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8 solutions for side-of-foot pain you may not have thought of

Foot pain relief

Our feet can take a lot of punishment throughout our day-to-day lives. For some people, jobs that require a lot of standing and physical activity can lead to overuse injuries. For others, physical activity and sports can lead to chronic foot pain.

Side-of-foot pain can be particularly difficult to treat because its causes are wide-ranging and sometimes hard to target. But there are a few solutions you can try at home using some clever products to relieve the pain and treat the root cause, too.

What causes side-of-foot pain?

Side-of-foot pain is also known as lateral foot pain. This type of pain is usually a symptom of an injury elsewhere in the feet, ankles or legs.

Sprained ankle

“Sprained ankle” is a generic term for lots of different injuries that can occur around the ankle. These injuries are typically caused by tripping or rolling over on the ankle. Some ankle injuries, such as a torn ligament in the ankle, can lead to side-of-foot pain. Another common occurrence is Cuboid Syndrome, which is when a small bone at the side of the foot moves out of place.

Overuse injuries

Sometimes, lateral foot pain is not caused by a one-off injury to the foot or ankle. Instead, it can be due to overuse of the feet, ankles or legs. People who take part in sports or activities with highly repetitive movements can often experience this type of foot pain. Peroneal tendinitis is one example. The peroneal tendon runs down the side of the ankle and the outside of the foot. Repetitive strain injuries to this tendon are a common cause of side-of-foot pain.

Stress fractures

Highly physical sports or activities that require lots of running and jumping can cause small fractures along the bones on the inside of your foot. Known as stress fractures, these hairline breaks are often the culprit behind lateral foot pain. The metatarsal bone near the outside of the foot commonly experiences stress factors leading to side-of-foot pain.

Low foot arches

Low foot arches (also known as collapsed arches or fallen arches) can have a severe impact on the alignment of your foot and ankle. The collapsed arch forces the sole of your foot downward, putting pressure on the rest of the foot and the ankle. Over time, this can lead to all kinds of foot and ankle pain, including the sides of the feet.

How to treat pain on the side of the foot

Rest and strength building

There are four core steps to treating an injury. The steps are known as rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). These steps help to lower inflammation around an injury and reduce symptoms such as side-of-foot pain, which may have occurred as a result. Ice packs or cold therapy packs around the site of the injury at regular intervals, along with plenty of rest, can usually be enough to relieve lateral foot pain.


Along with the RICE protocol, strength-building exercises and physical therapy after an ankle or foot injury can relieve foot pain and treat the root cause. These exercises are used to rebuild the strength of muscles, tendons and ligaments to prevent an injury from reoccurring.


In extreme cases, where a torn tendon or ligament might be causing your side of foot pain, you may ultimately require surgery to fix the issue. This is not often the case, but more severe injuries may require it.

What to buy for treating lateral foot pain

Dropsky Arch Support Brace for Flat Feet

These lightweight braces can easily be worn inside socks and shoes to reduce side-of-foot pain by supporting proper alignment and weight distribution. The gel pads also encourage blood flow throughout the foot to reduce swelling.

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Wonderwin Medial & Lateral Heel Wedge Silicone Insoles

If your side of foot pain is caused by ankle inversion, sprained ankle or stress fractures, these gel wedges can be inserted inside the shoe to support the heel. You can wear them laterally or horizontally on the foot, depending on what suits your condition best.

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Bodyprox Cold & Hot Therapy Wrap

Injuries inside the foot or ankle that cause lateral foot pain can usually be relieved by applying cold or heat at regular intervals to ease muscle tightness or reduce swelling. This wrap can be applied to the foot hot or cold for instant relief.

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BRISON Metatarsal Compression Arch Support Sleeve

This hand-washable silk sleeve with a cushioned sole fits around the main part of the foot to provide compression and relief from many common foot ailments, including side-of-foot pain from fallen arches.

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Physix Gear Sport Orthotic Arch Support Insoles

If you prefer full shoe insoles to help solve your foot pain, these thin but durable insoles are available in multiple sizes for both men and women. They provide robust plantar arch support to reduce pressure on the foot from low arches.

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Natracure Reusable Cold Therapy Socks

These socks contain gel pads that can be chilled in the freezer to provide anti-inflammatory treatment and soothing relief for injuries in the feet and right up over the ankle. The spandex casing material and fleece-lined ankle cuffs make them super comfortable, too.

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Dr. Scholl’s Running Insoles

If your side-of-foot pain is caused by sports injuries or stress fractures, these running insoles help to absorb shock by up to 40% so you can ease the underlying issue and prevent future recurrences.

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Bodyprox Ankle Support Brace

When sprained or inverted ankles are causing lateral foot pain, this brace can help to keep your ankle tendons supported during physical activity. The Velcro straps and neoprene material make the brace easy to wear and very breathable.

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Lauren Farrell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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