Knowing whether you’ve just been more active over the last few days, it’s that new pair of shoes, it’s the weather – or if something more serious underpinning the foot pain you’re experiencing can be very hard.
Many Australians put up with foot pain daily, hoping that the pain will disappear on its own, and trialling simple lifestyle changes with no improvement.
Whether it hurts to walk first thing in the morning, after you sit down, or even every time you walk barefoot, it’s important to identify and understand what is causing the pain. Without identifying and treating the condition, you’re limiting your ability to exercise, work and wear enclosed shoes – and all the unavoidable demands of a modern life.
So, what are some of the causes of foot pain when walking?
Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)
Plantar fasciitis or ‘heel spurs’ is a condition that causes sharp, shooting pain beneath the heel that may radiate into the arch. Generally, the pain is worse in the first few steps in the morning, and when standing after sitting and towards the end of the day. The pain is caused by micro-tears to the plantar fascia (the long, tight cord that spans the arch) where it attaches directly beneath the heel. As we engage and use the fascia with every step we take, if this condition is left untreated, the pain can persist for a long time and the damage may become chronic.
Corns and Calluses
Foot pain when walking may result from abnormal pressure or friction on the skin, with hard skin cells becoming thicker and thicker causing a callus. This can eventually lead to a central core, or corn, pushing deep into the tissue. Learn more about corns and calluses here.
An ingrown toenail occurs when part of your toenail protrudes into the side of the skin surrounding the nail, or into the nail bed itself. Many Australians experience ingrown nails at least once in their life and if left untreated, it can allow for the entry of bacteria in the toe resulting in infection.
Metatarsalgia is a broad term that describes pain in the forefoot, which may be related to joint inflammation, nerve compression, plantar plate injuries, bursitis, bone stress and more. As there are many different conditions that may produce metatarsalgia, an accurate clinical diagnosis from your My FootDr podiatrist is an important step to ensure you receive the correct treatment.
Arthritis can be a painful, restrictive and debilitating condition. While pain and discomfort is one aspect, arthritis in your feet can also cause permanent changes to the joints that can impair mobility, make comfortable shoes more challenging to find, and ultimately affect your quality of life and independence. The most common types of arthritis we see at My FootDr are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout.
If your feet appear to have no arch and excessively roll inwards and downwards towards the floor when you’re standing, then it’s likely that you have flat feet. When your feet are flat, you tend to pronate excessively when you walk, which can place excess stress on muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones in the feet, making you more vulnerable to foot pain. Learn more about flat feet.
A Morton’s neuroma can feel like a hard, painful pebble between the long bones of your feet – often between the third and fourth toes. It develops when the ‘lining’ of a nerve that runs between your toes is inflamed, pressing on the surrounding structures and causing pain.
We’re Here To Help
When it comes to foot pain, there might be some hidden reasons behind why you are experiencing pain when you walk – and it all depends on your individual lower limb characteristics and lifestyle.
Your foot is made up of many small bones, muscle ligaments, tendons and other body tissue, and conditions can be difficult to pinpoint and diagnose by someone that does not specialise in foot and leg problems.
Here at My FootDr, our podiatrists take a detailed history, perform a physical assessment, use video walking analysis and take a 3D foot scan to find out what’s causing the pain and create a plan to help you get back to pain-free walking. So put the right foot forward and get a professional diagnosis from your local My FootDr team today.