Common mid-foot pain condition symptoms and treatments are outlined below.
Osteoarthritis (OA) (click to open/close)
Osteoarthritis in the foot can be very painful and disabling. It’s often neglected when it comes to clinical trials and medical funding. However, recent studies show medial mid-foot OA (affecting the big toe side of your foot) to be far more common than previously thought, with prevalence in the older population at 88% and 7.8% in the younger community.
It causes pain in the mid-foot and arch, particularly during the propulsive phase of walking, and may continue into the night and disturb your sleep. As well as pain, you may notice changes to foot shape, foot position, and increased callus due to higher plantar pressures. Intermittent swelling may also occur.
Often, patients are told nothing can be done to treat Osteoarthritis. However, there is a range of therapies that can help reduce pain and improve mobility. These include joint mobilisation, strapping, footwear advice, western medical acupuncture and foot orthotics with design features to support the joints and stabilise the heel.
Top of foot pain/Dorsal Midfoot Interosseous Compression Syndrome
This condition causes significant and consistent pain in the top of the foot (dorsal surface) during weight-bearing activity. Repetitive trauma at the surface of the dorsal mid-foot joints results in inflammation in the capsular ligaments. Barefoot or low-heeled shoes may exacerbate the pain, while shoes with a slightly higher heel may reduce symptoms.
If you are a runner who prefers to forefoot strike and/or run in minimalist footwear, you may find that you are more prone to ‘top of foot pain’ as the dorsiflexion movements of the forefoot on the rear-foot are increased.
Treatment involves reducing the inflammation (Ice therapy, anti-inflammatories) and eliminating the biomechanical factors causing the increased compression forces. This can involve stretching exercises, mobilisation, dry needling, footwear advice, heel lifts and/or foot orthotics.
For runners, reviewing running techniques and training load – whether temporarily or permanently – may be beneficial, as may the above-mentioned therapies.
Flat feet, or over pronation, is a common biomechanical problem that occurs in the walking process when a person’s arch collapses upon weight bearing. Pronation refers specifically to the natural inward flexing motion of the lower left and ankle. Running, walking and standing cause the ankle joint to pronate which helps the body to absorb shock and control balance. This motion can cause extreme stress or inflammation of the plantar fascia, possibly causing severe discomfort and leading to other foot problems.
- There are many causes of flat feet, including:
- Repetitive pounding on hard surfaces.
People with flat feet often do not experience discomfort immediately and some never suffer any discomfort at all. However, when symptoms develop and become painful, walking becomes awkward and causes increased strain on the feet and calves.
Treatment for flat feet includes:
- Over-the-counter orthotics
- Custom made Orthotics
- Arch support and/or
- Medial rear foot posting
- Supportive footwear with a firm heel counter.
Lisfranc Joint Injury