Pain in the bottom of the foot is characterized by several symptoms. Causes are widely ranged but typically revolve around injury and temporary discomfort. While easily treatable, foot pain can be one of the more debilitating and inconvenient complications to live with, as the foot is used so much over the course of the average day.
Pain at the bottom of the foot is caused by a multitude of sources. Tendonitis is a complication that causes pain combined with inflammation, often affecting the Achilles tendon and heel. Muscle tears and bone fractures commonly result from sports-related injuries and may cause chronic pain (pain lasting longer than three months). Strains, bruises and sprains may result from constant wear or intense trauma to the bottom of the foot. Causes can even be a simple as stepping on a sharp object.
Pain is characterized by numerous sensations, such as burning, aching, stabbing, throbbing and pulling. Pain may cause weakness if accompanied by a complication of the muscles and ligaments. Inflammation is a common symptom of several foot injuries. Since pain is often aggravated by movement, immobility may result from chronic foot pain.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when a band of connective tissue (known as the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed and painful. It is the most common form of heel pain. Aside from inflammation, it is characterized by a sensation of stabbing pain that occurs when walking. Pain may decrease throughout the day as the foot becomes limber but usually returns after getting up from a sitting or prone position. It is especially common among people who run, although being overweight or pregnant may also increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Medication is available to dull pain and prevent inflammation. Drugs like Ibuprofen combat foot pain and decrease swelling associated with Tendonitis. Over-the-counter medication like Tylenol or Aspirin may also help relieve mild pain. For chronic foot pain, high level prescription painkillers may be required. Speak with a doctor before using them, as many can be addictive if used improperly.
Massage therapy and acupuncture can provide some measure of relief for foot pain. These reduce discomfort by stimulating nerve endings and manipulating chemical pain receptors.
There are also several home remedies that can be performed to ease pain on the bottom of the foot. Compress the area with athletic tape to prevent involuntary movement if pain is motion sensitive. Apply ice packs or bags of frozen vegetables to the area if pain is accompanied by inflammation. Elevate the foot above the level of the body when lying down.
Wear shoes whenever running or exercising. This provides proper support for your foot and lessens the chance of cutting or slicing the bottom of the foot. Ensure that your shoes maintain proper padding and are not too small or large. Do not ignore pain in the bottom of your foot, especially if it persists or progresses more than a few minutes. Do not apply unnecessary pressure or force to your foot, as this will often aggravate symptoms and prolong discomfort.