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Common Causes of Foot Pain 3

For patients seeking treatment for foot pain, it is important to understand that the foot is an extremely complex part of the body. The foot is a combination of intricately structured parts that includes 26 bones, 33 joints, multiple muscles, tendons, nerves, lymphatics and blood vessels. The bones of the foot are held together by forming joints surrounded by joint capsules and then connected by fibrous tissues. This fibrous tissue is known as ligaments. In addition, the muscles of the foot along with the sinewy tissue, known as the plantar fascia, provides a level of secondary support to the foot.


The foot itself has internal muscles that originate in the foot itself, as well as external muscles that begin in the lower leg and attach at various places on the bones of the foot. All of this combines to make an extremely complex system that can easily experience pain if something goes wrong with any of the many moving parts. This explains why this pain is such a common occurrence.

There are innumerable reasons why a person can experience pain in the feet. Some of these include diseases, biochemical conditions, wearing improper footwear, injuries and even deformities.


Some foot pain is due to viruses, disease, fungus or bacteria. Examples of this include plantar warts which commonly occur at the bottom of the foot and are caused by a virus. Plantar warts can cause a severe degree of irritation and pain. Athlete’s foot, which is a fungus, can lead to extreme amounts of foot irritation as well as serious pain.

Another common cause of pain is an ingrown toenail, which occurs when the edges of the nail grow through or get under the skin. An ingrown toenail, though it sounds relatively simple, can be extremely painful and can even lead to further foot infections.


Human systemic diseases like diabetes, gout, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can also be causes of pain in the feet. For example, rheumatoid arthritis can cause painful inflammation in the joints of the foot that can lead to a patient needing to seek treatment. Gout, a relatively easily treated condition, is common in older individuals and can also lead to extreme amounts of pain.

In addition to diseases, deformities such as tarsal coalition, calcaneal varus, bunions, mallet toes, bone spurs and hammer toes are also extremely common reasons why people experience discomfort.


This pain can also be caused by injury. Injuries like ligament sprains, bruises, muscle sprain and breaks can lead to pain in the feet that requires treatment. A sprain of the foot or ankle occurs when the ligament that holds bones together are overstretched, leading to the fibers being torn or being stretched too far.

The looseness of ligaments in the joints of the foot can lead to chronic pain and eventually to deformity. Plantar fasciitis, a common heel pain, is due to microtrauma in the large ligament known as the plantar fascia.


For help with your foot pain, call our office. We can examine you, determine the cause of the pain and recommend a treatment option.

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