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Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute
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Why Do My Feet or Ankles Hurt?

Although foot pain is never normal, it is very common and can often limit your ability to continue to function in normal living and normal life.  Due to the complexity of the foot structures (including 28 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons, and an intricate web of nerves and blood vessels), there can be a large number of causes for foot pain.  Careful evaluation of your foot or ankles may be required to determine the cause of your aching feet.  One aspect of this evaluation will include determining what foot type and walking pattern you have.  Most individuals can typed into one of 6 foot types as discussed below:



With these particular structures of the feet, pain can be caused by an abnormality in any one of them.  Arthritis is seen by destruction of the joint surface (cartilage), ligamentous weakness will lead to spraining of the foot or ankle, muscle or tendon pain can be caused by injuries or tears, bony abnormalities can cause spurring or abnormal shaping of the feet (like bunions, bunionette, or hammertoes), circulation problems may present as peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and nerve problems may present as inflammation of nerves (neuroma) or malfunctioning of the nerves (neuropathy).


Some other common causes of foot pain include:

- Flat Feet (Pes Planus)

- High Arches (Pes Cavus)

- Gout

Where Do You Hurt?

Dorsal FootReturnGreat Toe Toes 1st Metatarsal Forefoot Midfoot Rearfoot Ankle Medial Lateral InstructionsToes Ball of Foot Sesamoids Arch/Midfoot Heel Medial Lateral InstructionsMedial Ankle Achilles Tendon Heel Medial Arch 1st Ray Toes Dorsal Foot Plantar Dorsal InstructionsLateral Ankle Achilles Tendon Heel 5th Metatarsal Toes Dorsal Foot Plantar Dorsal Instructions

(Click on the area for possible reasons for your pain)

Brandt R Gibson, DPM
Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute