throbbing pain in foot

Why You Might Experience Throbbing Pain In Your Foot

throbbing pain in foot

Foot pain arises from various circumstances. The most unmistakable circumstances involve injury.

You could be walking around, and then accidentally stub your foot against a hard surface.

Some people step on hard or sharp objects or cut their feet when handing them, which leads to inflammation and healing wounds that often feel painful.

Sometimes, even tight or poorly fitted shoes and overuse causes feet to throb and burn in pain.

Foot pain is often described as ‘sharp, dull, stabbing or throbbing pain.’ It also feels like a burning or tingling sensation.

Burning and tingling sensations in the feet are often associated with conditions that may damage the peripheral nerves, such as diabetes.

The intensity of foot pain often varies, with some pain occurring as mild pain or other types of pain turning into severe pain.

Sometimes, pain occurs at certain times of the day. Instances exist where people only feel foot pain during certain times of the day, such as in the morning or in the evening.

Foot pain also recurs when people do certain activities or even move their foot at all.

In other cases, however, the often throbbing pain doesn’t have anything to do with lacerations, bruises or cuts on the feet.

How throbbing pain in the foot feels

Most people describe the throbbing pain as pain that comes from inside their body part—in this case, the foot.

The pain swelters throughout their foot and feels as if it’s prodding certain nerves and tissue within the foot.

Much of the throbbing is localized or, in other words, occurs in one part of the foot.

Localized foot pain may occur at the top of the foot only, but it’s also known to occur in the bottom of the foot, the heel, on the toes and in the ankles.

Sometimes, this foot pain develops from a one-time injury. Most cases of throbbing pain indicate something more serious than a one-time injury.

This type of foot pain is often associated with nerve-related conditions.


Symptoms associated with throbbing foot pain

Throbbing foot pain and other types of foot pain are commonly associated with certain types of symptoms.

The types of symptoms people develop generally depend on the condition that they have.

Some of the most common symptoms that are associated with foot pain include:

  • Bruising and/or bleeding
  • Burning and/or tingling sensations, also known as paresthesia
  • Difficulty moving the foot, toes and/or ankles
  • Pain in the joints
  • Numbness and stiffness in the foot and leg
  • Swelling, also known as edema, of the joints and feet

Other symptoms may accompany foot pain, mainly symptoms not often associated with ailments of the foot. These symptoms include:

  • Leg pain
  • Back pain
  • Muscle spasms and cramps
  • Swelling, stiffness and/or pain in other joints

In some cases, serious symptoms may accompany throbbing pain in the foot. The following symptoms require immediate medical attention if you develop them:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Pain and/or pressure within the chest
  • Inability to move body parts, also known as paralysis
  • Respiratory problems, such as shortness of breath, labored breathing, wheezing, choking, difficulty breaking or a lack of breathing
  • Eye problems, including eye pain, a sudden change in vision or a loss of vision
  • Sudden and/or severe headaches

Most cases of throbbing foot pain don’t devolve into serious conditions, though a rare bunch does.

If your throbbing foot pain persists, it’s advised to seek medical advice to resolve the ailment as soon as possible.

What might cause throbbing pain in the foot?

Many causes exist for people who have a throbbing pain in their feet. Conditions that affect the entire body may cause throbbing pain in the feet.

Infections may cause throbbing pain in the feet. Physical ailments, such as nerve-related conditions, are known to cause throbbing foot pain.

The following common injuries are known to result in foot pain, including throbbing pain in the foot:

  • Burn on the surface of the foot’s skin
  • Broken bones in the foot
  • Overuse, sprains or strain-related injuries
  • Stress fractures in the foot

Related: Stress Fracture of the Foot and How it Causes Pain

Besides injuries, inflammatory causes may result in different types of foot pain, including throbbing foot pain:

  • Blisters and bunions
  • Gout, a type of arthritis caused by uric acid accumulation in the joints
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Peripheral neuropathy, a disorder that affects the peripheral nerves outside the brain and spinal cord
  • Plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the thick and fibrous tissue at the bottom of the foot
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease known for joint inflammation
  • Bursitis, the inflammation of the bursa sacs that cushions the joints
  • Tendonitis, or tendon inflammation
  • Vasculitis, blood vessel inflammation

Related: Foot Pain In The Morning? You Might Have Plantar Fasciitis

Sometimes, throbbing pain in the foot and other types of foot pain occur as the result of an infection. The following infections may result in foot pain:

  • Ingrown toenails
  • Plantar warts, which are caused by a papillomavirus infection
  • Abscesses
  • Cellulitis, also known as skin and soft tissue infections
  • Osteomyelitis, also known as bone infection

Other causes of foot pain, including throbbing pain in the foot, affect other parts of the body.

These issues affect multiple bodily systems, including the foot itself. The following issues are known to affect the foot and the rest of the body:

  • Blood clots, particularly in the legs
  • Bone spurs
  • Diabetes, a chronic disease affecting how the body uses sugar as energy
  • Congenital deformities
  • Difficulties with obesity
  • Loose fragments within bone or cartilage joint spaces

Although some ‘life-threatening’ causes of foot pain exist, they’re not at all common. People who do have serious injuries or ailments, however, should seek immediate medical attention.

Seeking immediate medical attention will help you resolve one issue: the origin of your foot pain. A podiatrist or a foot doctor can show you where the pain in your foot might originate.

Sometimes, throbbing pain in foot originates from a completely unknown cause, until a podiatrist comes in and provides the correct diagnosis for the pain.

Throbbing pain in the foot is common among people who experience sudden foot pain.

People who have a throbbing pain in their feet have several options on hand to help them resolve their ailment as soon as possible.


  1. Jack Adjemian

    I have internal soreness left foot with some redness.It is difficult to walk and to flex the foot and toes.

  2. My foot has been bothering me for a while now. I’ve been waiting for the pain to just go away. However, I’m going to seek out a foot specialist, especially after learning how the cause might be from an infection.

  3. Rishi Raj Singh

    I am diabetic and for the last 3 months a throbbing pain comes and goes in my right upperside of my foot. God alone knows why is this happening.

  4. Jorge garcia

    My wife is having painful throbbing on her left foot which is exactly on the side with no soreness, no inflammation, no injuries, no redness or hot surface of the skin, what could it be?

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