Top 6 Common Foot Pains and Their Causes

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Naturally, our bodies begin to age as we get older prompting various types of aches and pains. It’s vital that we take care of our bodies and know the top common foot pains and their causes as they can affect our health and day to day activities.

Our feet play an important role supporting our bodies as we stand and walk. With 26 bones, 33 joints and over a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments, Our feet go unrecognized as being an intricate and delicate part of our body. Some people consider their feet to be just another body part that we walk on day in and day out. The well being of our feet is vital to continued mobility. A large percentage of the population deals with chronic foot pain; many have no idea what causes the painful steps in their daily activities. Unsuspecting habits like wearing ill-fitting shoes or shoes that are inappropriate for a particular exercise can significantly influence our overall foot health. Many persistent knee and back ailments start with your feet. If you are knowledgeable of the reasons pain lurks then, pain can potentially be avoided.

Common Foot Pains and Their Causes

Pain on top of foot

This unsuspecting foot pain is also known as Extensor Tendonitis caused by the use of shoes that fit too tight and without proper support resulting in pressure on the tendons that run across the top of your foot. This constant pressure results in inflamed tendons and can be quite painful. The level of pain on the top of the foot can increase following excessive exercise or activities as the ligaments have become fatigued. Fortunately, this condition treated with rest, anti-inflammatory medication or steroid injections and some physical therapy exercises.

Hammer Toe

Hammer toe occurs from weakened muscles surrounding the middle toe joint that work together with muscles, tendons, and ligaments to allow movement. Hammertoe is noticeable to the average person, observing the toe-curling or bent resembling a hammer. Many individuals experience pain which is a telltale sign something is not right. You may present with corns or callouses on the top or joints of the toes and even have some redness or swelling.

Age along with chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes play contributing factors to developing foot problems, including hammer toe. But more commonly its restrictive shoes that we wear causing
the toe to stay bent for an extended period, it prompts the muscles to tighten not allowing the toe to straighten back out. Many of the causes of hammer toe can be avoided, minimizing the risk of hammer toe development.

Women’s shoe choices of high heels and wearing shoes that are too tight leave them struggling with the higher likelihood of developing hammer toe than men. Wearing particular shoes that are too tight through the toe box can force toes into a flexed position. When repeatedly wearing these shoes, the toes may not be able to straighten, even when barefoot.

Heel Pain

Heel pain is a particularly common and irritating condition that nearly everybody has experienced at some point in their lives.
Pain that is either on the bottom or back area of the heel that can prevent you from participating in regular daily activities.
The pressure on the heel bone accompanies pain, which comes about by walking, running on a hard floor. And subsequently, can result in tissue injuries. Also, shoes that do not well fitting for your particular foot structure is influential to the cause of heel pain.

Heel Spur

Heel spurs are a widely recognized cause for pain in the heel. A heel spur is calcium deposits on the bottom of the heel. The pain and inflammation felt with a heel spur are most commonly associated with the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot attaching the heel bone to the ball of the foot resulting in plantar fasciitis. Heel spurs are often affected by stress on foot muscles and ligaments, the stretching of the plantar fascia, and tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone. Heel spurs are prevalent among individuals whose activities include extensive running and jumping. Injury-specific exercises, anti-inflammatory medicines, custom orthotics are among the treatment for heel spurs.

Plantar Fasciitis

If you find yourself limping and exhibit tenderness at the bottom of your foot, you might have an irritated plantar fascia. The symptoms associated with this injury are inflammation of the tissue that connects to the heel. Heel spur symptoms are similar to that of Plantar Fasciitis, Irritation of the plantar fascia most commonly correlates with excessive exercise, running or wearing shoes without proper support. Typical summer shoes such as sandals or flip-flops are a significant cause of plantar fasciitis as this type of shoe offers no arch support or cushion of any kind. Relaxing your feet provides temporary relief, and the pain can reoccur once activities or walking resumes using inappropriate shoes. However, home remedies consisting of foot massages, wrapping a bandage around your foot and rolling a frozen water bottle multiple times a day may be enough to resolve the foot pain.


Overpronating feet can be the root of pain in the lower extremities. Many individuals who suffer from bunions, heel pain, chronic lower back pain, knee and hip issues and never considering that step by step overpronating is causing these chronic pains. Weakened arches frequently create pronation, flat or flexible feet, pregnancy, being overweight or from activities such as running which generate constant pressure on the feet. These conditions produce excessive tension in the foot creating pain. Pushing off our feet incorrectly when running or walking strains tendons and ligaments.

Being in tune with your body so that you aware when something doesn’t feel right. It’s important to know your foot pain. Being able to identify the pain, the possible cause and when to seek treatment either from a physician or physical therapist will prevent you from aggravating your injury. Pain that goes unrecognized has the potential to evolve into significant health issues that can be time-consuming and very costly.

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