Ow my foot ow ow
March 12, 2014 12:52 PM   Subscribe

YANMD but do you have any idea what's making my foot hurt?

Ow, my foot hurts. A couple of days ago, I noticed a pain in the bottom of my right foot, along what Google tells me is the inner longitudinal arch- sort of right at the top of the arch and just below the ball of my foot. It hurts enough that walking or putting weight on either my whole foot or just that part of the foot hurts like the dickens. It feels weird and awkward in plantar flexion and painful in dorsiflexion.

I would normally assume it's a muscle strain or something equally minor, but I wasn't doing anything when it started to hurt! I was sitting up in bed, reading, and I haven't done anything to strain it that I can think of- I haven't been exercising strenuously (or at all, actually) or walking any kind of distance in comfortable or uncomfortable shoes. I don't have a history of back or nerve pain or any kind of foot injury aside from being sore after walking a long distance in heels years and years ago.

So, uh, what might be wrong with my foot? Do I need to go to the doctor (or since I am not asking you for medical advice, did you go to the doctor if this happened to you and or what did the doctor say), or can I just take Advil and let it resolve itself? I don't have transverse myelitis, do I?
posted by Snarl Furillo to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
Wasn't the same part of the foot, but when I had spontaneous foot pain I asked this question, and it turned out to be tendonitis which went away with 800mg ibuprofen 3x/day.

(I am SO not a doctor I don't even know if the part of YOUR foot that hurts even HAS tendons. But you asked for others' experiences!)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:03 PM on March 12, 2014

or since I am not asking you for medical advice, did you go to the doctor if this happened to you and or what did the doctor say

About a month ago I woke up in the middle of the night with horrendously bad pain in my foot. Like, so bad. Hurt to move, hurt to walk on, hurt to touch--even the weight of the sheets on my bed made my foot hurt. I did some middle of the night googling (couldn't sleep, FOOT HAD DIED) and all signs pointed to gout (What? Gout? I'm 28 and female, that's silly.) but I figured I was just internet hypochondriacing at that point and tried to go back to sleep.

Woke up the next day, foot still hurt like crazy, decided to make an emergency call into my doctor. Doctor looked at my foot, poked it, made me move it, did a whole bunch of things, and was like, "well, it seems like it could be gout, but you're 28 and female, so that's silly...it's possible you broke it in your sleep or might even have rheumatoid arthritis. We'll do some tests."

Got a TON of bloodwork done that day, got x-rays on my foot, and nothing. Foot still hurt, but there was no apparent cause. Doctor prescribed me a heavy duty NSAID and told me to come back in if I was still having problems in a few days. The NSAIDs helped, and a few days later it was fine.

Basically I guess what I'm saying is feet are weird and if it hurts it certainly doesn't hurt to go into a doctor just to check things out. In the meantime, take all the advil you want and rest up. (That was the advice my doctor gave me while waiting for test results.) If it still hurts in a few days or hurts worse, definitely go to a doctor.

p.s. Yes, it is definitely possible to pull a muscle while not doing anything. I've pulled several muscles just by moving very slightly (what I would classify as "just sitting there not doing anything"), and it makes you feel old and lame but there you go. And my doctor said it was definitely possible that I had fractured my foot while I was sleeping. "Stranger things have happened," she said. Bodies are weird.
posted by phunniemee at 1:05 PM on March 12, 2014

Does it actually start to feel better after you walk on it for a bit? I had plantars fascitis and your pain sounds similar.
posted by rpfields at 1:11 PM on March 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

I was running when one of my feet started to hurt like FOCK across the top of the damn foot and I hobbled home and actually had to use crutches for a few days. I went to my podiatrist several times. He x-rayed it and said, yeah, no nothing is wrong, but you say it hurts? Yeah it is BARELY swollen. Here you should take some NSAIDs.

Gee doc, I said, I can't take NSAIDs because I have ulcerative colitis.

Sucks to be you, he said. Give it time and maybe it'll fix itself. In the meantime here's a brace.

We actually tried two different kinds of braces and they made no difference.

So then I called my PCP and she looked at it and said ionno, it looks fine to me. Give it time, maybe? In the meantime, here's a prescription for an NSAID that isn't as harsh on your GI system.

I said, gout?

She said no and she told me why it wasn't the case, and it was something meaningful but I forget what it was. But it was definitely not simply that I'm not in a high risk group, because I am -- it runs in my family.

So I just suffered with it for a few weeks/months. It got better really slowly. Really really slowly. I mean, the worst of the pain went away in a week or two, but it lingered as a sensitivity for a really long time. And still, no one knew why.
posted by janey47 at 1:16 PM on March 12, 2014

Sounds a lot like plantar fasciitis or perhaps tendinitis. Ice, stretching, ibuprofen, rolling your foot over a tennis ball/soda can, and wearing shoes with good arch support can all help. If the pain is consistently present and a couple days of rest, ice, and ibuprofen don't make a dent, get it checked out by a doctor.

Tendinitis and plantar fasciitis can take an annoyingly long time to go away; don't panic if it takes months to feel better. I had tendinitis and my husband had plantar fasciitis for a big chunk of last year, and it was frustrating to wait for it to resolve, but we're back to normal now. I had multiple doctor visits and a few months of physical therapy, and I don't regret having the medical supervision, but the most important part of the healing process was time.

On the other hand, sometimes you get awful tweaky foot or ankle pain for no discernible reason, and it's gone in a day or two. Feet are weird.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:10 PM on March 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

I work on my feet, frequently doing 15 hour shifts, so I have dealt with all kinds of odd foot pains. I can't tell you what's wrong with your foot, but if you take double the Recommended Daily Allowance of magnesium for a couple of days, there's a good chance it will go away.

(Take it at bedtime. Magnesium can have laxative effects.)
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:19 PM on March 12, 2014

Where on the ball of foot? Middle? Under the big toe?
posted by floweredfish at 6:37 PM on March 12, 2014

I had some odd foot pain and couldn't figure it out, then in some crazy googling found some mention of certain foot pain caused by inflammation at the outside of the shin. Basically, it said if you had a tender spot on the outside of your calf forwards of the muscle a few inches below the kneecap you could massage the trigger point and that would take care of the foot. Much to my surprise, that spot was tender on my legs and after massaging it with a tennis ball, the next day my feet were fine.

Of course, I can't find it now. Looks like the peroneal muscles are where the trigger point is, but that's about all I can figure out.
posted by drwelby at 6:51 PM on March 12, 2014

Response by poster: It doesn't feel any better after walking around on it, and I tried rolling with a tennis ball which hurt quite a bit. It's a pain on the inside of my foot, almost on the side rather than on the bottom.

You guys have at least convinced me that it's probably not a tumah. I'll ice it and gobble some ibuprofen (and magnesium) and give it a little time before I run (ha ha.) to the doctor. Thank you for all of your nice reassuring answers.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 9:53 PM on March 12, 2014

Long story: once upon a time (this time last year), I suddenly had weird foot pain. I'd never had any foot pain, and that included when I used to wear 5 inch heels. Both feet hurt, but one much more than the other. I put it down to stress and moving house and the weather and lots of things.

To cut the long story short, when I finally got around to seeing a doctor blood tests showed that I had malnutrition which led to an enzyme deficiency, and that enzyme makes your nerves work properly, and when that enzyme refuses to work properly because it's starving, it's first noticeable in your extremities. (I also had tingly fingertips but didn't have that when I first got achy breaky feet. I left it too long to see a doctor.)

Short story: go see a good doctor. It could be muscular, it could be nerves, it could any one of a squillion things. I'm as big a fan of Dr Google as anyone, but please go get your phone, and make an appointment now.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 12:47 AM on March 13, 2014

Could you have a dislocated cubiod bone?
posted by futz at 9:32 AM on March 13, 2014

My mysterious foot pain that baffled the doctor turned out to be that my shoes were too narrow! I don't know why my feet decided to suddenly widen, when I hadn't had problems before, but when I switched to men's sneakers instead of the usual wide women's sneakers that I habitually wore the pain cleared up in a couple of days.
posted by telophase at 12:24 PM on March 17, 2014

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