Walking is deliberately one of the most valuable and effortless forms of exercising unless you are dealing with foot pain that makes it agonizing.
Foot pain is a very common condition. A community study assessing the popularity of the condition, reports around 20% of all adult population to be having foot pain.
The Journal of Foot and Ankle Research published a study from 2008, stating that women are more prone to the condition than man due to obesity, aging, and pain in other parts of the body.
Discomfort or pain occurs most often in the heels, toes, soles, arches and other foot parts. Additionally, they report it has major destructive effects on the overall wellbeing of one person, as well as on the quality of life in general.
However, the real problem is that we take the proper function of our feet for granted, providing enough care only when it’s too late. When we’re standing, our feet provide support for our body weight and allow us to move around freely.
The number of bones in a foot is nearly as high as the number of bones in the hand and wrist. No matter what, foot pain sucks the joy out of all daily activities, and it varies from lenient & acute to the short-term & long-term condition.
The origins of the condition differ, but both lifestyle and severe health ailments are the main factors. You can deal with lenient pain at home, but if the pain is severe – it’s best to go and see a podiatrist.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what is causing the condition and offer solutions to help you deal with the unpleasant pain.
Top 10 Reasons Behind Constant Foot Pain & How to Fix it
- High-Heel Shoes
Wearing high-heeled shoes is definitely one of the main factors behind the foot pain, as they deal a tremendous amount of pressure on the toes.
Any heel that’s 2.5inches or more can put a great amount of pressure on both your toes and the ball of the foot. Thus, constricting the natural shape of the foot and leading to pain.
High heels can cause a variety of issues apart from pain, including neuroma, sprained ankles, bursitis and stress fractures.
- Only buy shoes with thicker heels for decreased pressure and improved balance
- Take turns at wearing higher and shorter heels, in order to relieve your feet from constant pain
- It’s better if you decide on open-toe high-heeled shoes, as they limit the pressure and ease the discomfort
- If you have blisters, go for cushions and paddings for blisters, as they are a widespread product in any market
- Soak your feet in a plastic basin with warm water and a pinch of salt for 15 minutes after a frenetic day
- Massage your soles before bedtime to stimulate blood circulation and decrease pain
- Poor-Fitting Shoes
Another important factor that causes constant foot pain. When the shoes are too narrow or too tight, your toes endure a lot of pressure. Next thing you know, your toes start grinding against your shoes, inflicting irritation and pain.
For those who are on their feet for an extended period of time, wearing poorly fitting shoes can also impact the muscles, ligaments, and joints in the legs, feet, back, and hips.
It is imperative that you check your shoe size every now and then, as feet continue to alter over time. Measuring your feet once or twice a year is ideal. To make it easier for you, do it when you’re out looking to buy new shoes.
- Change your shoes once or twice a year. Ideally, purchase new shoes every 6-8 months
- Don’t be stingy for solid, textured sole shoes, as they provide good ankle support
- Late afternoons are the best time for shoe shopping, as the feet tend to swell a bit from excessive standing, and you’ll need comfortable shoes for the whole day
- Be sure to try both shoes and making a few steps with them prior to buying them
- Aside from shoes, get new socks that have special paddings on the heel and toes
- Seek advice from a podiatrist if necessary, to help you determine the best type of footwear for you
Just like back strains, fatigue and morning sickness, foot pain is a common issue during pregnancy. The increasing body weight tires your feet and legs.
The continuum of weight gain causes a complete alteration of the women’s center of gravity, thus putting, even more, pressure on their feet and knees. As time goes by, feet pain gets even worse, particularly during the 2nd and the 3rd trimester.
However, swelling and feet pain gradually fade away after delivery, which is a good thing.
- Keep your feet elevated as long as time allows you to
- Increase the fluid intake, as dehydration can aggravate the swelling and the pain
- Do more rotation exercises to enhance the blood circulation in the ankles
- Place an ice pack on your feet while elevated for 15-20 minutes, 2-3 times a day
- Ingrown Toenails
They usually affect the big toes causing agonizing quivers, a traumatic experience nonetheless. An ingrown toenail arises when the (side edge of) nail swirls down and shoves in the skin of the toe, thus inflicting pain.
Thereby, wearing footwear that’s either too narrow or too tight can aggravate an ingrown toenail.
- Fill a plastic basin with warm water and add some apple cider vinegar or Epsom salt in, to amplify the effects. Soak your feet in this solution couple of times a day to decrease pain, swelling, and tenderness.
- Tenderly Lift the edge of the nail using floss or cotton after soaking your feet, to prevent further growth of the ingrown toenail.
- In case there is no infection, you can try to remove the ingrown toenail yourself by clipping the nail
- In any other situation, it’s best if you seek advice from your doctor or podiatrist
- To avert the occurrence, remember to clip your nails straight across and never to file the corners down.
- A Lifetime of Standing
Although standing is human’s natural posture, regularly working in that position for extended periods of time will eventually inflict pain and swelling, causing sore feet.
It even intensifies a host of other leg and foot problem risks, due to the increased strain on the joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Additionally, a lifetime of standing puts fatigue and tiredness on a spurt, which can never be a good thing.
- Wear comfortable footwear at all times, especially if your work requires that you stand up while doing it
- Remember to shift your weight periodically, from one leg to the other and vice versa
- For each hour of standing, take a 10minute sitting break
- Avoid utmost stretching, twisting and bending
- Stretch your legs from time to time
- Before going to bed, roll a frozen (or cold) water bottle underneath your feet for 20minutes
- Elevate your feet to a higher position than your body when you’re sleeping to decrease pain and swelling
- Flat Feet
Pain and discomfort are a common problem for people with flat feet, which is usually a genetic foot disorder that destroys the arch. However, this condition can also occur if you’re working while standing up or if you’re wearing high heel shoes.
The flat form of your feet’s soles is straining your ankles’ ligaments, thus inflicting pain not only to your ankles but to your knees as well. It even causes stiffness and weakness in the lower back.
- Walk barefoot whenever you can, to provide a good workout for your tired muscles
- Stretch and lengthen the posterior calf muscles and the Achilles tendon by doing some cord stretching exercises
- Consider getting custom orthotics or shoes with arch supports
- High Body Uric Acidity
A high level of uric acid in the body is another root of foot pain. Uric acid is a litter product from the oxidation of the purines and is typically excreted through urine. Furthermore, high body uric acidity is one of the leading mainsprings of gout.
Gout is a disease where the crystals from the uric acid deposit in smaller bones of the body, like hands, feet, and joints, causing inflammatory arthritis.
- Optimize the filtering of uric acid by drinking plenty of water
- Maintain a healthy weight by exercising regularly
- Increase the dietary fiber intake
- Eat foods with small contents of purine, rich with starchy carbohydrates
- Avoid animal proteins such as organ meats, poultry, and fish
- Limit the intake of alcohol
- Foods to avoid due to high amounts of purine: mushrooms, beans, asparagus, yeast, and legumes
A bunion is a bone disorder that affects one or both of the big toes and is yet another common root of foot pain. This condition is progressive, which means it gets worse eventually, thus increasing pain over time.
For people with bunions, walking freely is almost impossible due to the extreme pain caused by the decreased flexibility of the big toe.
Apart from foot pain, they also experience severe pain in the hip, as well as the knee and the lower back. Moreover, bunions are the potential origins of calluses and corns.
- Apply an ice pack on the affected area to relieve the pain
- Massage the affected area daily, with warm oil
- Roll a beer bottle or a tennis ball under the painful and tight sole
- To decrease the severity of the pain, wear shoes with low heels and wide toe box
- Avoid wearing tight or narrow shoes, with high heels or pointy toes
- For pain relief, use splinting, paddings, and orthotics
- If necessary, remove the bunions with surgery
Another factor that affects the walking ability by inflicting foot pain is neuropathy. People with diabetes are more prone to develop diabetic neuropathy, which in turn provokes nerve damage in the feet.
Some symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include occasional numbness and tingling or burning sensations in the feet. Even more, diabetes can prompt poor blood circulation in both the legs and feet, which in turn contributes to heel and foot pain.
- Regulate your blood sugar levels at once
- Cleanse your feet on a daily basis with warm water and a lenient antiseptic soap. After washing them, dry them thoroughly with a soft towel
- Consult your doctor to help you determine what kind of orthotic shoes or supportive braces you should get
- Plantar Fasciitis
Another common root of foot pain is the jogger’s heel, or as doctors call it – plantar fasciitis. It induces severe pain in the sole and the heel of the foot.
The pain is by far the worst in the mornings when you get out of bed and start making your first steps, or if you’ve been lying or sitting down for a while.
Plantar fasciitis derives from inflammation of the ligament plantar fascia – a flat band of tissues that connect your toes to your heel bone.
It’s common in overweight and/or middle-aged people, and in physically active people that constantly jump or run like soldiers, athletes, etc.
- Do exercises that provide proper stretching for your lower leg muscles and your feet, several times a day
- Massage your feet using warm oil, several times a day
- To decrease swelling, apply ice 3-4 times a day, 15-20minutes each time
- Avoid wearing high-heel shoes
- Wear shoes that provide adequate arch support
- Most importantly, take breaks and avoid standing more often in general
To sum it up, foot pain isn’t a condition anybody wants to be in, so it’s better to prevent it than to cure it.
In either case, you can empower any advice from above and tell us what effects it had on you and whether you are satisfied with it or not.