Health

10 Reasons Why Your Feet Hurt All the Time and How to Fix It

Foot pain may sound trivial, but those that suffer from it know that it can ruin any standard activity. If you suffer from foot pain, read… Luna - June 7, 2017

Foot pain may sound trivial, but those that suffer from it know that it can ruin any standard activity. If you suffer from foot pain, read ahead as we research the most common reasons and their solutions.

A vast majority of the population uses their feet on a daily basis, either for personal or professional reasons. The simple act of moving around your home can be a complete nightmare for those suffering from foot pain. And even though this may sound trivial, foot pain is a very common issue in our country. As much as 20% of the entire U.S. population has been reported to suffer from a level of pain with their lower extremities.

Now just imagine if you were not able to stand for more than 5 minutes at a time. Or if you were in such a pain that you could not even go grocery shopping. We use our feet almost every second of the day, one way or another, yet we don’t pay them the proper attention. An increase of the average weight and a lack of proper activities have made of this a common condition.

Walk with us as we go through the most frequent causes of foot pain and how to effectively deal with it.

Foot Pain - Wrong Shoes

1. Foot Pain due to Incorrect Shoes

One of the most common foot pain causes is the use of incorrect shoes. This can be due to selecting a wrong size. For example, shoes that are too small will be putting pressure on our toes and ankles. Shoes that are too large, will be provoking falls and instability.

Choosing the wrong shape of shoes for your feet can be another cause of foot pain. It could affect your ankles’ stability and your gait. Most of the time this is caused by the lack of information of the individual himself. Foot pain can be agonizing when related to wrong shoes. So it is important to choose the right ones every time.

Even though we tend to change shoes frequently when young, we stop doing so when we reach a certain age. However, most people don’t know that our feet continue growing even when we are adults. This is the reason why it is necessary to renew shoes every few months.

Remember that, an incorrect shoe size or shape will not only affect your foot pain. It will also provoke unnecessary pressure on your legs, knees, and ankles. And that could lead to worsened orthopedic problems.

Tips to solve this issue:

  • Visit a podiatrist or an orthopedist. This is to make sure that you don’t have any other foot related issues that may be increasing the pain.
  • Take some time to try on different sizes of the same shoe wearing both thin and thick socks. This will help you find the best-suited ones.
  • Try both shoes on at the same time and walk around!
  • Change your shoes regularly. Your feet keep growing so you should change shoes every few months.
  • Your feet are as important as any other part of your body. Invest in quality shoes, no matter the price.
  • Consider investing in special socks to help to adjust your gait.

Foot Pain - Flat Feet

2. Foot Pain due to Flat Feet

Most of us are born with an arch in the lower part of our feet, which can be seen even when standing. However, a small percentage of people are born without this gap. When standing, their feet lay flat on the ground or with just a little gap. Flat feet is the name given to those born without an arch. This is not a provoked illness, individuals that suffer from it were born this way.

If this condition is discovered and treated at a young age, it can be corrected. This would prevent any foot pain. However, if left untreated it can affect not only the gait and foot position, but provoke a constant amount of pain. Additionally, pain can get worse if the person stands for a long period of time or uses flat shoes. If you happen to belong to the second group, don’t worry about it!

There are several ways to help you manage and correct your flat feet. One of the main ones is to consult with a podiatrist or orthopedist. This is due to the fact that your modified stride due to flat feet will eventually affect your gait and bone structure. This can change the position of your leg and hip bones. A professional will be able to guide you back to a normal and painless stride!

Tips to solve this issue:

  • Whenever you can, go barefoot. You will feel the benefit in your own muscles.
  • Most shoes are not apt for flat feet and they will actually do more harm than benefit. So make sure to ask your podiatrist for appropriate shoes or soles.
  • Request professional help to learn how to do proper stretches to modify your stride.
  • Use a golf ball and roll it under your foot to stretch your plantar ligaments.

Foot Pain - High Heels

3. Foot Pain due to High Heels

Fashion trends build the ways and history of each decade. During the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in new shapes and materials in the fashion world. But there is one common thread that continues no matter what: high heels. In some countries, it is even forced for women to use heels if they work in an office. However beautiful high heels may look, they can be detrimental to your legs and feet.

Foot pain caused by high heels can vary depending on the type of shoe and person. One type of pain comes from the pressure of the foot on the toes when the heel is too high. Another type comes from the way the foot rests on the shoe for hours. Our foot adjusts to the shape of the shoe which is unfortunately against its natural form. Some women use these shoes for professional reasons while others use it for fashion and fun. Either way, your feet will, unfortunately, have a hard time.

Obviously, avoiding this type of foot pain includes the removal of high heels and its less frequent use. But this may not be the choice for some people that would still prefer to use them. That for, we bring you some other tips to help overcome the foot pain caused by high heels.

Tips to solve this issue:

  • As mentioned above, the first and main solution is to stop using high heels. Substitute them for lower heels or flat shoes.
  • However, if that’s a no for you, there’s another solution. Throw away your stilettos and start using thicker heels. This will add stability to your gait thus preventing too much pressure on the foot and ankles.
  • Use open heels, that way your toes will not be affected by the pressure of a closed shoe.
  • Another alternative is to use paddings or cushions to lessen the impact.

Foot Pain - Pregnancy

4. Foot Pain due to Pregnancy

Most women will likely go through one or more pregnancies during their lifetime. Pregnancy brings with it a lot of joy but also quite some pains. Pregnancy pains do not only affect the usual known ones such as morning sickness, breast soreness, lower back pain, headaches, … But it can also provoke quite some infuriating foot pain!

Pregnancy-related foot pain is usually caused by weight gain which adds unexpected pressure on the knees and legs. For those expecting mamas that work standing, this is accentuated during the evenings. Also, liquid retention can cause swelling which adds even more pressure to the situation. There is indeed a positive side to all this. The pain will disappear once the baby is born and the weight is lost.

However, if you are currently pregnant and suffering from foot pain, worry no more! For there are ways to sooth your pain and enjoy these wonderful moments as you deserve. These tips will help you manage the swelling and improve your circulation. Which will result in eased pain and nicer evenings.

Tips to solve this issue:

  • When you work standing, make sure to sit down during your breaks. If possible, ask your workmates to help you so you can sit down more often.
  • Whenever you can spend your day mostly seating, make sure to keep your legs high. This will help you prevent swelling or diminish it if already there.
  • Add some light exercise and yoga to your routine. This will help improve your circulation not only in your legs and ankles but all around your body.
  • Apply cold compresses to your legs and feet. Best done when they are elevated. Do twice or thrice for short periods of time every day (between 15 and 20 minutes each). Note: do not apply ice directly to your skin, always use a towel to prevent ice burns.

Foot Pain - Gout

5. Foot Pain due to Gout

Gout sounds familiar to most people, but not many know exactly what it is caused by. Our bodies are designed to excrete uric acid in the urine. Uric acid is a waste product of our body. However, those people that suffer from gout do not eliminate uric acid properly. The extra uric acid that stacks up in their body creates crystal deposits in the joints. Mostly feet and hands.

Uric acid is the cause of inflammatory arthritis and is the reason behind excruciating pain. Gout can be visible, where crystals cause a growth which results in a swollen redness in the joint. However, sometimes gout does not produce any visible results. But it is still as painful as its other version.

If you suffer from gout or believe you do, it is necessary to consult a medical professional. This is because apart from the tips below, there is also proper medication for it. Gout can come and go, so you will need to learn to prevent it and act upon it once it comes. Most of the tips below include advice on how to avoid producing more uric acid.

Tips to solve this issue:

  • As mentioned above, see a medical professional. You will be able to get proper medication to prevent gout and to reduce the foot pain.
  • Help your body filtering! This means that you should drink plenty of fluids. Go for water and make sure to drink at least half a gallon to a gallon per day.
  • Make sure to eat plenty of food which are high in dietary fiber.
  • Avoid any animal protein or legumes which have high levels of purine that turns into uric acid.
  • Exercise regularly and add some workouts to your routine.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and limit your alcohol intake.

Foot Pain - Bunions

6. Foot Pain due to Bunions

Similar to gout, bunions are an extremely common reason of foot pain. Bunions are a deformity that builds up on the inner part of the foot. Mostly close to the big toe joint. Unlike gout, it is not only an inflammation but a deformity as stated above. This means that it will continue developing with time and could lead to extreme changes in gait.

Bunions that are left untreated can affect the way you walk and even your flexibility or bones in the rest of your lower body. Because of its shape and location, bunions can unfortunately also increase the likelihood of calluses and corns. However, there’s a bright side: bunions can be acted upon! Surgery is extremely useful to reduce and remove bunions and reallocate moved bones.

Foot pain due to bunions is mostly related to the pressure put on the foot. As well as incorrect gait, small shoes, and many others. If you suffer from bunions, you are not alone and should not be ashamed. Consult your medical practitioner to find the best solution for your feet. In the meantime, there are some very useful tips to reduce the pain and inflammation.

Tips to solve this issue:

  • Use a tennis ball to roll it under your feet to stretch and release tension.
  • Find proper shoes that are apt to your specific needs. An orthopedist or podiatrist will be able to offer you proper consultation.
  • Avoid small, tight, and narrow shoes or high heels as they add pressure to the bunion.
  • Take care of your feet daily. You can apply cold compress on the bunion to relieve the pain. However, another very good trick to help your foot relax is to massage it with warm oil.
  • As mentioned above, consult a specialist to find out if you surgery is an appropriate step for your specific case.

Foot Pain - Diabetes

7. Foot Pain due to Diabetes

Diabetes is sadly a very common illness in this current century. And even though diabetes is usually only spoken of when referring to obesity, there’s much more to it. Foot pain from diabetes comes from nerve damage. This is caused by diabetic neuropathy which directly affects the nerves of your feet.

However, there are also other reasons why foot pain can be a part of diabetes. As mentioned above, diabetes is directly (but not only) related to weight gain and obesity. This factor also affects the blood circulation and pressure. Because of the poor blood circulation, some parts of the body are more affected than others. Specifically, lower legs and feet are part of this.

Diabetic neuropathy can, unfortunately, lead to problems walking apart from foot pain. This is the reason why it is extremely important to prevent diabetes. If you are already a diabetic, make sure to follow your doctor’s directions to feel better and prevent foot pain. However, if you suspect that you may develop diabetes due to weight or genetic factors, these steps are for you.

Tips to solve the issue:

  • Maintain a healthy weight through a properly balanced diet and regular light exercise.
  • Avoid sedentary activities. If your work does not require moving, make sure to take breaks to stretch your legs.
  • Avoid sugary foods or drinks.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to maintain your body hydrated at all times.
  • Try to maintain your blood sugar level within the limits and under control.
  • You may want to consider the use of supportive shoes or alternatively orthotic braces. Make sure to consult your doctor to find the best solution for your own situation.
  • Stretch and massage your legs daily to help with blood circulation and muscle flexibility. It will help you walk better and prevent foot pain.

Foot Pain - Plantar Fasciitis

8. Foot Pain due to Plantar Fasciitis 

Plantar Fasciitis may sound like the name of a music band, but it’s actually something entirely different. Just between the heel and the toes, there’s a thick ligament (band of tissue) that connects both sides. It can get inflamed for several reasons. It is mainly suffered by athletes, as well as active and middle-aged people. The pain itself is caused by the direct straining of this ligament. Pain starts when the nail swells.

Apart from the people described above, plantar fasciitis can also occur to those who are overweight, wear wrong shoes, or have tight calves. The foot pain suffered with plantar fasciitis is mainly felt in the morning. When the ligament is still cold from the night of sleep, it tends to tighten and hurt. Once the person begins to walk, the pain reduces until it dissipates completely. It can also occur after spending a long time seating.

Plantar Fasciitis pain can be easily confused with other inflammations or nerve issues. This is why it is extremely important to refer to your medical practitioner for a more in-depth consultation. There are several actions that you can take to reduce pain over time. So read ahead and don’t forget to add them to your daily routine.

Tips to solve this issue:

  • Stretch! Even though it sounds trivial, stretching is extremely important when it comes to stiff and inflamed ligaments or muscles.
  • Equally important is to take very good care of your feet. By massaging with warm oil, you will be helping your feet to awake and relax.
  • Make sure to use proper shoes. If you’re unsure on what to do, refer to a podiatrist or orthopedist.
  • If you feel some swelling, make sure to apply ice through a towel or cloth.
  • When standing for a long time, take some breaks and sit down to allow your feet to relax.

Foot Pain - Ingrown Toenails

9. Foot Pain due to Ingrown Toenails

All of us humans have something in common: nails! However, they might not always be a graceful attribute of our beings. For some people, nails are more of a nightmare. Mostly when dealing with ingrown toenails. This issue usually occurs on the big toe, due to the fact that its nails are thicker and stronger than those of the other toes.

Ingrown toenails occur when the nail curvature leads it to dig into the skin. This causes extreme foot pain, mostly located on the big toe. The problem with ingrown toenails, apart from the obvious pain, is that they can get infected. If this happens, it can get swollen and even drain pus. An ingrown toenail can happen to anybody. However, as mentioned above, thicker and curvier nails will be a most likely subject of this affection.

If you tend to cut your nails too short to the edge or wear extremely narrow shoes, you might be causing this involuntarily. If the nail just started to grow under your skin, you can still revert this. Do so by soaking your nails daily. Additionally, visit your doctor to prevent any infections and get a better look. However, should the nail be too grown already, you may require a small surgery with local anesthetics.

Tips to solve this issue:

  • Wear correct shoes and avoid narrow, tight ones. Consult a podiatrist or orthopedist to find the most suitable ones for you.
  • Soak your toe using warm water several times a day to soften the nail.
  • Use some floss or cotton to lift the nail, make sure to do this gently and not forcing it too much.
  • Whenever you cut your nails, don’t trim the corners down.
  • If you believe that there might be an infection, see a doctor immediately.

Foot Pain - Standing

10. Foot Pain due to Long Periods of Standing Activity 

As you may have noticed already throughout the article, there are two common things that cause foot pain. A sedentary life combined with unbalanced diet is the first. The other is long periods of standing time. Even though many believe that standing is healthy, any extreme is bad for your body. Standing mostly still during long periods can lead to swelling in the lower part of the body. Walking and moving is much better than simply standing.

Standing for hours will definitely cause foot pain, but it’s not the only cause. A variety of leg and foot problems come from this And this includes strain on joints, ligaments, and bones. Additionally, standing also causes varicose veins. However, one of the key actions that will help you prevent all this is actually using proper shoes. Even if you stand for hours, if the shoes are right, the consequences will be minor.

Equally important is to get directions from a podiatrist or orthopedist on how to manage your daily activities to prevent foot pain. If your work forces you to stand for hours, your medical consultant will be able to give you specific suggestions and help you choose the correct shoes.

Tips to solve this issue:

  • Wear comfortable and appropriate shoes. If this is an issue, consult with a podiatrist or orthopedist to find the best ones for you.
  • When standing still, make sure to shift your weight among your legs. Balance the pressure by using this simple method.
  • Put a pillow under your feet when in bed. This will help them relax while you sleep.
  • Stretch daily and in every break. Not only your legs but also your back and arms.
  • Make sure to take several breaks to sit down.
  • Massage your legs and feet with warm oil, as well as apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.
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