Types of Foot Pain

Checking the Signs for Foot Pain

The foot is an extremely complex part of the body. The foot consists of one hundred and twenty fix muscles, nerves and ligaments, twenty-six bones, and thirty-three joints.

However, foot pain is a major problem today, even though very, very few people are actually born with problems that would cause them to feel pain in their feet.

The reality is that when we feel pain in our feet, it’s usually because of how we act and care for our feet on a day to day basis.

The average person takes anywhere from five thousand to ten thousand steps every day, putting much more stress and pressure on our feet then you’d think.

Whether it’s because of physical exercises and activities, everyday walking, improper posture, or shoes that don’t fit our feet very well, pain under our foot is largely due to how we treat our feet each day.

Different Types of Foot Pain

First of all, there is no such thing as ‘foot pain.’  Foot pain is simply a general term used to describe any pain that you feel in your foot.

In actuality, there are different types of foot pain: toe pain, forefoot pain, midfoot pain, heel pain, and arch pain.

Toe Pain

The most common types of toe pain are called corns and calluses. Corns can build up between your toes and can develop further due to the perspiring moisture.

Calluses, on the other hand, develop on the bottom of your toes rather than in between and build up and develop mostly by rubbing against your shoe.

Having poorly fitted shoes, putting too much pressure on your toes, or walking on hard surfaces are all explanations for why corns and calluses can develop on your toes.

They also develop from physical activity and exercise where increasing pressure is applied to your toes either after a prolonged period of time or in rapid movements (such as jumping up in the air and then landing down on your toes).

Forefoot Pain

The most common type of forefoot pain is neuromas.  Neuromas happen when the nerve or tissues in the foot suffer from swelling and inflammation.

If you feel a tingling or a burning sensation in your forefoot, you may be suffering from the neuroma. A neuroma can be caused by wearing uncomfortable shoes, suffering a physical injury, or developing a medical condition such as arthritis.

Neuroma most commonly develops from metatarsal bones (bones that lead to the toes), and specifically between the second, third, and fourth bones.

Another form of pain on the forefoot is metatarsalgia, which is pain on the ball of the foot. Metatarsalgia is usually caused by uncomfortable shoes or footwear (especially high heels), as well as physical activities or exercises.

In addition, it also largely depends on the type of foot a person has. People with a foot that is high arched, for example, are more likely to develop metatarsalgia than people who don’t.

Midfoot Pain

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common form of midfoot pain. It is the result of when a nerve is compressed behind the anklebone, causing sharp pain in the body.  Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome usually will result from physical injury.

Types of Foot Pain

Heel Pain

The heel is perhaps the most vulnerable part of your foot because it is also the largest part of the foot.

More people who suffer from foot pain suffer pain specifically to their heel than any other part of their foot.

The most common type of heel pain there is plantar fasciitis, which is the result of inflammation I the ligaments in your heel.

It is these ligaments that affected that in turn affect the overall arch of your foot, so how you walk or posture may be entirely dependent on the condition of your heel.

Plantar fasciitis most often occurs due to high-intensity physical exercises, activities, and sports, such as running, jumping, etc.

Plantar fasciitis is even more likely to occur during physical activities if you are wearing uncomfortable shoes. You can tell if you suffer from plantar fasciitis since there will usually be a sudden, sharp pain in the heel of your foot.

While the pain will eventually subside, it will return at intervals if you continue to ignore it, so it’s best that you treat it once you suspect you may have plantar fasciitis.

Another form of heel pain are heel spurs, which are bone growth that extends out of the bone of the heel to the ground, and usually, develop first out of plantar fasciitis.

The pain that develops out of this bone growth is the nerves that are disturbed and damaged because of it. Despite this, there are some people who develop heel spurs who did not develop plantar fasciitis first.

Arch Pain

Last but not least, we come to arch pain.  One of the primary causes of arch pain is having flat feet, which is the condition where your foot does not have an arch.

Many people are born with flat feet and inherit it. However, it can also develop in adults as well.

Most of the adults that it does develop in are older adults over the age of fifty. Overall though, a flat foot isn’t as big of a problem as you might think. There are many athletes with flat feet, and they have succeeded very well at what they do.

As for people who do have arches on their feet, the main cause of the pain can be having a high arch.  You are also more likely to sustain a foot injury if you have a high arch.

Branching off of high arches is clawfoot, which is a hereditary condition of having both high arches and long toes.

It is rare, but it can cause pain and also cause you to become imbalanced in your walking and posturing.


  1. Becca Holton

    Recently, I’ve been experiencing some tingling in my forefoot. It sounds like I might be suffering from Neuromas although I’m not sure. For the most part, I feel like it could just be safe to get my foot checked out by a doctor.

  2. I just started getting into running and have been experiencing some heel pain. Looking at this article I think it may be plantar fasciitis because it’s cause by physical exercise. I’ll have to go to a professional to get it looked at so it doesn’t get worse.

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