When you walk, your feet support your weight, propel you forward, balance your body and absorb shock. When you run, the impact is even greater and can trigger foot pain that can radiate all the way to the right side of either foot. Tarsal tunnel syndrome, a metatarsal fracture, and an irritation or overuse injury, can be to blame. Determining the cause and proper treatment can have you back on your feet in no time.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when there’s a compression of the posterior tibial nerve, which runs along the tarsal tunnel below the bony protrusion on the inside of your ankle. This compression can suddenly occur if you overpronate when your foot rolls from your heel to your toes during the running motion. Numbness, pins and needles or a burning pain can occur all along the bottom of your foot, including the bottom, right side if this is where the majority of the pressure occurs when you run. This condition can occur in either foot, and at nighttime, the pain often gets worse.
Wrong footwear, continues running, and insufficient rest can trigger a metatarsal fracture. This occurs when there’s a full fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone. This is the bone that runs along the outside of your foot and connects to your little toe. This condition can occur in your left or right foot, and starts with a micro fracture that might not be painful until you run and put pressure on your foot. The excessive stress can trigger pain, and when neglected, the bone can fully break. Pain, swelling, tenderness, and not being able to tolerate weight on your foot are some of the symptoms you might experience.
Overuse and Irritation
Pain on the right side of your foot isn’t always triggered by overpronation or metatarsal bone fractures, overuse and irritation of your foot can also be to blame. Repetitive activity, such as running, can cause inflammation on the peroneal tendon, which runs behind the fibula on the outside of your ankle. Symptoms commonly include pain and swelling. Pain from irritation is often caused by contact pressure of your shoe along the outside of your foot. The pain can worsen when you run and your feet swell.
Treating Foot Pain
Unless an explainable foot irritation is to blame, always consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis, because some conditions might have similar symptoms. Treatment he might suggest for tarsal tunnel syndrome can include the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method, a corticosteroid injection, and in persistent cases, surgery. Metatarsal fractures can be treated with rest, foot elevation, special shoes or supportive dressing, a cast, and in rare cases, surgery. Inflammation of the peroneal tendon might require rest, or wearing a special boot or an ankle brace, and for irritation, you might just have to change your shoes into well-fitting, supportive running shoes that don’t aggravate your feet.
Preventing Foot Pain
To reduce your chance of having to deal with foot pain, always wear supportive, well-fitting shoes that are made for running, and replace them when they’re worn down. Ideally, have several pairs of running shoes on hand, so you can regularly switch between them. Also, rather than rapidly increasing your running intensity, gradually increase your intensity to avoid excessive stress on your feet. When you do sense foot pain, resting and temporarily stopping your running activity, might just be all you need to do to prevent the condition from worsening.
University of Maryland Medical Center: Foot Pain
Smith Chiropractic Clinic: Side of the Foot Pain
SportsInjuryClinic.net: Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Patient.co.uk: Metatarsal Fractures
American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society: Peroneal Tendonitis