The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, and it often occurs when you first step out of bed in the morning. You may or may not have a heel spur as a result of this condition – but the spur itself isn’t usually the cause of the pain. You should work on lengthening the calf muscle with stretching exercises, avoid wearing high heels, and wear shoes with proper arch support to help alleviate pain and relieve the overstretching of the plantar fascia.
In some cases, an impact or injury can result in a broken heel bone. This requires the care of a podiatrist, and you’ll likely need to wear a splint or cast while the injury heals. Learn more about these conditions and more by downloading our free e-book about heel pain.
Pain in the ball of the foot
Morton’s neuroma can occur as a result of wearing tight-fitting or high heeled shoes frequently, and it causes burning pain, tingling, and numbness in the ball of the foot. Neuromas can also be caused by a puncture wound or laceration that damages the nerve in the foot, causing inflammation and swelling. Neuromas may occur in other areas of the foot, but the ball of the foot is the most common location. Your podiatrist can discuss treatment options that may include orthotics, cortisone injections, or in some cases, surgery.
A metatarsal stress fracture can also cause ball of foot pain. This injury is caused by excessive stress placed on the ball of the foot – and it can be difficult to detect without the expertise of a podiatrist. It can usually be successfully treated with rest, ice, elevation, and, occasionally, a walking cast.
Pain on the outer edge of the foot
The bone located along the outer edge of your foot, known as the fifth metatarsal, is a commonly broken bone. Swelling and bruising will often accompany pain in this area if a fracture is present. Be sure to see your podiatrist if you suspect a fifth metatarsal fracture, or if you have foot pain or swelling after an injury.
The foot is an amazing structure with 26 bones and more than 100 ligaments. Due to its complexity, there are hundreds of possible injuries and conditions that can contribute to foot pain. In an upcoming blog, we will discuss common causes of toe pain and possible solutions.