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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM

daily, constant pain all over both feet for over 10 years!

by Glen

I first noticed pain in both feet while working a retail job and being on my feet all day long. This was just over 10 years ago (when I was 31 years old). I bought Rockport shoes which did not help.

Then, within a few weeks after daily shooting pain, I went to a foot clinic (a store that boasted the benefits of Alzner orthotics). I followed the "prescription" and gradually wore them more and more. They relieved the ball and heel pain I was feeling, but introduced arch pain. The built-in arches were more than my normally-flat feet could stand.
After several months, I took the Alzner's out. And, in summary, over the last 10 years, I have tried many different shoes, another clinic-prescribed set of orthotics (this time a soft type). I have used Z-Coil shoes, MBT's, Earth shoes, and finally Vibram Five Fingers. But NOTHING has "cured" me of the daily foot pain. Some shoes are instantly worse than others, while some work only for a several weeks. What I have noticed is that the Earth sandals (not shoes) and the Vibram Five Fingers are my best friends. But even so, I still experience some pain with them. (Often, the thought of taking off my shoes and putting my sore feet into the cold snow during winter days was a temptation.) But enough history...
The pain in each foot starts within seconds of getting out of bed and doesn't quit until going back to bed. It is a shooting pain, a numbing pain, and a dull pain in numerous places of each foot. The pain has been present in the arch, the ball, the heel, the top of the foot (above the arch and, separately, closer to the outside), the toes, the ankle. Some days the pain will be in just the arch, or just the ball, or a certain toe (usually the big toe or second toe), and other days there will be a combination of spots that hurt. Most of
the time, it is a shooting pain, and the pain travels up past my ankles and it feels as though I am wearing boots of pain. Other times, it is numbing or dull. All I want to do is just get off of my feet. (Today my left foot isn't bothering much. But my right foot hurts at the big toe and on the top and bottom outside of the foot. I'm even wearing my current favorite shoes, Vibram Five Fingers. I chose them because they do NOT have any arch support.)
But, this daily pain just kills any motivation I have to get anything done. I've put up with this for far too long, hoping that a certain shoe style will "cure" my ills. I have little patience for specialists telling me that an orthotic is the answer. I've tried to do research on this, but I keep coming up with the common, traditional foot problems. I'd love to meet someone who suffers from this, too. I would love to compare notes about activity, diet, health, etc.
I am a 41-year-old male and was very active in my teens and 20's. In my 30's up to now, I've gained about 20 lbs. in weight. However, I cannot see how this weight gain can lead to such a debilitating condition.

Hi Glen,
It appears that you have never actually gotten a specific diagnosis as to what is causing this pain. Without knowing whats causing it, it will be difficult to alleviate.
Orthotics and shoes are fine, but they do not cure all foot problems.
Without having the luxury of actually examining you, it sounds like a condition known as tarsal tunnel (read my section on that topic), however, that is not the only potential cause for this problem.

If you have not done so already, I would suggest you make an appointment with a foot specialist and get a thorough examination to determine the source of your pain.

Marc Mitnick DPM
Find a Podiatrist Near You

Comments for daily, constant pain all over both feet for over 10 years!

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Jan 10, 2011
my daily footpains
by: angel

I'm a 22 year old male and I've been havin daily,every minute foot pain for two years. I have flat feeet,but never suffer from any pain. I was normal worked full time and was boxin, enjoyin life.The pain started in my heel and after several weeks the pain was to much to bear. I've visited several podiatrist but they can pin point anything out except inflamation. Now after two years I still have foot pain is in several parts of the foot sometimes the pain rotates. I don't know what's wrong and it gets depressing!!

Nov 01, 2010
additional info
by: Glen

Dr. Mitnick:

Thank you for your quick reply to my post. You are correct. I have never received a specific diagnosis from a podiatrist. I have only been to "foot care clinics" that are really just shoe stores with specialists selling custom-fitted orthotics. I have too long made the excuse that I was too busy to actually visit a foot doctor.

I read the section on Tarsal Tunnel, and it seems plausible, considering that compression on the main nerve can affect one or more branches resulting in pain in multiple places.

Usually, the pain is sharp, but subsides to a dullness and numbing when I get completely off my feet. (Not even sitting down with my feet resting on the floor brings relief. They have to be dangling or up in air.) And of course, the pain comes while standing, but is just a dull pain while walking or even running. Yes, nerve compression makes some sense to me.

The types of shoes and foot support that alleviate the pain seem to be open-toed sandals and flat shoes. Relatively flat (little arch support) but expensive Nike running shoes cause pain in the balls and toes. Other running shoes with "good" arch support will cause my over-pronated arches and the heels to hurt. And I have similar pains with other shoes: casual dress shoes, work boots, trail-hiking shoes/boots, etc. So, it seems as though I need open-toed shoes for my toes to spread out, and I need no arch (although that goes against the conventional wisdom of the shoe store specialists). And it seems to me that this is why the Vibram Five Fingers had worked for almost a year. (The daily pain has drifted up a level or two in recent weeks-- even with the Vibram Five Fingers. It's time for me to do something about it.)

However, I can wear my Florsheim wing-tip dress shoes for a couple of hours with no significant pain. And these have less toe room than any of the other shoes that do cause me pain. Go figure!

Incidentally, about 3 or 4 years ago, when I first visited my wife's Gonstead chiropractor to treat lower back and neck pain, I noticed that, for the first time in years, I had almost no foot pain. (Unfortunately, a year-and-a-half ago we moved to the sticks, er, Appalachians, and my wife has yet to find someone she trusts in what in already a remote area for medical care.)

Still, I made an appointment this morning with a podiatrist in Beckley, WV, to get an evaluation. I will see what happens.

Many thanks for the suggesion, Dr. Mitnick. I have a new avenue to try.


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Orthotics for multiple types of foot pain
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I've been doing some aggressive research lately (it's how I found your incredible website) and realize now that my symptoms are not consistant with the diagnosis.


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….after reviewing your amazing site (great for the avg. jill). So thank you very much!!!


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A well organized site containing much information written in a manner that the average reader can comprehend.


Ontario, Canada
I found your website and articles most interesting.


Thank you for a quick response. I think your site is the best information site on foot pain and I have viewed many.


(location unknown)
I came to your website, via www.foot-pain explained .com which I think is also your website? I thought explanations for different types of problems were well addressed and thoughtfully stated for the patient in mind.


New York
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Memphis, TN
Thanks again so much for the information in the article. Very interesting.


Great article. I have had plantar fasciitis since I was in high school……..

J. Simmons

(location unknown)
Dear Dr. Mitnick, The orthotics arrived four days ago and I slipped them into my shoes immediately. I was skeptical as to the usefulness of the item, they really didn't look very exotic. I have to say though, after using them for just four days, I have experienced grand relief from my foot pain. Even the very first day, I was able to do a lot of work while on my feet with at least a 75% reduction of pain. It has only gotten better every day, and I go nowhere without my shoes with the orthotics. I had been experiencing extreme heel and sole pain for about six months and had to take extended breaks off my feet many times a day as well as regular doses of Ibuprofen. Since getting the orthotics, my life has returned to normal and I feel good again. Just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation for a very effective item, I had no idea what a change this item could affect.

Yours truly,

J.C. Forbes

Thanks for the Response, you hit it on the head.


Redondo Beach, CA
Thank you for your time and expertise in answering my question…..


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First, thanks for putting together this website. Its the most informative site I have found dealing with foot problems. Last June I started having pain and swelling at …….


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First of all, thank you for having all this useful information available in one place. I've been through most of your website and based on my research, pain and evaluations I think I've narrowed things down quite a bit.

Pete M.

(location unknown)
Thank you for the best site I have found when researching foot pain.

Glenda B.

Madison, Alabama
Thanks for replying so quickly. I was a bit concerned. I think your website is great, and chock full of info.....


Denison, TX
Dr. Marc, Thank you so much for your reply which seemed to be right on. I have researched many sites but you put me on the right path to the possible answer. My foot pain may not rule the rest of my life after all! I believe I'll make a sign that reads, "THE END IS NEAR!" Thanks Very Much,


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Hi. This is a great site! I'm a healthy middle aged woman who is in good health, but.....


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Tampa, Florida 33624

Thanks for a most interesting website, which has helped a lot.



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I usually do my research on the Mayo clinic website. I think your website is the most informative site I have found when researching foot pain.

I thank you for putting together this incredible website.


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....I have been told that it is not hard enough to be cut off. Please help, I am not sure what to do now! THANKS FOR A WONDERFUL AND VERY HELPFUL SITE!


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You have an unusually clear, informative and well-written website for laypersons. Thank you for that.

Matthew W.

Mansfield Ctr, CT

First, I'd like to thank you for all the information that you provide on your website and the opportunity to write to you.


Placentia, California

First, I want to let you know that you have the best web site I've found related to foot issues. (The only thing I had difficulty finding was the "ask a question" page.)


Unknown location

I received the orthotics Monday afternoon and began wearing them Tuesday. After two days I would say that I have noticed a huge improvement in the discomfort I have been experiencing. My foot feels better than it has in months.

Ric J.

Unknown location

I greatly admire someone like you who would donate and dedicate so much time and effort to helping strangers with no compensation. Truly, it is uncommonly kind. And your site is so intelligently arranged.

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I used to work for a podiatrist (front desk) back during summers in college years ago, so I know the benefits of good care. Again, I want to thank you for an EXCELLENT website. It was so great to get to your site (top of google search) and actually find all the answers I needed EASILY and QUICKLY! Clearly you put a ton of work into it and I really appreciate it.

All the best,


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By the way, millions of websites could use yours as a guideline on how to organize information and make the site user-friendly. Kudos to you!


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New Zealand

Thank You for my answer! I have been schedule for a bone density scan, allingment, and I am in the process of getting orthotics made, and checking out the natural remedies. Thank again! What a great web site!



Yes I want both pair of orthotics. You don't have an option of ordering 2 at one time so I had to place the order twice. Thanks. My husband likes these and wants to put them in all of his shoes. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Cindy H.

I searched the internet everywhere for a clear description and illustration of my symptoms/problem. was where I ended my search with answers. If I lived in Jersey (left 30 years ago) and didn't live in Florida I would definetly make an appointment with Dr. Mitnick.

Thanks, Kathy

1st of all THANKS A LOT for your great site......


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South Carolina
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Arlington, VA

Thank you so very much, that would be much appreciated. I love those insoles, by the way. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Kelly W.

San Clemente, CA

Dr Marc is fantastic...He seems to know exactly what you are feeling with the problems you are having. I wish he was in my home town so I could go to him with my problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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location unknown

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Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so much for your reply. I did let my physician know and they took an x-ray - all is well! Also, thank you for providing this wonderful site, it is very helpful with lots of useful information! I appreciate your gift of time! God bless.


Dr. Mitnick, Thank you, you were 100% correct. The pain finally brought me to the ER. I spent 8 days in the hospital. The Doppler you spoke of was able to show that there was no pulse in that foot. This was an arterial clot that split and traveled throughout my leg. My leg was almost amputated. I am in rough shape but have all my parts intact!! You certainly know what you are talking about. Thank you for taking the time to answer. Yours Truly!


Staying at home after hallux surgery I spend quite a lot of time seaching info useful for avoiding problems which might come back. Today I found your site and I am .... delighted it happened. It's one of the best site I found last days.



Thanks for taking time to read and answer so many questions. It is truly a public service!


Seattle, WA

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!!


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Also, and importantly, just want to praise this web site. Thorough and thoughtfully presented, it certainly must be of considerable assistance to anyone with a foot problem. Terrific -- and very interesting.I trust the address comes up easily for those seeking information.


New Jersey

Thanks so much for answering my question. You've been more help to me than my own Dr. has been lately. Thanks again....I hope to be able to walk without pain someday.


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Thanks so much for this website Dr. Marc! It is so nice that you have this ask the doctor feature..I'm sure I'ts been helpful for alot of people. I will try what you suggested and see if it helps...thanks again!


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Dear Marc

I just want to say thank you for the quick response and the good info. I find it amazing and a super nice thing that you do here by answering medical questions at no charge.

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Your website is full of a lot of helpful information, and I am very impressed with the time in which you responded to my post. Thank you again for your time and consideration in your response.


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Thank you very much for the information, I will consider it. Excellent web site.


San Diego, CA

Dr. Mitnick, Just want to say thank you so very much for your quick response and very informative reply! After reading what you had to say, I called the doctor's office and was able to get in and see him the same day as my injury. Toe was x-rayed and luckily, it is not broken or fractured. Very badly bruised and will probably lose the toe nail. And although my toe and toe nail are still very black and blue and very sore, they ARE both starting to feel a little better. So again, thank you! I am so very happy that I came across your website. The service you provide is outstanding and immeasurable!


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Thank you so much for all of your advice. In searching the web for people dealing with this same issue i can tell you that you are a Knight In shining Armor! If I lived in Jersey I would gladly be your Spokesperson. Hopefully next time you hear from me it will be good news. God Bless,

Jill S.

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Whichita, KS

thanks again, this site is very helpful.


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Like others have stated...This site is amazing and I am so thankful that it was created.

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Thanks again for the information provided on your site. It's easy for non-medical folk to understand your writing, and helps provide better communication between patient and doctor.



Wonderful advice

by: Anonymous

This is the best site for foot problem info.

Thank you for this information. This description fits my pain and inflammation behind my 2nd toe perfectly.

by: Max

location unknown
Again, I really appreciate that you responded to my inquiry, and that your mention of Parkinson's helped me to find my way to a diagnosis of this difficult to diagnose disease. Most patients see on average 16 doctors before they are diagnosed. I hope that you can help other people that ask for your expertise in the future.

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I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!! I have had a fusion in my rt foot and am finally getting a little bit better......


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Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to answer my question....your an angel!


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North Carolina
Many Thanks Dr Marc!
Thank you for your response. It sounds like a good plan to me. He did not cut the wart out first ...


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Thanks again doc for having this website and we STILL need qualified Podiatrists in beautiful sunny Tampa Bay (Bradenton) Florida.

Bessie Mae

Dear Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so very much for taking your time to answer my question. You have greatly relieved my anxiety related to the continual tingly I feel in my feet. I will share your response with my podiatrist next week. God bless you for having this question and answer page on your website! Most gratefully,

Lynne T.

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Your webpage is excellent, I commend you on sharing your knowledge to the public.


New Jersey

Thank you. you were more detailed than what others have told me they finally called from the last xrays and my son is now in a cast for 2 weeks he did have a fracture that was not noticeable.

a mom

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I have read your website and I have to admit that I am amazed at all the information that is on here. I have learned more than the three years I have been going to several doctors that I have seen!!


Lenoir, NC

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