According to an expert, shoes are probably the most common source of foot pain for young women, but it is far from the only reason, she adds.

Sometimes, your feet are killing you long after that dance party, and that’s where the real trouble is. Thankfully, your body is always ready to fire out warning signs and where your feet hurt can be very telling of what might be going on. Ahead, we’ll outline some of the most common reasons.

Photo credit: refinery29.com
Photo credit: refinery29.com

Heel

If you’re aching in the middle of your heel, especially if it’s worse in the morning and gets better throughout the day, it could be plantar fasciitis, which is when the band of tissue (a.k.a. fascia) connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes becomes inflamed. If you’re having this type of pain, you should see your doctor to rule out other problems.

Arch

As previously mentioned, arch pain could be a result of plantar fasciitis extending from your heel into your arch.

This can happen when the posterior tibial tendon (which starts in your arch and connects your calf muscle to the bones in your feet) gets worn out and inflamed due to say, lots of running or otherwise being on your feet too much.

Front of The Ankle

Photo credit: refinery29.com
Photo credit: refinery29.com

An ache in the front of your ankle could be a case of anterior ankle impingement, where inflammation is the problem again. But in this case, it can lead to bone spurs (bone overgrowth) in addition to causing pain and limited range of motion. This condition is also called “footballer’s ankle” because it commonly happens in football players. However, it’s also pretty prevalent amongst players of other sports, like basketball, soccer, football, and dance.

Alternatively, you might have a high ankle sprain. Most of the time when you sprain your ankle, it’s because your foot has turned inward, causing pain in the outside of your ankle.

Tops Of The Toes
Sure, it could be some leftover ache from a particularly pointy heel, but prolonged pain on the top of your foot in the area just before your toes could also be an indicator of a metatarsal fracture.

Ball

Photo credit: refinery29.com
Photo credit: refinery29.com

If it hurts here, you might have metatarsalgia, which sounds scary but is just a fancy way to describe pain that stems from inflammation in the ball of your foot.

This develops most often from overuse, mainly with track-and-field runners, but it can also happen if you play other sports like tennis, football, baseball, and soccer. Most often, it’s a pain that starts mild and gets worse over the course of several months, rather than one that pops up suddenly and severely.

The Back Of Your Heel

Besides new shoes that pinch into the backs of your feet, the main culprit for pain behind your heel is achilles tendinitis. The Achilles tendon is the biggest tendon in your body, and it connects your calf muscles to your heel bone to help you walk, run, and jump.

Rather than being related to a particular injury, achilles tendinitis is a condition that occurs if you’ve been pushing your Achilles tendon to do more than it can handle. If you’ve recently stepped up your workout routine (sprinting instead of jogging, for example), your Achilles tendon might have become inflamed. Some symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include pain and stiffness behind your heel (particularly when waking up in the morning), trouble standing up on your toes, and swelling in the back or your heel.

Mid-Foot

You might think you have a simple sprain that will heal with rest, and that may well be the case. However, if it’s not getting better, another common cause of pain in the middle of your foot (especially for soccer and football players) is a Lisfranc (mid-foot) injury.

Like a sprain, Lisfranc injuries happen when your ligaments have been torn, and a tear in this particular area of your foot could take months to heal. Because two of the metatarsal bones that support your mid-foot are not held together by connective tissue, a twist could shift them out of place and destabilize the entire foot.

If you have a Lisfranc injury, the top of your foot might be swollen and painful, with bruising on both the top and bottom of the foot and pain that worsens if you stand or walk. If rest, ice, and elevation don’t ease the pain and swelling, that’s when you should check with a doctor.

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