4 Causes of Foot Pain You Might Have Never Heard Of

Posted by Dr. Brian Nagy on February 20, 2018

foot painCommon causes of foot pain include bunions, Achilles tendonitis, fractures, warts, plantar fasciitis, and sprains. But if you have unexplained foot pain, it could be due to a foot problem you have never heard of. See your podiatrist if you have any kind of foot pain as it might be caused by one of the following problems. 

Neuromas

If you feel sharp pain, burning, tingling or numbness on the ball of your foot, or it feels like you have a small stone in your shoe, you might have a neuroma. Sometimes referred to as Morton's Neuroma, this painful condition is due to the tissue around one of the nerves in your foot becoming too thick or because the nerve itself is pinched. This occurs when the nerve has been injured or irritated, or when too much pressure is being put on it such as when wearing high heels. Sports activities and other foot problems including high arches, flat feet, hammertoes and bunions can also put you at risk for getting a neuroma. 

Your podiatrist will likely take an x-ray, MRI or ultrasound image of your foot to determine whether you have a neuroma or are suffering from another foot problem. If your neuroma is mild, you may find relief from taking aspirin, icing the bottom of your foot, taking a break from sports activities and/or wearing better-fitting shoes. Other conservative treatment options include arch supports, foot pads, custom orthotics and cortisone injections. If your pain persists, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. 

Peroneal Tendonitis

If you have sharp pain or aching along the outside of your foot, you might have peroneal tendonitis. Symptoms of peroneal tendonitis, or peroneal tendinopathy, include sharp pain in the foot or along your foot tendons. The pain you feel is due to swelling and thickening of the tendon. Although the exact cause of this condition is unknown, it is usually seen in patients with high arches or those who engage in repetitive sports activity, such as running.  

Treatment involves resting, icing and elevating the foot. Your podiatrist may also show you exercises that will improve your strength and balance, and stretch out your calf muscles. This is a relatively easy condition to treat, so don't hesitate to seek help from your New Hampshire podiatrist!

Bone Spurs

You might have bone spurs and not even know it. However, these bony little protrusions can sometimes cause pain or swelling in your foot. Bone spurs typically grow in a joint and can lead to an inability to move the affected joint. They are caused by osteoarthritis and tend to develop over time without being noticed until you feel pain or are being examined for an unrelated foot problem. Osteoarthritis wears down the cartilage that protects your bones. As the cartilage breaks down, your body grows new bone in an attempt to repair the damage; that's the bone spur that is causing your pain. 

Your podiatrist might take x-rays to determine whether your pain is in fact due to bone spurs. He will likely advise you to take aspirin or ibuprofren for the pain. In rare instances, surgery might be necessary if you are experiencing severe pain or loss of motion. 

Metatarsalgia

If you experience foot and toe pain when running or walking you might be suffering from metatarsalgia. This pain in your foot and toes typically comes on gradually; it is not a sudden pain that you wake up with. Usually seen in athletes, metatarsalgia is caused by repetitive, high-impact force placed on the forefoot. This kind of pressure causes unbalanced weight distribution of your body leading to irritation or inflammation of your foot bones, ligaments and tendons. Conditions that put you at higher risk for metatarsalgia include hammertoes, excessive pronation, a tight Achilles tendon or toe extensors, weak toe muscles, overuse during sports and high arches. 

X-rays and bone scans are helpful in revealing where your metatarsalgia is located. Treatment involves stretching and strengthening exercises, refraining from sports, icing your foot, and/or wearing metatarsal pads and better-fitting shoes. In some cases, your podiatrist might recommend orthotic devices.

You do not have to suffer from foot pain. Neuromas, peroneal tendonitis, bone spurs and metatarsalgia can all be easily treated by your New Hampshire podiatrist. At Nagy Footcare, our professional, compassionate doctors and staff want to help you. Whether your foot or toe pain is due to a recurring condition or a problem you've never heard of, we believe you deserve to be listened to and treated with respect. Don't just hope your pain will go away on its own. Contact Nagy Footcare today and let us help you! 

At Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up with no foot pain.

10 Common Causes of Foot Pain eBook

Topics: General Foot Pain

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