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Causes and Treatments for Lateral Foot Pain

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Are you experiencing pain along the side of your foot? If so, you may be dealing with lateral foot pain. This condition is characterized by discomfort or inflammation on the outer edge of the foot, typically affecting the ankle, heel, or arch area. Lateral foot pain can be caused by various factors, including overuse, improper footwear, trauma, or underlying medical conditions such as plantar fasciitis or arthritis. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available to alleviate lateral foot pain and restore your mobility. These may include rest, ice therapy, stretching exercises, wearing supportive shoes, using orthotic inserts, or engaging in physical therapy. Additionally, certain over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can provide temporary relief. If lateral foot pain persists or worsens despite these measures, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and individualized treatment plan. Ignoring the pain or self-medicating without proper guidance may lead to further complications and prolonged discomfort. Don't let lateral foot pain hinder your daily activities any longer. Explore the various causes and treatment options to find the relief you deserve and get back on your feet.

Common causes of Lateral Foot Pain

Lateral foot pain can have several potential causes. One of the most common culprits is overuse, which occurs when the foot is subjected to repetitive stress or strain. This can happen due to activities like running, walking long distances, or standing for extended periods. Overuse can lead to inflammation of the tendons, ligaments, or muscles along the outer edge of the foot, causing lateral foot pain.

Improper footwear can also contribute to lateral foot pain. Wearing shoes that don't provide adequate support or cushioning can put excessive pressure on the outer edge of the foot, leading to discomfort. High-heeled shoes, in particular, can be problematic as they alter the alignment of the foot and increase the risk of developing lateral foot pain.

Trauma or injury to the foot can cause lateral foot pain as well. Spraining the ankle, fracturing a bone, or experiencing a sudden impact can result in inflammation and pain along the outer edge of the foot. It's important to seek medical attention if you suspect a foot injury to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

Underlying medical conditions can also contribute to lateral foot pain. Plantar fasciitis, for example, is a common condition characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. This can cause pain along the outer edge of the foot, especially during activities like walking or running. Arthritis, gout, or nerve entrapment syndromes may also be responsible for lateral foot pain.

Diagnosis of Lateral Foot Pain

When experiencing lateral foot pain, it is crucial to obtain an accurate diagnosis to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment. Consulting a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist, is recommended.

During the initial consultation, the healthcare professional will typically conduct a thorough physical examination of the foot and review your medical history. They may also ask about any recent injuries or activities that could have contributed to the pain. In some cases, diagnostic imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, may be ordered to evaluate the foot's structure and identify any abnormalities or damage.

The healthcare professional will use this information to make an informed diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs. It's important to provide accurate and detailed information to ensure an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Lateral Foot Pain

Non-surgical Treatments for Lateral Foot Pain

In most cases, non-surgical treatments are the first line of defense for alleviating lateral foot pain. These conservative approaches aim to reduce pain, inflammation, and promote healing.

Rest is a fundamental aspect of recovery. Avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain and giving the foot time to heal is crucial. Applying ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, can help reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief.

Stretching exercises can also be beneficial in managing lateral foot pain. These exercises aim to improve flexibility, strengthen the muscles, and reduce tension in the foot. A healthcare professional or physical therapist can provide guidance on specific exercises that target the affected area.

Wearing supportive shoes that provide cushioning and stability is essential in managing lateral foot pain. Opt for shoes with a wide toe box, arch support, and shock-absorbing soles. Orthotic inserts or custom-made shoe inserts can provide additional support and help correct any biomechanical issues that may contribute to the pain.

Physical therapy may be recommended to address lateral foot pain. A physical therapist can provide targeted exercises, manual therapy techniques, and other modalities to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and strengthen the foot and ankle. They can also provide guidance on proper footwear, activity modification, and self-care strategies.

In some cases, over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended to manage the pain and reduce inflammation. It's important to follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional before starting any medication regimen.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics for Lateral Foot Pain

For individuals with persistent or severe lateral foot pain, custom orthotics may be a game-changer. Bilt Labs offers custom-made orthotic inserts designed to provide personalized support and alignment. These orthotics are made using advanced technology and precise measurements to ensure an optimal fit and function.

Bilt Labs custom orthotics help distribute pressure evenly across the foot, reduce excessive pronation or supination, and provide cushioning and support where it's needed most. By improving foot alignment and reducing stress on the lateral edge of the foot, these orthotics can help alleviate pain and improve overall foot function.

To obtain Bilt Labs custom orthotics, an appointment with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist, is necessary. They will assess your foot structure, gait, and specific needs to create a custom orthotic that addresses your lateral foot pain effectively.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

Surgical Options for Lateral Foot Pain

In cases where non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief or when the underlying cause of lateral foot pain requires surgical intervention, various surgical options may be considered.

The specific surgical procedure will depend on the cause of the pain. For example, if the pain is due to an underlying condition like arthritis or a nerve entrapment syndrome, the surgical approach will focus on addressing and correcting the underlying issue.

Surgical procedures for lateral foot pain may involve repair or reconstruction of damaged tendons, ligaments, or muscles. In some cases, removing bone spurs or correcting foot deformities may be necessary. The surgical approach will be determined by the healthcare professional based on the individual's condition and needs.

Recovery and Rehabilitation for Lateral Foot Pain

After undergoing surgical intervention for lateral foot pain, a period of recovery and rehabilitation is essential to ensure optimal outcomes. The duration and specifics of the recovery process will vary depending on the type of surgery performed and the individual's overall health.


During the initial recovery phase, rest and limited weight-bearing may be necessary to allow the surgical site to heal. Crutches or a walking boot may be prescribed to assist with mobility while protecting the foot.


Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises are typically introduced once the initial healing phase is complete. These exercises focus on gradually restoring strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the foot and ankle. A physical therapist will work closely with the individual to develop a customized rehabilitation plan tailored to their specific needs.


It's important to follow all post-surgical instructions provided by the healthcare professional and attend any follow-up appointments to monitor progress and address any concerns or complications that may arise.

Preventing Lateral Foot Pain

Prevention is key when it comes to lateral foot pain. By taking proactive measures, you can reduce the risk of developing this condition and maintain optimal foot health.

Wearing proper footwear is crucial in preventing lateral foot pain. Choose shoes that provide adequate support, cushioning, and stability. Avoid high-heeled shoes or those with narrow toe boxes that can put undue stress on the foot.

Engaging in regular foot exercises and stretching can help maintain flexibility and strength, reducing the risk of overuse injuries. Incorporate exercises that target the muscles and ligaments along the outer edge of the foot to promote balance and stability.

Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of physical activities can also help prevent lateral foot pain. Avoid sudden increases in activity level or excessive repetitive stress on the foot, as this can lead to inflammation and injury.

Maintaining a healthy weight can significantly reduce the stress on your feet. Excess weight can contribute to foot pain and increase the risk of developing conditions like plantar fasciitis or arthritis. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Regular foot care, including proper hygiene and regular inspections, can help identify any potential issues early on. Treat any minor foot problems promptly to prevent them from progressing into more significant concerns.

Exercises for Lateral Foot Pain

Lateral foot pain can be a debilitating condition that affects your daily activities and quality of life. Understanding the causes and treatment options is crucial in finding relief and restoring mobility. Whether through non-surgical treatments, custom orthotics, or surgical intervention, there are solutions available to address lateral foot pain effectively.

If you're experiencing persistent or worsening lateral foot pain, don't hesitate to seek professional medical advice. A healthcare professional can provide an accurate diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan to meet your specific needs. By taking proactive measures to prevent lateral foot pain, you can maintain optimal foot health and avoid future complications. Don't let foot pain hold you back – prioritize your foot health and get back on your feet pain-free. Take our free quiz today to find out which orthotic type is best for your feet.

People Also Ask:

What does lateral tendonitis feel like?

Lateral tendonitis feels like a nagging ache near the outside of your ankle, like someone's pinching or stabbing that bone. It might worsen with activity, especially if you jump, run, or walk for too long. Imagine an angry ouch waiting for you on the side of your foot!

What happens if foot tendonitis goes untreated?

Ignoring foot tendonitis is like playing a risky game! It can lead to bigger ouchies: the inflamed tendons might tear, making healing longer and requiring possibly even surgery. Don't give that pain the upper hand, listen to your foot and seek help, because early treatment is your teammate for faster recovery!

What triggers tendonitis in the foot?

Repetitive strain like pounding pavements or overdoing sports are the usual suspects for foot tendonitis. Think of it like overworking your foot muscles without giving them a break, leading to tiny tears and ouchies that need some TLC!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health. If you have any questions about your health or are experiencing any medical problems, please contact your doctor or other healthcare provider immediately. Do not delay seeking medical attention based on the information provided in this article.