Very few conditions are as disruptive as foot pain. Any time you are up and moving, you are on your feet, and this movement can be a catalyst for pain. Unfortunately, several different conditions could be the source of this pain. While this article outlines a few, only an orthopedist diagnosis can tell you what is causing your pain.

Plantar Fasciitis

Are you experiencing stabbing pain in your heels or the arch of your foot first thing in the morning or any time you attempt to walk after sitting for a period? Do you often feel like you may be walking on glass? If so, you may have plantar fasciitis, one of the most common causes of foot or heel pain.

Minor tearing and subsequent inflammation of the band of the connective tissue between your heel bone and the base of your toes or your plantar fascia causes plantar fasciitis. Numerous things can place you at risk of plantar fasciitis. Some of these include:

  • Increased age
  • Increased weight
  • Standing occupations
  • Certain activities

Unfortunately, even genetics or your foot's structure can place you at risk for the condition. People with high arches, those who are flat-footed, or those with abnormal gaits are prone to the condition. 

Heel Spurs

A condition that people often confuse with plantar fasciitis is heel spurs. A build-up of calcium deposits on the underside of your heel bone causes heel spurs. These deposits cause a bony protrusion which can cause tearing of the membrane that covers your heel bone.

Heel spurs may produce no pain or may only manufacture pain during certain activities such as running, jogging, or even walking. The source of the pain is usually not the actual calcium deposit or spur but the soft tissue injury the spur causes.

Heel spurs are quickly confirmed through x-rays. Your doctor can usually treat them through non-surgical interventions such as custom orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications, exercises, and cortisone injections. You may require surgery if other measures fail. 


Your foot has 33 joints, 26 bones, and more than one hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Unfortunately, the complexity of your foot's design puts you at risk of arthritis pain in your feet. Three basic types of arthritis may be responsible for your pain. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis

Each of these conditions can cause pain in different areas of your feet and toes. You can often relieve arthritis pain with over-the-counter medications, proper footwear, moving more, and losing weight. 

To learn more about how to treat heel pain, contact an orthopedist in your area.