If you take a look at your body, you will definitely notice how perfectly it has been engineered. Every part communicates with at least one other part and they are all controlled by the large computer the human brain is.
When pain occurs, most of the people out there feel either scared or they try to ignore it. Pain is not always a sign of a serious underlying issue, but it should nevertheless not be ignored because it can indeed point out that something is not going well with your body.
Pain in the foot is among the most common complains medical professionals hear. Sometimes it can be caused by trauma or a hit to the leg, but there are many other times when the causes are more complex than that.
It is very important that you learn of these causes so that you understand precisely why a doctor will recommend you to do certain things (or to not do other things, for that matter).
The area in which the pain occurs in the foot can say a lot about the causes that have led to it in the first place.
Although mid foot pain may be very common out there, the truth is that pain in left side of foot is not uncommon either.
Furthermore, there are many causes that can lead to its development and you will be presented with all of them further on:
The Most Common Causes for Pain in the Left Side of the Foot
As mentioned before, there are many medical conditions that may lead to pain in this particular area of the foot. Here are some of the most frequently encountered ones:
1- Stress fractures of the bones
This is a very common issue with athletes and people who perform repetitive movements that put pressure on their feet.
When the repetitive movement becomes too much for the muscles to handle because they have grown tired, they will transfer the task of holding up with the pressure on the bones of the foot.
And when this happens, the bones are at risk of developing very small fractures in them –which can eventually lead to pain.
2- Peroneal tendonitis
This is also common out there and it occurs when the peroneal tendon, which can be found on the outside of the ankle.
When this happens, pain on the outside of the foot and in the heel area can occur. This type of tendonitis appears most frequently with long distance runners, after an ankle sprain, when the foot is places in an abnormal position and so on.
When the big toe of the foot rotates inside and it points towards the other fingers, the bone at the base of the toe will stick outwards.
Consequently, pain in the side of the foot can be developed (on the left side in the case of the right foot and the other way around).
Redness and swelling can appear too. Also, bunions occasionally develop in the case of the small toe as well.
Bunions are linked to genetic issues (such as overly flexible joints), but it can occur as a result of another disease (for instance, those with gout or those with rheumatoid arthritis are more prone to develop this condition) or as a result of improper footwear too.
4- Posterior tibial tendonitis
The tibial tendon can be found on the inside of the foot, connecting the ankle and the arch. When this tendon is overused and inflamed, tendonitis can develop, which can mean that the patient will feel pain in the left side of the right foot or in the right side of the left foot (on the inside of the foot).
This is a common disease out there and it can lead to feeling pain on the edge of the foot as well.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most frequently one causing pain in the foot (in all the areas of the foot, not just on its left side), but inflammatory arthritis can cause pain in the area too.
6- Tarsal coalition
This is actually quite a rare condition and it only occurs with 1 in 100 people. Nevertheless, it can cause pain in left side of foot, so it is definitely worth mentioning here.
This is a congenital condition and it involves an excess bar of bone that makes two or more bones in the foot connect to each other. Most frequently, this condition starts showing symptoms in the second decade of life.
7- Ankle sprain
This probably the leading cause for pain in the left side of the foot and it is caused by putting pressure in an odd way on the foot.
All the ligaments of the foot can be affected by sprains, but the anterior talofibular ligament is the most commonly affected one (and it is damaged when the foot is rolled inwards).
Out of all the people who suffer from ankle sprains, about 35% say that they have experienced recurrent issues with pain in the foot – and in the outer edge of the foot as well.
Treatment for Pain in the Left Side of the Foot
Treatment is available for most of the conditions causing pain in the outer edge of the foot – even in the case of tarsal coalition, which is a congenital disease.
In most of the cases, the treatment will be non-surgical and it will involve immobilizing the foot (sometimes by using casts), as well as resting and avoiding the repetitive movement that may have caused the initial problem.
In the case of tarsal coalition, as well as in the case of certain types of stress fractures, surgical intervention may be needed and it will be successful in the vast majority of the cases.
Again, it is of the utmost importance that you determine the precise cause of the foot pain because this is the only way in which you can receive adequate treatment.
Once you visit your doctor, he/she will know exactly what exams to run and what specialist you should be consulting as well, so do make sure that you make an appointment as soon as you notice the pain has become recurrent and/or prolonged, as well as when you suffer an injury.