The foot is considered one of the most frequently used parts of the body. It is through the foot a person can stand, walk, run and move accordingly. The foot is composed of several small bones that allow movement and weight-bearing.

Several problems can occur in the foot which may result in pain, immobilization, difficulty in walking, and can be worsened with every step. There are several causes of foot pain. Here are 7 of the most common causes of foot pain while walking.

1. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia. This is a group of thick connective tissue that is located across the bottom of the feet.

The pain may be described as stabbing pain at the bottom of the foot and gets worst when walking or standing. It usually occurs first thing in the morning. It is the cause of foot pain while walking for an estimated 15% of foot problems.

2. Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is the thickening of a group of tissues surrounding a nerve that runs from the ball of the foot to the toes. This usually develops as a result of injury, nerve irritation, or trauma. This condition places pressure on the toes making the person feel that there is always a marble or a rock inside the shoe.

The pain may be described as a tingling sensation on the ball of the foot that radiates to the toes. Sometimes, the person with Morton’s Neuroma will report numbness or burning in the foot especially while walking.

3. Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia is the painful inflammation of the ball of the foot.

The pain presents as a sharp burning and aching pain on the ball of the foot. Tingling and numbness can also be present. The pain is located on the ball of the foot just behind the toes. The symptoms are highly similar to Morton’s Neuroma. The doctor may perform an Xray to rule out underlying causes.

4. Tendinitis

Tendinitis is the inflammation of the thick and fibrous cords called ‘tendons’ that connect the foot muscles to the bones. The three most common tendon inflammations are the Achilles Tendinitis, Extensor Tendinitis, and Peroneal Tendinitis.

The pain may be described as an ache in the back of the heel or the leg with little to moderate stiffness or tenderness in the foot.

5. Hallux Vagus

Hallux vagus, also known as ‘bunions’ occurs when the big toe tilts toward the other toes. This toe misalignment causes a bony prominence or a bump on the inside of the foot right at the base of the big toe.

The pain can be described as a burning sensation, particularly in the big and second toes. The pain can worsen when the person is wearing closed or restrictive shoes. The person may also report swelling, redness, and numbness in the foot.

6. Arthritis

Several types of bone and joints arthritis can affect the foot including the ankles, toes, heels, and ball of the foot.

Osteoarthritis can cause degradation of the cartilage of the feet. The cartilage acts as the protective cushion between two bones rubbing each other. Osteoarthritis leads to stiffness in the feet particularly the toe region down to the heel.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that destroys the ligaments, cartilage, and tendons surrounding the different bones of the feet. The pain is presented as dull combined with joint swelling, redness, warmth, and stiffness.

7. Heel Spur

A heel spur is an abnormal bony-like growth located between your heel bone and your foot arch. This condition causes pain, redness, and swelling. The pain is radiating throughout the entire foot especially during walking, running, jogging or any other physical type of activity.

When to See A Doctor?

If the pain increases as time goes by and it starts to hamper your daily activities, it is better to set an appointment with a doctor or an orthopedic specialist.

One or more of these causes of foot pain will prompt you to see a doctor. Your doctor will perform a physical exam on the affected area. They may also perform several diagnostic procedures to rule out the underlying cause of foot pain.



About Paul Fiscus

Paul Fiscus is the director of Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.