Foot pain can come from various sources, but the good news is that most cases are treatable. The key is to know what’s causing your discomfort and how to get relief.
Foot pain is one of the most common health complaints. It affects millions of people, ranging from mild to severe. Some people with foot pain have a medical condition that requires treatment. But most people with foot pain don’t need to see a doctor or go to the hospital for their pain. It’s important to seek medical treatment to determine the cause of your foot pain and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Causes of Foot Pain:
This is a common cause of heel pain that is often mistaken for something more serious, like a stress fracture or gout. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the tissue on the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed and irritated. It can be caused by overuse, high arches or flat feet, tight calf muscles, and walking barefoot on hard surfaces. The condition usually goes away on its own after about six months with stretching exercises, ice packs, and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium (Aleve).
A bunion is a deformity of the joint at the base of your big toe that causes your big toe to point inward toward other toes. Bunions may occur from an inherited tendency to produce extra bone outside your foot at the base of your big toe or from wearing narrow or pointed shoes for long periods.
One possible explanation for foot pain is nerve damage to the feet and ankles. The most common nerves in this area are the tibial and fibular nerves, which originate in the lower spine and extend down into each leg. These nerves provide sensation to the front of your ankle, the side of your foot, and your toes. Damage to these nerves can result in numbness or tingling sensations moving back toward your knee or hip.
Arthritis is another possible cause of foot pain if you have had joint replacement surgery on your knee, hip, or ankle joints. It causes inflammation in the joints, resulting in stiffness when moving and tenderness when pressing on them. Pain may also occur when walking on uneven surfaces or after sitting for a long period with your feet elevated above your heart rate (usually about 10 minutes).
Poorly Fitting Shoes
Poorly fitting shoes can put pressure on your feet, causing them to become sore and painful. This can happen if you have very wide feet or high arches that are not adequately supported by your footwear. Having your feet measured every time you buy new shoes is important. Your feet may grow or shrink over time due to weight gain or loss or aging, so it’s important to get a new pair of shoes every three months if possible.
Gout and Other Inflammatory Conditions
Inflammation in your joints can make them ache and swell up. Inflammation from gout is usually caused by uric acid crystals forming in your joints — especially your big toe — and causing irritation when they come into contact with tissues around them. This can result in throbbing pain at night or during activity that lasts several days or weeks until the inflammation subsides.
Orthotics are custom-made devices designed to fit into your shoes and support specific foot areas. They support and align the feet, legs, and lower back. They may help relieve foot pain caused by misalignment of joints or poor posture when sitting for long periods (such as working at a desk). They can be made from different materials, including plastic, rubber, or foam. Depending on the material used, orthotics can provide cushioning, shock absorption, and arch support. Talk to a healthcare provider about whether you may benefit from orthotic thongs.
Ways to Reduce Pain:
Wear Comfortable Shoes
When walking or running, your shoes should support your arches and cushion your heels and forefoot. If you have flat feet, wear shoes with a raised arch support or orthotic device. A good shoe store will help you find the right pair of shoes for your feet. If you wear high heels, choose ones with a wide toe box and low heels. Wear them only on special occasions and not every day. If you must wear high-heeled shoes regularly, try to alternate between two pairs so they don’t wear out too quickly. If you have plantar fasciitis or other foot conditions that cause heel pain when you walk, consider wearing flip-flops when showering or bathing because wet floors can be slippery and cause falls that lead to more serious injuries, such as broken hips or wrists.
Massage the Bottom of Your Feet Regularly With Oil or Lotion
One of the best ways to keep your feet healthy is to massage them regularly. This helps increase blood circulation and reduces inflammation. You can use lotion or oil to massage the bottoms of your feet. Make sure that you massage both sides, as well as between each toe. It’s important to note that you should never massage your feet if they’re injured or swollen due to injury, infection, or other issues. The same goes for areas with open sores or cuts on your skin. Doing so could cause more damage than good, defeating the purpose of massaging in the first place! The best time to massage your feet is before bedtime or when you’re sitting at home watching television.
Use ice on the injury
Ice your injury with an ice pack or gel pack wrapped in a towel. You can also use frozen vegetables such as peas or corn. It helps numb the area, so you don’t feel as much pain. Use ice packs for 15 minutes at a time every hour for the first 24 hours after an injury or an acute bout of plantar fasciitis (inflammation of plantar fascia). If you want to use ice packs while they’re still cold, take them out of the freezer and place them in a plastic bag, so they don’t melt immediately when applied to your skin. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin because it could cause frostbite and damage your skin. After 24 hours, switch to heat packs as needed until your pain subsides. Be careful not to apply heat directly onto any open wounds or blisters — instead, place the heat pack above the area where there’s inflammation or pain. You should also avoid using hot water bottles or heating pads; these could cause burns if applied directly against your skin without any protection.
Rest your Foot
Resting your foot means not putting any weight on it at all. If you have plantar fasciitis, resting your foot may seem impossible since it hurts so much. However, you can try putting a pillow under your heel and lie down with your leg propped up on pillows at a 90-degree angle (so that your knee hangs over the edge of the bed). This position allows gravity to stretch out the plantar fascia tissue and relieve some of the pressure and pain caused by inflammation in this area (the same way stretching would). You should feel relief within five minutes!
Wear Socks with Padding
If your feet hurt, try wearing a sock that has padding on the sole of your feet. This will give your feet extra cushioning and make them feel much better while walking around. You should always wear socks when exercising, especially when running or walking for long distances. Socks with padding will help protect your feet from blisters, calluses, and other problems that can lead to foot pain. You can find these socks at any sports store or online. Also, to avoid any potential damage to your feet while exercising, take at least one break every 10 minutes. In addition, make sure you stretch out your leg muscles after each break, so they don’t cramp up while exercising again later in the day!
Use Over-the-Counter Treatments
If your feet are hurting from plantar fasciitis, look for an over-the-counter treatment that contains ibuprofen or aspirin to help relieve pain and inflammation. You can also find products that combine both ingredients in one gel cap for convenience and ease of use. If you take these medicines for more than ten days, follow the labels’ directions carefully because they can cause serious side effects if taken in large doses for too long. Your doctor may recommend using low doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium if you have mild to moderate pain caused by arthritis in your feet or ankles.
Foot pain can greatly impact how you do your job and enjoy the rest of your day. It is important to treat your feet right, especially if you sit at a desk for most of the day. Make sure you take time out every day to stretch and massage your feet. You should also consider getting a foot massager for when you’re home, so you don’t need to get one at work.