The different types of foot pain

The types of foot pain

Beyond beauty cares, the foot health should be given particular attention. Since we’re walking on average 5000 to 7000 steps per day, any type of foot pain can indeed quickly become debilitating.

There are many types of feet pain that are more or less well known. Whether the pain is on top, on the bottom or in the heel, there are so many painful foot conditions that it would be difficult to name them all in this text.

However, according to a Glasgow Caledonian University Alumni Foot Health Survey conducted in 2018, 74% of the surveyed population were suffering from bottom of the foot pain in the 6 previous months. To go into detail, 42.5% of the participants were suffering from calluses, 17% from fungal, 31,5% from nail problems and 12.6% from a bent big toe, i.e. bunion or hallux valgus. Together, let’s discover the most common causes of pain in the feet!

The different types of pain in the feet

There are many painful foot problems, whether caused by a trauma, an overuse or an inflammationThey can affect the bones (fractures), joints (arthritis or osteoarthritis), ligaments (sprains), tendons (tendinopathy), or nerves (nerve damage like Morton’s Neuroma for example). Moreover, some painful foot conditions are caused by circulation problems (oedema and swelling), by skin problems (intertrigo, calluscorn, wart, blister) or by nail-related problems (mycosis, ingrown toenail, thickened and black toenails from strain injuries).

The major areas of foot pain

As there are different types of foot pain, there are also different parts of the foot which are more sensitive. Several areas can be concerned:

  • Pain on top of the foot can be related to a direct trauma for example (stress fracture, metatarsalgia…);
  • Bottom of the foot pain can be caused by a heel spur (bony outgrowth), plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia), metatarsalgia…
  • Pain on the front of the foot occurs with toenails or toe deformities (hammer toes);
  • Pain at the back of the foot could be caused by an Achilles tendinopathy or the Sever’s disease in teenagers.

The early warning signs of painful foot conditions

Some signs and symptoms, very different depending on the condition, are a warning about the appearance of some types of feet pain.

Most of the time, the patient is warned by:

  • A discomfort or pain before, during or after some activities;
  • A swelling of the aching area;
  • A redness or an irritation of the skin;
  • Pain at rest;
  • Foot stiffness.

Causes of the different types of foot pain

Pain in the feet can be:

  • An innate deformity such as a flat foot or a hollow foot;
  • An acquired deformity such as hammer toes (the toe bends downward) or convex triangular forefoot (hallux valgus and quintus varus);
  • A neurological and/or blood circulation disorder;
  • Due to a favourable environment to develop infections (mycosis and onychomycosis, plantar wart caused by the HPV);
  • Due to footwear that are too tight or too large, which cause walking disorders and/or overpressure on some areas (too high heels can cause ball of the foot pain, too flat and loose shoes are often the cause of pain under the foot arch…).
  • A postural deformity such as a valgus or varus foot.

Besides these deformities (predisposing factors), a too intensive sporting activity or a repetitive movement (stamping) can cause these different types of foot pain.

Please note: someone with a foot deformity will not necessarily feel pain!


What are the EPITACT® solutions to ease pain in the feet?

To answer the various painful foot conditions and disorders, EPITACT® has developed a wide range of protections and light orthotics for you to find the pleasure of walking again.

To relieve pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis or heel spurs, shoe inserts like the EPITACT® heel lifts* are recommended.

To protect or correct the deformed big toe joint, try the bunion protector* or correctors for night and day*.

Corns on the toes can be very painful but you will be relieved with the EPITACT® toe protectors*! If you have hammer or claw toes causing you foot pain and corns, we also suggest you the hammer toe cushions*.

Lastly, discover the metatarsal pads* that are very effective at relieving ball of the foot pain and calluses.

Wearing shoes that fit your foot shape is also very important ,as well as doing physical therapy to improve your range of motion. See your doctor for advice about the appropriate treatment for you!


*These solutions are class I medical devices that bear the CE marking under this regulation. Carefully read the instructions before use. Manufacturer: Millet Innovation. 04/2020


For more details about this general and simplified approach, here is another source:

Foot pain and foot health in an educated population of adults: results from the Glasgow Caledonian University Alumni Foot Health Survey. Hendry GJ, , Woodburn J, Steultjens M, J Foot Ankle Res.2018 Aug 17;11:48. doi: 10.1186/s13047-018-0290-1. eCollection 2018.