Have you ever put on a pair of shoes that are a tad too small? Or have you ever put on a pair of narrow heels that make your feet ache until you get to take them off after your workday? Poorly fitting shoes can exasperate foot pain and its causes.
77 percent of people say that they have experienced intense foot pain yet people rarely seek medical attention for it.
Do you find yourself asking, why do my feet hurt? Have you ever had foot pain and couldn’t tell what was causing it? Here are five conditions that can cause our feet to hurt.
1. Plantar Fasciitis
This is one of the most common causes of pain and discomfort for feet. When the tissue at the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia gets irritated, people experience pain in the inner part of the heel and across the bottom of the foot. Pain is usually triggered after walking for long periods of time and running. People usually also experience discomfort first thing in the morning.
People with plantar fasciitis usually recover within 6 months with consistent treatment, rest, and icing. Over-the-counter pain relievers should help with inflammation and pain. At-home exercises like stretching and balance exercises can help manage the pain as well.
With the help of a physical therapy clinic, you can be shown certain stretches and exercises to help manage pain and recover quicker.
If those methods don’t work after 6 months you doctor could use steroid injections for temporary pain relief or surgery to help detach the tissue from the heel bone. Surgery is only an option when the plantar fasciitis was not responsive to less invasive treatments and the pain is extreme.
Other treatment options include electro shockwave therapy that uses sound waves to stimulate healing and ultrasonic tissue repair that uses ultrasound imaging to send a needle-like probe to the inflamed tissue to break it up.
2. Flat Feet
When you have flat feet you have no arch or an arch that is very low so that your feet are flat on the ground. The arches are what give a bounce to your step as you walk and helps to distribute the weight evenly for your legs. When people have flat feet they tend to put extra pressure to the inner side of the foot when they stand and walk causing the feet to point out.
Symptoms of having flat feet include pain in the feet, ankles, or lower limbs. Symptoms can also include heaviness and stiffness in the feet.
Causes for flat feet can be obesity, pregnancy, tendonitis, arthritis, genetics, and injury.
A physical therapist can recommend exercises to manage symptoms and prevent flat feet from fully developing. Shoe insoles can help reduce discomfort, fatigue, and risk of injury. Orthotic insoles help to control excessive motions (over pronation) and rest the feet. This allows them to heal more quickly.
Using a golf ball to massage the arch of the foot for 2 minutes a day can help stretch the ligament and bring some relief as well.
A bunion is a bump that develops where the joint of the big toe is that usually caused partly from genetics and certain stressors put on the foot can shift the bone and lead to a bunion. Bunions can pop up on the side of the pinky toe as well, these are called bunionettes.
Certain foot types and shapes can make people prone to developing bunions. Shoes that don’t give the toes enough room can worsen the presence of a bunion but they don’t directly cause them. Symptoms of bunions include swelling, redness, hardened skin at the sight of the bump, and mild to severe pain.
At-home treatments for bunions include wearing properly fitting shoes, bunions pads or cushions to reduce irritation, applying ice to the bunion when inflamed, and over the counter pain relievers.
For more severe cases surgery may be required to either align the bone or remove the swollen tissue. Surgery can also be done to connect the bones of the joint that is affected.
This is the condition where the pain is felt in the area of the foot that is before the toes. The ball of the foot has bones called the metatarsals and they can become inflamed from stress such as running and jumping for prolonged periods.
Finding footwear that helps distribute your weight evenly across the foot can help with discomfort from Metatarsalgia. Regular massages can help with inflammation and pain caused by this condition.
Women who wear high heels are at risk for developing this condition, wearing heels only when necessary can help keep symptoms at bay and keep the Metatarsalgia for worsening.
Metatarsal pads can help treat this condition along with icing the feet for 20 minutes a day. If pain is severe or continues after treating this at home or with a physical therapist surgery may be necessary.
5. Heel Spur
When calcium is grown outwardly between the heel bone and the arch of the foot. There are usually no symptoms but sometimes it can cause inflammation and pain. Diagnosis requires imaging from a doctor or physical therapist.
They can be caused by strain on muscles and ligaments of the foot. Other causes include arthritis, obesity, and badly fitted shoes.
Anti-inflammatory injections, over the counter pain relievers, rest, and shoe inserts should ease the symptoms of heel spurs.
Do You Keep Asking Yourself, Why do my feet hurt? You May Have One of These Foot Conditions
If you feel like you have symptoms relating to any of the common conditions mentioned, don’t ignore them!
Stop wondering: why do my feet hurt? Finding ways to manage the symptoms at home is a good start but ultimately going to a physical therapist can help you find the relief you’re looking for.
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