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Conditions InDepth: Foot Pain

Most people will have foot pain at some point in their lives. A small number of people are born with foot problems. Others have problems due to poor care.

Normal Anatomy of the Left Foot

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Some common causes of foot pain are:

  • Poor-fitting shoes
  • High-heeled shoes
  • Poor posture
  • High impact sports, such as running

Foot pain may also be caused by health problems. Common ones are:

  • Arthritis can cause stiffness and limit range of motion.
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) affects causes poor blood flow, swelling, and a risk of infection in the feet.
  • Diabetes can cause poor blood flow that leads to changes in sensation, swelling, and a risk of infection.
  • Gout is a build up of uric acid crystals in the joints that causes pain and swelling, often in the big toe.

Foot care 101. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.apma.org/files/FileDownloads/myFEETFootCare101.pdf. Accessed May 5, 2020.

Foot complications. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/complications/foot-complications. Accessed May 5, 2020.

Foot pain and problems. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/foot-pain-and-problems. Accessed May 5, 2020.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM  Last Updated: 4/9/21