Foot and ankle pain can occur suddenly due to an acute injury, or it can develop over time in relation to a chronic, underlying condition.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several common causes of foot pain and ankle pain, including:
Sprains and strains
A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched too far or torn, while a strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is stretched too far.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tarsal tunnel (the nerve that runs from the ankle to the foot) becomes pinched and inflamed.
A fracture occurs from excessive force or trauma to the bone, causing it to crack or break entirely. A fracture to the foot or ankle could result in weeks of downtime to ensure proper healing.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation in the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot. This can occur from aggravated overuse, such as constant standing, improper posture, or footwear that lacks proper arch support.
Bursitis occurs when the tendons rub against the “bursae” or anti-friction sacs, causing them to become irritated and uncomfortable.
Arthritis is a common inflammatory condition that affects the joints and results in pain; the most common types including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both types of arthritis can greatly impact the foot and ankle joints.
Tendinitis occurs from excessive overuse of the tendons, causing them to become inflamed for a long time.
Your foot contains several tendons that work together to form your arch. When the tendons pull together properly, your foot will form a proper arch. However, when the tendons do not pull together properly, your foot will form a very small arch, or no arch at all. This is referred to as “fallen arch” or “flat foot” and can cause pain or discomfort with time.