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Pain 101: Foot Pain


Foot pain may come in many different forms and can be the result of a variety of different problems.
Pain in the foot can be extremely debilitating and can severely limit one’s enjoyment of daily activities.

Pain 101: Intro To Foot Pain

Are you experiencing pain or problems in your foot? Click on this video to learn more about foot pain and steps you can take to decrease your pain.


the main types of foot pain

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue layers that runs across the bottom of the foot. It may cause sharp pain in the heels and arches when walking or standing, especially at first step in the morning. Heel pain and heel spurs are associated with this diagnosis.

Heel Pain

Heel Pain

Heel Pain can be a symptom of a number of problems including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and stress fracture.

Arch Dysfunctions

Arch Dysfunctions

High Arches (Pes Cavus) is a condition in which the foot has a very high arch which creates an excessive amount of force/weight on the ball and heel of the foot when walking or standing leading to pain and instability. Flat Feet (Pes Planus) or “Fallen Arches” is used to describe a flatfoot condition which can lead to pain and irritation in the foot.

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma describes a nerve which is pinched/injured in the forefoot (balls of feet). Symptoms include pain and foot numbness that radiates into the toes.

Hallux Valgus

Hallux Valgus

Hallux Valgus or Rigids is a common problem in the big toe where the toe will point in and the joint migrates outward leading to pain or the joint becomes extremely stiff and loses mobility.



Metatarsalgia is a term used to describe impingement of the nerves in the feet causing dull aches or sharp pains through the bottom of the foot and numbness in the toes.

what can you do about your foot pain?

The solution to your foot pain depends on the source of your pain and type of injury you may have sustained. The first step is to consult with your doctor and discuss their recommendations for treating the pain in your foot. Your doctor may recommend restrictions on specific activities, medication and/or physical therapy. You can try the following steps now to help alleviate your pain.


It is important when you are experiencing foot pain to limit your activity and rest so the foot can heal.

Cold Packs

Apply cold packs to your foot to help decrease pain and inflammation. To prevent damage to skin and surrounding tissue, cold packs should only be applied in 15 minute intervals.


If you don’t have increased pain with movement, stretching and increasing the range of motion of the foot can be the first step in helping to improve mobility and decrease the pain.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy consists of hands-on treatment to loosen muscles and joints, education on proper gait and movement to decrease pain, instruction on stretching and strengthening exercises to restore mobility and strength, and modalities such as electrical stimulation, cold/heat and ultrasound.

exercises for foot pain

Following are a few exercises you can perform that may help alleviate pain. Please go to LIFE+ for more videos that may help you. Please consult your physician before trying these, and stop if you experience any pain or discomfort.

What is Physical Therapy?

  • Physical therapists are trained, licensed specialists who help individuals develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and function. Physical therapists specialize in helping restore flexibility and strength to the foot which allows you to move normally and enjoy your life, pain free. Discuss with your doctor if physical therapy is a good option for you.

Treatment Approach

  • Medical research has shown physical therapy to be an effective treatment with positive long term outcomes for patients with foot pain. A successful treatment plan consists of the following: hands-on therapy, an exercise program, posture & body mechanics training, and modalities (cold/heat, ultrasound electrical stimulation).

Hands-On Therapy

Physical Therapists are trained to apply specialized, hands-on techniques that help relax tight muscles and restore joint movement in the foot.

Exercise Program

A patient-specific exercise program focusing on mobility and strength will be designed to help you return to your optimal daily activity and quality of life.

Gait and Body Mechanics Training

Physical therapists are experts at movement analysis. Your physical therapist will help you improve your gait and body mechanics for your daily activities.


Cold/heat, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation are used to decrease pain and relax the muscles.