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Five Common Causes of Foot Pain

Woman Wearing a High Heels

When your feet hurt, you don't feel like doing anything. Just getting out of bed can be difficult, let alone exercising or standing all day at work. Some people suffer through foot pain for years, trying countless at-home remedies but never really getting rid of the pain completely. To get rid of the pain, you must first identify what is causing it. The following are five common causes of foot pain.

1. Wearing High Heels

High heeled shoes may be fashionable, but they are a disaster for your feet. When you walk in high heels, all of your weight is shifted onto the ball of your foot, which is simply not designed to support your full body weight. In the short-term, heels can cause cramps and aches in the ball and arch in the foot. Over time, individuals who wear heels often develop painful bunions, corns, and hammertoes.

The best approach is to avoid heels completely. If you feel as though you must wear heels, do so only on special occasions and choose lower, platform, and wedge-style heels over stilettos.

2. Wearing Worn Out Shoes

That pair of clogs you've been wearing since the 90s may still look okay on the outside, but it could be the source of your foot pain. As you wear shoes, the soles become compacted in the areas where you bear the most weight. Over time, the shoe stops offering you support in the areas you need it most. This puts more strain on the tendons, ligaments, and muscles in your foot, leading to pain.

To avoid foot pain, replace running and athletic shoes every 400 miles. Throw casual shoes away whenever the soles begin to look compacted or worn.

3. Over-Training

Over-training injuries are most common in runners. These injuries occur when a runner adds too many miles to their training program too quickly or runs too many miles at a high intensity. Achilles tendon pain and plantar fasciitis pain in the arch are both common among runners who over-train.

Even if you don't consider yourself a runner, you may develop over-training injuries if you are new to working out and partake in too much weight-bearing activity early on.

To avoid foot pain from over-training, increase your training intensity slowly over time. Take rest days to give your body a chance to recover, and schedule easy workouts between your hard workout days.

4. Standing on Hard Surfaces

If you stand on a hard surface all day, the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your foot are put under a great deal of strain, which often leads to pain. You can greatly minimize this pain by standing on a shock absorbing mat and by wearing supportive shoes. If your place of employment does not have shock-absorbing mats, ask them to provide such mats for the safety of their workers.

Also try to walk around a little when at all possible. Walking is a lot easier on your feet than standing in one place since it redistributes the pressure and gets blood flowing through the tissues.

5. Obesity

The heavier you are, the more weight your feet need to support. Often, obesity combines with one or more of the factors above to contribute to foot pain. To lose weight, you need to get active, but that's tough to do when your feet hurt-so obese patients often grow heavier over time, which only makes their foot pain worse.

If you are overweight and suffering from foot pain, consider swimming, cycling, or rowing as ways to get in shape. None of these exercises place a lot of pressure on your feet, but they all burn plenty of calories.

If you are dealing with foot pain, regardless of the cause, contact the experts at Greenville Podiatry Associates PA. We'll examine your feet and make recommendations for safe, effective treatments that address the problem at its source.