Causes of Chronic Foot Pain

You shove your feet in shoes, pound them on the pavement, stand on them all day, and then wonder why they hurt all the time. The truth is, there could be any number of reasons why your foot pain never seems to go away. We’re here to help you figure out the exact cause.

At Utah Musculoskeletal Specialists, Drs. Daniel Preece and Darren Groberg know just how frustrating and debilitating your chronic foot pain can be. They specialize in not only getting to the sole of the issue but treating the underlying problem. Here are the conditions we see that cause foot pain most often.

Achilles tendonitis

The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. You can actually see and feel this tendon at the back of your foot. 

This tendon is vulnerable and likely to strain or rupture, especially if you’re a runner. Any damage to your Achilles tendon can result in serious foot pain. 


There are more than a hundred different kinds of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis. This occurs when the protective substance between your bones called cartilage wears down, and your bones rub against each other, causing significant pain in your foot. 

Age and repetitive stress from sports increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis and the resulting foot pain. 


A bunion is a bony protrusion that forms on the joint of your big toe (although your pinky toe is not exempt). The bump causes your toe tip to take a turn toward your other toes, and agonizing, chronic pain ensues. 

Sometimes your foot shape, arthritis, or a foot deformity is to blame for bunions, but wearing tight, narrow shoes can also put you at risk. 

Diabetic Neuropathy

When you have diabetes, one of the common accompanying conditions is neuropathy. This occurs when damage to the peripheral nerves in your legs and feet cause burning pain and tingling. Caring for your feet is paramount when you’re a diabetic. That’s why we make diabetic foot care a key part of our services. 

Flat feet

Your foot has a natural arch that gives it flexibility and the ability to bear weight easily. 

When your feet lose their arch, whether from a developmental problem, an injury, or a condition like obesity, you’re no longer able to bear weight normally. The abnormal distribution of stress can result in significant pain. 


Gout is another kind of arthritis. It occurs when urate crystals accumulate in the joints of your big toes. Gout typically brings on sudden, intense foot pain along with inflammation and redness. You’re most at risk for gout if you have a poor diet, are obese, or have a family history of gout. 


Hammertoe is a type of foot deformity that attacks the middle joint of your toes. It causes your toe to bend awkwardly and painfully. This condition can stem from anything that impacts your feet, like shoe choice, foot structure, trauma, and disease. 

Plantar fasciitis

This is perhaps the most common culprit of chronic foot pain. Of the many tissues in your foot, the plantar fascia is the longest. When irritated or strained, this thick band of tissue causes severe, stabbing pain. You’ll likely feel the worst pain when you take your first steps in the morning. 

Age, certain types of exercise, an abnormal gait, and obesity can all contribute to plantar fasciitis. Even working a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time can put you at risk. 


Foot and ankle trauma is classified as any injury that causes damage and pain in your foot. The most common injuries include:

Trauma in your foot and ankle can be sneaky. You might not realize you’ve seriously injured yourself, so you try to manage it on your own. Come see our doctors at the first sign of foot pain to avoid causing more damage than necessary. If it’s not treated properly, trauma can lead to chronic foot pain.


If you’ve contracted HPV, you likely have plantar warts on the bottom of your feet. These hard, thick layers of skin typically grow on your heel and other weight-bearing areas. They can cause significant pain when standing on them. 

Treating your chronic foot pain

There are lots of things that can go wrong in your foot. The good news is that our doctors have just as many solutions. 

After a thorough evaluation of your foot, symptoms, and medical history, we create a customized treatment plan. 

Depending on your needs, we may recommend any of the following treatments:

We treat your chronic foot pain as conservatively as possible, but we offer surgical intervention should your condition require it. 

When you’re ready to take your first steps towards pain-free feet, call our office in Salt Lake City, Utah, or schedule an appointment online.

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