Foot pain is no picnic–in fact, at times it can be debilitating. After all, we’re talking about the area of your body that supports all of your weight, and takes the most abuse in terms of direct impact when you’re walking.
If you are experiencing pain in your feet, it could be due to a number of different conditions. Although there are several different types of foot pain, one of the most common conditions is plantar fasciitis, which is a stabbing pain in the heel area due to an inflammation of the ligament that supports the arch of your foot.
If this doesn’t accurately describe the pain you’re feeling, you may have a slightly different condition; below are some of the most common types of foot pain other than plantar fasciitis, along with a brief description of each one.
- Achilles tendonitis – An injury of the Achilles tendon (connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone) due to overuse.
- Bone spurs – The abnormal development of bony projections that extend from the edges of bones. Heel spurs are a common form of bone spur that can cause significant foot pain.
- Diabetic neuropathy – Nerve damage in the feet due to diabetes. Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include pain and numbness in your feet, but can extend to include digestive or urinary tract disorders.
- Plantar warts – Hard, rough growths that typically appear on the heels or other areas that receive frequent pressure, such as the balls of your feet. This pressure from daily activity can cause plantar warts to grow back into the foot, creating a callus comprised of hard, thick skin.
- Stress fractures – Very tiny cracks in a bone caused by repetitive force or overuse. These fractures are often undetectable for long periods of time, and often can only be seen with a very powerful X-ray machine. Stress fractures are a common injury among track and field athletes, dancers, or other individuals who participate in any kind of activity that involves frequent impact on the joints.
The above list is by no means comprehensive, but it does represent some of the most common causes of foot pain. The best way to find out for sure what type of pain you’re experiencing is to visit a podiatrist and have them examine your foot. They will then be able to provide you with some well-informed next steps to help you remedy the pain.