Pain on the bottom of the foot is a common problem that is likely to affect every person at one time or another. The three places where this pain is most often felt are the heel, the arch, and the ball of the foot. Pain that occurs at the ball of the foot is called metatarsalgia and is most often caused by ill-fitting footwear, although there can be some other causes. When there is pain in the arch of the foot, the usual cause is bursitis, although plantar fibromatosis can be the culprit. Pain felt in the heel can have many causes, including plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and bursitis.
When pain is concentrated in the ball of the foot, the first thing the sufferer should do is make sure that the problem isn’t caused by improper footwear. A shoe can be too narrow or not provide the proper amount of support, resulting in pain on the bottom of the foot. If a person's shoes aren't the cause of the pain, there are several other possibilities.
Sesamoiditis, commonly called turf toe, is an inflammation that causes pain at the base of the big toe and the ball of the foot. Turf toe occurs when the toe is jammed, or a person has been doing a lot of running or jumping. Two other forms of inflammation that can cause pain on the bottom of the foot at the ball are capsulitis and bursitis. Capsulitis is an inflammation of the ligament, and bursitis is an inflammation of the tendon. Bursitis can also cause pain in the arch and heel.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, and is a common diagnosis in a person who has flat feet. The arch tendon, or plantar fascia, is a tissue in the sole of the foot that stretches from the front to the heel. When a person wears shoes without proper arch support or does a lot of walking, this tissue can become inflammed.
Sometimes pain on the bottom of the foot is caused by the reduction or disappearance of the fatty pad on the bottom of the foot. A remedy for this type of discomfort is a pair of arch supports that have a lot of cushioning in addition to support. Good arch supports can be found over-the-counter or from a healthcare provider.