Joint Pain in Your Feet

joint pain

Joint Pain in Your Feet

It’s winter in Sydney and if you’ve noticed pain in your joints, you’re not alone. Given that there are 33 joints in each foot, joint pain in the feet is a common issue that we see at our podiatry clinics. Arthralgia is the medical term for joint pain and can seriously affect how you move and go about your day. At footinjuryclinic, we get to the bottom of the various reasons behind your foot pain so that we can tackle the problem and help you get back on your feet. Let’s break down the causes behind foot pain in your joints.

Causes of Foot Joint Pain


Arthritis is a leading cause of foot joint pain, with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most common types. Osteoarthritis happens due to wear and tear of the joint cartilage, leading to pain and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease causing joint inflammation, pain, and swelling. Treating arthritis usually involves medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes to ease symptoms and maintain joint health.


Injuries are a frequent cause of foot joint pain. These can happen due to accidents, falls, or sports activities. Sprains, fractures, and dislocations can cause sharp, immediate pain, often with swelling and bruising. If you hurt your foot this way, it’s important to see a doctor quickly to get the right treatment and avoid long-term issues.


Inflammation can cause foot joint pain too. Conditions like tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons) and synovitis (inflammation of the joint lining) result in pain and discomfort. These conditions often happen because of overuse or repetitive stress on the feet, which is common among athletes or people with physically demanding jobs.


Bursitis is the inflammation of small fluid-filled sacs called bursae, which cushion the joints. In the feet, bursitis often affects the heel and the base of the big toe. It can be caused by repetitive motion, pressure, or wearing ill-fitting shoes. Symptoms include localised pain, swelling, and tenderness. Treatment often involves rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and sometimes steroid injections.


Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, often affecting the big toe. Gout attacks cause sudden, intense pain, redness, and swelling. It can be triggered by certain foods, dehydration, or medications. Managing gout includes medications to control uric acid levels and dietary changes to prevent gout attacks.


Though not very common, infections can cause severe foot joint pain. If an infection is causing pain in the joints, swelling, warmth in the affected area and/or fever, seek medical help right away to treat the infection.

Structural Foot Problems

Structural issues in the feet, like flat feet, high arches, or bunions, can also cause joint pain. These problems change how the foot moves, putting extra stress on certain joints. Using orthotic devices, wearing the right shoes, and doing physical therapy can help manage the pain and improve how the foot functions.

Ways to Treat Joint Pain in the Feet


Our podiatrists can diagnose the underlying cause of joint pain through physical examinations, medical history, imaging studies (like X-rays or MRIs), and other diagnostic tests.

Custom Orthotics

If needed, we can prescribe custom orthotics that we make in our in-house lab to provide support, reduce strain, and correct biomechanical issues contributing to joint pain.

Footwear Recommendations

Our podiatrists can recommend appropriate footwear that offers better support, cushioning, and fit to alleviate joint pain.

Physical Therapy

We can demonstrate exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joints, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. We can also refer patients to allied physical therapists.


We can prescribe medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs or pain relievers, to manage symptoms. For more severe pain, you might need corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain in the affected joints.

Lifestyle & Activity Modifications

 To avoid exacerbating the joint pain, we will advise on lifestyle changes and modifications to daily activities such as low-impact exercises.

By addressing the specific causes and contributing factors of your joint pain, our podiatrists will develop a comprehensive treatment plan to improve your mobility and quality of life. If you’ve got joint pain in your legs and lower limbs, contact our clinics today.