Foot Pain: When Should I Get it Checked Out?

When is my foot pain bad enough to seek help from a professional?

Physiotherapist Morgan Deegan covers common foot problems and when it is important to get it checked out. 

Let’s talk about Foot Pain. In particular foot pain in runners. When is it necessary to see a professional about pain that is happening in the foot?  Or when can you decrease your loading and see if it’s going to fix itself? 

Foot pain can be a complex issue due to several factors that contribute to its development, diagnosis, and treatment.

Stress Reactions IN THE FEET

A stress reaction refers to a condition characterised by excessive stress or repetitive strain on the bones and tissues of the foot. It is often an early sign of overuse or injury.

Common symptoms of a stress reaction in the foot may include pain, tenderness, swelling, and discomfort while walking or engaging in activities that involve weight-bearing on the affected foot. The pain is typically localised and may worsen with continued activity.

Areas of the foot that can cause stress reactions

There are a few sections of the foot that are prevalent with stress reactions:

Base of the 5th Metatarsal Head


The fifth metatarsal is a bone located in the midfoot region of the foot, specifically on the outer side. It is one of the five metatarsal bones that extend from the midfoot to the base of the toes. The fifth metatarsal plays a crucial role in providing support, stability, and mobility to the foot.

This little lump shown above can sometimes be a site for stress reactions. 

The lump shown can be a site for stress reactions.

If you feel pain there, you should immediately see a health professional, and get some scans.

Long Metatarsal Bones


The long metatarsal bones are a group of five cylindrical bones located in the midfoot region of the foot. They extend from the tarsal bones in the arch of the foot and reach toward the base of the toes. 

The long bones shown above are the Metatarsal bones.

If they are painful to walk on you should go and see a health professional, and get the correct scans on this area.

Inside of the foot


The inside part of the foot is also susceptible to stress reactions. 

If this gets hot and painful to touch when you haven’t been running on it, eg the next day after a run. Then you should go get this checked by a professional.  



The final spot is in through the Calcaneum. The calcaneum, also known as the heel bone, is a large bone located in the rear and bottom portion of the foot. It is the largest bone in the foot and plays a crucial role in providing support, stability, and shock absorption. 

If the heal is painful to step on every step of the day you should get that checked on as there may be a bone injury going on. 

This spot can also be a sign of Achilles issues, or through the base it can be plantar fasciitis. 

Who do I see for my foot pain?

Choosing the right healthcare professional depends on the severity and cause of your foot pain. 

It’s advisable to start with a GP, then maybe a podiatrist or physiotherapist who can evaluate your symptoms, conduct relevant tests or imaging if needed, and recommend appropriate treatment options. They may also refer you to other specialists based on their assessment.

Here at Physio and Fitness Clinic, we can assist you with your sports injuries, and build core strength. Make an appointment with a physio today for physiotherapy and physio run pilates