Types of Foot Pain

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle

Types of Foot Pain

There are many different types of foot pain.  Most people report pain in the arch area of the foot, then the big toe, and bottom of the heel.  The problem is there are many types of foot pain and there are many sources of foot pain.

It can be difficult to describe foot pain, and I know from my experience in the doctor’s office it can be a challenge for the professionals to diagnose it as well.

Foot pain can be very uncomfortable and can affect many aspects of a person’s life.  It can affect the person’s mood, cause the risk of falling, and change your quality of life.  I know from a personal perspective, that my Achilles pain has kept me from exercising and attending social activities, as I spend time resting and recuperating. Getting to the root of the pain and getting treatment is key to getting you back on your feet.

What is Foot Pain

Your foot is an intricate network of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Strong enough to bear your body weight, your foot can be prone to injury and pain. Foot pain can affect any part of your foot, from your toes to your Achilles tendon at the back of your heel.

Although mild foot pain often responds well to home treatments, it can take time to resolve. Your doctor should evaluate severe foot pain, especially if it follows an injury. The cause of your foot pain can come from many different sources.

Causes of Foot Pain

Injury, overuse or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot can cause foot pain. Arthritis is a common cause of foot pain. Injury to the nerves of the feet may result in intense burning pain, numbness or tingling (peripheral neuropathy). Below you will find examples of the more common types of foot pain.

Most Common Types of Foot Pain

Here are the some of the most common painful conditions that can affect the foot.

  1. Plantar Fasciitis – Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone.  The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that spans the entire sole of the foot.  Plantar fasciitis pain is usually worse in the morning when a person first steps out of bed but usually improves with movement.  However, a dull pain will usually persist throughout the day.
  2. Tendonitis – Tendons anchor our muscles to bone.  Sometimes when they are overstretched or overused tendonitis can happen.  Tendonitis causes pain with activity or stretching.  The tendon is usually painful to the touch.  One of the most common types of tendonitis is Achilles tendonitis.
  3. Bunions – A bunion is a knobby bump on the side of the foot, just below the big toe joint.  They can vary in size and are caused by the big toe shifting, moving
  4. out of position, and then touching the second toe.  Bunion pain can flare up on occasion.
  5. Arthritis – Arthritis is the breakdown of cartilage within a joint from physical wear and tear.  The damage causes decreased joint space, worn out cartilage, and bone spurs.  Arthritis is usually experienced in the ankle joint, and big toe joint.
  6. Corns and Calluses –  Calluses are thickened areas of skin over parts of feet where friction usually occurs.  Calluses can become painful if they split open, especially on the heel.  Corns occur on the toes, where they rub against our shoes.
  7. Morton’s Neuroma – This is a common nerve problem, which causes shooting or burning pain between the toes.  Overpronation or wearing tight-fitting shoes are associated with this issue.
  8. Ball of the Foot Pain (Metatarsalgia) – Sharp pain will be in the area of the ball of the foot.  The pain can feel like a person stepping on a stone and is worse when walking barefoot.  Ball of the Foot Pain is usually caused by bad footwear, overuse, and decreased pad on the sole of the foot.
  9. Ingrown Toenails – Ingrown toenails happen when the edge of the toenail grows or is pressed against the skin edge.  Usually, this happens on the big toenail as a result of pressure from a shoe.  A small amount of ingrowing can cause pain.  The toe will usually be painful, red, and swollen.
  10. Hammer Toe – Hammer toe is standard in the smaller toes.  It occurs when the joint closest to where the toe becomes the foot extends upward, and the next joint flexes downward.  This makes the toe bent like a hammer. Tight fitting shoes, usually high heels, are the source of hammer toe but can be caused by other conditions like arthritis.
  11. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – Sometimes foot pain can be caused b pinched or irritated nerves.  One type of such pain is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.  A person would experience shooting, burning, aching, numb or tingling pain that radiates from the inside of the ankle into the arch of the sole of the foot.  Often the pain tends to be worse at night.

As you can see there are many types of foot pain. However, there are three types that are more common than others.

Here is a quick video on the top 3 types of foot pain

As you can see, there are many types of foot pain that you can be affected by.  On this site, we go in depth to several of types of foot pain.  We mainly focus on plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis two of the most common types of foot pain that people run into.   If you are having foot pain, it is important to see a doctor for a checkup.  You deserve to feel better and get back to your day-to-day activities.  With the right care and treatment plan, you will be back on health feet in no time.

Other Resources

If you are having plantar fasciitis pain check out What Helps Plantar Fasciitis

If you have having issues with Achilles tendonitis check out this post Achilles Tendonitis Symptoms and Treatement



Leave a Comment