When you experience midfoot pain, it can be incapacitating. Because the middle of your foot includes many ligaments and nerves that connect your toes to heels, there are many different factors that can cause this type of pain.
If you have pain in the middle of your foot that is severe and interfering with your daily life, it is important to seek treatment from a foot specialist. At the Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles, our foot surgeons are renowned for their world-class treatments for foot pain and deformity, and can help you take the first step toward pain-free feet.
Causes of Midfoot Pain
Midfoot pain, which includes foot arch pain, is typically caused by the following conditions and injuries:
Foot arthritis – Arthritis of the foot (in the form of gouty arthritis or degenerative arthritis) is a degenerative joint disease affecting the foot that is typically caused by the general wear and tear of aging. The condition, which causes joint inflammation and swelling, tends to develop slowly over time, with the pain increasing as the condition becomes more severe. Treatment options for foot arthritis typically include special or custom shoes, shoe inserts, physical therapy, and weight management.
Plantar fasciitis – The plantar fascia is the ligament which connects your toes to your heel, and when it becomes inflamed as a result of repeated strain, is known as plantar fasciitis. Because the plantar fascia runs through your entire foot, the pain associated with plantar fasciitis can spread to your heel, ball of foot, and middle of foot. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for this condition, including rest, ice, physical therapy, and in more severe cases, plantar fasciitis surgery (fasciotomy).
Tendon injury – There are many different types of tendon injuries (tendinopathy), including tendonitis and tendinosis, which occur in the tendons of the feet. Typically, a tendon injury results from the gradual wear and tear that accompanies aging or overuse, but in some cases, especially during sports, a tendon injury can occur from a single trauma. Symptoms of tendon injuries include pain and stiffness in the joints, swelling, and a “crunchy” sound when moving the tendon.
Other foot injury – Foot injuries can occur from many different causes, and result in pain through all areas of the foot. However, if you have suffered a foot injury and are experiencing pain in the middle of your foot, you may want to speak with a foot doctor to determine the type of injury.
Flat feet – Flat foot (or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction) is the condition in which the arches of your feet are flattened, causing the entire sole to touch the floor when you are standing. Having flat feet does not typically require treatment, unless it is causing you arch pain.
Hallux rigidus – Hallux rigidus (or “stiff great toe”) is the stiffening of your big toe, which prevents movement, and indicates a form of degenerative arthritis in the feet within the first foot joint. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for hallux rigidus, including surgery.
Bunion – Bunions are protrusions on the big toe joint that can sometimes become painful or make wearing shoes uncomfortable. While many patients have their bunions removed for aesthetic reasons, when bunions become painful, they may need to be removed to improve quality of life.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome – Much like carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist, tarsal tunnel syndrome involves the tibial nerve becoming compressed in the place where it enters the tarsal tunnel. Symptoms of this condition involve either pain in the bottom of the foot or numbness in the bottom of the foot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What causes foot tendon pain?
A: Foot tendon pain is most often caused by a tendon injury, such as tendinosis or tendonitis, and is often the result of overuse or strain in the tendon.
Q: Is there a cure for a tendon injury in the foot?
A: Yes. Conservative methods for treating a tendon injury in the foot include rest, ice application, pain relievers, stretching exercises, bracing, and physical therapy.
Q: What is the difference between gouty arthritis and osteoarthritis?
A: Osteoarthritis refers to arthritis that affects the joints as a result of wear and tear. Gouty arthritis is another name for foot arthritis, which is osteoarthritis that affects the foot.
Midfoot Pain Treatment
If you suffer from foot pain in the middle of the foot, and it is interfering with your daily life, you may have an underlying injury or condition that requires medical treatment. To learn more about foot pain diagnosis and treatment options in Los Angeles, please contact La Peer’s Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence. You can schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified orthopedic surgeons or podiatrists by calling 888.225.0763 or by filling out our online contact form.
Next, read about hindfoot pain (ankle & heel pain).