Pain Management for Foot Conditions

Foot pain is a common complaint, affecting people of all ages, shapes, and sizes. The pain can vary from mild discomfort to severe agony that makes it difficult to walk. Treating foot conditions that cause pain requires a multifaceted approach that involves the right diagnosis, proper medication, and following the right lifestyle habits. In this article, we will discuss common foot conditions that cause pain, what you need to do to relieve the pain, and how seeing Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM can help.

Ankle pain

Ankle pain, a sharp, stabbing pain on the outer part of the ankle, is a common condition that develops due to an injury or chronic stress. The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society recommends conservative treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin and ibuprofen to reduce swelling. Additionally, physical therapy plays a crucial role in strengthening the muscles, restoring the range of motion, and increasing joint perception. Another method of pain relief for ankle pain is with an ankle brace or other support, steroid medication injections, and immobilization to allow the bone to heal. Following your doctor’s instructions, completing the prescribed physical rehabilitation program, and not returning to activity until cleared by your physician are necessary steps to help prevent chronic pain.

Arch pain

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick, fibrous ligament in the arch of the foot that attaches to the heel bone and fans out toward the ball of the foot, attaching to the base of the toes. Treatment of arch pain focuses on reducing the forces that cause the plantar fascia to stretch excessively. This includes calf muscle stretching, over-the-counter arch supports and orthotics. Oral anti-inflammatory medications may be useful in controlling the pain while cortisone injections may be recommended for the treatment of plantar fasciitis.


Arthritis is a common condition that affects the foot and ankle, causing pain that makes it difficult to walk. Physical therapy and exercise, orthotics, foot soaks/paraffin baths, ice packs, massage, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen products are all remedies to reduce pain. Prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid can also help alleviate the pain.

Ball of the foot pain

Calluses are the most common source of pain on the ball of the foot. Treatment includes periodic trimming or shaving the callus, padding the shoes to remove pressure, using shoe orthotics, or severe cases of surgery. Pain in the ball of the foot can also be from inflammation of a tendon in the toe, arthritis, inflammation of the joint or neuroma. A reduction in pain in the ball of the foot can be gained by physical therapy and exercise, over-the-counter or prescription pain and anti-inflammatory medications, orthotics, properly fitting shoes, and cortisone injections.


Bunions are a painful swelling on the base joint of the big toe, causing it to lean inward toward the other toes. Most bunions can be treated without surgery by cushioning the painful area and wearing properly fitted shoes. However, the long healing process can include persistent swelling and stiffness. Bunion surgery, known as a bunionectomy, is an option that realigns the bone, ligaments, tendons, and nerves so that the big toe can be brought back to its correct position.

Heel pain

Plantar fasciitis is a condition traced back to the inflammation of the ligament that stretches across the bottom of your foot. Common treatment plans for this condition include the use of anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, and physical therapy.


Metatarsalgia, the pain in the ball of the foot, is often resolved by wearing properly fitted shoes or with a simple change of shoes. In more severe cases, custom orthotic devices may need to be prescribed.

Top of the foot pain

There are several causes of pain on the top of the foot. The quality of the pain and its location helps determine the cause of the pain. Managing top-of-the-foot pain can be aided by limiting activity periods, below-the-knee walking casts, functional orthotics, and oral anti-inflammatory medications.

In conclusion, foot pain can impact your daily life, making even the slightest of movements difficult. It is crucial to get prompt medical attention to book an appointment with a podiatrist when pain persists. Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM can help diagnose and offer an effective treatment plan that can help alleviate the pain. For any foot condition, it is essential to consult your physician before taking any medication for pain management.