Foot Pain when Walking – Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Walking is the fundamental movement skill used in everyday activities, but overtime, it will lead to stress and pain of the feet, which are common and many people do not think much of it until the pain persists and affects their daily activities. Learn more about how to spot early signs of foot pain and what causes them, how to treat foot pain, and how to take precautions to avoid foot pain.


Not all foot pain stems from the strain of physical activities, some are caused by underlying medical conditions such as gout, arthritis, and foot deformities such as bunions. A common term for arthritis is joint inflammation, which involves the swelling in and around the joints.

  • Arthritis: For those people suffering from arthritis, chances are, they will feel the painful effects in their feet. There are various types of arthritis that hurt your feet, such as – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and ankylosing spondylitis, which affect the different joints in your feet.
  • Foot deformities: Some deformities in feet may be present from birth, while others could have occurred over time or well into adulthood. The most common type of foot deformity is bunions. Bunions can be a very painful foot deformity. They more commonly occur in women and can result from wearing shoes that do not fit their feet type, or are too tight for comfort (e.g., high heels) for long periods of time. A bunion is a hard, bony lump that forms on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe. The toe begins to lean inward while pointing towards the other toes. The pain develops along the side or bottom of the feet, and gets even worse when walking, especially when wearing shoes.


People with foot pain will often feel sharp pain while walking, some might even feel like they are walking on marbles. To identify whether you have foot pain, spot if you feel pain with weight bearing at common foot areas such as at the heels, ball of the foot, and big toes.


There are various treatments that doctors offer for foot pain. They often prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to patients suffering from foot pain that is caused by arthritis. Such medication assists in reducing the pain, swelling, and redness in the patients’ feet.

Other non-oral treatments include the use of orthosis such as insoles and targeted injections. Orthotic insoles can provide increased support using extra cushioning and padding, while giving proper shock absorption, pressure redistribution, and stabilisation. Targeted injections which are performed by doctors, also helps in reducing swelling, stiffness, and pain in your foot – they act like natural hormones that your body makes to stop inflammation.

In some cases of persistent foot pain that failed non-surgical treatment such as the ones mentioned above, surgery is required.


Now that you know the causes and available treatment for foot pain, consider these habits to practise and include in your lifestyle to avoid it.

  • Body weight control: As your feet are the weight-bearing joints that support and carry you around, set a weight loss goal and work towards it to lessen the weight burden on your feet.
  • Proper footwear: Good arch support goes a long way. Walk with support and comfort that reduce stress and strain on your feet.
  • Lower limb muscle conditioning: Exercises include lunges, calf raises, and squats with the back against the wall. These assists in reducing pain, helps to increase your flexibility, and establish a balanced, stable physique.

If you are unsure of the seriousness of your foot pain, or if your foot pain persists for 1-3 months, consult our Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic’s foot specialists with more than 20 years of experience for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Although foot pain is common, it is not normal to suffer from it in the long run. You should seek professional medical help and consultation if your foot pain persists.

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