Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why does the center of my foot hurt whenever I walk?"
I'm a nineteen year old man, who tends to hike a lot. But for the past few months, whenever I have come back from a hike, there is a distinct pain down the center of my feet like I'm walking on pebbles. I've tried wearing different shoes, but it doesn't solve the problem. I'm pretty sure it's not heel spurs, so what could it be?
There are a few potential causes to the pain in your feet. One common problem is called plantar fasciitis, which refers to inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia refers to a collection of thick white ligamentous fibers that run along the underside of the foot; these fibers branch out from the heel bone and spread in the direction of the toes. Inflammation of the fascia commonly afflicts athletes involved in running, hiking and dancing. The most common symptom is pain on the undersurface of the foot, which tends to be worst as weight is transferred onto the heel as part of the usual walking motion. Patients with plantar fasciitis often feel pain when the toes are held upward and pressure is applied to the bottom of the foot with the other hand. Often, conservative treatment with ice, rest, anti-inflammatory medication and comfortable shoes with supportive arches help the symptoms. Other causes to consider are small stress fractures in the bones of the feet, bone spurs as you mentioned, and compression of the nerves that run beneath the foot. If conservative treatment does not improve your symptoms, you should seek consultation from your primary care physician.
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