Locating foot pain

Locating foot pain is not always straight forward. Unfortunately no single person can explain or offer all the solutions to all foot pain. Remedies become more difficult when there are several pain locations in the foot. Pain can appear on the inside versus the outside of the foot. Outside foot pain may be called compensated pain. This will mean that the pain that you are suffering does not arise from the main place that it hurts. Now that’s something to think about.

Once a patient experiences more than one area of pain confusion can baffle the best doctor. Investigations take time to work through a process of not just the location of foot pain, but the source of the pain. How much damage has arisen and can that damage be reversed? While 95% of pain can be tracked down and mostly minimised if not eradicated, some pains are far more complex. In this article, I consider referred pain versus pain brought about by compensation. You can read my first article on my burning pain. If I had money for every patient who told me that they had pain on the outside of the foot, I could have given up practice earlier. Pain on the Outside often called the ‘lateral’ side of the foot, arises because a patient alters their foot position to overcome or compensate for discomfort elsewhere.


Pain is more often on the inside of the foot, so we tip the foot in the opposite way to avoid pain. It should come as no surprise that pain can extend to the knee, hip or back, but it is often due to foot pain in the first case. 



Search for more information in this website

Here are a few more articles on my website that might be helpful 



Rough Guide to Foot Pain
Pain and the foot Part 1
Pain and the foot part 2

A mysterious heel pain follows my own journey
Pain and Prevention of Blisters
Waging War on Foot Pain
Burning Pain in the Foot

There are many more articles and factsheets on feet and foot problems. You can search using the icon magnifying glass shown at the top of screen.

Books (bookstore)

Nerve pain (Morton’s neuroma)
Bunion Pain (hallux valgus)



Thanks for reading ‘Locating foot pain’ written by David Tollafield. May 2019.


Published by Busypencilcase Reflective Communications Est. 2015

Updated July 2020