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Foot and ankle pain

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How are the feet structured?

The foot is a complex and hard-working structure made up of 26 bones, more than 30 small joints (where bones meet) and many muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves that all work together. Read more >

What causes foot pain?

The two main causes of arthritis-related foot pain are:
  • osteoarthritis, which affects the big toe or the arch and less frequently the ankle
  • different types of inflammatory arthritis, which affect different parts of the foot
Read more >

Other kinds of foot problems

Different areas of the feet can be affected by different conditions, for example plantar heel syndrome, bunions and hammer toe. Read more >

Should I seek professional help?

For most people foot problems can come and go without any prescribed treatment, or can respond well to self-treatment. If you have a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma, you should discuss any new foot problems with your consultant, a GP or a podiatrist. Read more >

How can I help myself when I have foot pain?

A regular footcare routine can help to keep foot problems to a minimum but seek advice from your doctor or a podiatrist first, especially if you have conditions such as vasculitis or scleroderma, you’re taking steroids or your skin tends to be slow to heal. Read more >

What treatments are there for foot pain?

You’ll probably be able to take care of your foot pain yourself. Finding comfortable footwear can help with most problems, and losing weight will often help reduce symptoms, but more specific treatments include: Read more >

Exercises to manage foot pain

Try our simple exercises to help ease foot pain and prevent future injuries. Read more >

What footwear should I choose?

Comfort should be the main consideration when choosing footwear. Soft uppers (the part of the shoe that covers the toes, tops and sides of the feet, and the back of the heel) and a flexible sole are usually best. An adjustable fastening will improve fit generally and help if your feet swell.

Remember that your feet change shape as you get older so don’t automatically buy the same size you’ve always worn. A Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered podiatrist will be able to help with general footcare problems, while an orthotist will be able to advise on special insoles and custom-made or adapted shoes.

Read more >

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