Your feet are made up of muscles, bones and ligaments that work hard to support all of your daily activities. Because you bear weight on your feet, they are at an increased risk of stress-related injuries. Below is an overview of common foot problems and how you can avoid them.
Stretch to Ward Off Arch Pain
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of foot pain, especially in runners. This condition develops when the plantar fascia in the foot is overused or overstretched, causing microscopic tears. If you develop plantar fasciitis, you may experience symptoms such as sharp pains in the heel, pain in the arch of the foot, difficulty walking upon waking, and pain after sitting for long periods. One of the best ways to avoid developing this foot condition is by stretching your feet in the morning. The Achilles tendon stretch and plantar fascia stretch are two moves that can reduce pain. If your feet begin to feel sore after activity or early in the morning, you can roll a golf ball beneath your feet and apply ice packs for 20 minutes several times a day.
See a Doctor for Unrelenting Pain
If you perform exercise that is repetitive in nature such as jogging, tennis or running, you are at an increased risk of developing stress fractures in your foot. This condition is characterized by a tiny crack in the bone in your foot, which ca be very painful. If you have foot pain that does not resolve itself in a week, see a doctor to rule out this condition or a podiatrist like Laurel Podiatry Associates, LLC.
Find the Right Shoes
Wearing shoes that do not fit properly can cause painful bunions to develop. Bunions are bony abnormalities that form at the base of the big toe. This condition is very painful and can worsen over time. The best way to combat bunion development is by wearing shoes that fit properly. Women who wear high heels daily are also at an increased risk of bunion development, so it is best to switch to shoes with a lower heel and wider toe space.
Watch Foot Swelling
While most of us have swollen feet from time-to-time, persistent swelling can indicate a more serious health problem. Some conditions that may cause swollen feet include foot injuries, ankle injuries, lymphedema and pregnancy related complications. If your feet swell frequently, see your doctor for advice.
Wear Orthotics for Heel Pain
Bone spurs are a common cause of pain in the heel of the foot. These bony abnormalities can develop if you run frequently or wear high heeled shoes often. Placing a heel cushion in your shoe can relieve pressure and pain. While there are many you can buy over-the-counter, you may want to see a podiatrist for custom made orthotics if your pain persists.
Taking the time to care for your feet can greatly reduce foot pain. Recognizing the cause of foot pain and resolving it early on will keep you pain free so you can do all the things you enjoy.