Are you suffering from pain on outside of foot ?
Is it when you are weight bearing or at rest?
Does the pain increase with activity or settle?
These are both very important questions and could mean the difference between a foot pain that takes days to recover versus months.
There is a substantial list of possible structures in the side of your foot that may be causing the pain.These could be bone, ligament, tendon, muscular and/or skin related.
For most people, the discomfort is quite mild, lasting for only a few hours to a couple of days. For some however, the pain lingers for months and even years before treatment is finally sought.
The foot is a vital part of the body and performs considerable work, yet it is also one of the most neglected.
Ultimately, such negligence to foot health leads to variety of disorders, with side of foot pain common across all age groups. Like any other orthopedic problem, pain on outside of foot is most intense when weight bearing activities are undertaken.
Table of Contents
- What Causes Pain on Outside of Foot?
- A list of the most common causes of pain side of foot include:
- Best Treatment For Bunions and Bunionette [Simple and Fast Solutions]
- Best Arthritis Solutions [Works Quickly]
- Inversion Sprain
- Fast Treatment for inversion sprains
- Foot Fracture
- Best Treatments for Foot Fructure
- Navicular Stress Fracture
- Cuboid Syndrome
- Best Cuboid Syndrom Treatments [Works Quickly]
- 1. Ice therapy
- 2. Tapping
- 3. Orthotics
- 4. Exercises
- Tarsal Coalition
- [Quick Relief] Treatments For Tarsal Coalition
- Consult a Doctor or Podiatrist or visit the Emergency Room
What Causes Pain on Outside of Foot?
Side of foot pain is caused by a specific range of diseases and conditions, with many factors triggering its onset.
Pain in the toes is common and is caused by a wide range of conditions, pain along the side of the foot is often attributed to stress fractures, with pain from ankle injuries radiating along the side of the foot.
This article offers advice to help you find out what is causing pain in the side of the foot so you can get rapid relief from the pain and discomfort.
A list of the most common causes of pain side of foot include:
- Navicular Stress Fracture
- Mid tarsal joint sprains
- Peroneal Tendonitis
- Extensor Tendonitis
- Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis
- Plantar Fascial Strain/Tear
- Anterior Tendonitis
A less common list of pain on outside of foot includes:
- Cuneiform stress fracture
- 5th Metatarsal Fracture
- Cuboid stress fracture
- Base of 2nd metatarsal stress fracture
- Kohler’s disease (if in young children)
- Tarsal coalition/joint fusion
- Cuboid syndrome
- Abductor Hallucis strain
Bunions are a common cause of foot pain, and also one of the best known and easily diagnosed complaints.
Bunions are bony outgrowth on the outside of the foot, at the first metatarsophalengeal joint, or the joint at the base of the big toe as it is more commonly known.
These outgrowths are most commonly protrusions of the metatarsal head outwards, although in some instances they can form at the top of the joint.
The bunions are not restricted to the feet, and may occur on the wrist, or other joints in response to prolonged pressure.
Bunions can become inflamed and highly painful, hot to the touch and swollen, with broken skin prone to infection to make matters worse. They can make wearing shoes difficult, and are often caused by poor footwear and poor posture.
A bunionette, or a tailor’s bunion tailor’s is a small bump that forms on the outside of the foot, where the little toe joints the body of the foot.
Typically, the bones under a bunionette protrude, which then rub against the side of shoes.
The joint can become inflamed, as can the skin. Bunionettes are similar to bunions except for the location and the size, with the smaller protuberance due to the smaller size of the metatarsal head in the smallest toe.
Thy can be easily distinguished by their location. An individual with bunions is more likely to also have these bony growths on both sides of the feet.
What are the common causes of Bunionettes?
By far the most common cause of these tailor’s bunions is external pressure being placed on the delicate bones of the small toe, usually from ill-fitting footwear. Shoes that squeeze the small toe and apply pressure to the toe area and ball of the foot are typical causes of these bony outgrowths.
Because high-heeled shoes often have a small toe box and they angle the toes inwards, walking exerts increased pressure on the ball of the foot and the toes, and as such they more frequently affect women than men.
The shape of the foot can make someone predisposed to developing bunionettes; therefore, there is a greater chance of these outgrowths forming if there is a history of them in the family.
Symptom of a Bunionette
The main symptom of a bunionette is the bony protrusion from the outside of the foot. For many people, especially when they first form, there are no other symptoms apart from the small deformity. Even without other symptoms, the unsightly appearance makes many people seek treatment.
Pain is generally caused by rubbing up against a shoe or other irritant. When pressure is placed on the side of the foot the pain can actually go away, although the area can be hypersensitive, swollen, hot to the touch and painful. Without treatment and a chance of footwear, the condition is only likely to deteriorate until the root cause is found and corrected.
Treatment should begin by directing attention to alleviating pressure. You should not wear shoes that irritate or cause pain, or restrict the movement of the toes. Instead, choose shoes with a wide toe box and flat soles or only a modest heel.
If high-heeled shoes or other tight fitting footwear is absolutely necessary, a roomier pair of shoes should be carried with you and changed into whenever possible.
Padding in the shape of a do-nut or horseshoe can be placed in the shoes or adhered directly to the foot for relief.
Because bunionettes involve inflammation, applying ice to the affected area for ten to fifteen minutes up to five times a day can reduce the swelling and pain.
Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) or Naproxen (Aleve) can also be taken according to instructions to reduce inflammation.
Surgical removal of Bunionettes
If conservative treatments do not adequately alleviate the symptoms, corticosteroids can be injected at the site of the pain and inflammation which can provide immediate relief.
Surgical removal of bunionettes is an available option, but should only be considered as a last resort.
During surgery, either the bones that protrude underneath the bunionette are realigned, or small amounts of bone are removed to lessen the pressure on the outside of the foot.
Due to the small nature of the bones, surgery can be difficult and it may not be possible to restore full movement to the toe.
Best Treatment For Bunions and Bunionette [Simple and Fast Solutions]
Editors note: Listed here are some of the best fast solutions for bunionettes and bunions. Other solutions include bunion brace, bunion cushions, bunion booties, pads and splints. For a more options, click the link below.
#1. Bunion Corrector & Bunion Relief Protector Sleeves Kit
#2. Bunion Corrector and Bunion Splint for Bunion Relief
Arthritis is highly prevalent and affects millions of people worldwide, and is the leading cause of disability affecting people in the United States.
There are many different forms of arthritis, although the most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gouty arthritis, Each has a specific mode of action and different causes, but all cause joint problems, pain, and mobility issues.
With many bad habits and poor lifestyle practices now commonplace, the prevalence of arthritis is on the increase with many facing this debilitating condition later in life. Arthritis is a chronic disorder with no absolute cure, although the symptoms and pain can be managed.
Arthritis of the feet is common, and is characterized by swelling of the cartilage and lining of the joints of the feet. There are 26 bones in the feet and 33 joints and each can be affected by arthritis. In many cases the pain can be intense, and make movement all but impossible.
Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gouty Arthritis: [The Difference]
Osteoarthritis of the foot can strike any of the foot joints. One of the most common locations is the big toe joint. The big toe is more prone to arthritis since pressure on the foot during motion such as walking can jam the big toe joint and cause damage. This is also the same joint as is affected by gouty arthritis or gout.
Whilst the cause and pain may be similar, gout is the buildup of crystals of uric acid in the joints. Osteoarthritis of the foot also affects the ankle, the midfoot and the joints of the rearfoot. When the cartilages of the joints wear out, they cause the ends of the bones to rub together or fuse, which results in pain and joint stiffness.
Rheumatoid arthritis of the foot is a chronic systemic disorder that affects the joints, not just those in the feet. It occurs when the joints stiffen, and there is pain and fatigue. This type of arthritis causes painful inflammation in the joints, with the joints warm to the touch. The joints become swollen, as the synovial membrane becomes inflamed. It tends to cause stiffness, mostly in the morning which lasts for more than an hour.
Rheumatoid arthritis is actually an autoimmune disorder, where the body actively destroys the joints. Its causes are not well defined, and whilst not a hereditary disease, it is believed that some individuals genetic makeup makes them more likely to develop the condition.
Gouty arthritis of the foot, or gout, is a painful swelling and inflammation of the big toe joint, caused by the body’s inability to deal with uric acid. As levels of uric acid increase in the blood, they crystallize out in the joints, in particular that of the big toe although it can occur in a number of joints around the body.
Diet has long been believed to play a strong role in the onset and development of gouty arthritis; however it is increasingly believed to be due to heredity, and a genetic predisposition to develop the condition.
Osteoarthritis of the foot is the most often attributed to excessive wear and tear on the joint, causing the breakdown of cartilage.
Due to natural aging mechanisms, the joint’s cartilage wears out causing some areas of the bone to harden and deform. Fluid also accumulates within the joint spaces .
Gout is caused by a sudden change in the level of uric acid due to excessive intake of alcohol and foods high in uric acid such as red meats.
It can also be aggravated by certain eating practices such as starvation and dehydration, as well as medications, trauma and chemotherapy, and is strongly linked to a genetic defect.
Generally, arthritis causes severe pain and inflammation to the joints which can become worse during inactivity, and in cold and damp weather conditions. In foot osteoarthritis, the big toe becomes stiff, inflamed and painful.
Rheumatoid arthritis of the foot may promote the growth of calluses, corns and bunions. Gout symptoms include intense pain, severe tenderness, and swelling in the joint of the big toe.
Arthritis of the feet is diagnosed by a doctor with imaging tests and a physical examination.
X-rays, bone scans, computer tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) can all be used to get an accurate diagnosis.
Management of Arthritis
With the results from diagnostic tests, the doctor will make recommendations on the best treatment options, specific to the kind of arthritis each patient has.
Surgery will be determined by the nature of the condition, and in most cases is not required.
Non-surgical treatment may include pain relievers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), wearing of orthotics and braces, cortisone injections, dietary supplements and physical therapy.
What If non-surgical treatment fails?
If non-surgical treatment fails to work, surgical treatment may be appropriate. Surgical procedures for foot arthritis include arthrodesis, arthroscopic debridement and arthroplasty. Arthrodesis is a surgical procedure that fuses two bones together to form one.
Arthroscopic debridement is the removal of any tissues and outgrowths with the use of a specialized optical technology inserted into the joint.
Arthroplasty is the procedure of placing artificial implants to replace the damaged ankle joint.
Arthritis of the feet may strike at any age, although older adults are more likely to develop arthritis in the feet. Prevention remains the only cure, with special care taken not to damage or place too great a strain on the joints.
Best Arthritis Solutions [Works Quickly]
Editors note: Arthritis solutions come in many forms including pain relievers, creams and supplements.
#1. Penetrex Pain Relief Therapy [2 Oz]
#2. Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel for Arthritis, 3 oz
#3. Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine 1500mg.
One of the most common injuries experienced by avid exercisers, runners and sports lovers are sprains, specifically in the ankle known as the inversion sprain. Anyone can sprain their ankle even by quite innocuous activities.
A slight twist or slip, especially on wet, frozen or snowy ground, is all it can take. Most often sprains occur during activities which place an increased strain on the ankles, with high impact activities that involve running, jumping, and making fast turns the most likely to lead sprains.
The most common type of ankle sprain is an inversion sprain; a condition where the ankle turns outward and the foot inwards, thus damaging the ligaments that run down the outside of the foot.
This can be a cause of considerable pain, and will almost certainly make weight bearing activity impossible, and movement will be highly restricted without strapping. Anyone who overpronates when running is automatically at a disadvantage.
The inward rolling in of the foot with this gait, together with the full weight of the body exerted on the ankle can make inversion sprains all the more likely.
What causes an inversion sprain?
In most cases, inversion sprains result from making rapid shifting movements with the feet, with the full weight of the body directed through the ankle.
Any activity which causes the foot to roll, twists, or turns at the ankle which placing the weight on the foot means inversion sprains are more likely to occur.
When the muscles and ligaments in the feet become fatigued, such as when training excessively, they can fail to respond quickly enough and cope with sudden movement and can over stretch, tear or even fully rupture.
What are the symptoms of an inversion sprain?
An inversion sprain will certainly cause pain on movement, and can make flexing the foot difficult. Oftentimes, the ankle will swell, and there may be bruising.
The area will be painful to the touch, and the joint may feel stiff at first.
With an ankle inversion sprain, pain is always felt on the outside of the foot, where the sprain has occurred, with the inside of the foot pain free.
The degree of pain is proportional to the severity of the injury, which is graded according to the damage causes.
A grade I injury is one which is due to over stretching, a grade II inversion sprain where there is partial tearing of a ligament and a grade III signifying a full rupture.
The more severe the injury, the longer the recovery period and a greater need for support when walking.
How is an inversion sprain treated?
There are different types of treatment programs for an inversion sprain. The most common method used is the PRINCE approach, which stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, NSAIDs, Compression, and Elevation.
To protect your sprained ankle, you can use a protective brace or foot splint with good ankle support, with some having a built-in air cushion for comfort.
The next step for treating your sprain is by taking the weight off the foot and ankle by using a crutch, or two if this is more comfortable for you.
It is also recommended to apply ice packs on the affected area for up to 15 minutes every few hours, and maintain this until the swelling reduces.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be taken to reduce the pain and inflammation of the ankle. Common medications are Tylenol, Motrin, and Advil.
Compression is also important during the first three days of the injury, with an elastic compression wrap ideal for helping to reduce swelling.
Elevating the injured area will also help with blood flow and reduce fluid build up in the ankles. This is done by simply raising your ankle above the level of your heart for about 2 to 3 hours every day.
Whether your inversion sprain is a mild or severe case, it is very important to seek immediate treatment. With an inversion sprain, the joints become unstable which can lead to a much more severe injury.
The nature of the sprain needs to be determined to find out the severity, which has a strong bearing on treatment options.
It is also advisable to ease back into activity gently, to allow the strength and stamina to build up in the ankle. It will take some time before the full strength is restored. Surgery is only usually recommended to repair severely torn ligaments.
Fast Treatment for inversion sprains
Editor notes: Ankle injuries can be treated with the PRINCE approach, which stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, NSAIDs, Compression, and Elevation. The
#1. ASO Ankle Stabilizer
#2. NatraCure Cold/Hot Therapy Wrap
#3. Chattanooga ColPac Reusable Gel Ice Pack Cold Therapy
#4. Liomor Ankle Support Breathable Ankle Brace
#5. SENTEQ Compression Ankle Brace
In some cases, a sprain may accompany a fracture of a bone, especially following a fall. However foot fractures need not be caused by a single traumatic event, with stress fractures often forming following prolonged over training and over use.
The damage can be very severe, with a full fracture, requiring a cast to be worn to keep the bones straight and ankle proper healing. In severe cases, a fragment can be torn away from the main bone. This type of fracture is called an avulsion, which is also a common cause of side of foot pain among athletes. Severe swelling, redness and tenderness on the side of the foot are also evident.
Best Treatments for Foot Fructure
Editors note: There is no beating around the bush when it comes to dealing with a fracture. The best way to manage one is using a fracture boot. Lets look at some of the best options available in the market.
#1. United Surgical Short Air Cam Walker Fracture Boot
Editors note: Shoe Balancer uses an innovative design to matchup the height of your shoe to your opposite leg that’s in any walking cast or walker boot.
#2. ProCare Evenup Shoe Balancer
Unlike arthritis or sprains, Cuboid syndrome affects both the joints and ligaments of the cuboid, one of the main bones that forms the lateral side of the foot. The classic symptom of cuboid syndrome is side of foot pain, especially during weight bearing activity or sudden impact. Foot weakness is also a common complaint.
Dancers and runners are the common patients who are diagnosed with cuboid syndrome, as running and jumping can place a considerable strain on the foot. Find out more about the conditions and how to treat it effectively in the cuboid Treatment section.
Best Cuboid Syndrom Treatments [Works Quickly]
Editors note: One of the best treatment is the manipulation of the subluxed cuboid to its natural place. This should be performed by a podiatrist or a physical therapist. Lets look at some other ways of soothing the pain.
1. Ice therapy
#1. Reusable Ice Pack with Strap by TheraPAQ
#2. Chattanooga ColPac Reusable Gel Ice Pack Cold Therapy
#3. Kinesiology Tape SPARTAN TAPE
#4. KT TAPE Original Cotton Elastic Kinesiology Therapeutic Sports Tape
#5. Superfeet GREEN Full Length Insole
#6.Powerstep Pinnacle Shoe Insole Orthotics
#7. TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller (Large)
#8. Due North Foot Rubz Foot Hand and Back Massage Ball, 3 Count
Tarsal coalition is not one of the most commonly known foot conditions, and affects the tarsal bones at the rear of the foot. The foot can be divided into three sets of bones. The toes are termed the phalanges, the midfoot the metatarsal, and the collection of bones at the rear of the foot; the tarsals.
Tarsal coalition is known by other names such as tarsal synostosis, tarsal dysostosis and peroneal spastic flatfoot. Principally, it is an abnormality between two tarsal bones in the midfoot and rear foot, which are connected during the process of bone development in the early stages of life. The connection can be bone or cartilage, or even fibrous tissue.
What does the tarsals consist of?
The tarsals consist of seven bones namely the calcaneus (heel bone),talus at the base of the ankle, cuneiform bones, navicular and cuboid. These bones altogether form two major joints, the midtarsal and subtalar foot joints. These joints play an important part in movement.
Tarsal coalition is the general term, although depending on where the bones are joined will determine the exact type of tarsal coalition. Calcaneonavicular coalition is where there is no separation between the navicular and calcaneus bones. Talocalcaneal coalition is where there is no separation of the talus and calcaneus bones. Although there are other types of foot bone coalition, these two are the most commonly treated by doctors.
What causes tarsal coalition?
Tarsal coalition is a congenital abnormality, because it occurs during the process of embryonic cell division in the uterus. This defect is often considered to be an autosomal dominant genetic disorder, suggesting that a parent with tarsal coalition will most likely pass the disorder on to their children.
Possible non-congenital causes of foot bone fusion include orthopedic surgical complications, or an advance case of arthritis that affects both the midfoot and the rear foot.
What are the symptoms of tarsal coalition?
During infancy stage, the bones are very flexible and as a baby with tarsal coalition starts to walk, the disorder goes unnoticed and does not cause pain. As the child grows, the affected area of the foot gradually deforms into a more bony structure.
The onset of pain associated with the abnormality happens at around the age of nine to seventeen. As the bones solidify, there can be excruciating pain felt in the foot during activity. Pain can also be felt below the fibula in the lower leg. Other symptoms may also include pain when standing or walking, muscle spasms, fallen arches, rapid muscle fatigue and often stiffness in the feet.
How is tarsal coalition diagnosed?
A doctor will take a case history, taking into account any hereditary factors, previous surgeries, present problems, and other orthopedic risks. A thorough physical examination will be undertaken to determine the disorder.
Further tests will also be conducted such as X-rays, computer Tomography (CT) scan and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Accurate diagnosis is conducive to a proper and effective treatment plan.
How is tarsal coalition treated?
The condition can be managed with medical-surgical procedures. This includes drug therapy consisting of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) and cortisone injections to reduce the inflammation and decrease the pain.
Orthotics designed for the affected foot along with a leg cast can also be prescribed to help with movement. If non-surgical treatments fail to control the pain and if the condition is severe, surgical correction becomes the most appropriate treatment.
Tarsal coalition can be surgically treated in two ways. The first is through resection of the coalition, where the abnormal connection of the two affected tarsal bones is removed. The second is though fusion, also known as arthrodesis, where the cartilage that covers the joint is removed to allow the two bones to fuse together.
There is a tendency to develop an abnormal gait if tarsal coalition remains untreated, and this can happen during middle adulthood, or basically anytime when the function of the foot starts to falter. Pain is a subjective symptom, but it is a good predictor of an underlying problem.
[Quick Relief] Treatments For Tarsal Coalition
Editors note: The best way to treat Tarsal coalition is to immobilize it. A cast should be moulded around the damaged area. Quick solutions however include using ice and for a soothing relief.
#1. Reusable Ice Pack with Strap by TheraPAQ
#2. Chattanooga ColPac Reusable Gel Ice Pack Cold Therapy
Consult a Doctor or Podiatrist or visit the Emergency Room
Foot problems nearly always warrant seeking medical attention, as the symptoms can be very debilitating. Principally, it is important to know basic first aid interventions when foot pain is felt, especially right after traumatic injuries.
Any person should know the acronym RICE by heart: R for rest, I for immobilization, C for compression, and E for elevation. Most especially in the cases of sprains and fractures, immediate splinting with a compression bandage is crucial to maintain the normal alignment of the bones and avoid further deformities.
It is important to keep the affected foot rested, immobilized and elevated to avoid further trauma and to reduce swelling. A visit to a doctor will determine the extent of the problem, and the best treatment can be prescribed to match the cause of your side of foot pain.