Medical Q&As

Foot pain - causes?

I have a pain in my left big toe. I have had it for a number of years, but until recently it didn't affect my life. It can hurt a lot when I wear high heels. I play tennis 2 to 3 times a week and up until a few weeks ago I never felt this pain when wearing sports shoes. The pain is now beginning to move up through my foot. What could be wrong?

There is a range of possible explanations for your foot pain. Perhaps you have some inflammation in the joint at the base of your big toe. Maybe you are in the early stages of developing a bunion. Alternatively the arch of your foot may have flattened slightly resulting in the base of your big toe bearing more weight than in the past. If the arch flattens the various bones within the arch may be bearing more weight and strain than in the past. Maybe you have changed your style of footwear in recent months and this could be causing the foot pain. I think you need to have your foot examined. The solution to your problem will depend on the diagnosis and could range from a prescription for an anti-inflammatory painkiller to a special insole to support the arch of your foot.