my husband has been having severe foot pain for the last 5 years or more. he is an automechanic who is constantly on his feet. his pain is right under all his toes, like if you were to put your finger under his toes were he can grip your finger. we have tried several types of shoes and nothing seems to help. we have also tried many different sole inserts,many kinds of foot cream, powders,soaks and nothing seems to work.what more can we do? he also gets all kinds of sores on his feet ranging from arch to the sides of his feet what can this be or from? thank you. please he needs help he is in so much pain and as my husband i would like for him to be comfortable and not in pain.
Hi, Read my section on capsulitis. Your description of putting your fingers under his toes in an effort for him to grab them, sounds very suggestive of this condition. Plus I assume auto mechanics do a lot of bending during the day creating constant pressure on the ball of the foot. Orthotics are usually the long term solution, but, he will need a metatarsal pad built into the orthotic to force his toes in the opposite direction. Not knowing the weight of your husband I will still assume he will need a prescription orthotic because whatever you can buy in a store will not do the job simply because they are too flimsy and most do not have a metatarsal pad built into them. His best bet would be to see a podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
after working a very long day in a clients house in hard wood floors my right foot ached. the ache didnt go away, its a pain only in that foot that radiates from my heal up around the sides of my heel. if i rotate my foot the pain is sharpest on the outside of my heel )the right side)
Heath, Read my sections on "heel neuroma" and "bursitis", it sounds like either one of those conditions. Take some anti-inflammatory medication (if you can tolerate it) for seven to 10 days, add a cushioned heel lift to your boots and see if it subsides, if not you will have to see a doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
About 5 months after I gave birth to my daughter I started to get foot pain in the mornings. It hurts mostly on the outside of my feet, but when I first stand up it hurts thought my whole foot! Does this have to do with extra wieght?
Hi Lellany, There is always the possibility that it is due to the excess weight or even hormonal changes, but if you have had the pain for five months and it is not improving, you should have it looked at by a doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
i have pain at the bottom of my foot at the base of my toes, more so at the base between my big toe and the next one. Occasionally while walking i have a shocking type feeling on the 4th and 5th toes. Like an electric shock. If I press down on the area it is severe pain. No injuries. Worse following wearing heels.
Hi Susan, See my section on Mortons neuroma, which will explain the source of your electrical shock. The pain between the first and second toe sounds like a sesamoiditis. Unfortunately, many times these two pains will not resolve on their own; they may require medical care. Marc Mitnick DPM
noticed lump right side of right foot foward of the heel. painful to the touch...have had it for months..now the other foot is starting to experience the same symptoms.... Thanks so much......oh...I'm 58 male and walk alot..but the pain is slowing me down...what can I do? Jimmy Staub..................NYC
Hi Jimmy, Most common lump in the area you describe is ganglion cyst. They do not go away on their own, so if they hurt enough you should see a podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
First and foremost, I'm having issues with the bottom of my foot. It hurts if I am on my left foot too long and the pain is where the pinky toe would meet the foot itself, but on the fleshy part. I also experience pain along the side and around the area of the fleshy part when rubbed. Along with that, the ankle on that side aches and it feels how a shin splint would, but around my ankle. Do you have any advice as to what it may be?
I ran in a marathon relay a few days ago, but I've noticed this pain a little before. The ankle has hurt off and on since February when I fell on it.
If you have a history of trauma to the ankle and it still hurts, you should have an x-ray, more than likely you just have some damage to the ankle ligaments, but you need a diagnosis and then some medical guidance on what to do while it is healing, otherwise you may do more damage to the ankle. As far as the little toe goes, I do not know if the answer is as simple as this, but I see a lot of patients with the same complaint of pain on the bottom of the little toe where it attaches into the foot. Either bend your foot up or place a mirror on the floor and see if you have a crack (fissure) in the skin. That is the most common cause of pain in that area. Marc Mitnick DPM
Several months ago I slipped on the ice in our somewhat steep driveway. My left foot slid down while my right foot rolled under my body. There was lots of bruising and swelling on the top and outside of my foot, but went away without incident in a few weeks. I never went to the doctor or even had it X-rayed. I just used ice and kept my foot propped up. Suddenly, five days ago, I just woke up one morning with a pain in the exact same spot on the top-edge of my right foot. There is no swelling or bruising, just the pain. It feels like there's a "catch" in my foot and I need to "pop" it (like you do your knuckles) but can't do it. I can stand on it fine if I shift my weight inward, but when I use an actual walking position and bend my foot, I get a sharp, stabbing pain. Going up and, especially, down the stairs is hard. When I am off of my foot there is very little pain, maybe a little throbbing. When I wear shoes the pain is a dull ache. Hard-soled shoes are the best. Is this possibly due to my previous injury, like a calcium deposit, or do you think this could be a totally different issue?
Hi Lisa, This may be due to your previous accident altho I am assuming you have been fine for the last few months. I think this might perhaps be a ligament issue (ligaments bind bone to bone) because of the variety in pain symptoms that you experience depending how you stand on your foot and what you are wearing. The bottom line is I am just guessing based on your story; if the pain is serious at times than it needs to be examined and treated. Contact a podiatrist in your area. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
I fell 2 days ago and hurt the outside of the top of my foot. It is swollen and bruised and when I walk on it, it swells from my toes to my calf. I can still walk on it, but can you if there was a fracture?
Hi Trisha, The only way to tell if a bone is fractured is to have an x-ray and I would recommend you have one immediately. Marc Mitnick DPM
When i wake up and first put my feet on the floor and stand up to walk the pain starts, middle inside arch of right foot. Painful to walk, but the more I walk or even just stand the pain goes away. after driving or relaxing the pain is back as soon as I start to walk and then goes away the more I walk. This pain is extreme. It has been about 2 months now and does not seem to be healing.
Can this be related to any other health problem or risk (heart or .....?) ?
My weight 260 lbs and am 6'1 height I would guess about 60 pound over weight and am working on a goal of 200 lbs with better diet and mild gym work out every second day.
Sounds like plantarfasciitis to me, even though it is not occurring in the heel. While at rest the plantarfascial ligament tightens up; you step down on the foot and you have pain as you stretch the ligament. As you walk or stand the ligament gradually stretches out and stops hurting. You sit for a while, then stand up and the same thing happens over again. Excess weight can be a precipitating factor so your diet and exercise plan is a great idea. You should also consider an orthotic which will support the plantarfascial ligament and prevent it from OVER-stretching which is probably what caused the problem in the first place. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
most notebly on outside edge of left foot, at the point where the little toe joint is, I have experienced sharp pain after walking any distance. It seems somehow to be related to shoe fit but I wear only Merrell shoes which provide me maximum support and great fit. The pain can be alleviated somewhat by wearing an old pair of slip on sandals with a slightly elevated heel when I return to the house. Any ideas?
Hi Tom, I love Merrell shoes but unfortunately they are not a cure all for all foot pain. First, look to see if there is a hard spot in the skin where the pain occurs. Many times people will have what is known as a porokeratosis. In these cases the pain will vary according to the shoes worn and the amount of activity being done. If the skin is clear and supple, the next possible source of pain in that area would be a bursitis. After wearing your shoes and doing some walking, look to see if the affected area is somewhat red and swollen. You may require a visit to a podiatrist in order to alleviate the problem. Marc Mitnick DPM
I was diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma in December. My doctor gave me cortisone shots in both feet, and sent a letter to my insurace co. for orthotics. The shots worked great, and my ins. co approved the orthotics. We got all of that squared away, and the casts made for the orthotics and my left foot started killing me. The top of it became swollen and my 2nd toe was bruised and was much more crooked than normal. All of my toes on both foot are crooked. In fact, being only 29 the doctor was really suprised at how terrible my feet were when she x rayed them. She said my bones were turning outward. Anyway, I felt like my 2nd toe on my left toe was broken almost. I thought my neuroma was coming back, but she wouldn't give me anymore cortisone because she thought it might be a stress fracture. She took an x ray. She said it takes a while to show up, and until she knew for sure that she wasn't giving me a shot. She saw something that she felt was pretty definite was a stress fracture. She pressed on it and it did feel sore, but my feet always hurt because they are so odd. My right foot has a wire in it from a surgery that I had when I was 16 for a Tailor's bunion. Do you think it is really a fracture, or a neuroma, or whatever? I just need to your opinion. I really do appreciate it. Thank you so much... Samantha
Your best bet would be an MRI with contrast. Sometimes small fractures do not show up on x-ray but should show up on an MRI. Additionally, if you have a neuroma, that too should show up. Generally, but not always, neuroma pain will present itself differently than the pain of a stress fracture. The problem is if you are in a lot of pain and your doctor is not sure of the diagnosis, then you should move forward with the MRI. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am having pain in the mid-bottom portion of my foot that radiates laterally. Generally the pain is most severe in the morning when I awake, eventually gets slightly better, then gets worse again later in the day. I occasionally get very sharp pains mid-foot bottom. Pain is generally 7/10. I have a significant foot history. Have worn orthotics since childhood for lack of arch, have had plantar fascitis (around heal), and most recently was treated with a cortisone injection for a morton's neuroma approximately 2 months ago. I generally have foot pain but seek treatment when motrin and ice/heat do not fix specific, significant pain that is different from the normal pain I experience on a day to day basis.
The pain from the neuroma went away but I experienced slight residual pain in the portion of my foot where the toes and ball of my feet bend in the mornings when I would wake pain rated as 3/10 every morning that would go away as the day progressed.
My profession is ER nurse (hence on feet 12 hours a day 4 days a week), and I wear supportive tennis shoes or dansko's that are not narrow.
I cannot identify a specific injury though I can say I walked up and down stairs frequently when remodeling a portion of my home this past weekend, and then concurrently walked in sandals all the next day at an amusement park.
Please let me know if you think there is something that can be done besides going back to the doctor's office.
Hi Jackie, You do not mention how long this pain has been present but if it is over a week and has not improved then it does not seem like it is going away any time soon. The pain sounds like it may be an irritation of the peroneus longus tendon but I cannot be sure. If you want to try self care before seeing a doctor, I would recommend you stay in your sneakers with orthotics, avoid sandals, avoid excessive activity (other than work) and put yourself on a regimen of Motrin as recommended in their package insert, to maintain blood levels. Do this for a week, if there is no significant improvement, then you will need to see your doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
In the last year(I am a 56 year-old female) I have been experiencing pain in my right foot. It centers around the front of the foot, on the padding below the four toes and includes the four toes. Any shoe seems to affect the pain and burning in this area. I sit a lot in an office job but still get the pain despite the limited walking I do. I was told by a chiropractor, that has a foot diagnosis area,who had me walk normally on a computer floor scanner, that marked through colors the difference between my right foot and left foot. He said my foot tilts to the right to much, and I need a support on the right side to be built to tilt the foot to the proper position. The price he quoted to custom design an insert was $300.00 for a disposible one that will have to be rebuilt as it wears out. Isn't there something on the market or somewhere to go to get inexpensive help? I also have calf pains at night that if I turn, when I point my toes, can and does at times cause a cramp that can become very painful if I do not address it properly. I don't know if this has anything to do with the orginal more severe problem.
Hi Helen, I have never, ever, seen an orthotic made by a chiropractor that was worthwhile and certainly at $300.00 should last a couple of years at least. All those fancy colors on the floor scanner only tell you what any well trained podiatrist could tell you by just looking at your feet and watching you walk. Based on your complaints, two conditions immediately come to mind. Mortons neuroma and metatarsalgia. An orthotic should be of help, but you do not have to spend a lot of money at least before trying an off the shelf orthotic. The orthotics (Superstep) that I recommend on this site might be very helpful for you. Additionally, the night cramps you are experiencing probably have nothing to do with your forefoot problems. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
Hello, Thank you for considering my problem. I was woken up last night with terrible pain in my right foot just behind my toes. Upon getting up, my foot when placing pressure on it, felt like it was broken - I could barely put weight on it. If I tried to bend my foot at the toes - it would hurt terribly to the point I would feel dizziness.
About 4 to 5 hours later - the pain went away. Someone said it must be a virus. Could you try to tell me what's going on?
Hi Ellen, Seriously doubt it was a virus, more than likely it was the result of some excessive activity you did the previous day, the area in question became inflamed, then calmed down. If it never happens again, do not worry about it, but if the same scenario plays out again, the first thing you should do is think about what you did the day before that might have set this pain off and try to avoid that activity (or shoe). If that does not help then your best bet would be to see a podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
bumped toes on dresser and they turned deep purple and they also have blisters and they burn all the time ,and sensitive to warm or cool water,that was a month ago.went to the emergency room and the doctor was no help, didn't know what was the matter .gave me an antibiotic.toes are still purple especially nails .
Hi Cheryl, Did the ER doc at least x-ray the foot? The most common cause of the discoloration would be from either a bad bruise, which should have healed by now, or a fracture which needs to be treated. Since it is one month later and you still have symptoms, get yourself to a podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
I had two days of feeling like I had to crack a bone in my foot. On the third day I tried to manipulate my foot, didn't work. That day at work my foot became progressivly more painful. It has been a week now and now I have pain and bruising on top of my foot just below my toes away from my big toe. I doesn't hurt at the bottom of my foot but painful on top where the bruise is...please help, it's not getting any better...Sharon
Hi Sharon, The most common cause of pain on top of the foot, assuming no history of trauma, is tendonitis. The problem is it will worsen as you walk because you are constantly irritating the tendons. Also, if you wear pumps or flates, make sure the top portion of the shoe is not cutting into the painful area, because many times it is a shoe "digging" into the top of the foot that initially causes the problem. It does not sound like it, but there is a chance of a stress fracture as a possible cause of your pain. I would suggest 7-10 days worth of anti-inflammatory medication, assuming you can tolerate it, along with warms soaks, and conservative laced shoes. If the pain does not subside you will need to see a doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have recently had pain in my feet. I work 16 hour shifts at times. Today it was in the arch of my foot and felt like I was stepping on a rock. Then it moves right below my toes( like stepping on a rock) My feet are SLIGHTLY swollen and itchy. One time my inner heel was sore and felt like it was bruised when pressing on it.The area that feels like I'm stepping on something has a small puffy area around it. What could this be?
First make sure you do not have an eczema of some type. The bruised area you mention may be the plantar fascial ligament which can begin to hurt, swell and become puffy in the area. If you are planning to continue working 16 hour shifts you should seriously consider an off the shelf orthotic to take the stress off your feet and allow you to be more comfortable, otherwise I think you will be continually troubled by foot pain. Marc Mitnick DPM
I'm a 56 year old male experiencing some right foot/toe pain.
Over the years I've hurt my right big toe on several occasions. Basically it's been by jamming, stubbing and on one occasion dropping a metal object on the toe. Any pain/discomfort from those incidents usually disappeared with time as expected. The toe did remain sensitive to any further trauma but otherwise it's been fine.
While golfing this February I heard a pop when making a swing. The toe became quite painful and obviously caught my attention. Icing the toe and taking aleve seemed to help, however it's still an ongoing problem.
I since have noticed a "bump" on the outside of the toe. It's slightly behind the base of the toe. My initial thoughts were that it might be a bunion. I may have had the bump before but it never seemed important.
After a round of golf this past Sunday (I tape my big toe against it's neighbor for support) I didn't notice anything unusual. The toe was sore but that's been the case since February.
Late Monday morning I began experiencing pain on the top of the foot. Kind of like when you lace your shoes too tightly. There was slight swelling and the area is sore to the touch. Tuesday was much better, today (Wednesday) the soreness has returned, though not as bad as Monday.
I have worn orthotics for about a year to help with lower back pain and wear good tennis shoes. I see a chiropractor for the lower back issues and he's the one who got me to wear the orthotics. That, along with an exercise/stretching routine has really helped the back.
Thanks for your time.
R/ Paul Rinkleib San Diego, Ca.
Hi Paul, That "popping" sound you heard is never a good thing, you may have partially torn a tendon in your foot, however, I would think you would have been in more pain then you seem to describe. Your best bet would be to have an xray of the big toe joint and an examination to determine if anything was damaged back in February, the longer you wait the harder it becomes to remedy. The pain on top of your foot could be a midtarsal fault and nerve entrapment. There also exists the possibility that your orthotics are raising your foot too high and causing excessive pressure of your shoe on your foot. I think a good foot examination is called for. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am 5 months pregnant and for about 6 days now, my left foot has hurt. On the top but it doesn't look swollen or bruised. It hurts when I walk on it pretty bad. I am not sure if I should go have it looked at, what should I do?
Hi, The pain may or may not be due to your pregnancy, but between the weight gain and hormonal changes many women experience, it is not uncommon for the feet to hurt. The smart answer to your question would be if it hurts enough to concern you, then you should have it looked at. You certainly do not want it to get worse and because you are pregnant, your doctor will be limited in what treatment they can offer you. Marc Mitnick DPN
On the bottom left outside side of my left foot, in the middle.(between heel and toes,I have a hard calousy spot that hurts. It is not discolored..but it has a white sort of core in the middle. I have been wearing one of those dr. scholls corn covers to pad it. Sometimes the white core moves up out from the center. It is sore to walk on. Have any ideas what this could be??? It is sore to put pressure on.
Hi Linda, I am a footspecialist, of course I have an idea what it might be. (just kidding) The callus of course if from too much pressure on the base of the fifth metatarsal bone; the callus can be painful, but most often is more annoying then anything else. The white spot in the center is one of two things. If you are using medicated pads, they contain acid and attempt to break up the callus by macerating it (like your hands get when in water for a long period of time). If you had the spot before you applied the pads then the white spot is a skin cyst. Usually, it will be the most painful section of the callus; press on it. Your best bet would be two-fold. See about having an orthotic made that will take pressure off the fifth metatarsal base and thus over time reduce the pressure causing the callus. Secondly, see a podiatrist and let he or she curette (carve) out the white spot. It is not a painful procedure and will make your foot feel a lot better. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am a 38 year old male who has started having foot pain across the tops of my feet starting at the base of the toes on both feet. I am wondering what could possibly be causing this sort of pain. It does not seem to go away at any time. Whether I'm up on my feet or laying down the pain level is about the same. It also is painful putting on my shoes as I slide my feet into the shoe.
Hi, It is very rare that foot pain will be the same whether walking or at rest except for a few exceptions like gout or an infection, or immediately post-op. The most common cause of pain on top of the foot in the area that you mention is tendonitis, which certainly might explain the pain as you slide your feet into your shoes. If this has been going on for greater than one week and does not seem to be resolving, I would suggest a visit to a podiatrist. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
Hello, my question is on my left foot. Down the pinkie toe bone about half way down my foot to the left just beside the bone is swollen and very sore! i can Stretch my foot open and see the last bone flex but just beside that that's were it's swollen and sore like where the nerve is. when i elevate it at night it goes down but the pain is still there if i touch that area it's like an indescribable pain! it hurts so bad sometimes it makes me feel sick to my stomach and gives me a headache.just yesterday it swelled so bad my toes went numb for a while and my foot felt like it was on fire and the area felt like it was being poked at with an sharp object! I have been wrapping it with an ace bandage and it still hurts.I thought i would ask for an opinion before i went to a podiatrist just in case it was a false alarm or my body is just aging with time.Thank You,Delmar
Hi Delmar, Pain of the magnitude that you describe is not of the false alarm variety. See a podiatrist. Based on your description "I think" you are describing the painful area as the fifth metatarsal head, which would be just behind the pinkie toe. The most common cause of excruciating pain is usually due to a bursitis, but that is not the only potential cause of severe pain. The foot will have to be x-rayed to rule out stress fracture. If this pain has been present for over a week chances are it is not going to disappear any time soon; have it checked out. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
i have a bump about the size of a quater on my left foot about half an inch below my little toe and second little toe it is turning white and i have had it for about two months i just recenltly noticed that it has little red-black specks in the center of it which is a little less than a centemeter below the rest i tried pulling the specks out but they are very deep..do you know what i might have?
Hi Amanda, Skin conditions are hard to diagnose without actually seeing them but your condition sounds like plantar warts. If you have noticed them spreading then you need to take care of them otherwise the larger they get the more difficult they will be to get rid of. Marc Mitnick DPM
Hello. The pain is only when I walk, it began as a pain in the joint of my big toe (the one where a bunion would form, but there is no bunion) but now the pain is in the toe next to it. It began suddenly yesterday, I have changed shoes and there is no relief and it hurts!!! There is no redness, no swelling, but in the morning my feet are achy until I get going (I am 52 year old female). But this pain does not now go away.
Hello, The foot should certainly be x-rayed. On the surface it sounds like it may be an arthritic joint, perhaps even a sesamoiditis. My rule of thumb is that any pain that lasts longer than a few days, and is showing no signs of improvement, should be examined by a doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
My feet are very sore & achy. It really hurts to walk. As I continue to to take steps, the pain lessens. Hurts to rotate at ankles. All over soreness. Feet feel like they need to be constantly rubbed. Am developing a bunion (left big toe), & knot on top of right foot at arch. This is happening quite fast. Have had surgery on feet for all of the following: bunions & spurs & straightening of toes (9 incisions in 1987,both feet); neuroma in which excess (Dr. said he pulled out lots of stuff) done in 2002, right foot between 3rd & 4th toes; broken leg/ankle (broken completely in two, foot was dangling) surgery in 2001, (plate & screws,left ankle). This all over soreness used to come & go from time to time, but is now constant. I always feel as if I need to pop my ankles. I have other physical problems also. My feet really hurt.
Hi, Two things, the fact that you have had so much surgery tells me you have problematic feet and will always be subject to having foot pain. The fact that you have had so much surgery also tells me that you will have some degree of pain possibly from the scar tissue and lack of function of certain parts of your feet as a result of the surgery. This is the trade-off when you have so much surgery. Do you wear orthotics? If not you should consider a pair of off the shelf orthotic. I will not imply that all your pain will vanish, but orthotics will better align your feet and it should diminish your discomfort. Marc Mitnick DPM