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Can Walking or Running Cause Bottom of Foot Pain?

Foot is perhaps the major part of our body, which keep us actively stand for life and help us in proceeding forward with it! Like any other problem or pain in human body, there also arise some kinds of pain in the foot. There are a number of types of foot pain, and bottom of foot pain is one of the major types where the sufferer suffers from the pain on the bottom of the feet like the heel, the Achilles tendon and so on. This current write-up will have a fair discussion on the bottom of the foot pain, its causes, can walking or running cause pain at the bottom of the foot, its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment procedures. So go through an eye read on the following section and get an insight to the bottom of the foot pain.

Can Walking or Running Cause Bottom of Foot Pain?

Anatomy Of The Foot And The Foot Pain:

Comprising of 26 bones, connected through joints, tendons, ligaments, nerves and muscles; foot is one complex structures of the human body which act as a carriage and helps in standing, walking, running etc. However, it is perhaps one of the major part which is most susceptible to stress and strain.

Now, coming straight to the bottom of the foot pain, this is again a type of foot pain which may include some of the most common types of pain and problems in the bottom portion of the foot. Heel pain, heel spurs, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, ankle sprain, bone fractures etc are some of the most known causes for pain in the bottom of the foot. More about these can be known from the following paragraphs.

Walking And Running- Major Cause Of Bottom Of Foot Pain:

Walking and Running are no doubt one of the best and ancient known exercises which act as the modern day’s medicine. There are some real healthy benefits of walking, jogging and running. However when walking or running is done in excess, there are chances you might encounter some real critical pain at the bottom of your feet. So let us now discuss on some of the common causes of bottom of foot pains, which are experienced primarily due to walking and running.

Heel Pain-A Source Of Bottom Of Foot Pain:

The most common type of pain at the bottom of the foot caused primarily due to walking, running, jumping etc; is the Heel pain. Heel pain is one of the major pains experienced by the people at the bottom of the foot. So heel pain is sometimes also referred to as the bottom of the foot pain while considering the common causes of the bottom of the foot pain. This heel pain can either be experienced at the front, back or at the bottom of the heel.

It is found that heel pain is very common in today’s world and about one of ten people meet with this in their life at some part of the time. Mainly heel pain is common with the people who walk, jog or run on a regular basis. Apart from this, heel pain is mostly common in the age group of 40 to 60 years.

Actually heel bone is the largest bone out of all the 26 foot bones we humans have. Heel pain occurs primarily due to the faulty biomechanics, which puts enough of stress on the heel bone and the connected tendons, muscles, nerves etc and thus results in heel pain. Some of the common causes leading to heel pain are discussed below.

  • Bottom of Foot Pain Due To Heel Spurs: Certain conditions like running, walking, biochemical imbalances etc can lead to a repeated tearing of the lining covering the heel bone. This may further lead to a stress or strain of the muscles and ligaments of the heel which give rise to bone spurs. Actually these bone spurs are the bony outgrowth underside the heel bone which can be diagnosed via X-rays. There are also similar symptoms without the bone enlargement and called as bone spur syndrome.
  • Pain in Bottom of Feet Due To Achilles Tendonitis: This is again a condition which causes bottom of the foot pain or the heel pain. Achilles tendonitis is the condition where you feel the pain or swelling at the Achilles tendon and may get worse by continuing walking, running etc. It must be noted that such a condition is most common in the people who regularly walk or run a lot or who have tight tendons. This is actually the result of over strain or stress on the tendon which results in tearing of the nerve fibers and leading to the pain.
  • Bottom of the Foot Pain Due To Ankle Sprain: Awkward placement of the foot while walking or running in irregular surfaces etc can lead to ankle sprain which can lead to heel pain or the pain at the bottom of the foot. There may be symptoms like pain, swelling, redness etc in the affected area. Proper rest and gradually returning back to running or walking exercises can provide relief from ankle sprain.
  • Pain in Bottom of Feet Due To Plantar Fasciitis: Another condition of heel pain seen primarily in the athletes who mainly run and jump, is called the plantar fasciitis, which is actually a kind of inflammation along the bottom of the foot surface (Plantar) over the group of fibrous connective tissues (Fascia).
  • Excessive Pronation: The normal flexible motion and the flattening of the foot arch which allows the foot to adapt to the ground is termed as pronation. With excessive walking, running etc there is sometimes excessive pronation seen which can lead to the heel pain or the bottom of the foot pain. Here, rest can help greatly in reducing the foot pain.

Bottom Of Foot Pain Due To Foot Bone Fractures:

Pain is also experienced with the foot bone fractures. There are some fractures seen in the foot like the ankle fracture, heel bone fracture or the metatarsal fractures which leads to pain at the bottom of the foot. Usually the fractures occur with the severe injuries in the bones and may lead to painful conditions along with swelling at the affected site. Surgeries requiring cast can be prescribed, or may be use of effective orthotic devices can be prescribed for treating such kinds of foot bone fractures

Bottom Of Foot Pain Pain Due To Morton’s Neuroma:

A condition born due to an excessive growth of a noncancerous or benign tissue in the nerves running along the long bones of the foot is called as Morton’s neuroma. Though it is commonly seen in the third and fourth toe, it can also be experienced in the entire foot and result in symptoms like redness, swelling and severe pain. This is usually caused when two bones rub each other a lot causing the nerves to squeeze and damage.

Morton’s neuroma can also lead to the pain at the bottom of the foot which requires necessary treatments and precautions.

Treatment For Bottom Of Foot Pain:

No matter what type of bottom of foot pain it might be, there are some common treatments methods which help you heal from the excessive pain at the bottom of the foot. Let us discuss on some of the most common ways one can treat or prevent the pain at the bottom of the foot.

Treatment Options For Pain In Bottom Of The Feet:

  • Taking painkillers like the non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which could help you get relief from the pain.
  • Applying Icepacks can help your relieve the excessive foot pain
  • Using orthotics or the shoe inserts can provide enough benefits for pain at the bottom of the feet.
  • Changing shoes to the one that fits properly, is well cushioned, and provides more comfort can be very helpful.
  • Various stretching exercises and strengthening exercises are recommended for effective treatment of bottom foot pain.
  • Massaging can also be an effective treatment for foot pain.
  • Corticosteroid injections are also prescribed in treating the bottom foot pain.
  • Using bandages to strengthen and support the muscles and tendons will be helpful in healing the pain at the bottom of the feet.
  • Physiotherapy or Physical therapy is also very effective treatments foot pain. In this case you learn to strengthen your Achilles tendon, plantar fascia, leg muscles etc and help self naturally via various physical stretches and exercises.
  • There is also extracorporeal shock wave therapy for the pain in some cases of the heel pain, like in case of plantar fascia. In this case, the sound waves are allowed to bombard against your heel of the foot so as to stimulate the healing within the ligament. There may be some side effects of this therapy like numbness, swelling etc.
  • Surgery is essential in rare and severe cases of the bottom of foot pain.

Preventive Measures For Bottom Of Foot Pain:

  • Rest is the primary thing one must keep in mind so as to prevent excessive foot pain.
  • Use properly fitting and comfortable shoes while running or walking
  • Don’t over burden your heel, ankle or the calf muscles or the tendons, ligaments, or even nerves; which would lead to pain at the bottom of the foot.
  • Keep a note to go for stretches before and after any physical workout/running or walking
  • Make sure you are giving importance to healthy nutrition along with the necessary rest
  • Try and lose excessive body weight so as to reduce the stress on your foot or the heel while standing, walking, or running.

Exercising Barefoot: A Treatment For Bottom Of The Foot Pain!

Walking, running, jogging or even simple standing barefoot can get great benefits to the bottom of the foot pain. The concept is that exercising with barefoot aids in developing the muscles, ligaments, tendons etc present of the foot. Running or walking barefoot can treat the pain caused in the heel, especially the plantar fasciitis in an effective way when practiced correctly. To do the barefoot exercise or run/walk barefoot properly, you must consult an expert and follow accordingly. However, below is explained a simple way on how to walk/run effectively on barefoot.

Running Or Walking Barefoot: Explained In Short!

  • Make sure you are going for a forefront striking in barefoot while running or walking. So while your barefoot running/jogging/walking, land your forefoot gently at first.
  • Next get your heel down gradually.
  • Now transition slowly.
  • Go for the calf muscles/calves and the Achilles tendon stretches. this would help reducing the chances of injuries like knee pain, heel pain, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis etc
  • Make sure you are not overdoing your barefoot exercises while running, which may aggravate the pain.
  • Start off with walking or running on a soft, smooth surface like grass.


  1. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Foot pain https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/foot-pain/basics/definition/sym-20050792
  2. Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Foot Pain https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/18051-foot-pain
  3. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2021). Achilles Tendinitis https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/achilles-tendinitis/

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 16, 2023

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