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

severe pain on ball of foot and underneath big toe

I slipped on the stairs and by toes bent right back on themselves. Hours later my foot was still really painful but did not swell up very much, I went to the Dr because of the pain who said it looked okay and sent me off with ibuprofen. This was over a week ago now and the pain is localised to the ball of my foot and underneath my big toe, it is virtually impossible to drive and I get severe pain when I put pressure on that area and even more pain when I lift my foot up? whats going on?

Hi Rebecca,
It sounds as if you hyperextended your toes (bent upwards) when you fell on the stairs.
You ended up doing one of two things; you either stretched all the soft tissue that attaches your toes to your metatarsal bones, or there is even the chance you may have broken one of your metatarsal bones.
There is no way a doctor can look at your foot and determine whether there is a fracture or not.
Since you are still in a lot of pain, you should have the foot x-rayed; you should be on better anti-inflammatory medication than ibuprofen and you will need to immobilize the part of the foot that hurts because every time you walk on the injured part of the foot, you just further aggravate the problem.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Jan 14, 2015
Should've, could've,would've!
by: Tons of pain

Oh my! I should've, worn my slippers, could've, prevented my incident, and would've, had I listened to my hubby each time he stated to me " Put something on your FEET" I would my have this stimulating , ultra intensifying pulsating pain at the ball of my foot!!!!!!!! All from stepping down on the end if a computer plug! Now I can barely walk. And soo painful to get out of bed and step down on my foot. Going on Half a year now. Starting to get nervous could this aggravation pain be a cause of something more serious or this pain is from my negligence ???? Scary!!

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Red soles

by Meredith Telley

Dear Doctor

The souls of my feet are bright red. At the back part of the foot the redness bleeds up into the heel this also goes for the outside of the foot. Then the front of the foot is also bright red. It is only red where the skin touches the ground. I do get dry skin but I try to keep it in check. Where the feet are red it can be hot but I also suffer from cold feet in winter. So it is a bit of a contradiction at the moment as it is winter here in Australia.

I have some Asian foot patches that I use and this seems to take the redness out, but if I discontinue to use the patches the bright redness returns.

I asked my doctor about how red my feet where he checked my pulse in the ankle and told me that there is nothing to worry about but they are still bright red. The other day I was sitting with a friend and had my feet up she surprised me by passing
a comment on how bright red my feet where. So hence I am writing to you. I don't feel that they hurt but more tired at the end of the day.

I did read all the information on this site and could only find 2 explanations for my red souls. Athletes foot or poor circulation. My local doctor did check my pulse in my ankles but seems to think the pressure was find, although he did not use a

Thank you for your time.

Hi Meredith,
Some questions for you to consider. Do your hands exhibit a similar redness? In one part of your question you state that the feet are only red when standing; in another part you state you had your feet up and your friend noticed the redness, so I am unclear as to when it occurs.
Anyway, so let me give you some direction in finding an answer to your problem.
If they are red all the time (standing and sitting) then some of the things you may consider would be an allergic reaction to some chemical in a pair of shoes that you are wearing. Also because it is presently winter in Australia (you do not mention if you have this condition in the summer) you also have to consider a reaction to the decreased humidity.
Additionally, certain medications that you may be taking can also cause this kind of discoloration so you will need to check with your doctor.
Now, if the color change is only noticeable when standing, but diminishes when your feet are elevated, then there is probably a circulatory component to this problem, not necessarily a serious problem. The fact that your feet get cold in the winter and "hot" in the summer is suggestive of a vasospasm/vasodilation disorder where the blood vessels over react to hot/cold stimulus. Your smart move would be to see a vascular specialist who could give you some more insight into your problem.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Oct 21, 2015
Red feet
by: Anonymous

I too have a problem with red feet heels and toes. My feet are hot all year round I only wear open sandals at night my feet need to be out of the bed. What is wrong with my feet. I do have diabetes type 2 and do take cortisone tabs each plus other meds. Can you assist me

Since you are a diabetic and red soles can be caused from different sources, your best bet would be to consult with a local doctor.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Mar 13, 2012
Same problem
by: Anonymous

Have been looking on-line for an answer to the same question. I have exactly the same problem, no pain no burning, but bright red around the sides of the soles of my feet. I have seen some similar symptoms under "moccasin style athlete's foot" but my physician said it wasn't consistent with the usual pattern for this. I have also seen some similar complaints for a side effect of a medication that I am taking for high blood pressure called lisinopril.
I now live in Brazil where due to the heat almost everyone wears sandals, and I am noticing the same redness in more and more people. This has me worried it might be contagious like a fungus or bacteria.. will keep looking at this page in hopes of gaining more information.. thanks for the other posts..

Jun 07, 2010
No pain, no burning, no itching
by: Anonymous

No pain or burning just bright red border on the sides of my foot like the picture shown by the lady. Seems to get much redder when exposed to high intensity work outs and showers. No pain, no itching, no burning....

Jun 06, 2010
Good description but poor diagnosis
by: Anonymous

This patient has erythromelalgia.

May 18, 2010
Same here friends...
by: Anonymous

Any updates, perhaps it Candida and its settle in the feet? Not sure and can't figure it out. I hope someone comes up with something.

Apr 13, 2010
Same thing here; glad I'm not alone!
by: MAB

I can't remember how long I've had red soles, but it seems like forever. I've tried EVERYTHING. I had one dermatologist tell me it was ringworm; he was an idiot. Foot fungus? Maybe, but I've tried every cure there is out there. No matter if my feet are dry or soft, hot or cold, I'm sitting or standing, I have RED SOLES. I'm part Irish/Scottish? Is that it? Stumped and, like many here say, frustrated and envious of others' feet!

Mar 21, 2010
Red Soles / RLS
by: Marybeth (USA)

Wow how red my soles are at this time ! Much less at times. Back and forth.
I have what I think is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) - for several years. Caused by poor circulation, i think. I do not exercise.
I have not seen a specialist about it. The sensation feels like constant vibrations through the calves to just below knees. Discomfort. If I remember right, the soles started becoming red last year or two whenever they were in warm water.
The vibrations in calves started a few years ago after having sat for a long period of time at times at a computer, researching, typing documents and/or emailing about my husband's whiplash injury and treatments for it after the 2005 car accident he was in. For his lawyer and/or relatives.
I got a scatica in 2006. It may be the start of the above problems, I am not sure. Increasing bit by bit.
I hope to hear from someone who has same or similar experiences.

Feb 26, 2010
I have the same problem
by: Anonymous

To see the picture posted and see how closely the redness in your foot resembles my feet gave me some hope to discover the reason for this years long condition.
It's a bit embarrassing though, and I've come to envy the feet of others, those that to me look perfect, b/c there's no redness. (Flip-flops in the summer expose all kinds of feet).

Should anyone ever get a definite answer and cure to this condition, please share it.

Aug 23, 2009
red soles
by: Anonymous

I too have this same problem. My hands are red too, but not as dark. It seems to be hereditary because my daughter has it as well. It would be great to find a solution to this.

Jul 13, 2008
Red Feet Extra Information
by: Meredith Telley

Dear Dr Mitnick
I am answering your questions. No my hands do not appear to be red like my feet the hands seem to be more normal looking. My feet are red weather sitting (all day) or standing (all day) it does not matter but they are not painful. If I have been standing all day my feet become tired but I feel this is normal for everyone. I am not sure if it could be an allergic reaction to my shoes as I do not wear the same pair of shoes from day to day as I read that shoes need to be aired for at least a day before wearing again, also I maily wear flat shoes unless going to a function which is not very often. I do not take any medications at all and my general health is good I have regular visits to my GP, he orders blood tests every 6 months and they always come back fine. My blood pressure is within normal range. As for the Summer/Winter the feet seem to be like in all year round even if my feet are at a normal temp they are still red if they feel cold (due to a cold day) they are still red. The redness does not sting or feel hot it is just how they look bright red all of the time summer/winter sitting/standing. It has me stumped as my GP did check my pulse in the ankle and felt that it was ok, but it worries me when people notice how red my feet are.

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bottom foot pain

by shirley
(Dayton, Ohio USA)

I have pain in
the bottom of my right foot. especially in the morning when i first wake up. it hurts to stand on it .The radius of pain is just behind the arch to my heel area.

Hi Shirley,

Sounds like plantar fasciitis to me. I do not know how long you have had it, but do not allow it to worsen. Like most medical problems, the worse they get, the harder they are to treat.
A simple solution would be to start wearing an off the shelf orthotic. By supporting the plantar fascial ligament hopefully you will allow the ligament to not overstretch and the pain will not worsen and eventually subside.
You would also be wise to do morning stretching.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Bottom of foot pain

It's bottom of foot pain, but unlike the other things described.It's only in the right side and I liken it to a BIG hot needle stabbing into my foot and coupled with a kind of sharp cramping sensation. I don't know if it's unusual but I get the exact same sensation,in the same place,with a deep tissue massage of my glute on the same side. It doesn't happen all the time, but yesterday and especially today it's been quite frequent.

Sharp stabbing pain in bottom of foot is highly suggestive of Mortons neuroma.
I would recommending seeing a podiatrist to confirm this diagnosis.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Bottom of the foot

by Harriett

When i am walking along it feels like i am walking on sharp marbles and its really pain full as i cant walk properly but if i walk on the side of my foot its gone?
Also on my foot it looks like i have bunions they sick out about half a inch but when i went to the doctors about the shooting pains and they bad soreness he said it was my shoes, i do not really wear heals i wear flat shoes with a wedge heel.
How can i make these pains stop?

Hi Harriett,
The most common cause of feeling like you are walking on marbles is from degeneration of the fat underneath the ball of your foot; this happens in most individuals as we age.
The simplest solution is to add a cushioned innersole to your shoes and wear flats. The more the incline in your heel, the more pressure you put on the ball of your foot, the more pain you will experience.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Ball of foot pain

by Sara
(Vancouver , WA USA)

I have some serious foot pain. It is on the bottom of my foot, just below my big toe. The pain is a constant throbbing. It hurts more when I walk or apply any pressure. It is a little red at the joint (on top of my foot). The pain is worse if I try and bend my toe down or flex it up. I am going to the dr. tomorrow to have this looked at, but it would be nice to have some questions to ask him.

Hi Sara,

The first thing that comes to mind is a sesamoiditis if I understand correctly the location you describe. Bending the toe upward would be particularly painful. Make sure you have (had) an x-ray to be sure the bone in not broken.
If it is sesamoiditis be aware that it can be a difficult condition to treat because of the location of the sesamoid bones.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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pain to ball of foot radiating through the arch w/o heel pain

by Jennifer Gonzalez
(Hunterville, NC USA)

I've had pain to my left foot that was diagnosed as plantar fasctiis by a podiatrist. I bought new orthotic shoes for work (I'm a nurse on a high acuity unit) and had custom orthotics made from molds of my feet. I developed pain to the top of my left foot and my right foot was now also hurting. My MD ruled out a stress fracture via x ray, but put me in a walking boot as a preventative measure. Two weeks later... no change. The doctor ordered physical therapy and rest. He ordered a leave of absence for one month and it has been almost three weeks of icing, stretches, and physical therapy where they do ultasound and iontophoresis treatment along with massaging. I wear the walking boot when I go out of the house and my custom orthotics at home when I'm up. The pain has abated some but I can tell when I'm up and around running errands or cleaning at home- the pain worsens. 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. I've never ever had heel pain. Based on the infomation on your site, I believe my symptoms sounds more like capsulitis or metatarsalgia. It's not a neuroma because the pain is not pin pointed (plus, I don't wear heels- I could never tolerate them). There is no redness, no raised areas, no discoloration, no callus, no deformaties of any kind. The foot looks normal. The xrays were normal. I can bear weight on both feet but it hurt to walk and especial go down stairs. I experience the most pain to the ball of the foot esp. in the metatarsal region around the 3rd and 4th digits on both feet. But, unlike your descriptions, the pain radiates through the arch which suggests plantar fascitiis. The arch pain is as significant as the ball of the foot pain. It all hurts the same with 8 out of 10 being the worst of it. The pain is pretty constant with intermittently increase levels of throbbing intensity (you said be specific and detailed) Besides working a lot the last few months in shoes that were not very supportive- there has been no trauma to me feet. I do have a history of loving flip- flops and walking bare foot (esp at home). I've been told that I have normal to high arches and I lean more to a supinated foot. I am not on any medication except something for pain which i use sparingly. I did take predisone and solumedrol for a short period in the last few weeks with no results. So, after all that- what do you think? Plantar fascitiis or not? Can I really have that condition without heel pain? I would love your opinion. i will be getting a second MD to review my chart on friday. I'm even condidering acupunture. What are your thoughts on the type of treatment? Thanks for your time and the wonderful website. You seem to really care about you patients and foot pain sufferers in general. Thanks

Hi Jennifer,
Yes, very detailed. Ok, I have a few pointers here. One, your orthotics may need to be adjusted; you mention that after you started wearing your new orhtotics, the top of your foot started to hurt. That tells me the arch is too high in the orthotic.
Secondly, plantar fasciitis does not have to occur in the heel, it can occur in the mid foot at well, so your pain in the arch very well may be plantar fasciitis
What "jumped out at me" was what you wrote: "I can bear weight on both feet but it hurt to walk and especial go down stairs. I experience the most pain to the ball of the foot esp. in the metatarsal region around the 3rd and 4th digits on both feet." This kind of motion is highly suggestive of either capsulitis or neuroma. If the pain does travel back into the foot, I would lean more towards neuroma (the pain is travelling the course of the nerve) then capsulitis which tends to be localized. Also, as you may have learned, the most common spot for neuromas is between the third and fourth toes.
I would suggest the following:
Have your orthotics adjusted in the arch area. Additionally ask to have a large metatarsal pad added to each orthotic in an effort to reduce the pain on the ball of the foot. You may also want to consider having an MRI with contrast to rule out neuroma or any other forefoot pathology.
The problem you have is that once you hit those hard hospital floors again, the pain may worsen.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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pain on bottom of foot

by Kathy

I have constant pain in the bottom of my foot, sometimes more severe than others, especially when im on my feet alot, as i usually am. I originally thought that there was something in my foot because when i step on it it feels like something is stabbing me in the bottom of my foot. So I actually had my husband use a needle to see if there was a sliver or something in it. But there wasn't and when he felt the bottom of my foot he says it feels like a bone, its hard in that spot and it hurts really bad when you push on it. The pain is in the ball of my foot right under the big and next toe. Thank you for any advice you can give me.

Hi Kathy,

Based on the location I am thinking sesamoiditis. Even though you cannot really feel the bone the lateral sesamoid bone is located in that area and many times a patient will get a cystic skin growth in that spot that may mimic the feeling of a splinter or having a stone in your shoe.
You could try an over the counter cushioned orthotic but my guess is it will need professional care. Your best bet would be a podiatrist.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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pain on bottom of foot

by James

I am hoping you can help me. Actually its for my wife. She has terrible pain in the bottom of her foot. It is constant pain, worse the longer she is on her feet. She spends most of her day on her feet as she works 2 jobs. She says it feels like there is something in her foot, when she steps on it or if you push on it with your finger in just the right spot she says it feels like something pushing into her foot. She even had me try to see if she had a sliver, which she doesnt. The spot where it hurts is right on the ball of her foot kind of right under the toe next to the big toe but down a little right where that part of your foot bends. Also when i push on that spot, which hurts her very much, it feels hard to me, like a bone or something. That part of her foot is callused but i think this might be more than just a callous. I am trying to get her to go back to the foot doctor, but i think she's afraid. She had surgery on her other foot 2 years ago for something else and had to be off her foot for 8 weeks, and she probably thinks that will happen again. But if this is something I think she is just going to make it worse, as she spends alot of time on her feet. I see her try to walk without stepping on the ball of her foot sometimes because it hurts her so much. Please give me any ideas you can and thank you very much....


I have a few ideas as to what it might be, but the smart money would be to let a podiatrist make an accurate diagnosis. The point to take away from here is that your wife only needs to go for an opinion; she is under no obligation to consent to surgery. Any doctor worth his salt will explain to you and your wife what the problem is, what your options are and then she can decide what she wants to do.
If you go to a doctor who seems to be railroading you into having surgery particularly without trying a more conservative approach; find yourself another doctor.
If she is in as much pain as you state, the foot needs to be looked at.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain on the bottom of my foot, after I stepped on sticker on ground

by Yvonne
(Carlsbad, NM USA)

I was walking barefoot and I stepped on a sticker on the bottom of my foot, it hurts right on the metatarsalgia part of the foot,IT'S HARD TO WALK ON, it caused a bump that got big and now its small, is it dangerous? What should I do?

Hi Yvonne,
Just another good reason not to walk around barefoot. Did the skin on the bottom of the foot tear open? Was it bleeding? Unless those events occurred I cannot imagine how the bottom of your foot would swell up like that.
If the bump is getting smaller and the skin was not broken, then I would just try some anti-inflammatory medication for a few days (assuming you can tolerate it) and wear shoes with a cushioned innersole and I would assume the pain should subside; if not see a podiatrist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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severe pain on bottom of foot making walking difficult

by Ann
(Parkland, Fl)

My father is 84 years old and he is having terrible pain on the bottom of his feet that is disrupting hos active lifestyle. He still works full time as an accountant and has an active social life. His pain is realy upsetting him .I have been to many doctors and I know he has a loss of fatty tissue on the bottom of his feet so he no longer has cushioning. I got him professionally made orthodics because he has flat feet but from what I am told that is not what is causing the pain. What can I do to help him? Have you ever heard of this in senior citizens ?
We tried those gel pads but they don't work.
Thank you for your help.

Hi Ann,
This can be a difficult problem to overcome. In most instances, I find that the pain is either from loss of fat tissue on the bottom of the foot or arthritic breakdown of the feet.
You can try experimenting around with over the counter arch supports, looking for a pair that cushion the feet, yet are also supportive. Since I do not know your father's weight or his foot structure I cannot recommend any particular device.
He may also want to try some of the "pain relieving" creams that are on the market. They will not cure his problem, but if they work, they will go a long way to relieving his discomfort on a daily basis.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Jan 14, 2016
Foot & ankle pain
by: Mary

I have extreme tenderness under the arches of both feet with pain to touch.This pain also occurs when you touch my insteps or toes. The pain radiates into the outside of my ankles & feels like i'm being stabbed with needles all over. I have difficulty walking & can't do so for more than a few minutes at a time without the pain turning to agony. I can't crouch down without causing a lot of pain in my feet when i try to stand up. This problem started suddenly months ago & has gotten steadily worse. I have been to a physio who told me i should place a golf ball under my foot arches & rotate to massage the area, also flex my toes by pulling them up towards me. Nothing has worked!I am in my early 50's.

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brown spot on bottom of foot

by debbie
(winston-salem, nc)

ater going to foot dr. about 2 yrs. ago. he discovered that i had a brown spot that looked like melanoma, he biopsied it that day & it came back negative. the other night, i noticed that it has come back even larger than before. i also have another small spot on the other foot. could the lab results be wrong? he was so sure it was melanoma. just worried, i guess? it's brown with a little darker brown spot in center, is now spreading out in the lines of my foot thank you so much

Hi Debbie,
Sometimes lab results are wrong, sometimes growths will return after being removed. In order to alleviate your worry and to protect your health, have the new growth biopsied.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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The balls of both feet are painful across my feet and feel numb

by Frank

I have had this problem for a while. The soles of both feet are painful across the feet and there is a numb feeling between my soles and my toes. If I stretch my feet and toes up and back toward my body, it feels like something in my soles is stretching like rubberbands.It is quite painful. Both of my big toes are numb also and can be painful when I put on my sneakers. I am 52 yrs. old and work on my feet in a factory 12 hrs. a day.
Thank You for any help.

Hi Frank,
Certainly being on your feet 12 hours a day on hard concrete floors cannot be good for your feet and so we should not be surprised that you are having problems. The fact that both feet hurt essentially the same tells me that it is a combination of the shoes and your work environment that are causing this problem; plus if you happen to be overweight that too could exacerbate your pain.
If the shoes you are wearing are the shoes you always wear (as opposed to a new pair of work shoes), then I would suggest adding an orthotic to see if re-balancing the foot does not alleviate the pain. The rubberband feeling you are getting is probably from inflammation on the bottom of the foot. If an orthotic does not help, then a visit to a podiatrist would be indicated.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Bottom of left foot around outside of foot

by Terry
(Berkeley, CA)

I have had terrible feet my whole life and wear orthotics that are periodically updated. I am very athletic and do a lot of walking in the hills and work out at the gym. I'm 63 years old and although both feet have a good bit of osteoarthritis, only the right foot has been symptomatic, with pain on the top of the foot near the inner ankle.

Last year I spent a lot of time on a boat and do not wear shoes on the boat. In March I spent two weeks on the boat. When I returned, I took a twenty minute walk and by the end could hardly walk at all. I had acute pain on the bottom of my left foot around the outside, continuing to the back of the heel and on around to the inside. I went to my podiatrist who said it was "probably" some sort of plantar fasciitis. But in reading about that, the pain does not seem to be explained by it. I read your information on tendonitis and think that sounds more like it. Although the pain sometimes gets better, if I take a half hour walk, it really responds badly. What do you think? (By the way, I found your website incredibly informative).

Hi Terry,
I agree, it does not sound like plantar fasciitis to me. The pain distribution suggests a couple of different problems. It seems, obviously, that it is all the result of walking barefoot for a long period of time.
I would recommend an x-ray just to rule out any pathology such as an arthritic flare up or perhaps stress fracture. If the x-ray is negative then you have a soft tissue injury from lack of wearing orthotics.
Since this pain is now three months old I think some treatment would be indicated. This would include a regimen of anti-inflammatory medication as well as physical therapy and perhaps a different form of exercise for a while to take pressure off the foot, such as an exercise bike or other nonweightbearing activity.
If none of this alleviates your problem, the next step would be an MRI.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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pain in arch of left foot

by mag

severe pain in arch seems to get worse when i go to bed.i walk for an hour every day.would this have something to do with it

Hi Mag,

I would think long walks would very likely have something to do with your foot pain. Your best bet would be to have it checked out; you certainly would not want to risk the problem getting worse.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain on bottom of foot

by Lawanza

i have a long red line on the bottom of my foot. It has been there for two months. I went to the doctor because I thought it maybe a blood clot. He sent me to get an ultrasound of my leg. Nothing was there. Now two months later it is still there. It is tingling numb and very pain with shooting pains up my leg. I forgot to mention I am 25 weeks pregnant. Could this be a blood clot.

Unfortunately without actually seeing it I do not know know what it is, but it is not normal. I would suggest you have your doctor monitor it.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain on soles of feet, inward toes

by dan


I had an arthroscopy a couple of years ago. I discovered that I had a torn pcl and arthritis caused through sport. I am 28 years old now and still play some sport but it always causes pain on the outside of my knees and in my feet. I get this pain mainly on the base of my heels and at the front (instep)of my foot. Sometimes it feels as if it is badly bruised and I often have blisters and cuts on my toes.

I have hammer toes and my smallest toe is turned inwards, almost to the point where it is under the next toe. When I stand naturally my toes are tensed and grip the floor. I have a feeling that this might all be originating from my hips or legs as I get pain in my hips and am quite bow legged. Recently I've began wearing toe separators on either feet to try and correct my small toe turning inwards.

I have been to the doctor in the UK without any success. I think I need to see a specialist to get advice on this problem. I am not sure who to see or what the problem is. All I know is that my knees, legs and ankles are all quite weak and strengthening exercise alone aren't enough.

Can you advise where to go from here?


Hi Dan,
Off the bat it seems like you have a biomechanical problem secondary to being bow-legged. People with that condition tend to compensate through pronation. This may be the source of your heel pain. You might want to consider an orthotic to control the pronation and cushion the heel.
Hammertoes at this point in your life are probably more a structural abnormality than a result of arthritis. If the hammertoes hurt enough they can be treated, usually surgically.
I am not sure what is causing the blisters and cuts you mention in the ball of your feet. Perhaps you need to look at the type of socks and athletic shoes you are wearing or your blistering and cuts might be athletes foot.
On the surface, it sounds like all your problems are treatable; find a foot specialist, that would be your best bet.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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burning on the bottom of my feet

by Anita

PLEASE HELP!!!! This has been an ongoing problem for me over the past 2 years. I have seen a foot specialist and was fitted with an orthotic, that has not helped at all(it's very hard). I have been to several different "specialty" footwear stores, and spent ALOT of $$ on different shoes, etc. I have a flat foot, (not that flat) with a very, very slight arch. When I work out, especially jumping rope, or working with weights, the bottom of my feet burn...very bad! It doesn't seem to bother me when I'm on the treadmill walking/running, only when I put additional weight bearing, or like I said, jumping rope. I have searched every website, and can't seem to find any information on this particular symptom. What could be causing it? And more importantly, what can I do to fix it?

Hi Anita,
The first area I would look into would be tarsal tunnel. Although I would have thought that even the treadmill might cause the symptoms, I am thinking that perhaps adding the extra weight to your body when working with weights may be enough to pronate your feet to the point where the posterior tibial nerve is being impinged (pressed into) and you are getting neurological symptoms like burning.
An orthotic should help but you may need an orthotic that takes the foot out of pronation more than the plastic orthotics, such as a cork and leather orthotic. (you do not mention what type of orthotic you have) This orthotic would also absorb some of the "shock" from the pounding your feet take at the gym.
The next area I would look into would a lower back problem. You may have an irritation on the nerves that come out of your lower spine that give you sensation in your feet; they may be aggravated when doing certain exercises.
I do not think you can fix this yourself. You will need to see a doctor and have both potential conditions addressed.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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plantar callus

plantar callus

I went in thinking i had a wart, they froze it, then went back and had it burned. I figured out it wasn't a wart but a intractable plantar keratoma(IPK). Now it's been a few months and i have a big callus where it was burned and the whole thing is very tender. I soak it and lightly pummus it regularly and put peroxide on it. Since i am doing this it seems to look better, but is still very tender. Is it just still healing. Concerned that it is still tender.

Looks like a classic wart to me. Notice the little black spots and the cauliflower appearance of each small lesion, plus it is in the wrong place for a intractable plantar keratoma.
If it is very painful, I would recommend you have the area "put to sleep" and have the whole growth excised. Since it keeps coming back, make sure it is biopsied.
Freezing and just burning rarely work on plantar warts because the majority of the wart is beneath the skin, unlike warts elsewhere which protrude from the skin.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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bottom of the foot pain

by jim klein
(toledo ohio)

Thank you for accepting questions - this has to do with a condition which my wife has been experiencing - she has had increasing pain in both feet, which has not been helped by getting off of her feet. The pain is shooting, stabbing, and has been moving into her lower leg these last few days, as well. She is a kindergarten teacher, thus on her feet much of the day; her history includes running for approximately 12 years about 15 miles a day; she has suspicions in two areas not normally associated with cause: mold coming from her workplace, and the after effects of having taken lyrica one year ago, for approximately one year after a failed dental implant. What is your advice and/or diagnosis, as best as can be determined on-line? Thank you.

Hi Jim,
I do not think mold or Lyrica is the source of your wife's pain. The fact that she has so much running mileage on her feet jumps out at me.
You do not mention specifically where the pain is coming from but all I can determine is that is it bilateral and on one foot it is moving into the ankle, so may I assume she has heel pain? If so, the traveling of the pain into her ankle might be suggestive of a heel neuroma.
The way I would approach this if the pain has been present for at least one month, chances are it is not going away on its own and she should be seen by a podiatrist. Treatment might be as simple as an orthotic.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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throbing sensation in the bottom of my foot

Last night i developed this constant throbing sensation in the bottom of my foot on the lateral side. I worked out my legs for the first time in a few months the other day doing leg presses, and my legs have been very sore since then and i havent been able to walk very well i wonder if that had anything to do with this throbing in my foot.

Hi Tony,
The connection between the throbbing in your foot and the leg presses may be nothing more than too much pressure on your foot against whatever surface or bar you were pressing against to do the leg presses.
Think back to how you were doing the leg presses and try to remember if the painful part of your foot was pressing against something. I am willing to bet that it was. If so you will have to alter the way you do leg presses.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Foot pain on ball of foot

A few weeks ago I started to have foot pain in my right foot. The pain is localized in the ball of the foot and seems to be directly connected to a small, hard, lump under the skin of my foot. To me it almost feels as if there is a very small pebble just under my skin. I bought some good shoe inserts and it does help but at the end of a long day, or when wearing other shoes, it can be quite painful. It is a recent problem, I've never had this before.

Most times a garden variety callus will cause some pressure but not that "stone in the shoe" sensation. That type of pain may be due to a skin cyst that might be present in the callus (if you have a callus) or you may have a condition known as a porokeratosis, which is nothing more than a plugged sweat gland (feet have over 250,000 sweat glands; thats why they perspire).
Another possibility would be a plantar wart which is a virus that forms in the skin.
These conditions are more annoying than anything else, but if you are not getting the kind of relief you would like from the shoe inserts, then you should see a podiatrist. These are all readily treatable conditions.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Wart-like bumps on bottoms of feet

by Debbie
(Plantation, FL, Broward)

I went to the podiatrist with what I thought were plantars warts. I have 6-8 wart-like bumps on the right foot, (located where arch meets heel, and where arch meets ball of foot)and 2 near my small toe on the left foot. They grow inward and have become painful when walking barefoot. The doctor said he did not think they were plantars warts because they do not have a black dot in the center (???) He seemed a little concerned about circulation but said mine seemed fine. He gave me samples of Umecta PD (Rx cream) and said to give that a try. I have been using it 2x/day for 2 weeks but really havent noticed much of a difference. I have spent hours searching online and have not been able to find anything that appears similar. Do you have any ideas of what this could possibly be, if not plantars warts? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you .

Hi Debbie,
The thing that mimics warts the most are called porokeratosis which is nothing more than plugged sweat glands. The feet have over 250,000 sweat glands so it is not uncommon for them the become clogged. They then become hard and to the untrained eye are usually mistaken for warts.
If they do not hurt, you can leave them alone, but frequently they will hurt especially ones that are located over bony prominences.
Treatment is usually to have them curetted (carved out). In some cases this solves the problem, in others it helps the problem but the lesions do come back.
I am not so sure what help the urea cream that you are using will do.
By the way, not all warts have to have the "black dot" that your doctor mentioned.
If your doctor is a podiatrist, ask he or she to curette them out, if your doctor is not a podiatrist, I would recommend you see one.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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by Kirk



I have a second IPK problem starting. I wrote earlier about the one i had burned, froze, etc before figuring out the problem. So i have a new "little" one starting on the other foot. What can i do for it to help it so it doesn't get biger. At this point i have been just soaking, and pumusing it. I did currently by some chaco sandles hoping to help the presure on my foot. This should help some of the problem , right?

I am not so sure you have an IPK. Unless the picture is distorted it appears that the growth is distal (in front of) the metatarsal head. I would be more inclined to start thinking along the lines of a wart or possibly a porokeratosis.
Your best bet would be to have a doctor look at the growth, determine what it is and then offer appropriate treatment.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Continuing calluses on bottom of foot - heel and bottom of front foot

by charles enis
(columbus ohio)

I have continued caluses on bottom of heel and the bottom of front foot. I go to a podiatrist regularly, but recently caluses return more quickly. I also have severe peripheral artery disease in both legs. I have had several by-pass surgeries on both legs, removal of clots, and also artificial arteries in both legs. I have also had quintuple by-pass twice within 9 years of each other, two heart attacks, and right renal artery by-pass. I am not diabetic. I am a male 71 years old. My podiatrist had x=rays done. I am concerned he will want to do surgery. I have remained very active in spite of the medical problems. The pain in my feet is interfering with the activities I enjoy. Also walking is vital for me to maintain my health.

Hi Charles,
Without having the luxury of examining you, but with your poor circulation history, I cannot imagine any one wanting to operate on you.
Calluses are a result of excessive pressure and friction (rake your leaves and then look at your hands).
I would think you are a perfect candidate for some kind of orthotic to more adequately distribute your body weight and take some pressure off the callused area.
Orthotics will not eliminate the calluses but they should cut down on their recurrence.
With your history of poor circulation, make sure you stay under the care of a podiatrist. If those calluses get too thick, they can crack open, or break down and eventually ulcerate out, even without being diabetic.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Mayo Clinic

Johns Hopkins Medicine


Arthritis Foundation

University of Rochester Medical Center

Harvard Health

American Academy of Pediatrics

Penn State Medical Center

National Institutes of Health

Columbia University Department of Rehabilitation


Stanford Health Care

Illinois Bone and Joint Institute

Mount Sinai Hospital

Institute for Chronic Pain

University of Florida Health

American Family Physician


University of Maryland Medical Center

(items I prescribe in the office)

Orthotics for multiple types of foot pain
best buy in a pre-made orthotic
click link below


Orthotics for heel and arch pain for those who must wear dress shoes
click link below


HONESTe Online Member Seal
Click to verify - Before you buy!

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.


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


I am really, really impressed with your plain-speak explanations for the various conditions.


This was an extremely helpful site. I have an appointment on the 18th and your info. Was right on target…..


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
You have an amazing and extremely informative site. I enjoyed looking through all of the data and stats.


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…..


(location unknown)
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 …….


(location unknown)
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,


West lafayette, IN
Dear doubt you get positive comments re your site...May I please be added to the list of your admirers. In all of my years of web surfing I would say your site is right there with the very best. Thank you for taking the time to write the terrific info you provide and for putting things into laymen terms for us mere mortals. I pray you have much on going success and thank you again for a deed well done. As for me I did not find much help for my symptoms and will continue on my quest. Were you anywhere in the South I would make and appointment...Thanks again dear sir...m.e.

Michael E.

Tampa, Florida 33624
Hi. This is a great site! I'm a healthy middle aged woman who is in good health, but.....


Just a wee word of thanks for your wonderful website...It is a terrific service...Thank you for providing your knowledge and help...With highest regards, m ebeling

Michael D. Ebeling

Tampa, Florida 33624

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



Dear Dr.Mitnick

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.


Dragica W.


....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!


South Africa

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.

Ron R.

Pacific Grove, CA

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,


Alameda, California

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!


Thank you for your very interesting and informative site!


Hi. I come to your site often looking for information. It is really informative and I appreciate it very much. I have RA and have been having considerable amount of foot pain...... Dee RN

Thanks very much for the wonderful informative site.


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......


Thank you so much for your response. I will let you know how I am doing if you would like. Your website is awesome!


South Carolina
Hello! I want to thank you for such an informative website! I found you based on my ankle pain search and am happy to realize that there may be a relatively simple cause and solution....


unknown location

...Thanks for your fantastic service.


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!!!!!!!!!!!!!


location unknown

Great insights! Thanks Doc, you're the best.


location unknown

I have been experiencing foot pain of various sorts and am working to figure out what it is. I found this site and can only say BRAVO!! What an excellent site! The time it must have taken to put all this together must've been a daunting task! I am sure it has helped so many people. Thank you so very much for doing this.


location unknown

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!!


location unknown

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.


location unknown

Wow, that is exactly the information needed!!! thank you thank you thank you!!! I appreciate this help so very much from Marc Mitnick DPM. Excellent information and help to improve One's life.


location unknown

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!


Evansville, IA

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.

Russ W.

location unknown

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.


location unknown

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!


Albany, NY

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.

location unknown



Whichita, KS

thanks again, this site is very helpful.


Boston, MA

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

....Keep up what your doing. Your a life saver.



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.

Barb D.

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......


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


Thank you for your response. You have provided some great insight (to my question)....


location unknown
Thank-you so very much for responding so quickly and in such detail to my question!! I will give my surgeon a call today!! This website is terrific!!!! Thank-you again!


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 ...


location unknown

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.

location unknown
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

location unknown

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

Thank you so much Doc for a quick and thorough response!


Bellevue, WA

I cannot thank you enough for your response, opinion, and suggestions! I want you to know how much it means to me, and I'm sure everyone else who has ever asked you a question! I feel like you're a lifesaver and have empowered me to take a stronger role and stand up for myself and my feet!


location unknown

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