Pain Edu: Foot Pain

What is foot pain?

Foot pain and discomfort comes in many different forms and can be an indication that something is wrong. Besides ill-fitting footwear, pain and tenderness may be the result of overuse, injury, trauma, or disease. It can limit one’s life in many ways and is a frequent complaint among adults, regardless of their age. Foot pain causes people to go to the doctor, miss work, and stop participating in activities they enjoy.

Pain Edu: Intro To Foot Pain

Are you experiencing pain or problems in your feet? Click on this video to learn more about foot pain and steps (no pun intended) you can take to decrease your pain.

The main types of foot pain

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

A very common cause of heel pain, plantar fasciitis is tearing and inflammation of the the connective tissue between the heel bone and toes.


Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

TTS, aka posterior tibial neuralgia, often develops after an ankle injury and us caused by a compression of nerves, similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist.


Ball of the Foot Pain

There are many reasons why you may be experiencing pain and inflammation in the ball of your foot but it's most commonly a result of overuse. It can also be a symptom of other conditions.



Arthritis is the wearing out or degeneration of the joints leading to pain in the joints of the feet. This can be caused by trauma/injury, repetitive movements over time, or normal conditions of aging.



An inflammation of the tendons in the foot, tendonitis can be very painful and have several causes. Tendons may have been overstretched, overused, or even torn.

Morton's Neuroma

Morton's Neuroma

Most commonly experienced between the third and fourth toes, Morton's Neuroma is often described as if one had a small stone in their shoe.

What can you do about your foot pain?

The solution to your foot pain depends on the source of the pain and type of injury you may have sustained. The first step is to consult with your doctor and discuss their recommendations for treating the pain in your foot. Your doctor may recommend restrictions on specific activities, medication and/or physical therapy. You can try the following steps now to help alleviate your pain.



It is important when you are experiencing foot pain to limit your activity and rest so that your feet can heal.


cold packs

Apply cold packs to your feet to help decrease your pain and the inflammation of the joints and muscles. To prevent damage to skin and surrounding tissue, cold packs should only be applied in 15 minute intervals.



If you don’t have increased pain with movement, stretching the feet and ankles can be the first step in helping to increase your range of motion and alleviate soreness.


Physical therapy

Physical therapy consists of hands-on treatment to loosen muscles and joints, education on proper posture and movement to decrease pain, instruction on stretching and strengthening exercises to restore mobility and strength, and modalities such as electrical stimulation, cold/heat and ultrasound.

Exercises for foot pain

Following are exercises and stretches that you can try to help decrease your foot pain. Please go to LIFE+for more videos that may help you. Please consult your physician before trying these, and stop if you experience any pain or discomfort.

Plantar Fascia Stretch

Toe Spread Stretch

Standing Calf Raises

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