Our feet are important, but often we take them for granted.

That is, until they begin to hurt and not function properly. Foot pain isn’t fun and can drastically affect your everyday life.

Here are common foot pain issues and their possible causes:

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue that connects to the heel bone. The plantar fascia connective tissue provides absorption of shock when one walks or runs.

Plantar fasciitis pain is often worse in the morning and gradually subsides with use of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by micro-tears in the ligament that attach the heel bone due to excessive or improper strain.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Like carpal tunnel syndrome of the fingers, tarsal tunnel syndrome is a type of pinched nerve that causes aching, numbness, tingling pain, burning and sometimes shooting pain in the foot. Often, the pain of tarsal tunnel syndrome radiates from the inside of the ankle into the arch and sole of the foot and sometimes up the calf. The pain and discomfort of tarsal tunnel syndrome is usually worse at night.

Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia is a pain in the ball of the foot.  The pain of metatarsalgia is sharp and akin to stepping on rocks. Incorrect foot functioning, foot overuse and decrease of fat on the sole of the foot are the common causes of metatarsalgia.

Sitting down and taking pressure and weight off the foot is the best way to ease metatarsalgia pain. Walking barefoot makes the pain worse.

Morton Neuroma

Morton Neuroma is another nerve issue which results in a burning or shooting pain between the toes, usually between the third and fourth toes.

Overpronation and the wearing of tight-fitting shoes are the two common causes of Morton Neuroma.

Tendonitis

Tendonitis is the overstretching or overuse of the tendons of the foot. Tendons are what secure the muscles to the bones. Recurring tendonitis can be a symptom of a weakening or torn tendon.

Tendonitis emits pain with activity, stretching or touching of the affected area. The three most common types of tendonitis are: Achilles tendonitis, peroneal tendonitis, and posterior tibial tendonitis.

Arthritis

Your foot pain can be caused by a form of arthritis, or joint inflammation. This joint inflammation is caused by the breakdown of bone cartilage in the joint, which can cause bone spurs surrounding the joints.

Arthritis pain and immobility is often felt in the ankle joint, the big toe joint, and the subtalar joint.

Besides pain and stiffness, symptoms of arthritis can include vibration, grinding sounds and swelling. Exercising and use worsen arthritis symptoms.

There are numerous causes of arthritis including lupus, gout, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are often caused by improperly cut toenails which grow or are pressed into the surrounding skin. Typically, ingrown toenails affect the edges of the toenails of the big toe.

Pain, red and swollen skin around the site are common symptoms of ingrown toenails and can also be indicators of an infection.

Tight-fitting shoes and high heels can make ingrown toenails worse and more painful.

Corns and Calluses

Both calluses and corns are the result of excessive rubbing of the toes against the inside of shoes. Calluses can also occur on the heel. Calluses are caused by the overgrowth of skin due to excessive pressure or friction. Calluses can cause painful splitting of the skin.

Corns often occur on the toes and are due from the toes rubbing against the inside of shoes.

Both corns and calluses look like warts and can cause intense pain as the pain penetrates through layers of skin and presses onto the nerves.

Bunions

Bunions are knobby bumps along the side of the foot, usually below the joint of the big toe. Bunion pain is often the result of an inflamed pocket of fluid at the bunion site, where pain, swelling and redness result.

Bunions are caused by the incorrect positioning of the big toe where it shifts and presses against the second toe. The misalignment of the big toe then puts additional stress on the big toe joints and ligaments.

Hammer Toe

Hammer toe is a condition that affects the lesser toes, causing them to be bent downward like a hammer. Hammer toe affects the metatarsophalangeal joint and the proximal interphalangeal joint.

Causes of hammer toe include high heels, tight shoes, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and stroke.

Foot pain isn’t something that you should ignore and let go unchecked. Not only does foot pain hinder your normal, daily activities, but they could also indicate potential, underlying serious health and foot concerns.

If you’re suffering from foot pain, contact us at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center today so we can identify the source and cause of your foot pain and find the best treatment possible.