Foot Pain – Causes and Risk Factors

foot pain causes

Foot Pain – Causes and Risk Factors

Foot pain causes

Your feet are important for you as they bear the entire weight when you move, walk, or wherever you go. They are prone to get strained or stressed if you overuse them. A majority of people don’t think much about foot pain until it hurt and causes limited mobility or movement. But, when your feet hurt, you want immediate relief.

Knowing the cause of the problem is important to get the right treatment. The location of the pain is also important to know the cause. Overuse, injury, or any other conditions that cause inflammation in tendons, ligaments, and bones can cause foot pain.

Your foot is the most complex part of your body. It has many muscles, joints bones, ligaments, and tendons. Foot pain is any discomfort or pain in one or more parts of your foot – such as soles, arches, heels, or toes.

Foot pain causes (Lifestyle Factors)

If you get foot pain, see whether you are wearing proper footwear. High-heeled sandals or shoes can cause foot pain as they put a great deal of pressure on the toes. This is, in fact, one of the prominent causes of foot pain in many people. And also check your activity levels including high-intensity exercises, intense aerobics, jogging, and weight-bearing exercises. These activities can also lead to foot pain if you get an injury during workouts.

What are the common medical causes of foot pain?

There are many medical problems associated with foot pain. Arthritis pain is the main cause of foot pain in many people. Arthritis can affect any of the 33 joints in the foot.

People with uncontrolled diabetes can develop several disorders and complications associated with the foot. They can become prone to:

  • Foot sores or ulcers
  • Nerve damage in the feet
  • Hardened or clogged arteries in the feet and legs

Who are at risk of developing foot pain?

The following category of people are at risk for developing foot pain:

  • Obese or overweight people
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have foot sprain, strain, fracture or foot injury, or tendinitis

What are the other potential causes of foot pain?

The other potential foot pain causes include:

Gout (commonly affects the big toe near the ball of the foot)

Plantar fasciitis

Fallen arches

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)

Athlete’s foot

Hammer toes


Ingrown toenails





Haglund’s deformity (the back of the heel bone enlarges)

Morton’s neuroma (It is thickening around the nerve tissue between the toes near the ball of the foot)

When should you see your doctor?

If your foot pain triggers by certain activities, you must pay attention. If you know what triggers your foot pain, you will know better ways to manage it. However, you should not ignore your foot pain in the following circumstances:

  • Your foot pain is due to a recent injury
  • If the pain is sudden and severe
  • You find it difficult to put weight on your foot.
  • You have injured your leg owing to which you cannot put weight on your foot.
  • If an open wound in your foot is causing pain
  • The painful area has got discolored and has developed inflammation
  • You have a fever in addition to foot pain.
  • Your medical condition is interfering with blood flow due to which you are experiencing foot pain.

In the above cases, irrespective of whether you know your foot pain causes or not, you must see an expert orthopedic doctor to rule out any complex problem associated with your foot.