Foot Pain | Heel Pain

If your foot pain is so severe that it’s affecting your normal activity, it is important to go see your doctor.

What is foot pain?

There are many reasons for foot pain that does not go away. The foot can be affected by a disease or by the regular wear and tear on the foot itself. Foot pain can be felt anywhere in the foot, including the heel, toes, arch and sole.

Foot and heel pain causes

Foot pain may be caused by various diseases, deformities, conditions, overuse or injuries. There are factors that put you at greater risk of foot pain, including:

  • Aging
  • Being on your feet for long periods of time
  • Being overweight
  • A foot deformity that you were born with or develops later
  • Injury
  • Shoes that fit poorly or do not have much cushioning
  • Too much walking or other sports activity
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Broken bones
  • Calluses, corns
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Plantar warts
  • Sprains
  • Stress fractures

 If you have foot pain or heel pain that lasts, make an appointment to see your provider.

Foot pain symptoms

Foot pain symptoms depend on the reasons for the problem. The onset of pain may occur suddenly or gradually. Some common symptoms associated with foot pain include:

  • Aching

  • Point tenderness

  • Swelling

  • Redness

  • Bruising

  • Numbness/tingling

  • Shooting pain

  • Intense burning pain

Seek medical attention if you are experiencing severe foot pain symptoms.

Foot and heel pain diagnosis

Diagnosing the root cause of foot pain usually begins with a physical exam by a doctor. How does the pain affect you? How is the pain affecting your activities? Your provider may examine your foot and have you put pressure on it. An imaging test, such as an X-ray, MRI or bone scan, may be ordered to determine if there are any abnormalities of the bone and/or soft tissues present.

Foot pain treatment

Treatment for foot pain depends on the specific cause of the pain. Some treatment methods may include:

  • Ice to reduce pain and swelling
  • Over the counter pain relievers to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Rest and elevate foot as much as possible 
  • Reduce/modify activity
  • Wear shoes that fit properly and are appropriate for specific activities
  • Wear foot pads to prevent rubbing and irritation
  • Physical therapy to learn exercises to strengthen feet and reduce pain

Some treatment for mild foot pain can be administered at home while severe pain should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Foot pain prevention

Taking care of your feet is an important measure in preventing foot pain altogether. Some prevention strategies for avoiding foot pain include:

  • Wear proper shoes for specific activities or sports.

  • Make sure shoes fit well and have adequate support and cushioning.

  • Avoid shoes with large heels and narrow toe areas.

  • Stretch before physical activity and sports.

  • Always wear shoes outside to protect your feet.

  • Maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise