The amount of pressure that we put on our feet every day through regular movement might lead us to believe that the pain is natural. While there are a wide range of causes for this pain, some can be more serious than others. Individuals who experience shooting pain in foot are likely to be experiencing a more serious condition that may require medical attention. Before you can seek out the right kind of treatment, you need to know what the problem might be. There are several different causes and treatments for this type of pain.
Possible Causes and Treatments for Shooting Pain in Foot
The location of the pain can help you determine what type of condition may be causing the pain. The following conditions are outlined based on their pain location.
1. Shooting Pain in Heel
This medical condition is categorized by intense pain and inflammation from the heel, through the arch of the foot. Treatment for plantar fasciitis is typically done at home with a variety of stretches, resting your feet, and purchasing shoes that appropriately support the arch of your foot.
Heel spurs are abnormal bone growths on the bottom of the heel. To treat heel spurs, it is necessary to first change your footwear. It is often advantageous to have custom sole inserts made to properly accommodate your foot shape and provide the right shock absorption.
When a deep bruise forms on the ball of your foot or the fat pad that is on the heel, it is called a stone bruise. Typically this injury is caused by stepping on a hard object with your full body weight. To treat a stone bruise, rest your foot and ice the area accordingly. Basic pain relievers may also be used.
High-impact injuries such as a car accident or fall may lead to shattering the heel bone in your foot. The treatment for heel fractures is to first alleviate pressure from the heel with the use of an air cast or crutches. Physicians are likely to prescribe pain relievers and physical therapy as part of the recovery process.
2. Shooting Pain in the Ball of Foot
Wearing poor fitting shoes can cause a variety of types of pain in the foot. This condition is diagnosed based on inflammation and pain located in the ball of your foot. Treatment for metatarsalgia includes resting your foot, ice, using over-the-counter pain relievers to alleviate discomfort, and purchasing proper insoles to support your foot.
When the tissue surrounding nerves between the toes starts to thicken, it causes Morton’s Neuroma. This is categorized by numbness and pain in the ball of the foot. To treat this condition, avoid wearing narrow shoes which apply pressure to the area. Some patients may consult a physician for steroids or surgery.
The tendons that connect the big toe are called sesamoids. When these become inflamed or injured, it triggers sesamoiditis, a form of tendinitis. To treat this condition, ice the area where pain exists and rest your feet. Taping the toe to a secondary toe to keep it from moving will help it heal faster. Lastly, you may ask your doctor for a steroid injection.
3. Shooting Pain in Foot Arch
Often referred to as fallen arches, the condition is something that happens when your foot flattens after long durations of walking or standing. This change in your foot shape triggers sharp pain in the arch. Treatment includes physical therapy, rest, and shoe inserts or adjustments.
4. Shooting Pain in Toes
Pain in toes may be caused by gout which is a collection of uric acid crystals in joints that lead to pain and swelling. To treat gout, anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids may be prescribed. Patients will also need to make dietary changes to avoid those that trigger the condition.
The boney bulge which may appear along the inside edge of your foot, below the big toe, is referred to as a bunion. It is typically caused by poor fitting shoes. Treatment is to change your shoes to ones that stretch properly to fit your foot.
This condition is caused by a muscle imbalance. It is categorized by the middle three toes bending at the joint to create a hammer-like shape. Treatment is to avoid wearing tight shoes although in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Nerve damage caused by diabetes or alcoholism can weaken the muscles in the toes and cause them to point up or down, but not straight. This condition is called claw toe and is treated by wearing proper shoes.
Toenails become ingrown when the skin around them grows over top of them. This can lead to infection. To treat, soak the infected area in water 3 to 4 times per day. Attempt to separate the softened skin from the nail and push back the growth by placing gauze between the nail and skin. Seek medical attention if the condition does not heal itself.
Pain on the base of the big toe is called turf toe. It can be caused by sesamoiditis and should be treated the same way.
When you stub your toe, it may cause a toe sprain which refers to damage of the soft tissue of the toe. The pain and swelling will naturally go away within three days.
Also known as arthritis of the big toe, this condition causes pain and stiffness at the joint of your toe that continues to worsen. Treatment is light stretching of the area and over-the-counter pain management.
Corns & Calluses
These two conditions are caused by tough skin buildup in areas where there is constant irritation and pressure. To remove them, soak feet in warm water with Epsom salt, then rub gently with a pumice stone to remove the extra skin. If the problem persists, you need to adjust your footwear.
The condition is identified as a break in tiny bones attached to the big toe. Treatment includes elevating the foot, pain relievers, and wearing supportive foot pads.
5. Shooting Pain on the Outer Edge of the Foot
There is only one condition that causes pain on the outer edge of the foot–a broken fifth metatarsal bone. This is diagnosed through x-ray and may cause swelling, bruising or pain in the area. OTC pain relievers, resting the foot, and ice are recommended for treatment.
6. Shooting Pain in Every Part of Foot
Nerve damage to the lower region is common in individuals with diabetes, leading to shooting pain in foot. Pain relief options can be provided by a physician, but there is no cure.
Inflammation of the tendons along the bottom of the foot is called tendinitis. Treat this condition by taking pain relievers and resting your feet.