Lateral Foot Pain? What is it and how to address it

If you feel pain alongside the outer edge of your foot, you're experiencing what's known as lateral foot pain. This is a common issue triggered by walking, running, and other activities. Lateral foot pain is often accompanied by instability, tenderness, swelling, and even difficulty moving around. If you are suffering from it, it's important to know what's causing it and how to address it.

What Is Lateral Foot Pain?

Foot pain of any sort can be demobilizing to some degree. It's not something you can ignore when moving around, and if moderate or severe, you might continue to experience discomfort even when you're not on your feet.

Any pain running along the outer edge of your foot and ankle is technically considered "lateral foot pain" and is more of a term used to describe a symptom rather than a diagnosis. Various things can cause lateral foot pain, and you'll likely find that it's worse during and after activities like walking and running.

Depending on which part of your foot is actually affected by the pain, you might also experience a number of other symptoms. For instance, pain on the outer edge of your foot generally extends up the ankle and even partially up the shin. The pain can also result in instability, tenderness, and trouble walking.

If you have lateral foot pain, you may find yourself more susceptible to ankle sprains and you might even experience swelling in your foot and/or ankle. If severe, you might experience unbearable discomfort just from standing on the affected foot.

Common Causes of Lateral Foot Pain

Lateral foot pain can result from many different conditions. Here are some of the most common.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are incredibly common, and if you recently twisted your ankle, your lateral foot pain is likely a result of that. In fact, 85% of people with a sprained ankle report lateral foot pain. The lateral foot pain associated with an ankle sprain is typically higher up towards the ankle itself versus the foot.

Arthritis

For those with aging joints, lateral foot pain is a common side effect of arthritis when it begins to affect the joints of the foot and ankle. There are different types of arthritis but the most common is osteoarthritis. Your Podiatrist would be able to determine if your lateral foot pain is due to arthritis through and Xray.

Bunions

Another common cause of lateral foot pain is the presence of bunions on your feet. Bunions are actually a defect to the bones themselves. If you have bunions, you'll find that your large toe will rotate inwards, causing it to point towards your smaller toes instead of straight out. This causes pain when you put weight onto your foot.

Lateral pain is a side effect of bunions because many people who have bunions tend to walk in a way that avoids the big toe joint increasing stress to the outside edge of the foot. Eventually, this leads to lateral foot pain because of the unequal distribution of weight.

Peroneal Tendonitis

The peroneal muscles and tendons run from the outer lower leg, behind the outside ankle bone and insert or take a turn around the lateral side of your foot. Peroneal tendonitis is a condition where stress to these tendons exceeds that of tissue recovery which can lead to lateral foot pain.

This condition is most common amongst people who run often or otherwise put the tendon under frequent and repeat stress. Overusing the tendon through habitual or occupational activities (like repeat squatting and wearing high heels) can also lead to this condition.

How to Treat Lateral Foot Pain

The exact treatment for lateral foot pain depends on the cause. For that reason, it is best to get a diagnosis from a foot and ankle specialist. For instance, in the case of Peroneal Tendonitis, a timely diagnosis won't just help you heal, it will help prevent the condition from worsening.

When it comes to a cause like bunions, these are often associated with foot type which means a consultation on foot type and the possible role of foot strengthening or orthotics may be important. Failing to give your feet proper support is a huge risk factor for lateral foot pain along with other types of pain and injury.

If you are suffering from lateral foot pain, here's a look at your options for both short-term and long-term relief.

Short-Term Relief

As with most instances of pain, the quickest remedy to lateral foot pain is to get off your foot and allow it to rest. Remember the RICE method, which calls for you to Rest the foot, Ice the foot, Compress the foot, and Elevate the foot.

If your lateral foot pain is mild, you can also try over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication to help alleviate the discomfort. This should also help reduct any swelling and inflammation.

While these solutions provide short-term relief, they don't fix the issue and most cases of lateral foot pain will not go away on their own. Rather, you need to diagnose the underlying condition and address it in order to find long-term relief.

Long-Term Relief and Prevention

The underlying conditions that cause lateral foot pain typically start very gradually and worsen with time if they go untreated. This is why getting a professional diagnosis should be your first step in finding relief. However, certain genetics or activities may require you to pursue preventative methods as well to ensure you don't experience lateral foot pain in the future.

With poor footwear being a major cause for multiple conditions that link to lateral foot pain, considering the role of a textured insole is an essential preventative measure that you should take.

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Textured Insoles for Lateral Foot Pain

If you are searching for a way to address and prevent lateral foot pain in the long term, look no further than textured insoles. Specifically, consider Naboso Textured Insoles.

Dr Emily Splichal founded Naboso Technology to produce textured insoles that improve medical conditions, general wellness, and athletic performance. Dr Splichal is not only a Podiastrist, she is also a Human Movement Specialist and a leader of Barefoot Science and Rehabilitation. Using her knowledge, she continues to pursue surface science.

Naboso Insoles are a result of Dr Splichal's continuous effort to develop shoe inserts that not only support the arch and heel but also stimulate the plantar proprioceptors. The plantar proprioceptors are the nerves in the skin on the bottom of the foot.

Naturally, these plantar proprioceptors require stimulation in order to send messages to the nervous system so your body can respond accordingly to the load you're placing on your feet.

However, when you wear any type of footwear, these nerves get blocked and stimulation gets limited. In turn, your nervous system only receives delayed messages and that leads to loss of balance, inefficient movement, and joint pain overtime. This is why Naboso Textured Insoles work to stimulate the plantar proprioceptors as you walk.

Why Wear Textured Insoles?

There are many benefits to wearing textured insoles that go beyond a standard shoe insert. The unique texture pattern on Naboso Insoles work in an incredible way thanks to advancements in 3D kinematics and surface EMG. Texture research and surface science back the design, not only working to improve your balance and gait patterns, but also allowing you to enjoy all the other benefits of a high-quality insert.

Insoles Treat Various Conditions

Specialists actually recommend textured insoles to patients as a means of treating a number of different conditions that affect the foot or result from poor foot support. These include great toe pain, knee pain, ankle pain, and lower back pain.

Additionally, specific conditions such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and stress fractures can also directly benefit from wearing textured insoles within your shoes. Of course, remember that it's important to get a diagnosis from a professional. Once you have your diagnosis, you can work together to build an effective treatment plan, which will likely include textured insoles.

Evenly Distribute Your Weight

With proper weight distribution, textured insoles can help you overcome foot pain associated with a variety of issues. By evenly distributing your weight, they can also help you address corns and bunions. Additionally, the even weight distribution helps to address a low arch while protecting your entire body and joints from the stresses of walking, running, and other activities.

Protect Your Body from Impact

The weight distribution, proper support, and cushioning of a textured insole all work together to help protect your body from the impacts of your lifestyle and activities. You will also experience enhanced comfort as you participate in various movements, which can help you get more active and stay active for longer without letting pain stand in the way.

If you take your time, you can surely find a pair of insoles to help with your lateral foot pain and other sources of discomfort. When fit properly, Naboso Insoles are extremely comfortable and provide the perfect amount of foot awareness and impact protection for every type of lifestyle.

Interested in learning more? Visit NabosoTechnology.com.