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Foot Pain

(continued)

Toe Pain continued...

Ingrown toenails occur when skin on one or both sides of a toenail grow over the nail. Ingrown toenails may be painful or lead to infections.  

Treatment for ingrown toenail includes: 

  • Soak the foot in warm water four times a day.
  • Once daily, wedge a piece of gauze between the nail and wet skin. 

Turf toe refers to pain at the base of the big toe resulting from athletic activities. Turf toe is an overuse injury usually caused by strain from running or jumping. Turf toe may also be a form of sesamoiditis or sesamoid fracture. 

Toe fracture may occur in any of the bones of the toes. Minor fractures may only require rest, ice, and pain relievers; serious fractures can require foot immobilization and surgery. Any suspected fracture should be evaluated by a doctor. 

Toe sprain may occur when jamming or stubbing of the toe damages the tendon or soft tissues of the toe. If no fracture is present, the pain and swelling of a toe sprain should subside within days. 

Hallux rigidus (toe arthritis) is a degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) at the base of the big toe. Pain and stiffness of the joint, worsening over time, are symptoms. Treatment can include pain relievers and stretching exercises. Surgery may be needed in some cases. 

Corns are thick buildups of tough skin on a point of irritation or pressure on the foot or toe. Corns often have a horn-like appearance. 

Callus is a wider area of tough skin buildup on the toes or feet, in response to irritation or pressure. Calluses and corns are generally caused by poor-fitting footwear. 

Treatment for corns and calluses include: 

  • Wear better-fitting shoes
  • Use a pumice stone or other abrasive to wear down the extra skin 

Sesamoid fracture is a fracture of small bones (sesamoids) that are embedded in tendons attaching to the big toe. Pain in and around the big toe is the main symptom. 

Treatment for sesamoid fracture includes: 

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Elevation
  • Pain relievers
  • Immobilization of the toe and foot 

Surgery may be needed for serious sesamoid fractures.

 

Pain on the Foot's Outer Edge

The fifth metatarsal bone (along the outer foot edge) is a commonly fractured bone in the foot. Pain, swelling, and bruising along the outer foot edge after an injury are symptoms. 

Treatment for any foot fracture should include medical attention, X-rays, pain relievers, rest, ice, and elevation. Immobilization and surgery may be necessary for some foot fractures.

Foot Pain That's Anywhere or Everywhere

Neuropathy, or nerve damage in the feet, is most often caused by diabetes. Foot pain can be burning, stinging, or feel like electricity. Neuropathy foot pain can occur anywhere in the feet.

Treatment for neuropathy focuses on the underlying cause, such as diabetes. Medications that act on nerves can also be helpful in reducing foot pain. 

Trauma can mean anything from a major crush injury, to the repetitive damage caused by wearing poor-fitting shoes. The foot pain from trauma can occur anywhere on the feet. 

Tendinitis is inflammation and irritation of tendons, the bands attaching muscles to bones. Tendons run along all the surfaces of the foot, and can cause foot pain in many different locations. Treatment for tendinitis includes rest and pain relievers; sometimes steroid injections can help. Rarely is surgery necessary for foot pain caused by tendinitis.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on October 17, 2012
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