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Why Does Your Foot Hurt? Common Reasons to See a Podiatrist

Do you have near-constant foot pain? If your feet hurt but you're not sure why, take a look at the top causes and the reasons podiatric patients seek professional help.

Foot or Ankle Tendonitis

Tendonitis is, as the name implies, swelling around a tendon. This common condition is caused by inflammation in one of several different foot or ankle area tendons and most commonly includes Achilles tendonitis, posterior tibial tendonitis,  and peroneal tendinitis. The type of tendinitis you have depends on the area of the foot and tendon affected.

Patients with foot or ankle tendonitis often experience pain with physical activity or movement. This discomfort may resolve temporarily with rest. Even though tendinitis often impacts athletes, you don't need to play a professional sport to have this podiatric problem. Other common causes include overuse, foot structure,  and injury/trauma.

While rest and ice can help to alleviate some of the symptoms, you should consult a podiatrist if you have tendon-related foot or ankle pain. The doctor will need to examine your foot and take a medical history to diagnose a potential problem. X-Rays are taken initially and sometimes an MRI is also needed. 

After a diagnosis, the doctor may recommend one of several courses of treatment. Some patients with tenonitis may only require rest, while others may need a walking boot to immobilize your foot, physical therapy, or prescription or over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).


Unlike foot or ankle tendonitis, bunions are easy to see. Along with a noticeable bump, bunions may also cause redness, soreness of the big toe's joint, corns/calluses (on the side surfaces of the big and second toes), or pain with movement.

The condition can run in families and is a symptom of faulty foot mechanics.  Bunions occur due to an imbalance of forces across the big toe joint.  It is the foot type that is hereditary, not necessarily the bunion.  Though high heels, pointed-toe shoes, or narrow shoes don’t cause bunions, they may make the symptoms more noticeable. 

Some bunions may not require treatment. The bunion is a structural problem and can only be resolved by surgery, as there are no conservative treatments that can reverse the process. However, wearing wider shoes or using a custom orthotic shoe insert can reduce the symptoms associated with the condition

Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis) 

Plantar fasciitis (pronounced PLAN-tar fashee-EYE-tis) is the most common cause of heel pain a localized inflammation of the plantar fascia and one of the most common conditions that we see. Patients with plantar fasciitis describe an ache localized to the inside part of the heel. 

 Plantar fasciitis takes some time to treat but almost always improves with conservative care including: shoe gear changes, stretching, insoles or custom orthotics, anti-inflammatories and ice. Sometimes a night splint, steroid injections and physical therapy are also needed. Luckily, this condition rarely involves surgery. 

Do you need treatment for your heel or foot pain? Contact the Ankle & Foot Clinic of Everett for more information.

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