20330 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Symptoms of Foot Pain: Quick Reference

    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.
    Condition Symptoms and Signs Location of Symptoms Recommended Footwear and Orthotics or Padding
    Corns and calluses These 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 corns
    Ingrown toenails A nail curling into skin causes pain, redness, swelling, warmth, and, in severe cases, infection. Toenails Sandals, open-toed shoes
    Bunions 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 necessary
    Morton's neuroma Cramping 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 toes Wide (toe box), low-heeled shoes with good arch support; shoe inserts; padding in the shoes and/or between the toes
    Hammertoe Toes form a hammer or claw shape. There may be pain and cramping. The second, third, or fourth toes Wide (toe box) shoes; straps, cushions, or pads
    Metatarsalgia This condition is characterized by pain, numbness, or tingling with movement. Ball of the foot Wide (toe box) shoes; Shoes with a stiff heel and good arch support; orthotic with pad that reduces metatarsal pressure; inserts
    Metatarsal stress fracture Ache, tenderness, and swelling. Weight-bearing activities are difficult. Long foot bones (metatarsals) Low-heeled shoes with stiff soles; shoe inserts or braces
    Sesamoiditis Pain occurs possibly with swelling and bruising. Ball of foot beneath the big toe Low-heeled shoe with soft sole and soft padding inside
    Plantar fasciitis Pain 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 heel Shoes with thick soles and extra padding; foot insole; heel pad; possible night splints; orthotics if necessary
    Haglund's deformity (pump bump) This condition is characterized by a painful, red, swollen bump. Back of the heel Shoes with a soft heel; backless shoes; arch supports
    Stress fracture Sharp stabbing pain occurs with activity. May also include swelling. Weight-bearing bones of the foot Protective footwear; stiff-soled shoe; wooden-soled sandal
    Tarsal tunnel syndrome This is characterized by pain, numbness, tingling, or burning sensations. Pain may be worse at night. Usually in the mid- portion of the foot and heel Orthotics to relieve pressure
    Flat feet or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) People with this condition have no arch. They may have pain with activity. Arch Orthotics may be needed if there is pain
    High arches (cavus feet) Those with high arches may have pain when standing or walking or an unstable foot. Arch Soft orthotic cushions
    Achilles tendinitis Pain 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

    References

    Achilles tendinitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00147 . Updated January 2010. Accessed January 3, 2013.

    Adult acquired flat foot. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00173 . Updated December 2011. Accessed January 3, 2013.

    Callus. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated January 19, 2011. Accessed July 24, 2012.

    Cavus foot (high-arched foot). American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/cavus-foot.htm . Updated September 18, 2009. Accessed January 3, 2013.

    Corn. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated June 10, 2012. Accessed July 24, 2012.

    Corns. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00153 . Updated March 2001. Accessed July 24, 2012.

    Haglund's deformity. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/haglunds-deformity.htm . Updated December 18, 2010. Accessed January 3, 2013.

    Hallux valgus and bunion. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated July 13, 2011. Accessed January 3, 2013.

    Hammer toe. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated May 25, 2010. Accessed January 3, 2013.

    Hammer toe. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00160 . Updated September 2012. Accessed January 3, 2012.

    Ingrown toenail. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated August 17, 2012. Accessed January 3, 2013.

    Metatarsalgia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated June 4, 2010. Accessed January 3, 2013.

    Morton neuroma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated June 4, 2010. Accessed January 3, 2013.

    Orthotics. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00172 . Updated September 2012. Accessed January 3, 2013.

    Plantar fasciitis and bone spurs. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00149 . Updated June 2010. Accessed January 3, 2012.

    Sesamoiditis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00164 . Updated September 2012. Accessed January 3, 2012.

    Stress fractures of the foot and ankle. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00379 . Updated July 2009. Accessed January 3, 2012.

    Stress fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00112 . Updated October 2007. Accessed January 3, 2012.

    Tarsal tunnel syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated September 5, 2012. Accessed January 3, 2013.

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