Causes of chronic foot and toe pain

There are several possible musculoskeletal causes of persistent pain in the foot or toes, including:

  • Osteoarthritis (including Hallux rigidus of the big toe)

  • Plantar fasciitis - heel and bottom of foot (possibly with heel spurs)

  • Stone bruise (metatarsalgia) - ball of the foot

  • Bunions and Hammertoe

  • Peripheral neuropathy

  • Aching arches

Plantar fasciitis is a disorder of the insertion site of the ligament on the bone, characterized by micro tears, breakdown of collagen and scarring.

Bunions are a progressive disorder. They begin with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bump, which becomes increasingly prominent - and often painful.

Hammertoe is a bending of one or both joints of the second, third, fourth or fifth toe.. This abnormal bending can put pressure on the toe when wearing shoes, causing problems to develop. Hammertoes usually start out as mild deformities and get progressively worse over time.

Peripheral neuropathy is the result of damage to your peripheral nerves, and often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually to your hands and feet.

Using TENS therapy for Foot pain

Feet. They carry you from here to there, every day. You may not think much about them until they hurt. And when they do, you just want relief!

ActivBody is the TENS machine we suggest for chronic foot or toe pain

ActivBody electrotherapy can be used everyday - outside the clinic - for drug-free, on-demand pain relief and reduced stiffness.

This unit will also help improve circulation in cases of diabetic or peripheral neuropathy.

How to use ActivBody for foot pain

User Guide

Please read the User Guide that comes with your TENS machine.

Pad placements - foot pain

The objective is to place the pads either side of the spot where your foot pain is at its worst. This may mean above and below the arch, or close to the toes and heal. The signal passes from one electrode to the other, therefore passing through the site of pain.

These are examples only. Please phone us if you need further advice.


Mode, Intensity, Time and Repeat frequency - Foot pain

Please click the image for more information.