Foot Pain and Heel Pain

Foot pain is divided into rearfoot and heel pain, midfoot and forefoot pain.

If you are not sure what is causing your foot or heel pain then try our symptom checker.

The most common foot injuries are outlined below by area, or use the menu on the left to view all foot injuries on site.

Heel pain

Pain under the heel

Plantar fasciitis is Plantar fasciitis heel painprobably the most common cause of heel pain. Symptoms include pain under the heel which may radiate into the foot. Pain is often worse first thing in the morning but eases as the foot warms up.

Bruised heel also hasHeel pain symptoms of foot pain under the heel but the pain usually does not radiate under the foot and symptoms are not worse in the morning but improve with rest.

Heel spur resultsHeel spur in heel pain similar to plantar fasciitis. A heel spur is a growth underneath and inside the heel where the plantar fascia attaches. Symptoms are similar to plantar fasciitis but a heel spur can be present without pain and vice versa.

Back of the heel pain

Achilles bursitis is Achilles bursitis heel paina major cause of pain at the back of the heel resulting from inflammation of the bursa which sits between the achilles tendon and the heel bone. The back of the heel may feel spongy when pressing in.

Sever's disease isSevers disease heel pain a common cause of heel pain in young athletes aged 8 to 15. Pain is felt at the back of the heel where the achilles tendon attaches to the heel bone.

Achilles tendonitis resultsAchilles pain in pain, inflammation and thickening of the achilles tendon at the back of the ankle. Achilles tendonitis is the name given to a number of different achilles tendon injuries and conditions which may be causing heel pain.

Toe pain

A broken toe canBroken toe pain be a fracture of any of the phalanges bones of the toes. Symptoms are usually obvious pain from an impact or trauma. If there is a stress fracture of the toe pain will be more gradual onset through over use.

Ingrown toenails are common problems causing pain, redness and sometimes infection. An avoidable cause of toe pain they may be caused by not cutting the nail correctly or poor choice of footwear.

Black toenail or subungual Hematoma is a common problem resulting from direct trauma or impact to the toe. It can also be caused by repetitive trauma from a shoe rubbing on the toe in the case of long distance running or walking.

Skin conditions

Athletes foot is aAthletes foot common skin condition causing itchy, flaky skin and a burning sensation usually between the toes. It is caused or made worse from shoes which do not allow the foot to breath trapping heat and moisture near the foot.

A blister is a fluid filled bubble, often found on the toes, inside of the foot or back of the heel and is caused by repetitive friction. The best cure for blisters is prevention so identifying potential hot spots early and protecting with tape or blister plasters is important.

Corns and calluses occur when there is an excess or thickening of hard skin. Poor foot biomechanics causes pressure which in turn results in excess hard skin being produced.

Midfoot pain

A Metatarsal fracture is a break in one of the 5 metatarsals or long bones between the ankle and toes, often caused by impact to the foot from another shoe or boot. The athlete will experience midfoot pain at the point of injury and be unable to put weight on the injury. A metatarsal stress fracture can also occur through over use with pain that may come on more gradually.

Extensor tendonitis is an overuse foot injury causing pain on the top of the foot. it is made worse by lifting the foot and toes upwards. Over tightening shoe laces may be a contributing factor to this cause of foot pain.

Symptoms of a Navicular stress fracture include a poorly localized midfoot pain or ache associated with exercise. A stress fracture will come on gradually due to over use and may not be visible on X ray until after the injury has started to heal.

Forefoot pain

Mortons neuroma or Mortons syndrome as it is also known causes pain in the forefoot, specifically between the third and forth toes where the nerve passes. Pain is made worse by squeezing the forefoot and compressing the pinched nerve.

Metatarsalgia is also an umberella term used to describe pain in the forefoot which may have a number of causes. The most common cause refers to inflammation of the joints in the forefoot causing toe pain when walking.

Hallux rigidus or stiff big toe results in pain and stiffness in the 1st MTP joint at the base of the big toe. Symptoms include toe pain at the base of the big toe or great toe with swelling and inflammation.

Sesamoiditis is a condition causing pain over the sesamoid bones, most commonly at the base of the big toe.

More foot pain and heel pain resources

The following information may be useful to the athlete with foot pain:

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