Swelling of The Sole of The Foot Symptom, Causes & Questions

Understand your swelling of the sole of the foot symptoms, including 9 causes & common questions.

  1. 9 Possible Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

9 Possible Swelling Of The Sole Of The Foot Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced swelling of the sole of the foot. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain that occurs due to collagen degeneration and inflammation in the tendons of the foot. Plantar fasciitis can interfere with daily activities such as walking and exercise, and, symptoms can become chronic and result in pain in other body ...

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Morton neuroma

Morton neuroma, also called by the older name Morton's neuroma, is a thickening of fibrous tissue in the ball of the foot. This tissue encapsulates the nerve leading to the third and fourth toes. It is not actually a tumor of the nerve, as the name suggests.

The thickening is caused by years of trauma, irritation, and/or compression to the feet. High-heeled shoes, especially if narrow or tight, are a common cause. The condition is most often seen in women over age 45.

Symptoms include burning pain in the ball of the foot, especially with walking or running. The condition will not heal on its own and can lead to chronic foot pain.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination of the foot with simple range of motion exercises, and sometimes x-ray.

Treatment includes changing to better-fitting shoes that do not compress the nerve; using orthotics in the shoes to take more pressure off of the nerve; and in some cases the use of corticosteroid injections.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: foot numbness, pain in the sole of the foot, pain when touching the foot, pain in both feet, foot injury

Urgency: Self-treatment

Foot sprain

A foot sprain is damage to ligaments within the foot. The term "sprain" refers to overstretching or tearing of ligaments — the strong, fibrous bands of tissue that hold the bones together within the joints. Foot sprains are usually sports or dance injuries. Any sort of running movement that involves sud...

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Rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis is a general term for multiple conditions that cause painful inflammation and stiffness throughout the body. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition that is autoimmune in nature, meaning that the body's immune system which normally protects the body by att...

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Swelling Of The Sole Of The Foot Symptom Checker

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Posterior tibialis tendinopathy

The posterior tibialis tendon attaches the calf muscle to the bones on the underside of the foot. It provides stability and arch support. If this tendon is damaged, the result may be a flat, unstable foot.

Posterior tibialis tendinopathy is most often a sports injury, where the tendon becomes inflamed or torn through overuse or high impact.

Symptoms include pain down the ankle and into the foot, sometimes with swelling. The pain becomes worse with any activity, even standing or walking. When standing, the patient's arch will be collapsed and flat and the front of the foot will point outward. The patient will be unable to stand on the injured foot and raise the heel.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and imaging such as x-ray, CT scan, or MRI.

Treatment involves rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, orthotics (shoe pads,) braces, and sometimes steroid injections into the damaged tendon. Surgery can be tried, but tends to be complex and cannot always restore the tendon completely.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: swollen foot, pain in one foot, limping, pain in one ankle, spontaneous ankle pain

Symptoms that never occur with posterior tibialis tendinopathy: recent cutting accident

Urgency: Primary care doctor


Fibromyalgia is a set of chronic symptoms that include ongoing fatigue, diffuse tenderness to touch, musculoskeletal pain, and usually some degree of depression.

The cause is not known. When fibromyalgia appears, it is usually after a stressful physical or emotional event such as an automobile accident or a divorce. It may include a genetic component where the person experiences normal sensation as pain.

Almost 90% of fibromyalgia sufferers are women. Anyone with rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may be more prone to fibromyalgia.

Poor sleep is often a symptom, along with foggy thinking, headaches, painful menstrual periods, and increased sensitivity to heat, cold, bright lights, and loud noises.

There is no standard test for fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is usually made when the above symptoms go on for three months or more with no apparent cause.

Fibromyalgia does not go away on its own but does not get worse, either.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, arthralgias or myalgias, anxiety, depressed mood, headache

Symptoms that always occur with fibromyalgia: arthralgias or myalgias

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Stress fracture of the foot (marching fracture)

A "March" stress fracture of the foot is named because it's sometimes linked to soldiers marching for a long time. This foot fracture happens because of prolonged stress or weight-bearing.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: constant foot pain, foot pain from overuse, pain in one foot, pain when touching the foot, pain in the top of the foot

Symptoms that always occur with stress fracture of the foot (marching fracture): foot pain from overuse, constant foot pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor


A bunion is a deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. Certain footwear styles can worsen bunions.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: bump on outside edge of big toe, big toe pain, toe pain that gets worse when wearing closed-toe shoes, foot ulcer, pain at the base of the toe

Symptoms that always occur with bunion: bump on outside edge of big toe

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Familial hypercholesterolemia

Familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetic disorder that causes LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels to be very high. The condition begins at birth and can cause heart attacks at an early age.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: swollen achilles, achilles tendon pain

Symptoms that never occur with familial hypercholesterolemia: achilles tendon pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Real-life Stories

Once your story is reviewed and approved by our editors, it will live on Buoy as a helpful resource for anyone who may be dealing with something similar. If you want to learn more, try Buoy Assistant.

The stories shared below are not written by Buoy employees. Buoy does not endorse any of the information in these stories. Whenever you have questions or concerns about a medical condition, you should always contact your doctor or a healthcare provider.

Submitted Stories

Unusual body swellings

After my gall bladder was removed in December 2013, ten days after the surgery, I started to experience unusual swellings. It started with the swelling of the bottom of my feet, sometimes the heel or right under the toes. The swelling has now progressed to my hands, lips, tongue, throat, as well as other body parts. The swelling, called angioedema, will last for at least 2 days and it's extremely uncomfortable and scary. I get shots of Xolair every 6 weeks, which have helped tremendously, but once that medication wears off, I'm back to experiencing the swellings. I don't have any pre-existing conditions and the only medication I take is Xolair. Has anyone experienced something similar and found out how it can be treated permanently? I have been tested for different allergies and all comes back normal.

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Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Swelling Of The Sole Of The Foot

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Where exactly is your foot swelling?
  • What is your body mass?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Do you have a history of high cholesterol?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Swelling Of The Sole Of The Foot Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your swelling of the sole of the foot

Swelling Of The Sole Of The Foot Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced swelling of the sole of the foot have also experienced:

  • 22% Pain In The Sole Of The Foot
  • 4% Foot Pain
  • 3% Tingling Foot

People who have experienced swelling of the sole of the foot were most often matched with:

  • 50% Foot Sprain
  • 25% Plantar Fasciitis
  • 25% Morton Neuroma

People who have experienced swelling of the sole of the foot had symptoms persist for:

  • 31% Less than a week
  • 26% Less than a day
  • 22% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Swelling Of The Sole Of The Foot Symptom Checker

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