by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Most people will have foot pain at some point in their lives. A small number of people are born with foot problems. Others have problems due to poor care.

Normal Anatomy of the Left Foot
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Some common causes of foot pain are:

  • Poor-fitting shoes
  • High-heeled shoes
  • Poor posture
  • High impact sports, such as running

Foot pain may also be caused by health problems. Common ones are:

  • Arthritis can cause stiffness and limit range of motion.
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) affects causes poor blood flow, swelling, and a risk of infection in the feet.
  • Diabetes can cause poor blood flow that leads to changes in sensation, swelling, and a risk of infection.
  • Gout is a build up of uric acid crystals in the joints that causes pain and swelling, often in the big toe.
What are the risk factors for foot pain?What are the symptoms of foot pain?How is foot pain diagnosed?What are the treatments for foot pain?Are there screening tests for foot pain?How can I reduce my risk of foot pain?What questions should I ask my doctor?Where can I get more information about foot pain?


Foot care 101. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: Accessed May 5, 2020.

Foot complications. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: Accessed May 5, 2020.

Foot pain and problems. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: Accessed May 5, 2020.

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