Treating Outside Foot Pain
Treatment for lateral foot pain will depend on whether the symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe. For mild pain, people can gain relief with R.I.C.E. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. The idea is to try to ease the pain and inflammation as well as reduce the chances of further injury. Many people find that it is effective in speeding up the healing process.
Heres a look at some other treatments for lateral foot pain:
There are other treatment options, including massage therapy and light therapy, but it is important to have a discussion with a physician before starting treatment.
Symptoms Of Peroneal Tendonitis
Immediate symptoms of peroneal tendonitis include pain and swelling in the ankle. If the pain does not subside with rest you may need to be evaluated for peroneal tendonitis. Other symptoms of peroneal tendonitis include:
- Tenderness behind the ankle bone
- Pain the first thing in the morning when you wake up
What Are The Different Types Of Foot Problems
Foot pain is often caused by improper foot function. Poorly fitting shoes can worsen and, in some cases, cause foot problems. Shoes that fit properly and give good support can prevent irritation to the foot joints and skin. There are many types of foot problems that affect the heels, toes, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and joints of the foot.
The symptoms of foot problems may look like other medical conditions and problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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How Is Lateral Foot Pain Diagnosed
A physical examination of the foot is the first option to diagnose the condition, during which the doctor evaluates and examines the stability and mobility of the foot. The doctor will also assess symptoms of pain, foot deformities or injuries, and swollen areas.
Some diagnostic exams can also help determine the underlying cause of the condition. These tests include magnetic resonance imaging , x-rays, bone scans, and CT scans.
Painful Os Peroneum Syndrome
About 20 percent of people have an os peroneum, a tiny accessory bone that sits within the peroneus longus tendon. And most of the time, it does not cause any discomfort.
But if the bone fractures, or the peroneus longus tendon is tears or gets trapped near the bone , you can have considerable pain. No surprisethe word painful is right there in the name.
Up to 60 percent of the time, the condition will affect both feet. Like peroneal tendinitis, POPS can cause outside foot and ankle pain, swelling, and tenderness, as well as difficulty turning the foot outward or pointing the toes downward.
Youll typically treat the condition the same way youd treat peroneal tendinitis: RICE, orthotics and/or heel wedges, and possibly an ankle brace or walking boot. If conservative approaches are unsuccessful, your doctor may recommend surgery.
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Risk Factors For Peroneal Tendonitis
Risk factors for peroneal tendonitis include:
- People with high arched feet are more likely to develop peroneal tendonitis.
- Runners who run at a fast pace or do interval workouts are at a higher risk of developing peroneal tendonitis.
- People with tight calves are more likely to develop the condition.
Is Your Lateral Foot Pain Due To A Stress Fracture
Stress fractures are very small cracks in a bone. The long bones of the feet are called the metatarsals. The metatarsal along the lateral foot is at high risk of a stress fracture as a result of overuse. Bones in the feet are at risk because they are required to bear body weight during all upright activities physical activity.
Throughout an athletes career, its common to experience foot pain. Whether in gymnastics, soccer, basketball or dance, athletes who constantly use their feet to move quickly, jump or change directions can suffer from foot pain on the side of their foot including stress fractures.
Athletes are not the only group to experience pain on the side of their foot. Everyday activities as simple as wearing improper footwear or a lack of nutrients can lead to a foot pain. These things can cause a lot of problems, not only for your feet but also for other joints, such as your hips and knees.
Not sure if you have a stress fracture? An X-ray may not be able to capture the smaller cracks, as a result, an MRI may be necessary.
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Ask The Doctor: Pain Along Outside Of Foot
Is this cuboid subluxation or a stress fracture?
Question: I am a 37-year-old female runner and have been running seriously for about three years. I’ve dealt with several injuries during that time, most of which I have managed with rest and physical therapy when necessary.
A few weeks ago I was doing an interval workout on a treadmill in preparation for an upcoming half marathon. I felt pain along the outside of my foot, so when the first set of intervals was done I tightened my shoelaces and began the second set. Half-way through this set I had to stop because I was in so much pain. I could only walk by putting weight on the heel of my right foot. I suspected that this was a subluxed cuboid, which had happened to me about 5 months earlier. A chiropractor treated that injury and I was running again within a week. With this injury, I have seen two chiropractors for three different adjustments, yet I still feel pain. The pain is no longer in the cuboid area, but along the top of my fourth metatarsal, about a half inch region close to my toes. Yesterday at the gym I did five minutes of steep walking on the treadmill which increased the pain on the outside of my foot, but that seems to have gone away.
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X-rays should be performed initially if pain persists and the diagnosis is in question, an MRI may be helpful.
Good luck with the injury.
Cathy Fieseler, MD
Foot Pain Thats Anywhere Or Everywhere
Neuropathy, or nerve damage in the feet, is most often caused by diabetes. The pain can be burning, stinging, or feel like electricity. It can happen anywhere in the feet. Ask your doctor about pain relief options and ways to prevent further worsening.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints throughout your body. Almost everyone with RA gets symptoms in their feet and ankles. RA can affect the areas around your heels, the top of your feet, and the toes and the balls of your feet. Rest, ice, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen may ease your symptoms. Shoe inserts can relieve pressure from the bone in your feet.
Osteoarthritis is when the cushioning cartilage in your joints wear out. Most often, the cause is aging. But osteoarthritis also can happen from injury or if you have flat feet or very high arches. You may have trouble walking, and your joints may feel stiff and painful.
To treat it, your doctor may recommend:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Custom shoe inserts
- Braces, a cast, or a boot to keep your foot immobile until the inflammation goes down
- Physical therapy to strengthen your muscles
- Steroid shots for more severe cases
Tendinitis is inflammation and irritation of tendons, the bands attaching muscles to bones. Tendons run along all the surfaces of the foot and can cause foot pain in many different locations.
To treat it:
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
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Direct Injury To The Metatarsal Bone
Besides tiny cracks on your metatarsal bone , direct, forceful injury applied to the foot can cause a complete fracture. If this happens, you will experience sudden onset sharp pain and swelling at the bottom of foot.
A direct foot injury may result from
- An opponent or teammate stepping on your foot during sporting activities
- Twisting of your foot
- Jumping and landing on your forefoot
What are the symptoms of a complete metatarsal fracture?
- Sharp pain localized mostly on the area of the fractured bone
- Swelling and pain of the bottom of the foot
- Bruises on the skin
How is metatarsal fracture treated?
A metatarsal foot fracture can be managed by complete immobilization of the foot. Before this, an x-ray will be required to determine the severity of the injury. Also, your doctor will identify if fractured bones are displaced or not.
A displaced metatarsal fracture means the bones break completely and are not aligned in the anatomical position. This type of fracture will require surgical intervention.
Alternatively, if fractured bones are aligned together, conservative treatment listed here will be beneficial.
Which Exercises Can I Use
Regular, gentle exercises can help loosen up muscles and tendons to get your foot moving normally again and reduce pain. Research has shown that exercises are effective at reducing symptoms in plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and ankle sprains.
Frequency is important to make the exercises as effective as possible, so aim to do your chosen exercises three times a day. You can increase the frequency and the number of repetitions over time but keep the intensity low.
Below are nine exercises to relieve foot and ankle pain. These exercises can be used in any combination or on their own, so choose the ones that work best for you. Exercises 1-7 can be done seated, while 8 and 9 are done standing up:
1 Achilles tendon and plantar fascia stretch
This exercise is first on the list as it soothes two of the most painful areas: the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia. To begin, loop a towel around the ball of your foot and pull back towards your body with the knee kept straight. Hold for 30 seconds for each foot.
2 Sitting plantar fascia stretch
Cross your foot over the opposite knee. Hold the base of the toes and gently pull back until you feel a stretch along the underside of your foot. Hold for 15-20 seconds per repetition. Repeat 3 times on each foot.
3 Towel pickup
4 Plantar fascia stretch
Put your foot on top of a rounded object . With light pressure, roll the arch of your foot back and forth over the object for a few minutes.
5 Seated foot and heel raise
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Pain On The Outside Of Your Foot Here’s What Your Body’s Trying To Tell You
From your heel to your instep, pain can happen anywhere in your foot. But when it strikes the outside of your foot, it can be especially excruciating.
Video of the Day
Lateral foot pain â which stretches along the outer edge of the foot and ankle â can make even the simplest movements a challenge.
Here, Nelya Lobkova, DPM, a New York City-based podiatrist at Step Up Footcare, explains why you might be dealing with discomfort on the outside of your foot and how to decrease the ache in your dogs.
Common Causes Of Peroneal Tendonitis In Runners
Since peroneal tendonitis is so rare, there arent any large-scale studies on risk factors. The only reports extant in the medical literature analyze a relatively small number of cases.
However, one risk factor does seem to stand out.
A review of twenty-two cases of peroneal tendonitis by Clayton B. Brandes and Ronald W. Smith revealed that over eighty percent of these patients had a high-arched foot. According to the authors, feet with higher arches put more tension on the peroneal tendons, predisposing them to injury.2
This makes sense, because having a low arched foot seems to be a risk factor for posterior tibial tendon injury .3 We already went into detail on How Your Arch Height Affects Your Shoe Choice And The Type Of Injury You Are Most At Risk For .
Research published in 1993 also suggests that faster running speeds could put extra stress on the peroneal tendons.
Lyle Reber, Jacquelin Perry, and Marilyn Pink at the Centinela Hospital Biomechanics Laboratory in California investigated how muscular activation patterns in the muscles surrounding the ankle changed as a function of running speed in a group of healthy, injury-free distance runners.4
The researchers found that higher running speeds created a significant increase in activity in the peroneus brevis muscle. The intensity of the muscle contraction doubled when comparing an easy jog to race-pace running.
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Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy refers to the feeling of numbness, tingling, and pins-and-needles sensation in the feet. Idiopathic means the cause is not known, and chronic means the condition is ongoing without getting better or worse.
The condition is most often found in people over age 60. Idiopathic neuropathy has no known cause.
Symptoms include uncomfortable numbness and tingling in the feet difficulty standing or walking due to pain and lack of normal sensitivity and weakness and cramping in the muscles of the feet and ankles.
Peripheral neuropathy can greatly interfere with quality of life, so a medical provider should be seen in order to treat the symptoms and reduce the discomfort.
Diagnosis is made through physical examination blood tests to rule out other conditions and neurologic and muscle studies such as electromyography.
Treatment involves over-the-counter pain relievers prescription pain relievers to manage more severe pain physical therapy and safety measures to compensate for loss of sensation in the feet and therapeutic footwear to help with balance and walking.
Top Symptoms: distal numbness, muscle aches, joint stiffness, numbness on both sides of body, loss of muscle mass
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Wear An Ankle Brace If You Have Peroneal Tendonitis
One of the more common types of pain on the outside of the foot is peroneal tendonitis. If you have pain in your peroneal tendons then using an ankle brace will help reduce tension on the peroneal tendons to allow healing. We often recommend the ASO Ankle Stabilizer as it is a quality brace with excellent lateral support at a very good price.
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When To Seek Emergency Care
There are some instances in which you should go straight to the emergency room. Don’t hesitate to go to the ER if:
- You have severe pain or swelling
- You are unable to put any weight on your foot or walk
- You have numbness or loss of sensation
- The pain or tingling comes on suddenly
- You feel burning or tingling in your feet after being exposed to toxins
- You had a flu or other infection in the days or weeks before your pain began, which could indicate Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome
- You have an open wound, or your wound has signs of infection, such as pus, redness, or red streaks leading from it
Diagnosing Outside Foot Pain
Both a physical examination and a review of symptoms can help determine the cause of foot pain. A physical exam includes checking the foot while it is at rest, when it is moving, and when it experiences weight-bearing pressure. It is important if you are experiencing lateral foot pain to let the doctor know if you have sharp pain on the outside of the foot, pain on the outside of foot when walking, lateral pain with weight-bearing activities, or with certain movements. Part of the diagnosis also depends on any previous pain or injuries, such as fractures of the foot.
In many cases, an x-ray or MRI will help give doctors a clearer picture of what is happening with the foot. An accurate diagnosis is crucial in leading you to proper treatment. General treatments may solve the problem for the short-term, but the pain is likely to come back.
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What To Do About Stabbing Foot Pain
Feet are complex structures of bones, muscles, tendons, nerves, and more. You rely on your feet to carry you through the day, but if they hurt, this can impact your ability to function and enjoy life.
If you experience stabbing foot pain, you dont have to live with it. David B. Glover, DPM, FACFAS, and our team at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute are equipped to diagnose and treat all types of foot issues. In this blog, Dr. Glover explains some of the common causes of stabbing foot pain.
Peroneus Brevis Tendon Injury
The Peroneus Brevis tendon inserts into the 5th metatarsal bone on the outside of the forefoot. Symptoms include:
- Pain over the prominent bony part on the outside of the ball of the foot.
- Possible swelling or bruising.
- The foot will be painful to walk on.
- Pain will be made worse when attempting to turn the sole of the foot outwards against resistance.
- More on Peroneus brevis tendon strain
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Lateral Foot Pain Is It A Stress Fracture
January 13, 2015 | Blog
Lateral foot pain is any pain or discomfort along the outside of the foot, and there are many conditions from a stress fracture to peroneal tendonitis or just improper footwear that may cause pain. Thats why if you have any chronic lateral foot pain, its important to not try and diagnose the injury yourself. Schedule an appointment with a physician to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your specific condition.
Although there are many causes of lateral foot pain, in this article we are going to discuss one of the common causes for pain on the outside of the foot.
Stress fractures are very small cracks in a bone. These cracks are usually the result of repetitive force and are often described as an overuse injury. Bones in the lower leg and feet are at risk because these bones are required to bear much of your body weight when doing almost any physical activity.
Athletes in every sport from hockey to basketball that constantly using their feet to move quickly, jump or pivot and change directions suffer from stress fractures and lateral foot pain. Even non-athletes can suffer from a stress fracture from something as simple as wearing improper foot wear when exercising.
Feeling constant pain along the outside of the foot is the most common symptom of lateral foot pain. This pain is usually constant with activity and may decrease or completely subside when resting.