Joint Pain in the Foot
The foot contains 28 bones and 33 joints. Many people experience pain involving one or more of these joints. The pain may be accompanied by swelling, tenderness, stiffness, redness, bruising and/or increased warmth over the affected joints.
Joint pain may be caused by trauma, infection, inflammation, arthritis, bursitis, gout or structural foot problems. It is initially treated with rest, elevation and limitation of walking/weightbearing on the painful foot. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, and ice can help reduce local inflammation and pain. Custom orothotic devices may also be prescribed to support the foot and reduce pain. A foot and ankle surgeon can best determine the cause of joint pain and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Pain across the bottom of the foot at any point between the heel and the ball of the foot is often referred to as arch pain. Although this description is nonspecific, most arch pain is due to strain or inflammation of the plantar fascia (a long ligament on the bottom of the foot). This condition is known as plantar fasciitis and is sometimes associated with a heel spur.
In most cases, arch pain develops from overuse, unsupportive shoes, weight gain or acute injury. If arch pain persists beyond a few days, see a foot and ankle surgeon for treatment to prevent this condition from becoming worse.