My foot is hurting on the top of the foot towards the middle(left side) and my last two toes have a tingling numb feeling. I had back surgery 2 years ago, could this be related or is it just a foot problem?
Hi Tiffany, There is always the possibility that the tingling is related to previous back surgery AND there is also the possibility that it is a local foot problem. A foot specialist would be able to rule out the source of the problem. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am having pain in my foot, it only hurts when I'm walking, after my heel has left the ground and I'm on the ball of my foot. The pain is on my left foot, on the left side of the bottom, right under the ball, running down about 3 inches to the arch of my foot. It feels like something is being pulled or that I'm stepping on a rock. I added a picture and drew a line where it hurts. I am an Assistant Manager at a bank where we can't sit down and we have to walk around a lot in dress shoes, and I have really high arches so that might have something to do with it. I hope that this helps a little. Thank you for your help. Carli
Hi Carli, I did not receive your drawing but the 2 conditions that you need to consider are capsulitis and Mortons neuroma. Both of these conditions may be exacerbated by wearing high heals on a hard floor and standing for long hours. The first thing you need to do is go to low heels; if you do not eliminate the major irritant causing the problem, the pain might never go away. You can then try some anti-inflammatory medication for a few weeks (assuming you can tolerate it). If the pain does not subside substantially then you will need to see a podiatrist.
I have occasional cramps in the top of my feet that are not associated with an outside source (as far as I can determine). They occur at night more often than during the day. The cramps are VERY painful and my toes are drawn back, toward the top of my feet. My feet are always sore for several days after the cramping.
The only relief is to soak my feet in warm water and rub them or apply Tiger Balm patches (the heat causing patches also work) to the tops of my feet.
Please tell what causes the cramps and what I need to do to be rid of them.
Read my section on night cramps. Most cramps of this nature are idiopathic, meaning they occur for no particular reason. In some individuals depending on their shoes and their daily activity over stretching of these tendons may cause them to go into spasm when at rest. Most night cramps occur on the bottom of the foot forcing people to get out of bed and stretch the tendon. There are different things you can try; seem my section on night cramps. Marc Mitnick DPM
My 5 1/2 year old son started walking with this feet inward and complaining of foot pain (sides of foot and arch) for a couple of weeks. He started wearing a new pair of shoes around the same time. We purchased a new pair of shoes with more arch support (this is hard to find for toddlers). My son's symptoms have not improved. He is running "stiff legged" because his feet hurt. Seems somewhat depressed. We called our Dr. He felt it was nothing to worry about, give it some time. We are concerned.
Hi, This is not normal. These kind of problems are not usually well served by pediatricians. At 5 1/2 years, I cannot classify your son as a toddler, but intoeing is usually seen from the time a child starts to walk and then in most cases disappears. I gather from your post, that he has just started intoeing (after walking normal for the last four and half years) Take him to a podiatrist or pediatric orthopedist to be examined. You will not regret it, particularly for the peace of mind. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am having a peculiar sensation which is very disabling, but not particularly painful, affecting the pad at the ball of the foot. It is a a sensation like my sock is all balled up in my shoe, but it is not. The sensation persists even when I have no sock or shoe on my foot. It is particularly powerful and disabling, though, while I have my shoe and sock on and walk about. It affects only my right foot and is present with any shoe or sock I wear on that foot. The sensation is one of a wadded up sock at the top of the ball of the foot and a string tied around the base of toe 3 (if big toe is toe 1 and little toe is toe 5). I have rigid hammertoe on toe 2 of both feet. Please advise.
Hi, Read my section on neuroma. Many patients who exhibit neuromas will complain that they feel like their sock is rolled up in their shoe. The other common condition is capsulitis. The resulting inflammation from the capsulitis will cause swelling on the bottom of the foot and it too can feel like a rolled up sock. Both conditions are readily treatable. Marc Mitnick DPM
I was just walking in my kitchen and felt a small pain on the bottom of my foot below my pinky toe-and then in began filling up with fluid-Now it feels like I am walking a tiny golfball in that area. I am in good shape and run, bike, and swim-working out 6 days a week. I did not run today-but swam- Any ideas
Hi Beth, I am not sure what happened here. I have never heard of a part of the foot filling up with fluid "just like that". How much time passed between walking in the kitchen and this filling up of fluid? If it were more than lets say 30 minutes, you might have overstretched a small ligament in the toe area and it became inflamed. You may have also broken a small vein. Try icing the area and taking anti-inflammatory medication (if you can tolerate them), it that does not relieve your symptoms, see a podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have burning pain under my big toe. The pain started suddenly and it hurts to bear down on my foot. Pain comes and goes.
Hi, The symptoms that you describe are suggestive of a neuritis, or local inflammation of a nerve. It may disappear as quickly as it came, but if not you will probably need medical care to help it along, perhaps anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone shot, or change in shoe wear to eliminate the irritation. Marc Mitnick DPM
I WORK IN A WAREHOUSE W/CONCRETE FLOOR. BY NOON EVERYDAY THE BALLS OF MY FEET ACHE INTO MY TOES. I HAVE TRIED INSERTS FROM DRUG STORES BUT TO NO AVAIL. I WEIGHT 220 LBS AM 59 YEARS
Hi Frank, Big people who work on concrete floors will eventually pay a price. There are a few things in the feet that may be causing the pain, but by and large the treatment is the same. You need adequate support under your feet, to distribute your body weight more evenly along your feet and thus take some of the pressure off the ball of your feet. Additionally, you need cushioning in the ball of your feet. Rarely will a drug store arch support help in this scenario; you are too big and the floors are too hard and the arch supports are too flimsy. Rather than going for a prescription orthotic you might want to consider the off the shelf orthotic I have on my site. The SuperStep Max should accomodate your body weight and cushion your feet. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am having pain on the outside of my foot that radiates to the ankle sometimes. It hurts to walk sometimes as well as hurting when I rotate or turn my foot to the inside or when I point my toes down. I've tried different types of shoes but to no avail. I'm a dental assistant and am on my feet quite a bit. Could you please offer me some advice.
Read my section on tendonitis and ankle pain, specifically as it relates to the peroneus longus tendon (which is the first yellow arrow in the diagrams. This problem in combination with a foot that pronates too much can cause the type of pain that you describe. If your foot does pronate, then you will need an orthotic because unless you reverse the pronation the foot will continue to hurt no matter what you try. For short term relief you can try anti-inflammatory medication (assuming you can tolerate it), but you ultimately have to deal with the underlying cause of the problem, especially if your job requires you do a lot of standing. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have just had an MRI of my foot and the results are as follows:
Small subchondral cysts in the anerior calcaneus at the calcaneonavicular joint suggesting mild osteoporosis. Small ossicle in the peroneus brevis tendon - Physical therapy was recommended and NSAID's as needed. What does this all mean in laymans terms.
Hi Phyllis, A subchondral cyst is a bone cyst at or near the joint where the calcaneus (heel bone) comes in contact with the navicular bone. Its basically a demineralization of bone, personally I do not think it is indicative of osteoporosis, it is just a bone defect but it might cause pain at the calcaneal navicular joint. An ossicle is just a small extra bone, in this case it is located in the tendon of one of the foot muscles. I am guessing it was just an "extra" observation. Rarely do these bones have to be removal. You can try physical therapy and nsaids, just do not go wild with the medication. One month is all I would try. You may also want to consider an orthotic to better stabilize the foot and support the affected calcaneal navicular joint. Marc Mitnick DPM
My son has bumps on the top of his left foot by the ankle.
(Regina, Sk, Canada)
Hi there my eight year old son has hard bumps on the top of his left and right foot close to the ankle bone. They are red in color and seem have gotten bigger. They don't hurt but just curious what these are. Thanks.
Hi Jamie, Since they are symmetrical my first impression would be irritation of a bone protrusion on each foot, usually as a result of pressure from shoes or sneakers. Look at them again, press on them to see if they are just above bone and if they are occurring on similar spots on each foot, then that is all it is. There is nothing to do about them, unless they start to hurt. In that case the first thing to do if find the shoes that are irritating them. Marc Mitnick DPM
Comments for My son has bumps on the top of his left foot by the ankle.
on my left foot near my baby toe, it feels like there is a knot, and when i press it, the knot moves. it hurts really bad, should i be concerned?
Hi Tiffany, Without having the luxury of actually seeing your foot the 2 things that come to mind are either a ganglion cyst (most likely) or perhaps a synovial cyst. Both of these are benign growths but, any abnormal lump should be checked by a doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
Thank you for taking time to answer my question. I'm experiencing cramps on the toe next to the pinky toe on my left foot. Which then feels like if I were walking on the edge of a knife and I end up trying to walk on my heel it hurts so much.I'm active fireman so don't have much of a choice in the terrain I'm walking on. I await your thoughts thank you Joe O FDNY
Hi Joe, Read my section on Mortons neuroma. Your symptoms sound like a classic example of this type of foot pain. You will probably need to see a podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have been seeing a podiatrist for a few months. I have been suffering with pain on the side of my foot, under the side of the heel as well as under the ankle bone, radiating up the side of my calf to the knee. Sometimes after being on my feet for awhile it is very very painful. X-rays showed nothing but I am going for an MRI tomorrow.
Hi Phyllis, Radiating pain to me suggests tarsal tunnel or perhaps posterior tibial dysfunction which is an over-stretching of a tendon that arises in the back of the leg and passes under the ankle bone where you describe. This over-stretched muscle could give you a radiating type pain up your leg. The MRI is not a bad idea but if it does not show anything you might want to consider nerve conduction studies to test the nerves that run in that part of the ankle and heel. Marc Mitnick DPM
About a few weeks ago, when i was surfing, i noticed that my (recently researched) "navicular bone" is bruised and is swollen, and purple. it looks like i have two ankle bones on my inner foot. The thing is that it only hurts if i bump it into something, which is usually my surfboard when i surf. And recently my snowboard season ended so i don't know if hurt it doing that or not, because my ankles get a little twisted from time to time. But other than the bump, my ankle feels great when i walk and do normal activities, except surfing. well i hope you can help me out. thanks
Hi Trevor, I guess it would be safe to say that it was the surfing that caused the bruised navicular and now that the season is over, it should get better, assuming you do not keep banging into it. Some people have what is known as an accessory navicular which is an extra bone in that area. With all the surfboard trauma, if you do have that extra bone, there is a possibility you may have fractured it; that is why it may hurt when you press on it but no pain other times. Do this. Give it two weeks, if it feels better than forget about it, it if still hurts, see a podiatrist in your area. Marc Mitnick DPM
For about 6 months I have had EXCRUTIATING pain just behind the "ball of my big toe" and it radiates to the middle of the arch of my foot. Sometimes I get stabbing/shooting pains just behind the joint. I have tried to stretch my foot,elevate etc, and all of it gives me no relief.I desperately need to lose weight and I have begun working-out but its so very painful! And I try to "work thru" it but it has just gotten to be crippling. Please HELP!!
Hi Kristy, The most cause of pain in that area is sesamoiditis. The problem is that sesamoiditis generally does not extend to the arch of the foot, so I am thinking there may be some muscle or tendon problem associated with it. Based on your symptoms, I do not think you are going to be able to get rid of it on your own. Sesamoiditis is difficult enough but with the added symptoms you mention, I think professional care is needed. You would be wise to see a podiatrist. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
I recently developed intense pain on the side and bottom of my foot. It only hurts when I walk on it, but otherwise feels fine. There is a little bit of swelling and bruising around the area, but is not tender to the touch. I cannot figure out what I did - I just went for a walk and then a few hours later was in pain. Any chance this is a sprain?
Hi Rachael, You do not mention which side of the foot (inside or outside) but in either event, with no history of trauma, you probably did sprain your foot. I would try some anti-inflammatory medication (assuming you can tolerate it), warm soaks, comfortable shoes and give it about ten days. If it is not appreciably better I would then seek medical treatment particularly to rule out a stress fracture. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
Hello. Two days ago, I was feeling tired, so I decided to take my shoes off and relax for a bit. When I removed my socks, I was suprised to notice a lot of discoloration on the tops of my feet. It involves both feet, but is worse on the right. I figured that I must have tied my shoes WAY too tightly or something, so I loosened the laces, and went to bed. I woke up and looked at my feet...the discoloration was gone. Feeling relieved I got up and shaved, brushed my teeth, etc. When I went to put my socks on, the discoloration was back! Feeling scared now, I went to my stepfather and showed him...his first thought was "are your shoes too tight?". I told him I had loosened them, and that the color went away while I was sleeping, then came back when I became active again. He didn't really have an answer for me, so I let it go again. That night after I took my shoes off I noticed that my feet are starting to feel uncomfortable. They don't really "hurt", but it feels like they are constantly, mildly, "asleep"...a tingly/itchy feeling, similar to when you are out in the cold for too long. In addition, my feet feel cold. When I put warm socks on, it does not help the cold feeling at all. So now I am always rubbing them, hoping to make them feel better. In addition (I don't know if it's related, but I figured I should mention it), I developed a pain in the bottom of my left foot, deep inside, near the center. This has caused me to start to limp a bit when I put weight on my left foot.
The discoloration is on the tops of my feet. Going from about an inch in front of my ankles to an inch behind my toes. There is a very clear line where the discoloration starts and ends. When I press on it with my finger, or run my finger along it, the discoloration will (very) temporarily go away. It ALWAYS clears up and looks much better when I am standing or lying flat. When I am sitting at the computer is when it is the worst...turning a deep purple with bright red blotches. On the affected areas, I can clearly see every hair follicle, as they are bright red.
I am a 24 year-old male. 6'0", 140. I am not very active, but take a walk every day, which is usually about an hour long. I am on Toprol-XL (25mg) for Tachycardia. I know I have high cholesterol. My doctor said I have high blood pressure, however, I monitor my BP at home, and it has never came up as high for me. I have never had any foot or leg problems before, so this is quite scary for me. Can I get an opinion on what it might be? This is the first time this has ever happened.
My first thought was also that you tied your shoes too tight, doing so could cause local irritation to the superficial nerves of your feet causing the discoloration particularly when you are standing and much less so when you are supine. The tightness of your laces could also injure the superficial nerves that cross the top of your feet causing some numbness in the area. Keep in mind some anti-hypertensive drugs can cause discoloration in your feet, but I am not sure if Toprol is one of them. I would have thought that by not tying your shoe laces so tight, this problem would have subsided in short order, but apparently it is still present. For that reason I would suggest you see a doctor to rule out any other source of your problem or to just confirm that your problem is just nothing more than tight shoe laces. Marc Mitnick DPM
Comments for Discoloration on top of feet, some discomfort
i went for a run with my boyfriend around pontifract racecourse on sunday, the terrain was fairly bumpy and hilly......over the next few days ive been having pains on the underside of my foot, especially when i walk.... i can pin point the pain when i palpate it its quite sharp but subsides when non weight bearing.....theres no visible bruising but its still there and now its wednesday i cant run on it and have missed several spin classes
please help doc
Hi Sally, Unfortunately you are not specific enough as to where the pain is located. Obviously, you bruised or "pulled" something, not to mention the possibility of a stress fracture. You should go have an x-ray to rule out stress fracture. If it is not fractured then a round of anti-inflammatory medication (if you can tolerate it), warm soaks, rest and comfortable shoes over the next 7-10 days should take care of it. Make sure the next time you go on a long "walk" you are wearing good walking shoes. Marc Mitnick DPM
My third toe on my right foot is hurting really bad when I walk or sit. It is a little swollen on the bottom. It hurts from the bottom of my toe all the way down to the top part of my foot on the bottom. It looks a little red but not to bad. It also feels hot. What is wrong with it, please help. Can I treat this at home?
Hi Brandi, First, look around the area and make sure there is no break in the skin as the redness and swelling could be sign of cellulitis. If there is no break in the skin and no drainage anywhere in the area, including the nail the the two other things that come to mind are capsulitis or perhaps even gout. I do not know how old you are but gout usually only occurs in post menopausal women. You can try a regimen of anti-inflammatory medication for a few days (assuming you can tolerate that type of medicine),avoid high heel shoes, and if you do not see substantial improvement then you should see a podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am 11 wks pregnant, and I have notice that the past few weeks the bottom of both of my feet hurt. The pain is right at the end of the arch and at the heel. I thought that it was my shoes, but I have been wearing tennis shoes since then, and shoes that i normally wore before I was pregnant that never gave me any issues with. It is really uncomfortable, and it hurts the worse after I have been sitting and stand to walk, that's when the pain is the worse. If there is any direction that you can take me in so that i can get rid of the pain that would be wonderful, or if i need to go see my doctor, please let me know.
Thanks for your help,
Hi Ronni, Weight gain and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy can have a negative impact on your feet. Your symptoms are suggestive of plantar fasciitis which typically hurts when you first stand up on the foot. Your best bet would be to get a good orthotic, not one you buy in a grocery store. The orthotic will support the ligament and not allow it to overstretch and the pain should subside. The orthotic we offer on this web site would be a good choice to consider. Because of your pregnancy you do not want to start in with oral medication or injections, so your only practical approach is an orthotic. Since you are only 11 weeks present you have a long way to go and you certainly do not want to be hampered by this foot pain, plus because of your present condition, you run the risk of the pain getting worse. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
i don't know if my pinky toe is broken or sprained
Wednesday i went to the barn and rode my horse as soon as i was done i had to take off the saddle and the britle well while i was taking it off the horse turn around and landed on my pinky toe now it is hurting and it is swollen is it broken or sprained
Hi Casey, The only way you will know is to have the toe x-rayed. You cannot tell just my looking at the toe. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am 65, 6', 185lbs and am a hyper person. I play golf and usually walk most of the time and our course is quite hilly. I play to a 5 handicap and swing quite hard (100+ mph club speed). Lately, I have been getting pain on the right foot on the top middle right side. Could my arch be flattening and I am in need of a arch support? I wore new comfortable golf shoes yesterday and after about 5 or 6 holes my foot starting hurting, so I loosened the laces a little and that seemed to help. I have not been to my doctor as yet, but certainly am thinking about it, or should I go to a foot doctor? I do have some Triad store bought inserts and I find them comfortable, but I am not sure they are doing the job. I look forward to your reply?
Hi Allen, The first thing that comes to mind is a midtarsal fault. The fact that loosening your laces seemed to help is a good indicator. Most midtarsal faults can be treated with an orthotic but keep in mind as you raise the foot it can put more pressure on the top part of the shoe so you have to accommodate for that. If the spurring that has occurred on the top of your foot is too large, a foot support will not help and you may actually have to think about having the spurs removed. See a doctor and have an x-ray. Marc Mitnick DPM
for about 2-3 days i have had pain on my left foot on top a little to the left i guess it hurts when i walk and i can't seem to lift my toes as well as i can on the right foot and it is a little swollen i don't remember injuring it what could be the problem
Read my section on tendonitis, it sounds like you may have a tendonitis of the tendons that raise the toes. Marc Mitnick DPM
Each morning I wake up and as I try to walk I have foot pain at the bottom of my feet. It gradually goes away but if I do alot of walking during the day it starts up again and gets very sore once again. How can I tell if this is due to weight gain or plantar fasciitis. Thank you, David
Hi David, Weight gain and plantar fasciitis are not mutually exclusive. Many times weight gain will be the cause of plantar fasciitis. Since you have a problem that is not going to go away until you lose some weight (and even then you may still have the problem) I would suggest you try an orthotic in an effort to counter the effects of the extra weight. You can try some of my other suggestion in my heel pain page, but orthotics should be the cornerstone of your treatment. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
Pain in the area between the ball of my foot and the toes.
by Mary Ann
It feels like ALL of my shoes develope a lump in the ball of the shoe. It causes pain and when I take my shoes off to releave the pain, it feels like something is wedged between the ball and the toes. When I buy new shoes, it will be fine for a couple of days and then begin again.
Read my articles on capsulitis and Mortons neuroma and see if either of those conditions describes your pain. Marc Mitnick DPM
Hi, I gave birth to my first child 2.5 months ago. For the last few weeks I've been experiencing stiff feet in the mornings, it is a little painful but not too bad, it's harder to walk but when i move around it goes after I move around for 30 minutes or so. Is it something I should go to the doctor about? Any idea what could be causing it?
Hi Karen, I have yet to do a section on pregnancy and the foot, but two issues occur during pregnancy. Hormonal changes cause the ligaments to relax particularly in the feet which is further exacerbated by the weight gain that women experience. Did you gain an excessive amount of weight? So what probably happened is you did some damage to the joints of the feet and you have morning stiffness which is a cardinal sign of osteoarthritis, the wear and tear arthritis we all develop. You do not mention your age, but if you are nearer to 40 than 20 years of age, this problem may linger. What I would do is wait a while longer, lose whatever left over weight you have, let your hormones settle down. Then, if the symptoms are still present, you might want to seek medical care. Good luck mom. Marc Mitnick DPM
I sprain my ankle and the bruises are getting worse and there is a tingly feeling in my foot
I sprained my ankle a week ago and the swelling hasn't gone down and the bruises are getting worse and there is a tingling feeling in my toes and foot. Is this normal? I went to the ER and they gave me a walking brace but it seems to feel worse as time goes. What should I do?
Hi Jessica, Since you went to the ER, I assume they x-rayed the foot and ankle and there is no fracture. Even with the brace the ankle can hurt particularly if you are still doing a lot of walking. Try soaking the foot in warm, not hot, water 20 minutes at a time , three times a day. Take some Advil or Motrin (if you can tolerate them) for may be 7-10 days. If there is no substantial improvement, see a podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
on the left side of my right foot just above the arch and behind the ankle bone I sometimes (more than not) get a throbbing pain and then it goes away after a couple of minutes. on another note, sometimes my feet feel like they are in a garlic press and being squeezed from the inside and the wierd feeling radiates out towards the skin. I asked the doctor about maybe being diabetic but he doesn't believe that is why, but I have not been tested for it either.
Hi Holly, On the first part of your question, based on your description I have no idea what is going on other than it is probably a musculo-skeletal problem of some sort. I would have to examine you to figure that one out. What I would suggest is that since you get the pain intermittantly I would look for a common denominator that may be setting it off, such as a certain pair of shoes or a certain activity. Since it does not happen on a regular basis if you can find the source of the pain and eliminate the source you may very readily eliminate the pain. On the second part of your question your symptoms are not suggestive of diabetes, but if you are concerned your doctor should run some blood work and not just "guess" that you are not diabetic. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am having pain in my foot, it only hurts when I'm walking, after my heel has left the ground and I'm on the ball of my foot. The pain is on my left foot, on the left side of the bottom, right under the ball, running down about 3 inches to the arch of my foot. It feels like something is being pulled or that I'm stepping on a rock. I added a picture and drew a line where it hurts. I am an Assistant Manager at a bank where we can't sit down and we have to walk around a lot in dress shoes, and I have really high arches so that might have something to do with it. My mom also has spurs in her foot. I hope that this helps a little. Thank you for your help. Carli Nelson
Hi Carli, Please review my answer to your question that was posted 2 days ago. Marc Mitnick DPM
i am a 60 yr. old female. Following a 45 min swim yesterday ( a new form of exercise-i've also been taking easy walks most days,over several months for the health benefit to my overweight self) I developed a sharp, debilitating pain that happens every 8 steps or so. It is between the metatarsals that lead to my big toe and the one next to it and closer to the toes than the ankle. I've had flickers of similar pain before but nothing to this extreme. The pain "takes my breath away". When off my feet there is some aching, but not the sharp pain. There is no redness or swelling that I can see and no lumps. I always wear very supportive sneakers. I do have some artritic joints. I am currently on antibiotic treatment for lyme disease which also means steroids as a possible treatment are out. Also am not able to tolerate anti-inflammatories due to gastric distress. Am looking for something to help me. Is there anything I can do to help myself?
The first thing that comes to mind is sesamoiditis. I doubt it came from the swimming; might have occurred if you were walking barefoot around the pool side. You could try a cushioned orthotic. If that does not work you might want to consider a cortisone shot into the area or if you are fearful of a shot, perhaps some physical therapy, assuming the bone is not actually broken. Marc Mitnick DPM