Foot injuries: Causes of foot pain and swelling

Fact Checked

Many individuals have experienced foot issues that involve foot pain and swelling at some point in their lives. Always bear in mind that every step that an individual takes places substantial strain on the foot. The pain and swelling can affect any region of the foot from the heel up to the toe tips.

Various injuries throughout life can occur such as strains, broken or fractured bones, sprains and contusions. If an individual sustained any serious foot injuries, it would require further assessment by a doctor.

Fractures and stress fractures

The foot is comprised of 26 bones in which any can end up fractured. Essentially, there is immediate foot pain but not in all cases. The pain is followed closely by swelling and possibly the formation of a bruise at the area surrounding the fracture site. Always bear in mind that fractures entail immediate medical attention.

Foot injuries
A sprain can also occur in the middle of the foot which causes pain and swelling as well as some localized bruising.

As for stress fractures, they are not quite evident since these injuries are due to repetitive stress to the same area. The initial symptom is an aching, dull pain that subsides while at rest. Over time, the swelling occurs directly over the stress fracture and the pain becomes debilitating.

Plantar fasciitis and bone bruising

The plantar fascia is a strong, wide ligament that travels along the base of the foot. It starts at the heel and connects to the bones in the ball of the foot to maintain the arch. With every step taken, the plantar fascia is stretched out to enable the foot to smoothen out to take in the shock. It can end up irritated and inflamed from overuse which results to foot pain and swelling.

Related foot injuries include a bone bruise on an area where the plantar fascia connects. After some time, a small-sized bone spur forms on the heel form the continuous stretching of the fascia. Due to the diminished absorption of shock, it can become bruised from the repetitive strike of the heel to the ground while walking. The symptoms include foot pain and swelling throughout the foot and even a small bruise below the heel.

Other possible causes of foot pain and swelling

  • Turf toe is caused by strenuous upward bending of the first toe joint which results to a sprain. This typically occurs among athletes who play on artificial turf with symptoms such as pain and swelling at the big toe joint that can even extend down to the ball of the foot.
  • A sprain can also occur in the middle of the foot which causes pain and swelling as well as some localized bruising. The mid-foot sprains usually occur due to a fall or athletic injury.
  • A puncture wound causes a small hole in the foot usually due to stepping on a nail which causes pain and swelling at the site of injury. The base of the foot is prone to puncture wounds and cuts especially among those who walk barefoot. This injury should be assessed by a doctor to check if it is contaminated with foreign material.
  • Deep cuts are open tears in the skin that can cause pain and swelling in the foot. Once the bleeding is controlled, a deep cut must be assessed by a doctor to check if it requires stitches.

Was this post helpful?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top

  • All stmarkjamestraining.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional