Foot Pain

Painful heel

Heel pain can be caused by many different pathologies. The most common symptom of pain is caused by plantar fasciitis. This is a condition in which the plantar fascia (a tendon like structure on the bottom of the foot) becomes inflamed due to strain or trauma. The plantar fascia attaches to the bottom of the heel bone (calcaneus) and fans out to the toes. When the fascia is strained due to sudden or repetitive stress, the fibers attached to the bone tear, causing inflammation. This causes pain at the heel of the foot especially in the morning when the fascia is contracted. This condition can also be associated with a heel spur which is an excess of bone growth outside the normal anatomy. Your chiropodist may treat you with many different modalities, depending on the severity and length of the condition. Orthotic therapy is a proven modality in controlling and curing pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis.

It is important to be evaluated for heel pain by your chiropodist because there may be other underlying conditions that are causing heel pain, i.e. stress fracture, bone tumor, or nerve entrapment.

Metatarsalgia/pain at the ball of the foot

There are many pathologies associated with foot pain in the areas under the toes. There is a fat pad that is present underneath the ball of the foot that dissipates as we mature in age causing the bones to be more prominent. When this happens, the bone has less fat to act as a shock absorber, subsequently causing abnormal pressure at the heads of the metatarsals (ball of foot). THis can lead to painful callus and corns and inflammation at the metatarsal phalangeal joints. High heeled shoes tend to cause increased pressure concentration on the heads of the metatarsals. Simple footwear modifications and orthotic therapy can help disperse these pressures and make ambulation more comfortable.

Big toe (hallux) pain

Pain in the joint of the big toe (hallux) can be caused by various biomechanical abnormalities or arthropathies such as hallux valgus, gout, rheumatoid arthritis etc. A physical examination from you chiropodist will reveal the problem and appropriate treatment will be administered.


Orthotics take various forms and are constructed of various materials. All have the ultimate goal of improving foot function and minimizing stress forces that could ultimately cause foot deformity and pain. There are three broad categories of orthotics: those that primarily attempt to change foot function, those that are mainly protective or accommodative in nature, and those that combine functional control and accommodation.