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

pain on bottom of foot

by Morgan


Yesterday I was taking my regular walk in the morning and I felt a very sharp pain on the bottom of my right foot, kind of in the middle toward the right side. I figured it would go away but continued to worsen as I walked. I came back and the pain was almost unbearable. It didn't really hurt when I wasn't walking on it so I thought maybe I just had a cramp in my foot. Then I attempted to walk into school and the pain was again almost unbearable. I found that if I walked on the inner part of my foot it didn't hurt as bad, but it still hurt. When I woke up this morning and started walking, it didn't really hurt too bad but as I continued to walk, the pain came back. I tried to wrap it but it actually hurt worse when I wrapped it. There is really no swelling because it is on the bottom of my foot, but there is a very minimal but thin, long bruise. Now when I sit, I do feel a little more pain than before, but it's not really that bad. The strange thing is that I don't remember anything actually happening to my foot. I did drop a candle the night before and I thought maybe a sliver of glass got in my foot, but there was no blood or anything so I don't really see how that could be the cause. I did walk a lot (at a theme park) the day before I noticed the pain but didn't do anything out of the ordinary and didn't have any pain after going to the theme park. Can anyone help me figure this out?

Hi Morgan,
I would recommend a trip to a podiatrist, without examining your foot it would be difficult for me to come up with a diagnosis.
Even though there was no trauma, doing a lot of walking in a day can create "trauma" to the feet and this is probably the reason why your foot is hurting.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain under outside of my left foot.

by Eric
(Dubrovnik, Croatia)

I was walking through Paris, and over did it. I got a blister on the top of my little toe, and compensated by walking differently. Now there is severe pain towards the middle of the bottom of my foot, towards the outside of my little toe, and along the outside edge of my left foot.I find that the pain increases if I attempt to point my toes downward, or touch the spot on the bottom. Walking is nearly impossible. Because I am still on vacation, I was hoping to find out about recovery time/ What I can do to speed recovery.

Hi Eric,
As long as you keep doing a lot of walking, you cannot expect the foot to get better, quickly. If you can tolerate it, try some anti-inflammatory medication and if the shoes you are wearing are hurting your feet, then you may have to invest in a more comfortable pair of shoes.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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shooting burning pain on the forefoot of the foot

by ismary
(Miami, florida)

I am not sure if i have morton's neuroma. After walking one day, I felt a shooting burning pain on my forefoot near the 4th toe. It does not feel like a pebble or it does not feel bad when I walk barefoot. However, walking in sneakers (which used to be my preferred shoe) aggravates the problem. If I squeeze my toes it does not hurt. It just hurts if I press hard on the ball of the forefoot near the 4th toe. It's not the toe or the bone of where the 4th toe begins.

Is this a metatarsal bruise or a neuroma. I am confused because a neuroma has some symptoms that I don't have but i do experience a burning sensation in that area.
There is no visible swelling. When I wake up it hurts when I walk barefoot but as I continue to walk barefoot it gets better. It is just when I wear closed shoes. I bought New new balance shoes with inserts and it feels better but i still feel the pain If I walk quickly.

Thank you

Hi Ismary,
Unfortunately, the only way to know what exactly is going on is to have an examination by a podiatrist.
Based on your symptoms, neuroma would be my first choice with capsulitis as my second choice. There is also the possibility of an intermetatarsal bursitis but as you can see I am only guessing.
A doctor will be able to give you a more definitive diagnosis.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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heel pain ad burning and pain under arch

by jacqueline
(united kingdom)

i started having pain in my left heel about 6 mths ago. my ankle also swells every day, now the pain is severe uder the arch which is affecting me badly. it burns constantly and the pain is severe, i had a car accident 10mths ago in which my pelvis on the left side came out of alinment and my back is still painful. i am having physio for this. the dr said i now have arthritis in my left knee sinced the acciedent. seeing as its the left foot which is painful coud this be the cause. it is getting more painful by the day and this is affecting my posture and walking. i have been taking painkillers but do not know what else to do. my gp said it could be a heel spur.

Hi Jacqueline,
Although you may have a heel spur I think your pain goes beyond that. Read my section on heel neuroma and tarsal tunnel. The burning that you are getting is suggestive of either a tarsal tunnel or heel neuroma.
You should see a doctor, but make sure you see someone who is familiar with these other possibilities.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain to the left hand side of the sole of the left foot

by Richard Swann
(West Yorkshire)

Developed a Pain to the the left side of the sole of my left foot whilst running, it felt at the time like a muscle pull but did not prevent me from completing the run (it was a charity 10K run and I had done plenty of training and run the full distance several times in the month prior to the event), but for the rest of the day the foot felt like it was in cramp with shooting pains when i put weight on the foot and at times I was not able to put any weight on the foot and had to shuffle around on my heel or toes.
By the next morning the pain had vastly reduced and continued to do so over the next few days which agsin led me to beleive that it was a muscle strain.
Eight days later I went out for a run again and within the first ten minutes felt the muscle pull again. I felt I could carry on running with just the occasional twinge but by the time I had taken a bath the pain was back and agin I struggled to put weight on the foot.
It is now seven days since the last run and I can still feel a soreness to the underside of the foot roughly where the heel meets the midfoot but the pain is to the left side only, not the middle or under the arch.

Hi Richard,
Commonsense would dictate that the foot should be examined by a foot specialist. The pain obviously is not going away and you run the risk of further damage by continuing to run on it without knowing the type of injury you have.
Since it sounds like you are an avid runner, I would recommend cease running for the time being, and see a doctor to avoid doing further damage to the foot which may end up preventing you from running at all.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Bottom of foot pain, sharp pain, numbness, coldness, cramp, stiffness

by Christine

I have been having trouble with the bottom of my feet for the last month now. I started back at the gym about 3 months ago but over the past month I am struggling to fully carry out any classes because half way through my workout my feet go numb, I get pins and needles and start to get sharp pains as if I am going to get bad cramp. I warm up for a good 10 or so minutes before I start each class and fully strtch out on the power plate. I don't start to get pain until a good half an hour into the workout. I have been to the doctors and he says it is poor circulation in my feet and he can't give me anything to cure it. I have been going to the gym for over five years now and have never had problems like this before. Even when I am not at the gym and are just walking to work I get a slight pain in my the bottom of my foot. It is really starting to get me down. I havetried changing my shoes, put on two pairs of socks to make my feet warmer but nothing is helping. Can you help at all?

Hi Christine,
You do not mention your age, so I cannot tell whether poor circulation is a viable diagnosis. However, there are other conditions that will cause similar set of symptoms which all seem to be activity related in your case.
A radiculopathy or pinched nerve in the lower back can cause similar symptoms. Additionally, read my section on tarsal tunnel. If you are under 50, never smoked and not a diabetic, this is the first thing I would think of based on your description.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Bottom of foot pain

There is a spot about 1" below my baby toe on my left foot that hurts. It seems to be a sort of hard spot under the surface of the skin. when I press on it, it hurts and it feels like a little hard lump. I would be grateful for any imformation you can give me.
Thanks in advance.

Read my section on warts and porokeratosis. Those two items as well as a callus would be the three most common causes of a painful hard lump. I think you would be best served by seeing a podiatrist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Bottom of foot pain.

by Wayne P
(Brandon, FL)

56-year old male, 170#, good general health.

Increasing pain over the metatarsal heads over the past 3-4 years, initially alleviated by very careful selection of arch supports. But now, even my very carefully selected footwear does not allow me to walk comfortably. There is no pain whatever to palpation or range-of-motion.

I believe that the tough fat cells that pad the boney parts of the foot are wearing away--though I cannot find this condition described anywhere.

Two podiatrists called it "metatarsalgia", but this explains nothing. They recommended orthotics that would distract pressure from the painful areas, but the areas receiving the new pressure quickly became painful themselves. They don't have any additional recommendations. I don't know what to do.

Could I be losing the padding tissue on the soles? For all the dozens of causes of foot pain, this is not on any list, but I strongly suspect that is what is happening to me.

My world is closing in on me! I'm wondering if I'll need to buy a wheelchair.

Hi Wayne,
You may very well have metatarsalgia from degeneration of the plantar fat pad even though you are kind of young for that to be occurring. If there is no fat to protect the heads of the bone then they may begin to hurt.
Orthotics are generally the treatment of choice for metatarsalgia but nothing is carved in stone in terms of the type of orthotics.
Generally speaking you need an orthotic that has a topcover that cushions to make up for the lack of fat and you will need a metatarsal pad to take pressure off the heads of the bone.
You and your doctor may have to experiment around until you find an orthotic that works for you.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Nov 18, 2016
Ref. to bottom of foot PainI myself have
by: lenora

I myself had experience the same pain the pain was so excruciating it felt as though I was walking on hot broken glass. I am one who has gone there for the most part of my life to this day I kick my shoes off the minute I enter the door. What my doctor had said was that the tissue that protected the nerves on the bottom of my feet had hardened.What he did was give me a steroid shot in the bottom of my foot.That had to be the most painful shot I ever have had. but the pain went away instantly. It has
not come back since. That was two years ago.

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numb heel and right side of foot

by george

numb heal and right side of right foot unable to physicaly tiptoe, numb and sore calf and outer thigh/buttock everything feels cold

Hi George,
I do not know your age or medical history, but the first thing I would do is have your circulation tested immediately.
If that proves to be normal, the next area to investigate would be a nerve entrapment any where from the lower back to the foot (tarsal tunnel).
Both those conditions can cause your type of symptoms but poor circulation is not something to fool around with.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Stinging along left arch of foot

by Ginny

I have a tendency to pronate in my left foot. I have been experiencing a stinging along the arch of that foot...along the underside and inside of my left foot, along th arch. I don't even know what this pain is called, so I don't know how to look it up for things I can do to treat it.

Thank you


Ginny Gibbs

Hi Ginny,
The stinging is more than likely due to overstretching of the soft tissue in the arch because of your excessive pronation.
Why not try a good arch support and see if the stinging does not subside over a period of a few days to a few weeks.
If not, a trip to a podiatrist would be indicated.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Shooting pains in the ball of my right foot

by Barry Weekes
(London, England)

I keep getting sharp/electrical shooting pains in the ball of my right foot, sometimes it is just so painful, i have read lots of things on the web, who do i go see, doctors, chiropodist........what is this problem?

Hi Barry,
Sounds like it could be a Morton's neuroma (see my section on neuroma). I would start with a foot specialist as we see this problem all day long.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain in right foot at arch; radiates up to ankle

by Olivia

I've been running for about 7 months now, and in the past month have switched from running on the treadmill to running on the sidewalk & paved trails. I have flat feet and my right foot rolls in, but I also got specific shoes to help with that over a month ago, and have never had pain in my feet while running.

I'm experiencing pain in my right foot on the inner side of the arch. It seems to be coming from the end of a bone. When I push on it, the pain radiates up the inside of my ankle. My ankle hurts a little while resting, but not a whole lot, and not nearly as much as when I touch the end of this bone.

I'm trying to determine if this could be plantar fasciitis or possibly a stress fracture. The pain is not unbearable that I can't walk or run, and I'm training for a half-marathon.. so I'm really hoping that it's neither of these. Based on my description, what do you think it could be?? And is it okay to continue training??

Hi Olivia,
It sounds more like a strain of the tibialis anterior tendon which comes down the front of the ankle and attaches into a bone on the inside of the foot. This condition would be common in runners who also happen to have flat feet as this is the tendon that attempts to raise the arch.
Since you are a runner and since the propensity for this condition to worsen is quite high, I would suggest you try some kind of orthotic in your shoe. If that helps, fine; if not you would then have to see a podiatrist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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pain on the bottom of the ball of the big top

by Sky Sterry
(Bozeman Montana)

I have had reoccurring flareups of pain in the joint of my big toe over the last year. I am 37 yrs male. These have always been after long walks, day three of walking a tradeshow etc. The whole joint of the big toe swells and is very painful, my initial research pointed to gout. This has happened 4 times. This winter I am learning telemark skiing, which puts a lot of pressure in that area, and you are doing lunges as you ski. Now the pain has localized to the bottom of the big toe, specifically the tendon flexor hallucis longus. Now I get stabbing sharp pain while walking or hiking, or skiing. It feels like the tendon is strained or torn right near where it goes through the sesamoids, or on the arch side of the sesamoids. I also have calf pain on that leg associated with the foot pain. My research has come up with sesamoiditis, a tear in the FHL tendon, or a ganglion cyst on that tendon near the sesamoids, or simple tendonitis of the FHL. Also, I stepped on a nail that punctured the foot at the sesamoids 2 weeks before the first flareup. Ths first flareup was diagnosed by a doctor in New Zealand as a latent infection from the nail puncutre (I now believe it was misdiagnosed). I also went to the local clinic, and a nurse told me that I had gout (also, I think a misdiagnosis). Is gout ever associated with FHL problems? I am ready to go to a pediatrist and found your site.

You certainly did your research. Does not sound like gout to me as your pain seems to occur after some sort of extended activity and gout generally does not follow that type of course.
Sesamoiditis is a possibility as is a problem with the flexor tendon.
You may also have some arthritic changes within the big toe joint that causes the joint to flareup after a lot of activity.
Yes, I agree, you need to see a podiatrist and you need an x-ray.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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concerning poison ivy in lump or bump underneath foot

by Phyllis
(west palm beach Fl)

I step into some poison ivy and got it on the top of my right foot. At the time I did not know it was poison ivy. because it was not treated some enough, it spead on the side of the of the right foot like a long line a when under the foot. Therefore I have a lump or bump under my foot. because of the lump or bump it is hard for me to put my foot flat on the floor a walk. on the top of my foot where the poison ivy started is find. just underneath is giving me problems. I have used aloe, i have use vineger, salt put foot in water salt or vinger and aloud it to stay. I do not have money to go to the doctor. Please rely!

Hi Phyllis,
Since there is no cure for poison ivy you just have to use topical medication (or oral prednisone in severe cases) to control the symptoms until they subside, usually in two weeks. My preference is calamine lotion but use whatever works best for you.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain in center sole of right foot

by Paul Winters
(Charlotte, NC)

I run about 50 miles per week (training for a marathon). This morning I ended the run with some sharp pain in my right foot. It seemed dead center on the bottom sole. I thought it would go away after a good stretch. It lasted most of the morning but subsided a bit by evening so I did a light jog then. The pain came back almost immediately and is much worse now. My fear is a stress fracture but I have no basis for that. I have had plantars before but this seems different in location and that stretching it out does not help.

Hi Paul,
A few things come to mind one of which is a stress fracture.
I am also thinking capsulitis or metatarsalgia (read my articles).
Since you are training for a marathon you cannot have this problem linger. I would suggest you see a podiatrist and get a definitive diagnosis.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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lateral foot pad under small toe

by Kellie

I'm a nurse and I'm on my feet 12-13 hours a day. At the end of the day my feet are killing me. They especially hurt on the bottoms of my feet on the pads on underneath my little toe pad. They are on both sides and there are also 2 small white dots in the middle as well. I've looked around on the web and it doesn't look like corns or a callus, at least not from the pictures that I've seen. Any ideas??? If so what can I do to make them not hurt as much?

Hi Kellie,
Read my section on porokeratosis.
This condition is readily treatable either by having the white growth curetted out (most likely it will come back) which will give you relief.
Keratolytic agents such as salicylic acid can be used to decrease the hard surface.
Lastly, because you work on hard hospital floors you will more than likely require an insert in your shoe which will take some of the pressure off the painful area and reduce or possibly eliminate the growth from constantly recurring.
Marc Mitnick DPM


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Ball of foot, base of toe pain

by sb
(concord, nh)

1 week after injury

1 week after injury

10 weeks ago, I suffered a 3rd degree sprain from rolling my ankle completely over the top (stepped in a pretty big hole). I had bruising up my achilles, the inside and outside of my foot and a lot of swelling as well as bruising on the top of my foot. Xrays showed a mid-foot fracture as well, but after the MRI the ortho doctor said I didn't need surgery. The MRI showed a deep bone bruise through my ankle bone as well.

My two left toes don't bend, which I assume is from tendon damage. But I also have A LOT of toe pain, especially in my middle toes (middle through base) that goes right through the bottom of my foot. I have had 3 PT sessions and the pain is an 8 out of 10 when she is rubbing that area.

I don't have another doctor's appt for 4 weeks and I'm not sure if I should call him or just suck it up during PT and hope it isn't doing more damage. It really aches right now and my session was 11 hours ago. Is this type of pain normal after a sprained ankle?

There can be pain after a physical therapy session as the therapist is attempting to regain motion in area that is "stiff" from the injury. the amount of pain will vary depending on the patient and the type of injury.
You should contact your doctor, but you may also want to ask the therapist if your pain is out of proportion. An experienced therapist will be able to give you an accurate answer.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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ball of left foot pain

i recently bought a treadmill and started walking/running on it an hour a day for about 5 days. i was not wearing running shoes but cross trainers and was starting to feel tingling around the toes of only my left foot. By a weeks time the ball of my foot up to my toes were swollen as well as my second and third toes. They were so swollen that i could barely bend them and i was having a burning pain around my toes and the ball of my foot which also ended up on the top of my foot as well.

Im not sure if this is a serious condition. i have now bought running shoes but am taking a break from working out until my foot is healed

If the pain persists for lets say a week, go get an xray to make sure you do not have a stress fracture. Other things to consider would be Morton's neuroma and capsulitis. (Read my section on these conditions)
Marc Mitnick DPM

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bottom of the right foot pain

by David

the pain comes on and off, very sharp when occuring on the arch of the right foot, yet when it disappears it is totally painless. what could be the course?

Hi David,
The most common cause of this type of foot pain would be plantar fasciitis. Most people associate this condition with pain in the heel area but it is fairly common in the arch as well.
Since it is not constant, try to identify the factors that seem to set it off (certain shoes, exercise, standing, etc.) and if you can identify it try and eliminate it or modify it.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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pain in balls of foot and toes while standing

I have been having severe pain in the balls of both feet that radiates into my job requires standing for 8 hours, and after about 4 hours the pain starts. My right foot is worse...the toes tend to curl and hurt most when bending them. I have had x-rays and a cat-scan at the podiatrist. I do have RA, and the rheumatologist feels this is the cause. I have a rheumatoid nodule on the left foot. I can barely stand or walk after 4 hours of standing. I read about Mortons Neuroma on your site, and wonder if this could be the cause.
Any input would be greatly appreciated as I will loose my job if I cannot stand for 8 hours.


Hi Carol,

Morton's neuroma sounds like a real possiblity to me, but keep in mind your rheumatoid nodule may be located in a certain spot that is also putting pressure on the nerve.
In general, pain that starts in the ball of the foot and radiates into the toes is highly suggestive of neuroma.
Why not speak with your podiatrist about this possibility.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Apr 02, 2016
Right foot
by: Anonymous

I have been getting pain below the two middle toes and just below it is swollen bought new balance shoes but swelling will not go away still sore find it hard to walk bare feet how can I fix this

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