Cause and treatment: Pain in the toes when walking (2023)

Common symptoms associated with foot pain when walking

Walking is one of the best ways to get moving and stay active. However, when walking causes pain or becomes painful, we avoid enjoying the activities to the fullest. Why can you have foot pain when walking? Because our feet are under so much stress throughout the day, we occasionally experience pain, but there could also be an underlying condition. Read on to learn the most common causes of foot pain when walking and what you can do about it.

What can be the cause of the pain?

plantar fasciitis

Your feet have a tendon that runs along the bottom of your foot, from the heel bone to the toe area. When this tendon becomes inflamed, it is called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is very common and approximately one in ten people will develop it at some point in their life. It commonly occurs in people between the ages of 40 and 65 and is more common in women, especially during pregnancy.

plantar fasciitisMost often, the pain occurs with the first steps in the morning, when walking after a rest period, or after walking a long distance.

The type of activity involved can lead to plantar fasciitis. High-impact activities like running or jumping, which are more common in sports like soccer, football, or dancing, cause morefoot stress.

Your job can also predispose you to plantar fasciitis. Professions that require long periods of work on your feet and on hard surfaces, such as Occupations such as trade, retail, teaching, and nursing, to name a few, cause repetitive strain on the plantar fascia.

Also, your footwear can cause you to develop plantar fasciitis or pain. Confined shoes, such as high heels or dress shoes, can lead to compression of the foot structures and later forces exerted on the feet. Conversely, shoes without binding or support, such as strappy or slip-on shoes, can make your feet work harder to keep the shoe in place.

It is important to take into account any factors that may put additional pressure on your feet. For more information on plantar fasciitis click hereHere.

Morton Neurom

AMorton Neuromit is the thickening of a nerve just in front of the toes around the ball of the foot. The affected area and pain is most likely to occur between the third and fourth fingers due to the location of the nerve and the small amount of space between the third and fourth fingers.

The most common symptom is feeling as if something round, such as a pebble or marble, is between your toes when you press on the ground. Irritation or pressure on the nerve can cause symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or sharp pain in the toes.

Also, in many cases, someone can have Morton's neuroma and not experience any of the signs or symptoms.Treatmentbecause Morton's neuroma starts conservatively. This may include changing shoes, placing something on the ball of your foot to create more space, and wearing comfortable shoes with adequate space. In most cases, conservative treatment can relieve symptoms. In more severe cases, injection therapy with a corticosteroid or other solution may provide relief.


Metatarsalgia is a medical condition that causesball of foot pain. This causes the ball of the foot to become painful and inflamed. Activities that put pressure on the balls of your feet, such as running or jumping, can increase the chance of developing metatarsalgia.

This may also be related to your foot type. Feet with a high arch naturally put more pressure on the ball of the foot. Other factors, such as a structural abnormality in the foot, short toes, tight tendons, or protruding metatarsal bones, may also play a role.

In addition, your footwear can also play an additional role.shoesHigh heels increase stress on the ball of the foot. Shoes without sufficient support or cushioning can also contribute to this.

It can present with a combination of symptoms such as dull ache, burning, numbness or tingling to name a few. You may also be prone to metatarsalgia if you have an inflammatory condition.


When the tendons cannot withstand the forces placed on them, a condition called tendonitis can develop, most often as a result of overuse. Tendinitis is when a tendon becomes inflamed. This is very commonly seen through the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. The pain often presents as tenderness, aching4, or stiffness in the back of the heel, leg, or sole.

turf toe

A turf toe occurs when the big toe is sprained. It causes pain and stiffness in the toe, especially when the toe is in the swing position. In addition to pain and stiffness, there may also be swelling or bruising. Treatment for turf toes includes rest, icing, and elevation of the toe. In some cases, a doctor's intervention may also be necessary to determine if the bone has sustained an injury.

hallux valgo

Hallux valgus, commonly known as hallux valgus, is a condition in which the bones of the foot change position. It most commonly occurs in the big toe, where the big toe bends toward the little toes, but it can affect other bones in the foot as well. Bone misalignment causes a bony bulge or prominence. This bulge can be uncomfortable in shoes, as the fit of the shoe becomes an issue and the area in the shoes can be aggravated. Additionally, redness, swelling, or numbness may occur in the foot.

Treatment for bunions usually involves changing your shoes, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, or freezing the area. In more severe cases, your doctor may suggest an X-ray to determine how far the deformity has progressed and whether bone or joint changes may have occurred. If severe changes have occurred and conservative measures do not provide adequate pain relief, your doctor may recommend surgery.

heel pad atrophy

Our feet contain a large amount of fat pads that cushion and protect us, especially in the heel area. With age or other medical conditions, this fat padding can thin out, known as atrophy. Thinning of protective fat deposits can cause symptoms such as pain and burning. It is also common for calluses to form in this area as the skin thickens to withstand the forces of the ground on the heel. This callus formation can also be painful. Conservative treatments such as B. Freeze the area, rest, or change insoles or shoes to create a smoother surface are often used to treat the symptoms of atrophy.


There are many different causes of arthritis, the two most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis leads to a deterioration in the protective padding between the bones. This can lead to stiffness andpain in the toes, heel and feet.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the body begins to destroy its own cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Damage to these structures can cause pain, swelling, warmth, and redness.

To determine if you have arthritis, your doctor will perform a physical exam and may perform blood tests and radiology to check for changes in the structures of the foot.

Initial treatment for arthritis may include rest, cooling, and physical therapy. For more severe cases, your podiatrist may recommend braces, splints, or braces. When conservative treatment options do not provide adequate pain relief, surgery may be an option. The type of arthritis and the location will determine the type of surgery performed.


Heel spurs develop when there is an abnormal bony overgrowth on the heel bone. If pressure is applied to the area when walking, running, and/or jumping, it can cause pain, swelling, and redness. It is also important to note that a heel spur can also be an incidental finding and not all heel spurs cause pain. It is important to determine if the pain is caused by plantar fasciitis, a heel spur, or both.

Treatment for a heel spur includes resting the foot, applying ice, or taking over-the-counter medications. Your podiatrist may also recommend shoes or make a pair of orthotics to take pressure off the sore area.

Preventive measures against foot pain when walking

They say prevention is the best treatment. Since our feet do a lot of work during the day, it is very important to take care of them in the best possible way. Below are some preventative measures to keep in mind to avoid foot pain when walking.

It is also important to know when to see your doctor. Contact your doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • foot deformity
  • Extreme pain when walking
  • Pain that makes it difficult to perform daily tasks
  • Frequent swelling or redness of the feet.
  • If your feet have suffered a traumatic event and you suspect a bone or muscle injury.

Buy the right shoes

There is no one shoe that is the right one, each foot is very different and may have different complaints. The right shoe is usually the one that best supports your feet or adapts to changes or bone conditions to prevent pain.

However, there are some common reasons that you can consider when choosing a good shoe.

To get the best support from shoes, it's a good idea to look for shoes that give your feet more stability. Due to the closed lace-up structure that keeps your feet safe and secure, joggers are often the best option. The opposite of this can be a pair of straps that offer a lot of support through the bottom of the foot or the closure. That doesn't mean you can't wear a pair of open-toed shoes. It's best to look for a pair of shoes that have better support, such as a buckle around the ankle and thicker straps to keep your feet in place.

You may also want to think of a couple of templates. Insoles come in many different forms and you can individually select the pair that best suits your feet. Some options may include a pair of arch support insoles to alleviate painful structures or a very soft pair of insoles to better cushion fat loss in the feet.

Stretch before and after walking

Stretching exercises are great for increasing flexibility, warming up muscles, and reducing cramps. They are also great for working a specific muscle or area of ​​the foot with a specific stretch, or working the entire foot with a series of stretches.

Here are some stretches you can use every day:

  • Curl your toes, point them, and then curl them. Do this movement 10 times.
  • Rotate your ankles clockwise and counterclockwise. Do this 10 times in each direction.
  • Stand on your toes, hold for 3 seconds, then come back on your heels. This is a very good exercise to warm up your calves and you can do this exercise as many times as you like.

Strengthen supporting muscles.

Strong and flexible feet are key to avoiding foot pain. Regular exercise, such as regular walking or running, is the best way to keep your feet healthy. For more information on how to improve your running form, click here.Here. The best form of prevention is to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and perform resistance exercises.

To do resistance exercises with your feet, you can use a resistance band, weights, or your own weight to help. Here are some exercises you can do at home:

  • As mentioned above, rise onto your toes, hold for 3 seconds, then return to your heels.
  • Pick up marbles with your toes.
  • While sitting, wrap a towel around your feet and curl your toes in toward you to stretch your arches and calves.

Attach a resistance band to a sturdy piece of furniture, wrap it around your feet, and focus on moving your feet in a variety of directions, such as B. moving to the left 10 times, then flipping and moving to the right 10 times.

Cause and treatment: Pain in the toes when walking (1)

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