Painful Swelling on the Sole of the Foot: [Causes & Best Treatment]
Painful Swelling on the Sole of the Foot? The #1 cause is plantar fasciitis and other types of heel pain. Find the causes & BEST Treatment!
- One of the top causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, this is damage to a ligament that holds your heel to your toes.
- There are also photos of heel spurs that can occur to the bottom of your heel (plantar fascia insertion) and the back of your heel (Achilles tendon insertion).
- Baxter’s nerve entrapment can also happen at the bottom of the heel.
- An underlying cause is an over pronated flatfoot, or an over supinated high arched foot.
- This can lead to the formation of a heel stress fracture( AKA calcaneus stress fracture.
Please click on the gallery for a guided tour through heel pain conditions!
Painful Swelling on the Sole of the Foot Overview:
- If you have painful swelling on the sole of the foot, then you are most likely suffering from plantar fasciitis.
- Plantar fasciitis is a medical condition where something has irritated the plantar fascia ligament at the bottom of your foot.
- In most people this is due to the accumulation of your body weight stretching the ligament over your lifetime.
- The good news is this condition is very treatable; the treatment is described below and in this video.
- The most common causes of swelling in the sole of the foot are ball of the foot pain, and heel pain.
- Metatarsophalangeal Joint Pain.
- Morton’s Neuroma.
- Metatarsal stress fracture.
- Predislocation Syndrome.
- Turf Toe.
- Dislocated Toe.
- Long Second Toe.
The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. This is felt the most in the morning when you wake up and there is about 10 to 15 minutes of pain until he start walking.
A calcaneal stress fracture is felt when you squeeze the heel bone from side to side between your fingers and there is pain.
With long-term plantar fasciitis, it is possible to develop a heel spur which is prominent on the bottom of the heel.
Tarsal tunnel pain feels like radiating nerve pain throughout your ankle.
A plantar fibroma is like a big large lump in the middle of your arch.
- Pain is worse in the morning.
- Pain is worse after rest.
- Pain gets better after walking around.
- The first steps of the day are the most painful.
- Moving your foot toward your shin hurts.
- The heel and the arch is the most sore.
- Very common condition.
- Podiatrist or foot doctor examination alone.
- Correlating the foot pain with the symptoms listed above, it is the most common heel pain that exists.
- Xrays to rule out a calcaneal stress fracture.
- Diagnostic Ultrasound to measure a thickened plantar fascia.
- MRI to rule out a soft tissue problem.
- Presence of a Heel Spur
Treatment of Painful Swelling on the Sole of the Foot
- Treatment options include getting rest, preferably either reducing your weight or the amount of time spent on your feet. Both are best if possible!
- Icing and Elevating your heel and arch.
- Anti-inflammatory medication.
- Night Splints.
- Physical Therapy.
- Corticosteroids injections into the heel.
- Surgery is reserved for only the most resistant of cases.
What if it is not plantar fasciitis:
If your pain is not due to plantar fasciitis, and this does not sound like the type of pain you are having, try the following links to see if these apply to you.
- Pain in the Heel Bone
- Bottom of the Foot Pain
- Pain above the heel in the back of the foot
- Painful Foot Arch
- The Outside of the Foot
Best Heel Pain Products:
- There are usually two phases to treating plantar fasciitis pain.
- The two phases of treatment include controlling the acute inflammation, and correcting the biomechanics which led to the problem in the first place.
- If the tendons and ligaments are inflamed, they are almost frozen in place and cannot function properly.
- Once the inflammation is decreased, we need to correct the bio-mechanical causes to ensure that they can never become over worked and inflamed again!
- This doesn’t matter whether it’s plantar fasciitis, plantar fibroma, sore bottom of foot, or even Achilles tendon pain. Treatment is all roughly very similar.
Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis Inflammation:
Massage & Ice Products:
- Ice is the an excellent option that can be safe for almost everyone.
- There is some debate whether icing is worth doing, but for chronic pain this can help limit the need for medications and keep your options open.
- This works great for your arch, less for the ball of the foot.
- The more muscle and ligament tissue there is, the better ice will work there.
Menthol Based Gels:
- Biofreeze is one of our favorites.
- These gels have been studied to work 2x as long as ice.
- This works great for the ball of the foot.
- This can be very effective for bottom of the heel and Achilles tendon sore regions.
- These can work great for loosening your muscles.
- This allows less tightness and pressure on the ball of your foot.
- This is very effective for the arch, the gastrocnemius or calf muscle and for the hamstring and thigh muscles.
- This also works very well for the gluteus muscles if you are having butt cheek or hip pain.
Remove the Plantar Fascia or Achilles Tendon Stress:
- The key is to prevent future pain.
- This means keeping you active while keeping stress off of your plantar fascia tendon. This will prevent future re-injury and development of plantar fasciitis.
- If you can get rid of the pain and swelling, this will let you start walking normally.
- If you can walk normally, the vast majority of your pain should gradually start to go away.
- The best way to ensure that your plantar fascia, foot and ankle ligaments are not overworked is to support them.
- The best way to support them is to use great orthotics and great shoes.
- Some people may also need to rely on supportive ankle braces and other supportive modalities.
The Best Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis Shoes:
- Getting a great supportive pair of shoes will make sure that there is pressure removed from the heel and plantar fascia region.
- This is especially important if you have plantar fasciitis, heel spur pain or Achilles tendonitis.
- Consider shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for best pain relief!
- The following link will show you what our favorites are.
Best Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics:
- These are our recommended orthotics for plantar fasciitis.
- Custom orthotics can work very well, but they should not be a first line of treatment.
- There are different types for different shoes.
- Women’s shoes usually need a less bulky orthotic, but allow for less correction.
- A full length orthotic requires a running shoe, boot or comfortable walking/dress shoe.
- We recommend doing everything you can to get a good supportive shoe that can fit a full length orthotic.
- This is the best way to maximize your orthotics for great results.
Best Full Length Orthotics:
- These will only work in wider shoes or a good supportive running shoe.
- This will not work in sandals, flats or most women’s dress shoes.
Best Dress Shoe Orthotics:
- These are a great choice for dress orthotics.
Best 3/4 Length Orthotics:
- These are great options for women’s dress shoes and thinner shoes.
- These are not the most supportive pair of orthotics.
Get A Great Dynamic Stretch:
- It is possible to stretch on your own, but these products can also really help!
- This will take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- We personally prefer this method of stretching.
Get A Great Static Stretch:
- These devices are great for stretching while you are resting.
- This will also help take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- This works great for plantar fasciitis.
- It can be used while watching TV or at night time.
Best Heel Compression Brace:
- A good compression brace can stabilize your foot from turning outward.
- This prevents your foot from pronated.
- Pronated foot will turn your foot outward in your foot will rub on the outside of the shoe.
- For many of her patients this has solved their pain and is very comfortable to wear inside your shoe.
- This solves both pain and outward pronation for a relatively low cost.
Best Heel Stability Brace:
- Stability brace goes little bit further than the compression brace to stop your foot from turning out.
- This takes pressure off of your heel and plantar fascia.
- At the same time this is a little bit bulkier and does not affect every shoe.
- We find people are little bit happier trying the compression brace before the stability brace.
- If you think you might have a broken heel, a calcaneal stress fracture or something of similar severity, these products might help!
- Always remember to see a foot and ankle specialist like a podiatrist if you are having plantar fasciitis or more severe pain!
Plantar Fascia Tear, Broken Heel Bone, Achilles Tendon Tear:
- If you have a traumatic injury such as a torn plantar fascia ligament, calcaneus stress fracture, heel fracture or insertional Achilles tendon injury: consider protecting your foot!
- The best way to do this is of course to see your podiatrist and get evaluated with an x-ray, ultrasound and potentially even an MRI or CT scan.
- If you are unable to do so it may benefit you to be in a cast, fractured boot, or even keep the weight off of it with a rolling knee scooter or other protective devices.
- We as podiatrists frequently take patients off work for very long period of time when they suffer a traumatic injury, unfortunately there is no other way around us in labor jobs.
- If you have a sit down job there are ways to get people back to work quicker, but this can be very difficult otherwise.
Heel Injury Boot Treatment:
- There are pros and cons to using a boot to treat your heel injury. If you are immobilized too long the cons are that you will gradually become stiff and overworked to your other leg. The Pros are that you injured heel will hopefully have a chance to gradually heal!
- Our favorite fracture boots and their supplies:
Offloading and Scooter treatment:
- These are favorite knee scooters and walking devices: