Foot Pain Symptoms

Checking the Signs for Foot Pain

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Types of Foot Pain

The foot is an extremely complex part of the body.  The foot consists of one hundred and twenty fix muscles, nerves and ligaments, twenty six bones, and thirty three joints.

However, foot pain is a major problem today, even though very, very few people are actually born with problems that would cause them to feel pain in their feat.

The reality is that when we feel pain in our feet, it’s usually because of how we act and care for our feet in a day to day basis.

The average person takes anywhere from five thousand to ten thousands steps every day, putting much more stress and pressure on our feet then you’d think.

Whether it’s because of physical exercises and activities, everyday walking, improper posture, or shoes that don’t fit our feet very well, pain under our foot is largely due to how we treat our feet each day.

Different Types of Foot Pain

First of all, there is no such thing as ‘foot pain.’  Foot pain is simply a general term used to describe any pain that you feel in your foot.

In actuality, there are different types of foot pain: toe pain, forefoot pain, midfoot pain, heel pain, and arch pain.

Toe Pain

The most common types of toe pain are called corns and calluses. Corns can build up between your toes, and can develop further due to the perspiring moisture.

Calluses, on the other hand, develop on the bottom of your toes rather than in between, and build up and develop mostly by rubbing against your shoe.

Having poorly fitted shoes, putting too much pressure on your toes, or walking on hard surfaces are all explanations for why corns and calluses can develop on your toes.

They also develop from physical activity and exercise where increasing pressure is applied to your toes either after a prolonged period of time or in rapid movements (such as jumping up in the air and then landing down on your toes).

Forefoot Pain

The most common type of forefoot pain is neuromas.  Neuromas happen when the nerve or tissues in the foot suffer from swelling and inflammation.

If you feel a tingling or a burning sensation in your forefoot, you may be suffering from neuroma. Neuroma can be caused by wearing uncomfortable shoes, suffering a physical injury, or developing a medical condition such as arthritis.

Neuroma most commonly develops from metatarsal bones (bones that lead to the toes), and specifically between the second, third, and fourth bones.

Another form of pain on the forefoot is metatarsalgia, which is pain on the ball of the foot. Metatarsalgia is usually caused by uncomfortable shoes or footwear (especially high heels), as well as physical activities or exercises.

In addition, it also largely depends on the type of foot a person has. People with a foot that is high arched, for example, are more likely to develop metatarsalgia than people who don’t.

Midfoot Pain

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common form of midfoot pain. It is the result of when a nerve is compressed behind the anklebone, causing sharp pain in the body.  Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome usually will result from physical injury.

Heel Pain

The heel is perhaps the most vulnerable part of your foot because it is also the largest part of the foot. More people who suffer from foot pain suffer pain specifically to their heel than any other part of their foot.

The most common types of heel pain there is, is plantar fasciitis, which is the result of inflammation I the ligaments in your heel.

It is these ligaments that affected that in turn affect the overall arch of your foot, so how you walk or posture may be entirely dependent on the condition of your heel.

Plantar fasciitis most often occurs due to high intensity physical exercises, activities and sports, such as running, jumping, etc.

Plantar fasciitis is even more likely to occur during physical activities if you are wearing uncomfortable shoes. You can tell if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, since there will usually be a sudden, sharp pain in the heel of your foot.

While the pain will eventually subside, it will return at intervals if you continue to ignore it, so it’s best that you treat it once you suspect you may have plantar fasciitis.

Another form of heel pain are heel spurs, which are bone growth that extend out of the bone of the heel to the ground, and usually develop first out of plantar fasciitis.

The pain that develops out of this bone growth is the nerves that are disturbed and damaged because of it. Despite this, there are some people who develop heel spurs who did not develop plantar fasciitis first.

Arch Pain

Last but not least, we come to arch pain.  One of the primary causes of arch pain is having flat feet, which is the condition where your foot does not have an arch.

Many people are born with flat feet and inherit it. However, it can also develop in adults as well.

Most of the adults that it does develop in are older adults over the age of fifty. Overall though, a flat foot isn’t as big of a problem as you might think. There are many athletes with flat feet, and they have succeeded very well at what they do.

As for people who do have arches on their feet, a main cause of pain can be having a high arch.  You are also more likely to sustain a foot injury if you have a high arch.

Branching off of high arches is clawfoot, which is a hereditary condition of having both high arches and long toes.

It is rare, but it can cause pain and also cause you to become imbalanced in your walking and posturing.

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5 Comments

  • I’ve been getting heel pain in my right foot quite regularly. I’m a runner and even when I’m not running I tend to be on my feet a lot. I guess this has added to my pain as I’ve probably on my feet more often than the average person – how can I reduce this pain? I’ve actually been told a couple of years ago that I’ve got the first signs of spurs on my foot. I’m not sure if this is something I can get rid of.

  • I found your blog searching for different types of foot pain. I’m a part-time dance teacher and used to dance full-time years ago. Based on my symptoms and your post, arch pain and midfoot pain are the closest to what I feel. I have high arches and have always known how painful it can be later in life. A blessing and a curse to have a high arch. Perhaps, it’s simply old dancer feet problems and not a more serious problem. Since your blog is about foot pain, I will browse your other posts to see what other topics you cover.

    • Hi, quick question. I’m a dancer as well. Did you only get foot pain when you stopped dancing or did the foot pain come back after you stopped dancing full time? I do ballroom dance most often now as an instructor so arch pain and pain in the balls of my feet effect me most these days. From your experience how does midfoot pain feel? I don’t think I’ve ever had it but I want to know since I soon plan on doing other dance styles like ballet, contemporary, and others more often.

  • Wow this makes so much sense. A little embarrassing to say but I’ve had almost every type of foot pain in here! As a dancer I find that just as you said, my foot pain comes and goes according to what dance style I’m doing. When I started dancing young I had calluses on my toes (toe pain) all the time because I did West African dance so I was jumping and dancing barefoot on hardwood floors. Over time the calluses would come and go and so would the pain. You get used to it.
    When I did ballroom dance I had to wear special dance shoes which were the shoes I wore least in life. Despite being a girl I rarely wear high heels so ballroom heels would hurt my feet, particularly my arch since i have high arches and my forefoot because of the straps. I get cramps in my arches all the time. Many of the dances in ballroom require being on the balls of your feet so after an hour and a half of nonstop dancing the balls of my feet would be killing me.
    In college I did Caribbean dance and hip hop were we wore a lot of flat shoes with a wide variety of dance moves. I noticed I had heel pain a lot with this style of dance. I would always ignore it tho and it would come and go. Thinking back on it I probably had plantar fasciitis at the time. How does one treat that? How can you tell the difference between plantar pain vs bone spur pain? Since I didn’t know and still wanted to dance I just ignored it. Oh the passions of a dancer!
    I notice I also get foot pain with activities I don’t do often like running or playing sports. My form, posture, and overall performance is bad for sports and I normally get cramps in the arch, pain in my forefoot from rubbing, and heel pain. It’s one of the reasons I avoid sports besides the fact that they’re just not enjoyable for me.
    The only foot pain I don’t remember ever having is midfoot pain. I’ve never had a really bad physical injury either that could cause it. Since that one sounds super serious though I’ll be careful and keep a lookout for that one. Thanks for the informative article!

  • As a woman, I find it really really difficult to find shoes that fit well and are supportive. My feet aren’t weird looking but apparently they are wider than every shoe out there…which I doubt is actually true, so I’m pretty sure most people are squeezing their feet into shoes to look good even though it gives them blisters and pain.

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