Where is your pain?

Foot and lower limb problems are common with up to 40% of us experiencing a foot problem at some time in our lives. If you have hip or back pain they too may be related to a foot or lower limb problem, such as abnormal foot function or poor limb alignment. Our podiatrists have decades of experience assessing and treating these conditions and helping people get the relief they need as quickly as possible.

To see how we can help you click on the links below for a body region or select a specific condition from the list on the right.

Injuries and problems with your toes are common – think how many times you’ve stubbed your toe on a piece of furniture! Persistent toe pain and problems often require more attention. These include:

Pain in and around the ball of your foot is referred to as forefoot pain. This part of your foot receives the highest force as you lift your heel off the ground and pushing off when you are walking or running.

Pain could be from the bones (metatarsals) and joints (metatarsal-phalangeal joints) or in the soft tissue structures between the bones, including nerves, ligaments and tendons. Common causes of forefoot pain include:

The midfoot region is the arch and middle part of your foot, including the instep. Pain in the midfoot can be from a soft tissue injury or a fracture or arthritis. Soft tissue injuries can involve muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, nerves and blood vessels found in this area. Pain may occur when running, standing, exercising or when wearing tight footwear.

Common problems causing midfoot pain include:

 

HeelPain

The heel bone takes a lot of force when the heel strikes the ground, so any bony or soft tissue damage in this area can cause crippling pain. Pain may be under the heel and up into the arch of the foot or on the back of the heel.

There are many different conditions which cause heel pain, including:

Your ankle is the joint that connects your foot to the leg. It is made up of the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) joining up with the foot at the talus bone.

The ankle is surrounded by several ligament groups, as well as tendons that start in the leg and cross the ankle to control the foot’s movements. Common ankle pain and injuries include:


The lower leg is between your ankle and knee. It is made up of the tibia and fibula bones and provides the platform for many important muscles that move the foot and leg.

The shin often refers to the bony front of the leg and the calf the softer muscle section at the back. Common conditions affecting the shin and leg include:

Knee pain is common. In fact, knee and lower limb injuries are the most common reason people go to hospital1. So it’s no surprise that so many people report knee pain at some point in their lifetime.

Did you know that poor foot function may be causing your knee pain? If your feet roll in too much (pronation) then this can cause abnormal twisting movements and load through the knee. If your feet roll out too much (supination) then this can transfer shock up to the knee, causing pain and injury.

Even if your feet were not the original cause of your injury, they can still affect the way the knees function and ultimately recover from injury, so it’s important to check if your knee pain is being influenced by your feet.

Some common knee conditions that have been shown to be influenced by foot function and position include:

Your feet can contribute greatly to pain in your hips and back. The position and function of your feet can affect your overall posture and the alignment of joints higher up in your body.

For example, if your feet roll in too much, this can cause your whole leg to be rotated inwards, which can affect the alignment of your pelvis (usually tipped forward) and therefore your overall back posture.

Another example is if your legs are different lengths – the hips and back have to adjust to the different heights. This can cause abnormal stress and strain of the muscles and joints in the lower back. See the links below for more information.