Symptoms of Foot Pain: Quick Reference
En Español (Spanish Version)

There are different types of foot pain, each with different symptoms. Below is a chart listing the symptoms and recommended footwear or orthotics for each type of foot pain.

ConditionSymptoms and SignsLocation of SymptomsRecommended Footwear and Orthotics or PaddingCorns and callusesThese are rough, thickened skin that is yellow or reddish. The area may also be painful.Around the side, top, or between toes; bottom of feet; or areas exposed to friction.Wide (toe box) shoes; lamb's wool between toes; doughnut-shaped pads for cornsIngrown toenailsA nail curling into skin causes pain, redness, swelling, warmth, and, in severe cases, infection.ToenailsSandals, open-toed shoesBunions and bunionettes (tailor's bunion)The toes point inward. There is a firm bump on the outside edge of the foot at base of the toe that is painful and stiff.Big toe (bunions) or little toe (bunionettes)Soft, wide-toed shoes or sandals; bunion shields or splints; padding the bunion; shoe inserts if necessaryMorton's neuromaCramping and burning pain located between the third and fourth toe or the second and third toe. The condition is worse while walking and relieved by the removal of the shoes.Third and fourth toes, as well as second and third toes, and bottom of foot near these toesWide (toe box), low-heeled shoes with good arch support; shoe inserts; padding in the shoes and/or between the toesHammertoeToes form a hammer or claw shape. There may be pain and cramping.The second, third, or fourth toesWide (toe box) shoes; straps, cushions, or padsMetatarsalgiaThis condition is characterized by pain, numbness, or tingling with movement.Ball of the footWide (toe box) shoes; Shoes with a stiff heel and good arch support; orthotic with pad that reduces metatarsal pressure; insertsMetatarsal stress fractureAche, tenderness, and swelling. Weight-bearing activities are difficult.Long foot bones (metatarsals)Low-heeled shoes with stiff soles; shoe inserts or bracesSesamoiditisPain occurs possibly with swelling and bruising.Ball of foot beneath the big toeLow-heeled shoe with soft sole and soft padding insidePlantar fasciitisPain occurs with first steps after getting out of bed, decreases after stretching, and returns after activity.Back of the arch right in front of the heelShoes with thick soles and extra padding; foot insole; heel pad; possible night splints; orthotics if necessaryHaglund's deformity (pump bump)This condition is characterized by a painful, red, swollen bump.Back of the heelShoes with a soft heel; backless shoes; arch supportsStress fractureSharp stabbing pain occurs with activity. May also include swelling.Weight-bearing bones of the footProtective footwear; stiff-soled shoe; wooden-soled sandalTarsal tunnel syndromeThis is characterized by pain, numbness, tingling, or burning sensations. Pain may be worse at night.Usually in the mid- portion of the foot and heelOrthotics to relieve pressureFlat feet or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD)People with this condition have no arch. They may have pain with activity.ArchOrthotics may be needed if there is painHigh arches (cavus feet)Those with high arches may have pain when standing or walking or an unstable foot.ArchSoft orthotic cushionsAchilles tendinitisPain that worsens during physical activities.Achilles tendon (the area behind the ankle near the heel bone)Shoes with a soft heel; heel lift; walking boot
Foot pain may also be caused by other medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis , diabetes , or gout .




References:
Achilles tendinitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00147. Updated June 2010. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Adult acquired flat foot. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00173. Updated December 2011. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Callus. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 19, 2011. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Cavus foot (high-arched foot). American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Foot Health Facts website. Available at: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/cavus-foot.htm. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Corn. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 10, 2010. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Corns. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00153. Updated September 2012. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Haglund's deformity. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Foot Health Facts website. Available at: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/haglunds-deformity.htm. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Hallux valgus and bunion. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 31, 2014. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Hammer toe. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 25, 2010. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Hammer toe. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Updated September 2012. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Ingrown toenail. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 17, 2012. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Metatarsalgia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 31, 2014. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Morton neuroma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 31, 2014. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Orthotics. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00172. Updated September 2012. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Plantar fasciitis and bone spurs. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00149. Updated June 2010. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Sesamoiditis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00164. Updated September 2012. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Stress fractures of the foot and ankle. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00379. Updated July 2009. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Stress fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00112. Updated October 2007. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 31, 2014. Accessed February 17, 2014.

Last Reviewed February 2014



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