Lateral foot pain is the type of pain that occurs on the external side of the foot and ankle. It can happen before, during, or after activities such as walking and running. Lateral foot pain can make it tough for individuals to move around or even stand.
Lateral foot pain can create a variety of signs, most of which depend on which part of the foot is injured.
The most common signs include:
- Pain on the external side of the ankle
- Imbalance of the foot
- Trouble in walking
- Sensitivity to ankle sprains
- Difficulty in standing on the foot
What are the causes?
Lateral foot pain may have many reasons. Most of them arise from diseases that were left untreated. These could include:
- ankle joint infection and scar tissue
- the presence of very little cracks in the foot bones and the ankle
- tendon infection
- stretched, torn, or pinched nerves (particularly those passing through the ankle)
The following situations lead to lateral foot pain:
- Ankle sprain
An ankle sprain is a ligament injury in the foot, without disruption or a fracture. This is one of the main reasons for lateral foot pain, with eighty-five percent of ankle sprains which leads to lateral foot pain.
- Cuboid syndrome
Cuboid syndrome is a biased fracture of one of the lateral foot bones known as the cuboid bone. This pain may occur when you get extra tense or put too much weight on the bone.
This syndrome normally happens when a person does too much sport and bodily activity without allowing any healing time between exercise assemblies. Seldom, putting on tight shoes can also lead to the cuboid syndrome.
Cuboid syndrome is an unusual cause of lateral foot pain that often goes undiagnosed. It can lead to long-term symptoms, for example, pain, weakness, and sensitivity.
Bunions are a bone injury that makes the big toe of the foot turn inwards and face the other toes. As a result, people put most of their body weight on the parallel side of the foot when walking or standing, which leads to pain.
Bunions may be produced by genetic factors or poor footwear that squashes the toes. In critical cases, surgery may be essential to get rid of the bunion and align the toes again.
- Peroneal tendonitis
Peroneal tendonitis happens as a result of constant tension of the peroneal tendons. These two tendons spread from the back of the calf, over the external edge of the exposed ankle, and join at various points on the lateral side of the foot.
This disease causes the peroneal tendons to swell or become inflamed, occurring in pain on the parallel side of the foot and the heel.
A person who moves excessively or puts their foot abnormally may produce peroneal tendonitis. It might also happen after an ankle sprain.
- Stress fractures
Stress fractures are tiny breaks in one of the external foot bones (called metatarsals), due to constant sports and corporeal exercise. Signs of this injury might be mild initially but will eventually worsen.
- Calluses and corns
Corns and calluses occur on the parallel side of the foot. They often occur as a result of the body creating multiple skin layers to shield the foot from constant stress and conflict. Although calluses are normally painless, corns can penetrate deeper into the skin and become painful.
Arthritis is a condition that makes lateral foot pain when it hits the foot joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most generic type of arthritis.
- Tarsal coalition
Tarsal coalition is a congenital disease, meaning that it is already at birth. Tarsal coalition happens when the tarsal bones near the end of the foot do not join properly. This abnormal connection between the two bones usually leads to hardness and pain in the foot.
The tarsal coalition is an uncommon state.
What are the treatment possibilities?
Lateral foot pain might continue for some time and need treatment.
- Instant relief
A person can reduce mild lateral foot pain reasonably quickly by following the RICE technique:
- Relax the foot
- Ice the foot for proper periods of 20 minutes each
- Press the foot with a flexible bandage
- Elevate the foot above your heart level
For moderate cases of lateral foot pain, a person can relax and use medications to overcome swelling and ease the pain. In more difficult cases, a doctor might prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines.
- Physical therapy
If medicines do not work, bodily therapy may be required. This type of therapy tries to relax the muscles, increase blood flow, and help the foot cure properly. The doctor might also recommend stabilizers to aid and guard the ankle.
- Alternative methods
In situations of injury to the softer tissues of the ankle and foot, a doctor may advise steroids.
Other methods that might be used alongside medicines include electric stimulation, laser or light treatment, or surgery in uncommon and critical cases.
To diagnose parallel foot pain, the doctor will most likely perform a physical exam of the foot. The doctor will analyze the movement and resistance of the foot. The doctor will also look for inflamed areas, foot damages or injuries, and signs of pain.
The doctor might also suggest diagnostic exams to aid in determining the problem of foot pain.
The majority of the cases of parallel foot pain result from mild pre-existing diseases, which can worsen over a period if not treated. In the most difficult cases, people can encounter pain when they move their feet or stand upright.
In situations where a pinched tissue causes parallel foot pain, a person might miss some or all of the sensation in their foot.