is the best medicine if you have arthritis, but you can’t stop all pain. Take care of your feet. Rest them and pamper your tootsies whenever possible.
5. Flat Feet
Roughly 25% of adults have flat feet or fallen arches. Three subtypes of the condition further explain why the feet are flat: flexible flat foot, short Achilles tendons, and post tibial tendon dysfunction. The latter might affect one or both feet. (5)
Some conditions can cause flat feet too, such as muscular dystrophy, obesity, and diabetes. It’s also hereditary.
• Pain after walking or standing
• Pain in lower legs and/or ankles
• Orthotic inserts
• Foot massage and soaks
• Weight loss if possible
• Surgery in some cases
Over-the-counter medications can alleviate pain, swelling, and stiffness if remedies don’t work. Orthotic inserts generally help most teens and adults with flat feet. However, you’ll have to visit a professional to have them designed for your feet; OTC inserts seldom help and can worsen pain.
6. Plantar Fasciitis
Your plantar fascia is ligament in your foot. It’s responsible for supporting your arch and assists you as you walk, jog, or run. It takes a beating from everyday use. Pain can occur in one or both feet.
Obesity is a leading risk factor for plantar fasciitis. Long distance runnings and jobs that demand you remain on your feet constantly can lead to it. Pregnancy can also cause the condition, which generally clears after delivery.
• Dull to sharp pain on the mid-bottom of your foot
• Might be worse in the morning or after sitting for prolonged periods
• Might flare after physical exertion but not during
• Burning sensation
• Ice therapy
• Arch supports
• Stretching exercises and/or physical therapy (6)
• Pain relieving essential oil massage or foot soak
• OTC anti-inflammatory medication
• Surgery is rare
7. Peripheral Neuropathy
Some conditions can put you at greater risk for peripheral neuropathy, which affects the nervous system. Pain, discomfort, or numbness can present in multiple areas because it’s not centralized to your feet. However, your feet are a common place where symptoms begin. (7)
• Tightness around the foot when wearing nothing
• Stabbing, sharp pain in your feet
• Numbness in your feet and toes
• Excessive sweating
• Difficulty digesting food
• Constipation or diarrhea
• Lowered blood pressure
• Address the underlying condition
• Orthopedic shoes
• Prescription medications
• Topical creams containing capsaicin from hot peppers
• Dietary supplements, such as vitamin E, B complex, and omega-3 fatty acids (8)
Diabetic-related Peripheral Neuropathy
Diabetics should never ignore abnormalities with their feet. You should seek diagnosis and foot pain treatment methods through your doctor.
This painful inflammation affects the balls of your feet. Its name comes from the five bones connected to your toes or the metatarsal bones. If you partake in running or sports that require jumping, you might be at risk.
However, regularly wearing ill-fitting shoes, high-heels, arthritis, and foot abnormalities can also cause it.
• Feels like you have something in your shoe
• Burning sensation at the ball of your foot
• Tingling or numbness in your toes
• Symptoms worsen with running, standing, being barefoot, or high-impact sports
• Ice therapy
• Foot soaks
• Foot rub
• Changing footwear
• Using custom shoes or inserts
9. Morton’s Neuroma
This sometimes-painful condition occurs on the balls of your feet. However, you can have the condition and experience intermittent to no pain like the participants in thisstudyfrom 2000.
The most common causes are tight-fitting shoes and high heels that affect or change the pressure point of the nerves in your feet. A third cause is having an abnormal gait. Sometimes you will have another foot-related condition, such as flat feet or high arches.
• Burning sensation with or without pain
• Numb or tingling toes
• Difficulty walking
• Reevaluating your footwear’s size, width, and heel height
• Physical therapy
• Foot massages
• Ice therapy
• Stretching exercises
10. Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a common fungus that can cause pain and irritation on the soles and sides of your feet as well as your toes. It is highly contagious too, so it’s important to treat it as soon as possible.
Athletes are at a greater risk for contracting it, but other factors include having sweaty feet, wear tight shoes, and if you are frequently visiting places infections can easily spread like pools, locker rooms, gyms, and shared showering facilities.
• Cracking or peeling skin
• Dry skin
• OTC antifungal creams
• Steroid creams
• Vinegar foot soak
• Tea tree essential oil
Preventing athlete’s foot is your best defense.
8 Essential Oils for Foot Pain
• Rose geranium
Foot Soak Recipe
• 10-20 drops of essential oil
• 1/2 cup to 1 cup Epsom salts or vinegar, optional
• Basin for soaking
• Warm to hot water for soaking*
The recipe is a good base for many foot-related remedies, including calluses, bunions, and general aching. Simply combine all your ingredients in a basin, and mix until dissolved if using Epsom salts.
*If you have dry feet, use warm or cool water for your foot pain treatment. Hot water can dry out your skin more.
Foot Massage Oil Recipe
Don’t use on broken skin without the consent or advisement of your doctor.
• 3 drops of essential oil
• 1 tablespoon of carrier oil of choice
1. Mix in palm
2. Rub into affected area
You can also try advanced massage techniques orreflexologyas part of your foot pain treatment.
Final Thoughts of Foot Pain
Our feet take a beating from normal daily activities. Injuries, medical conditions, and our footwear choices can cause further harm. Foot pain might be normal, but it’s not always the case.
If you believe you have any of these 10 conditions, you should visit your doctor. They will be able to diagnosis or refer you to a specialist.
Remember, if you’re a diabetic, you should contact your doctor as soon as foot related symptoms arise for a proper diagnosis and course of treatment.
Use the recipes and foot pain treatment ideas provided here to pamper your tired, achy feet any time you need a little extra TLC.
Arthritis, a fractured or broken bone, gout, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis can all make your feet hurt. You're more likely to have foot problems as you get older and your joints wear down. Being overweight puts extra pressure on your feet, which can also lead to pain.What is the main cause of pain in the feet? ›
Arthritis, a fractured or broken bone, gout, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis can all make your feet hurt. You're more likely to have foot problems as you get older and your joints wear down. Being overweight puts extra pressure on your feet, which can also lead to pain.What are the two causes of most foot problems? ›
Improper footwear, diabetes, and aging are some of the chief contributors to foot problems. This article will highlight some of the most common foot concerns, their causes, and when to seek treatment.What illness is related to foot pain? ›
Viruses, fungi, bacteria or infections – Warts, athlete's foot and fungal nail infections are all examples of infectious diseases that can lead to foot pain. Arthritis – Our feet and ankles have many joints – and all of them could be prone to developing arthritis.What foot pain says about your health? ›
Foot pain may be telling you to lose weight, signal the onset of arthritis or result from a stress fracture. The more weight that we carry, the more pressure we put on our feet, which can cause pain. Arthritic conditions can also make your feet susceptible to pain.What is the fastest way to relieve foot pain? ›
“Icing can help in an acute injury,” Dr. Leonard said. “Many times, we will recommend RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) for things such as ankle sprains or foot injuries.” This simple self-care technique helps reduce swelling, ease pain and speed up healing.Can foot pain be related to heart problems? ›
Foot pain and swelling can be indicators of poor circulation, which can result from heart-related issues. Non-healing ulcers or open sores on the feet can signify anemia, blood disorders, or vascular disease. Burning or swelling in the feet may point to kidney, heart, or circulatory problems.What are 10 common foot disorder? ›
And many foot problems, including hammertoes, blisters, bunions, corns and calluses, claw and mallet toes, ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, and athlete's foot, can develop from neglect, ill-fitting shoes, and simple wear and tear. Pain in your feet may even be the first sign of a systemic problem.What are 8 common foot problems? ›
- Neuromas. Too-tight or high-heeled shoes, among other causes, can compress the nerves between your toes. ...
- Stress Fracture. ...
- Plantar Fasciitis. ...
- Heel Spurs. ...
- Bunions. ...
- Sesamoiditis. ...
- Achilles Tendinitis. ...
- Ankle Sprains.
- Athlete's foot.
- Plantar fasciitis.
- Ingrown toenails.
- Corns and calluses.
- Stone bruises.
Foot pain is a common symptom of multiple autoimmune diseases, including: Arthritis. Diabetes. Tendonitis.What is the best painkiller for foot pain? ›
Oral analgesic medications such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) or aspirin are often the first line choice for quick relief of foot pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen are also often recommended and can help to reduce inflammation at the same time.Why do the bottoms of my feet hurt so bad? ›
Pain in the bottom of your foot is often caused by exercise, such as running, wearing shoes that are too tight or a condition, such as Morton's neuroma. Some people also have a foot shape that puts extra pressure on the bottom of the foot. Hard or cracked skin or a verruca can also cause this type of pain.What organs are affected by your feet? ›
Reflex areas of central organs such as the spinal column and stomach are in both feet; the organs on the right side of the body (e.g. the liver) are on the right foot, those on the left side (e.g. the spleen) are on the left foot; lungs and kidneys are on both feet; the toes correspond with the brain and its organs.Why do feet hurt with age? ›
With age, the cartilage surrounding the bones in your feet breaks down. This results in bone rubbing against bone, which as you can imagine, causes foot pain. Osteoarthritis, as it's known, usually affects people over the age of 65.Can liver problems cause foot problems? ›
Liver disease can cause pain and swelling in the feet. When the liver isn't working right, excess fluid builds up in the lower extremities leading to edema. Peripheral neuropathy in the feet (numbness, weakness and pain caused by nerve damage) has also been associated with chronic liver disease.How do I know if my foot pain is serious? ›
- Have severe pain or swelling, especially after an injury.
- Have an open wound or a wound that is oozing pus.
- Have signs of infection, such as redness, warmth and tenderness in the affected area or you have a fever over 100 F (37.8 C).
- Are unable to walk or put weight on the foot.
Rest and ice your feet during the day. Also, consider a foot massage to stimulate circulation, reduce tension, and soothe muscles. Wear comfortable shoes that offer support without putting too much pressure on your feet. For severe pain, visit your podiatrist.How should I sleep to relieve foot pain? ›
Elevate Your Legs
Using a thick pillow, prop up your legs and feet to keep them elevated while you sleep. You can also use a bed wedge for legs, which will help them stay elevated all night long. Aim for at least six inches of elevation above the heart.
Warning signs and symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, chronic coughing or wheezing, swelling, fatigue, loss of appetite, and others.
Swelling: When heart failure happens, it can make fluid build-up in the body, causing feet and ankles to swell. This can also happen in other body parts, leading to rapid weight gain. Numbness and Pain: When these symptoms occur in the feet it can be an indication of peripheral artery disease.Is foot pain a symptom of diabetes? ›
Over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores.What neurological disease starts at the feet? ›
There are many reasons that foot and ankle issue develop and underlying neurological conditions are one of them. These include such issues as peripheral neuropathy, cerebral palsy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and certain toe deformities like hammertoe, mallet toe, and claw toe.What is the most common foot pain? ›
1. Plantar Fasciitis. One of the most common causes of heel pain, plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia -- a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes -- becomes inflamed.What is foot syndrome? ›
Hand, foot and mouth disease causes a rash on the hands and feet due to exposure to a virus. It's most common in young children. Hand-foot syndrome is a side effect of certain types of chemotherapy. It can resemble a sunburn on the palms and soles. It's also known as palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia.What can your feet tell you about your liver? ›
Itchy feet can be a symptom of liver disease, particularly cholestatic liver diseases such as primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). These conditions cause the bile ducts in the liver to become blocked or damaged, which can lead to a build-up of bile in the body.What is swamp foot? ›
Trench foot, also known as immersion foot, occurs when the feet are wet for long periods of time. It can be quite painful, but it can be prevented and treated.Are there 5 main types of feet? ›
The length, shape and alignment of your toes largely dictates what type of feet you have. Research suggests there are at least 9 different foot types. These are: Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Celtic, Germanic, Peasant, Square, Stretched and Simian.What neurological disorder affects feet? ›
Peripheral neuropathy develops when nerves in the body's extremities, such as the hands, feet and arms, are damaged. The symptoms depend on which nerves are affected. In the UK it's estimated almost 1 in 10 people aged 55 or over are affected by peripheral neuropathy.What is lupus foot pain like? ›
The symptoms may be like those of arthritis, and can affect the tissue structures in the foot and ankle. Additional signs of lupus include pain and swelling in the joints of the feet, skin lesions, and tenderness. Lupus is a chronic disorder, and the percentage of people who have accompanying foot pain is high.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia in feet can include swelling, irritation, and inflammation of the tissues within one or both feet. Foot pain may be exacerbated by fibromyalgia, impacting your ability to walk, stand, or exercise. The exact cause of fibromyalgia foot pain is not understood.What inflammatory diseases cause foot pain? ›
Some of the more common types of arthritis which may cause inflammation in the joints of the feet are gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Gout is caused when uric acid, a substance that is normally secreted in the urine, forms needle-like crystals in the joints.Can vitamin D deficiency cause foot pain? ›
Inadequate vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis, increased risk of falls, fractures and bone and muscle pain. In the foot and ankle, stress fractures of the metatarsal bones and ankle may be seen in those with vitamin D deficiency, as well as generalized foot pain.Is heat or cold better for foot pain? ›
Apply heat, cold or both to your feet. Usually, cold therapy using ice is recommended for acute injuries like a sprained ankle, or if you're experiencing swelling. Heat therapy, on the other hand, can be better for chronic foot pain, as it can help soothe stiff joints and relax muscles.Do compression socks help with foot pain? ›
For people on their feet all day at work, compression socks can help reduce fatigue, pain or swelling by increasing blood and oxygen flow in the legs and feet.What is the home remedy for nerve pain in the foot? ›
- Soak in Warm Water and Epsom Salt. Soaking in Epsom salt can help ease the pain and discomfort associated with nerve pain. ...
- Compression Socks/Neuropathy Socks. ...
- Rest. ...
- Ice the Pain. ...
- Check Feet Daily. ...
- Avoid Alcohol. ...
- Anesthetic Lidocaine. ...
- Massage Your Feet.
- Trouble standing or putting weight on your feet.
- Tenderness when touching the affected joints.
- Pain when moving your ankles or feet.
- Redness or swelling of affected joints.
- Swelling or discomfort even when resting.
Aching feet at night or nighttime foot pain can be due to a muscular issue, a nerve problem, a bone-related pathology or injury, dermatological or skin-related conditions, an inflammatory process or a vascular concern.Are feet signs of bad liver? ›
As the liver becomes more severely damaged, more obvious and serious symptoms can develop, such as: yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice) swelling in the legs, ankles and feet caused by a build-up of fluid (oedema)
On the left side on the ball of the foot is said to be the place connected to the heart. It might be a bit difficult to nail but its right below the bottom of the toes. Massaging this place improves blood flow in the body and is highly beneficial to the overall circulatory system and heart health.
Tucketts knows that the highest threshold of sensory information received by the brain comes from the heel and toes. Covered toes transmit less information and thus may impede postural stability. It is important to have open toes to receive accurate sensory information.Why won't my feet stop aching? ›
Prolonged standing, walking, and running are common causes. Obesity and improper footwear are other causes. Deformities such as flat feet and high-arched feet can also cause Plantar Fasciitis. Surgery is rarely performed for this issue.Why do feet hurt after 50? ›
As people age, normal wear and tear on the joints, along with weakening bones, can lead to significant foot pain. Seniors also have thinner skin with less elasticity, particularly on their feet. However, the pain they experience in their feet is often preventable.Why do old people's toes curl up? ›
Older toes have a propensity toward curling into "claw toes" because of muscle imbalance. And older people — especially older women — are prone to developing bunions, a misalignment of the bones in the big toe that causes the end of the metatarsal bone at the base of the toe to angle out.What are 4 warning signs of damaged liver? ›
- Jaundice or yellowing of the eyes or skin.
- Pain and distention of the abdomen due to the release of fluid from the liver.
- Swelling of the lower legs due to fluid retention.
- Confusion or forgetfulness. ...
- Dark-colored urine.
- Pale-colored stool.
- Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
- Abdominal pain and swelling.
- Swelling in the legs and ankles.
- Itchy skin.
- Dark urine color.
- Pale stool color.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Yellowing of your skin and eyeballs (jaundice)
- Pain in your upper right abdomen.
- A swollen belly (ascites)
- A general sense of feeling unwell (malaise)
- Disorientation or confusion.
Mild foot pain often responds well to home treatments. But it can take time for the pain to ease. See a health care provider for severe foot pain, especially if it comes after an injury.What are common foot problems in older adults? ›
Some of the most common foot problems in older adults include bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, ingrown, thickened or discolored nails, diabetic foot conditions, poor circulation, and heel pain. Regular visits to a podiatrist can help you maintain your foot health as you age.Does foot pain ever go away? ›
In many cases, new pain or a flare-up of long-standing foot problems should begin to settle within 6 weeks without the need to see a healthcare professional.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following: Persistent swelling. Chronic pain. Persistent numbness or tingling.Is my foot pain psychological? ›
Stress and anxiety can lead to all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms, including foot pain. If you can't identify obvious signs and symptoms for your foot pain, it may be time to explore how stress and anxiety can be attributing to them.What can a podiatrist do for foot pain? ›
A podiatrist is a medical professional specializing in treating foot pain. Treatments for foot pain by a podiatrist may include anti-inflammatory medication, shoe recommendations, taping, strapping, or orthotic devices. Orthotic devices correct biomechanical imbalances and control excessive pronation.What diseases are associated with feet? ›
- Arthritis. Arthritis is an inflammation and swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints, generally accompanied by an increase in the fluid in the joints. ...
- Cancer. ...
- Charcot Foot. ...
- Freiberg's Disease. ...
- Gout. ...
- Kaposi's Sarcoma. ...
- Maffucci's Syndrome. ...
- Raynaud's Disease.
Dislocations and fractures — particularly those that damage the joint surface — are the most common injuries that lead to post-traumatic arthritis. Like osteoarthritis, posttraumatic arthritis causes the cartilage between the joints to wear away. It can develop many years after the initial injury.What foods should I avoid with arthritis in my feet? ›
Foods high in sugar, fat, sodium, or simple carbs can cause inflammation that may worsen your arthritis symptoms. Beverages and foods to avoid when you have arthritis include: Red meat. High-fat dairy.