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"What could be causing a tearing pain in my foot arch when walking long distances?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat could be causing a tearing pain in my foot arch when walking long distances?


I love walking in the evenings and occasionally running a bit in spurts with the walking, for up to 5.5 miles at a time. I have good running shoes by a name brand shoemaker and feel they fit pretty well. However, sometimes after I have walked a mile or so, I will get an extremely painful pulling or tearing sensation in the arch of my foot. It is only on one foot, the left one. I haven't only experienced this tearing feeling with these particular shoes. I have worn other shoes by this and other brands. It also doesn't occur on every outing. I have tried multiple things to alleviate the pain, including putting cotton under my arch for more support, wrapping my foot at the arch with a bandage before walking, and even supportive running socks with tension at the arches. Am I not warming up properly? Or, is this a foot or shoe fit issue? I am really concerned, as I love my nightly walks and would hate to have to stop them due to this tearing foot pain under my arch. What could this be?


I would strongly recommend that you go to see your primary care doctor about this issue. It sounds like the pain has been going on for a while, and it is not getting better. This means you need some help figuring out what might be the cause, and a physical examination by your doctor is the best way. Based on the symptoms that you are describing, I think one likely possibility is that you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation in the connective tissue in front of the heel on the bottom of the foot. This condition causes exactly the kind of pain you are describing. It is often associated with prolonged exercise and with flat arches. It can sometimes be fixed by getting proper arch support for your shoes (such as with orthotics arch inserts). There are also several stretching and strengthening exercises that are specifically for plantar fasciitis, and your doctor can show these to you, if the diagnosis is confirmed. Sometimes, it can be helpful to take anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, again only with input from your doctor. Other causes of heel pain might include tendonitis around the ankle or bone spurs in the heel bone, which are often treated in much the same way as plantar fasciitis. Please call your doctor's office for help!

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