Foot pain - outside edge


I am new to running, and this is the first form of exercise I have done in nearly a year due to suffering a stress fracture in my left foot as a result of playing football. I have been doing short runs (20-30 mins) for around 6 weeks now. During some of my runs I was experiencing pain mainly on the outside of my right foot but also on the sole. I believed this was due to using an old pair of worn out running shoes. This led me to invest in a new pair of running shoes a couple of days ago. I followed advice and went to a specialised running shop in my area. Since purchasing new running shoes I have been experiencing similar pain, and after some research I believe I may have either plantar fasciitis or peroneal tendonitis. 

The pain occurs only during running and after a few minutes rest the pain goes away. During several of the routes I run I go up and down several hills which I believe may also be a cause of the problem. After suffering a foot fracture before I do not believe that these symptoms point to that, however I could be wrong.

I was wondering whether anybody had suffered from something similar and what sort of treatment they used to cure the problem. After being away from exercise so long I am keen to ensure that I don't cause myself further injury.

Any help would be much appreciated image


  • Hello Jonathan,

    This must be a common issue, as I too am suffering from similar condition.

    I ran the Cambridge half last Sunday, and my right foot is in pain. Is it the outer/sole part of the foot? As I can walk, and could probably do some exercise (in slight pain) yet cannot help be put off by this pain.

    I run fairly regularly (when its warm) yet this is the second time my foot has hurt after 13 mile run, so can only think this is down to my footwear.

    What is helping me at the minute is Deep Freeze spray, yet no better cure than rest. Most likely 2 weeks. Yet for me, I like to keep active, so battling on with Deep Freeze!

    What I'd liek to know, is what footwear should I be looking for??

  • I have suffered from this recently and still recovering. Essentially I wore trainers that were too tight, and the wrong type - I had supportive, should of been neutral - I went and had a sports massage on my foor to release all the compression (I could hardly wiggle my toes) and hopefuly this will have done the trick. I certainly hope so as I am at the business end of training for the VLM and the thought of continuing to replicate my training on the X trainer is sending me loopy. 

  • Thanks for the replies.

    I am hoping that this is not an issue with the footwear that I am wearing after taking advice from a specialist; and because I have experienced the same pain with two different pairs of running shoes this has led me to think that it maybe an underlying problem. 

    I was initially doing run/walk and gradually building up to a run for the entirety of the session. However, after being inactive for such a long period of time I think the increase in exercise has probably led to this occuring in my case. 


  • Main differentials are peroneal tendonitis, fifth metatarsal stress reaction/fracture and pressure sensitivity. Plantar fasciitis generally is more on the sole/heel.

    If it's peroneal tendonitis, check up the outer side of your leg, just behind your shin bone and see if there's an area of muscle that feels more tender on the affected leg than on the unaffected leg, e.g. if you massage with one hand on each leg. if there IS a tender area, then that needs massaging.

    For most of these possibilities, particularly peroneal tendonitis and fifth metatarsal stress reaction/fracture, RICE is the first line of treatment. For pressure sensitivity, removing the source of the pressure is needed, plus time for the nerve pathways to step down from their excessive sensitivity. Note: just because someone in a running shop said they were the right shoes doesn't mean they -are- the right shoes. They always wanted to put me in antipronation shoes, but neutral worked while antipronation shoes made my knees hurt (then I went minimalist, which works fine for me).

  • My problem was and still is to a degree pressure sensitivity. Physio ruled out peroneal tendonitis and stress fracture. The focused sports massage on my foot helped enormously. I also have been following it up with putting my whole foot in s bowl of warm water and constantly wriggling my toes. The new trainers are in tge money too and I have relaced them missing eyelets out to give me more width in the foot.

    I have managed to do 5 miles with no reaction this evening although this was round a running track.

    I want to share my experience as I have been tearing my hair out over the last couple of week's trying to address the problem.
  • Thanks for info.

    I checked for tenderness on the outer side of my leg and there doesn't seem to be any difference between the two. Would this definetly feel sensitive if it were peroneal tendonitis, or could the pain exist only at the insertion point in the foot when it is stressed?

    Also for a stress reaction/fracture would this not be accompanied by swelling of the foot to indicate the injury or could it occur without visible symptoms?


  • Not always a lot of swelling with a stress reaction/fracture. Wasn't with mine - a bit, but I think that was the extensor tendonitis I had at the same time (and peroneal tendonitis - I really messed up that foot). However, I practically hit the ceiling when the GP pressed the bone (2nd metatarsal) from underneath the foot - a classic reaction. I didn't realise the peroneal muscle was tender up near the knee until the physio started massaging it; now I've learned to self-massage, one hand on each leg, quite firmly, and notice if one is a bit tender when the other leg is fine for the same amount of pressure. Depending on exactly where you've strained, it could just be at the insertion that it's painful.

    You could always try running a few strides barefoot. If there's no pain at all when you're barefoot, then it's probably a pressure reaction (I've used that as a test for pain on the top of my foot, over the tendons). As another test, if you think about doing a hop test (hopping on the bad foot) and your brain says "no, don't do that!" then I'd think it could be more serious and go for some RICE before anything else (ditto if you hop and it hurts) - and consider going to a physio if a few days of rest etc. doesn't help.

  • To be honest neither leg seems to be more tender than the other; and the pain i've been getting doesn't seem to happen until after about 5-10mins of running and therefore going out barefoot would require me to run on a treadmill or a track. 

    I'm not getting any pain from hopping. I think I will maybe give it 1-2 weeks rest with some stretching exercises that may aid what could possibly be peroneal tenonitis. When  I do next go out for a run I will relace my running trainers so that it misses out the point of pressure and see whether this makes a difference. If the pain does carry on then I think I would be best consulting a physio or a doctor who are more than likely provide a definite diagonisis.

  • Sounds like a good plan Jonathan. From your description I'm now leaning more to soft tissue than to bony injury. Good luck!

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