Health Information

Foot Pain and Problems

Anatomy of the foot:

The foot is one of the most complex parts of the body, consisting of 28 bones connected by numerous joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The foot is susceptible to many stresses. Foot pain and problems can cause pain, inflammation, or injury, resulting in limited movement and mobility.

What are the different types of foot problems?

Foot pain is often caused by improper foot function. Improperly fitted shoes can worsen and, in some cases, cause foot problems. Shoes that fit properly and give good arch support can prevent irritation to the foot joints and skin. There are many types of foot problems that affect the heels, toes, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and joints of the foot.

The symptoms of foot problems may resemble other medical conditions and problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

What are heel spurs?

A heel spur is a bone growth on the heel bone. It is usually located on the underside of the heel bone where it attaches to the plantar fascia, a long band of connective tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot. This connective tissue holds the arch together and acts as a shock absorber during activity. If the plantar fascia is over-stretched from running, wearing poor-fitting shoes, or being overweight, pain can result from the stress and inflammation of the tissue pulling on the bone. Over time, the body builds extra bone in response to this stress resulting in heel spurs.  Treatment options may include:
  • rest
  • cold packs
  • anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen
  • proper stretching prior to activity
  • proper footwear or shoe inserts
  • corticosteroid injections
  • surgery (for more severe, prolonged conditions)