Typically, foot pain develops on the bottom portion of the foot and sometimes the top. In most cases, pain would be felt in the ball or heel of the foot although the arch, toes, and ankle could also be affected. However, there are instances in which foot pain is on the side of foot, and with this being a somewhat unique situation, we felt it important to offer information about possible causes.
Unfortunately, most people do not take proper care of the feet. While this is something that everyone should do, it is a practice especially critical to someone with diabetes. Considering the feet are forced to endure a lot of abuse, it is somewhat surprising that proper care and maintenance is not most people’s priority. Only after pain develops do the feet get the attention needed, particularly when the foot pain is on the side of foot.
Often, foot pain on the side is nothing more than the result of wearing ill-fitting shoes, excess weight that throws the balance of walking off, or some other non-threatening reason. However, pain in this region of the foot could also be an indicator of something more serious occurring to include arthritis or even diabetes. If the cause is minor, simple adjustments or changes could be made to rectify the problem but in more serious cases, working with a reputable doctor would be essential.
In general, foot pain on the side would be somewhat unique to other kinds of foot pain. For instance, most people notice more of a dull or aching type of pain although it could become sharp and stabbing. Interestingly, while pain is actually felt primarily on the side, it often begins at the heel region. Even when pain is minor, people notice that as the day progresses and the foot is used more, the pain level intensifies.
It has also been noted that symptoms associated with foot pain on the side can become so severe that it literally leaves the person debilitated. Now, feeling worse pain during one particular time of the day is also something noticed. Although most pain occurs during the day when activity level is high, there are some people who experience pain at night too because of the position in which they sleep.
Possible Causes for Pain of this Type
Below we listed some of the more common reasons for foot pain on the side of the foot. Usually, once an appropriate diagnosis is offered and treatment followed through with, the individual would get relief within a short amount of time. However, if there is a more serious underlying cause of the pain is ignored to the point of damage being done to the foot, treatment options would become more aggressive and healing would probably require more time.
- Poor Choice of Shoes – Women especially love shoes, with the trendier and higher being the best. While the shoes might look great, unless the right type of shoe is worn, potential for developing foot pain on the side is all too real. The two biggest contributors to this kind of pain are shoes with narrow toe space and those with extremely tall heels. In both instances, muscle, ligaments, and even tissue are stretched, leading to foot damage and pain.
- Injury to the Achilles Tendon – At the back of the ankle is a major tendon called the Achilles. Although this is the largest tendon in the body and one capable of taking brute force, it is also the area of the foot at greatest risk for injury. If the Achilles tendon is strained, pain on the side of the foot would be present. However, if the tendon were to tear, this pain would not only spread but intensify dramatically.
- Arthritis – Unfortunately, this inflammatory disease can affect virtually any joint within the body, to include those in the foot. While there are different types of arthritis, the one often associated with the foot is called gout. However, gout is caused by the consumption of rich foods so making a major dietary change would prevent but also help treat the disease. Arthritis can cause pain in a number of places but toe joint pain and pain on the side of foot are most common.
- Diabetes – For the person with diabetes, proper foot care is critical. If this individual does not take care of feet appropriately and address any sores or pain, risk of infection leading to amputation exists. One issue of diabetes is that nerve damage can occur. With this, the person could lose all sensation of hot, cold, and pain, but also experience heightened sensations of pain. No matter the case, any time someone with diabetes has pain on the side of foot, bottom of the foot, or top of the foot, a doctor should be seen.