Strenuous physical activity such as walking or running long distances, sports, or exercise sometimes cause the base of our feet to hurt. If you experience pain whenever you walk, run or exercise, here are some possible causes and some simple treatments to help alleviate the pain. MORTON’S NEUROMA Defined as the thickening of the tissue around the nerve between the bases of the toes (usually between the third and fourth toes). Foot pain, odd sensations, or numbness over the ball of the foot are the usual symptoms. It is more common in women and can be a result of wearing high heels or tight shoes. Possible treatments include using better padding for your shoes to reduce pressure on the nerves, using a steroid or other medical injection into the area of foot pain, or by using pain relievers and/or surgery. SESAMOIDITIS Sesamoiditis occurs when tendons around the big toe are injured and inflamed. Treatment for Sesamoiditis include: Rest, ice, and wearing a foot pad under the toe in a comfortable shoe. ARCH PAIN Often caused by plantar fasciitis, it can affect the heel, arch, or both. Plantar fasciitis treatment is the same, regardless of the location of foot pain.
For persistent plantar fasciitis, an injection with a mixture of a steroid and local anesthetic can be helpful. Fallen arches which is also known as “flat feet”, occurs when the arches of the feet flatten out when standing or walking, causing foot pain and other problems. Flat feet can be treated with shoe inserts, shoe adjustments, rest/ice, or physical therapy. In some rare cases, surgery is recommended. TOE PAIN Bunion (Hallux Valgus) is a bony prominence along the edge of the foot, next to the base of the big toe. Bunions may occur in anyone, but are often caused by ill-fitting footwear in women. Hammer toes often occur with bunions. One way to treat and prevent toe pain is by changing to more comfortable shoes. If this is unsuccessful in relieving foot pain, orthotics may be tried. If both options do not work, surgery might be considered. HAMMER & CLAW TOE Hammer toe occurs when the near joint in the toe is bent, creating a hammer-like appearance. Wearing tight shoes is the main cause of hammer toe. Claw toe occurs when the joint at the end of a toe may become unable to straighten, causing the toe to point down or up. Irritation of the feet and other feet problems may develop, without special footwear to accommodate the claw toe. Treatment of both hammer toe and claw toe include changing to better-fitting footwear; avoiding high heels and tight shoes, stretching exercises for toes and toe joints, shoe inserts, or even surgery for extreme cases. Simple shoe adjustments and maybe even just taking a few minutes to relax the muscles on the base of your feet may help prevent or reduce and pain from occurring. For more information about different types of foot pain visit our website at www.freeofpain.org.