Foot Pain - What Do Your Symptoms Mean?

Is the constant pain in your foot making you restless? Simple home remedies often help a lot in relieving the pain. Read on to know more about foot pain causes and remedies.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Jul 16, 2018
Human foot consists of 26 bones which form two arches. The arch which lies along the length of the foot is known as the longitudinal arch, and the arch which lies along the width of the foot is known as the transverse arch. The fibrous tissues known as ligaments hold the bones together, along with another tough tissue known as the plantar fascia.
The internal muscles, the external muscles which connect the foot with the lower part of the leg, and the fat pads in the foot help the foot to bear the weight of the body. These also help in absorbing the impact of weight during weight-bearing activities like jumping or jogging.
Leg injury while Camping
Ankles, heels, arches, soles, toes, and bases are the main parts of feet. Foot pain is experienced due to an injury to any of these parts.
Symptoms
Walking, standing, running, jogging, climbing, and swimming (activities that involve leg activity) may lead to foot pain. It may not affect your performance every time; but neglecting the pain in the injured foot over an extended period may worsen the situation.
Severe and sustained pain may not allow you to perform your daily activities. Nature and severity of the pain, and the accompanying symptoms may vary from person to person. The pain can be experienced in different parts of the foot.
  • Piercing pain in the ball of the foot
  • Sustained pain around the toes
  • Constant foot heel pain, which gets worse while bearing weight
  • Pain while wearing high-heeled shoes
  • Standing, walking, or running is painful
  • Pain in the joints
  • Stiffening of the joints
  • Reduced flexibility of the joint
  • Unstable or inwardly twisted ankle
  • Pain while stretching the arch
  • Difficulty in stabilizing the body when on feet
  • Reddening or discoloring of the skin around the injured part
  • A stabbing, tingling, or burning pain, or numbness in the foot
  • Swelling of the foot, or of some part of the foot
  • Painful protrusion at the base of the toes
  • Hammertoes or curled toes, appearing like claws
  • Corns or calluses at the base of the toes
  • Bursitis or inflamed bursal sacs
  • Fungal and bacterial infection causing fever and chills
  • A nodule or lump in the plantar fascia leading to pain and tenderness over the plantar fascia
Causes
Gout: Gout symbolizes increased level of uric acid in blood. This excessive uric acid gets accumulated around the joints, ligaments, and tendons. This leads to extreme pain in joints, stiffness, and swelling of the joints.
Bursitis: Bursitis of the heel, base, toes, or bursitis on the sides of the foot in the area of a bunion is due to the inflamed bursal sacs, and this inflammation causes extreme pain in the affected foot.
Arthritis: Arthritis leads to reduced flexibility of the joints, leading to pain during the movement of the joint. Walking becomes difficult in such condition due to acute pain.

Diabetes: Diabetes can damage nerves, and can affect blood circulation. Diabetic people may have achy and weak muscles in the thighs and feet.
Fracture: Bone fracture is one the major causes of foot pain.

Sprain: When the fibers of the tissue tear due to overstretched ligaments, a sprain occurs, and a sprain is known to cause extreme pain.
Muscle Injury: Overloading, overuse, over-stretching, or bruising of the muscles and tendons of the foot may lead to severe pain. This may also lead to swelling, tenderness, and functional problem in the foot.

Plantar Fasciitis: Planter fascia strains are generally felt as the pain at the bottom of the foot. This condition is known as plantar fasciitis.
Woman Fixing The Strap Of Shoes
Wrong Shoes: Wearing narrow toed shoes may lead to development of a bunion, a big, hard, and painful protrusion at the base of the big toe, causing pain in the foot.
Flat Feet: Fallen arches are commonly known as "flat feet", and the problem might lead to constant pain in feet.

Plantar Warts: Plantar warts are developed due to excessive pressure on the soles, and they can be very painful.
Hammer Toes: As contraction of muscles leads to hammer or curled toes, it is often a cause of severe pain.

Calluses and Corns: Calluses on the balls or heels of the feet, and corns on the toes can be very painful.
Woman Rubbing Her Leg
Other Causes: Aging, being overweight, excessive exercise, poor diet, pregnancy, using poor-fitting or high-heeled shoes, and ingrown toe nails are some of the other common foot pain causes.
Home Remedies
  • Applying ice on the affected area reduces swelling as well as pain.
  • Keeping the foot in an elevated position helps relieve the pain.
  • Restriction or reduction of activities until there is no pain, is the best home remedy.
  • Avoid placing the feet in water for a long time.
A woman soaking her feet
  • To prevent the rubbing and irritation of the painful parts of the foot, you can use foot pads in the areas of friction.
  • Do not wear shoes that cause pain.
  • Soaking the feet in warm water helps a lot in relieving the pain.
  • For fractures, a long rest period is essential. Crutches may help relieve the pressure on the leg.
  • Uric acid is produced by breaking the purines in the food. Purine-free diet is suggested to control gout. Alcohol consumption should also be avoided.
Along with mentioned remedies, you can take pain killers for one or two days. But, if you are diabetic, or if you have severe, sustained pain, or any kind of deformity, or wound in the foot, and the foot is not responding to the home care treatment, you should immediately consult a physician.
After proper examination, the physician may prescribe medications, and may design the course of the treatment according to the severity of the symptoms. Performing warm-up and cool-down exercises while following a workout program is very essential.
Feet, being the foundation of the human body, bear the weight of the body, and provide the basic liberty of moving around freely. Frequent pain in feet might lead to an embarrassing situation of relying on someone else for daily activities.
You can enjoy an active and healthy life if your feet are strong and fit. So, you should never ignore foot pain. Try to find out the cause of the pain, and consult your physician immediately for proper treatment.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be substituted for the advice of a medical professional.