As an active person you prize the time when you can take a stroll in your neighborhood, go for a hike through Discovery Park, or join in with friends for a walk around Green Lake. Then you wake up one day and feel like you're walking on razor blades. Immediately you wonder if you're going to need to stop your much loved activities.
As a Seattle podiatrist with over 30 years of experience, I'm here to let you know you don't need to worry. Every foot problem has a solution. Even the feeling of walking on razor blades.
So what could be causing this problem?
It all depends on where you're feeling the pain. Is it located under the heel of the foot, the side of the foot, the ball of the foot, or more specifically between the 3rd and 4th toes?
Here are some guidelines for identifying the most likely foot pain culprit.
Pain Under the Heel of Your Foot
If you feel pain under the heel of your foot, particularly when taking first steps in the morning, you most likely have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis or heel pain frequently develops in people who have flat feet, are active, have tight calf muscles, or wear unsupportive shoes. Pregnant woman or people who are overweight are also likely to develop it as a result of increased pressure on the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the band of tissue that runs from the heel under the arch and connects into the base of the toes. When this tissue gets inflamed you develop plantar fasciitis.
Pain in the Ball of Your Foot
If you feel pain in the ball of your foot you most likely have a condition called metatarsalgia. This condition develops most often in people who have a high arched foot, participate in high impact sports, have a job requiring long hours of standing on hard surfaces, or are overweight. The pain often shows up on one or more of the five bones or metatarsals in the mid part of the foot.
Pain On the Inside of Your Foot
If you're experiencing pain on the inside of your foot at the base of your big toe and you have a bump, you probably have a bunion. Although bunions aren't hereditary the foot type is. Flat feet are known to put people at higher risk of bunions and flat feet run in families. Tight, pointy, and high heeled shoes can also make bunions worse.
Pain On the Outside of Your Foot
Pain on the outside of your foot just above the heel of your foot may be cuboid syndrome. People at most risk have high arches, tend to roll their feet over the outside of the foot, and have tight calf muscles.
Pain Between the Third and Fourth Toes
Another common condition called Morton's Neuroma shows up as pain between the 3rd and 4th toes. Women are eight to ten times more likely to develop this condition. Common causes are tight pointy and high heeled shoes, abnormal foot structure, trauma, and high impact sports.
All of these conditions have conservative treatment options.