When you stand up, your feet bear the weight of your entire body, and foot pain is not uncommon because of this. Foot pain is a general term used to describe any kind of discomfort or pain felt in any area of the foot, which can include the toes, arches, heels and soles.
The pain can be mild or very serious, and can last only a short time or can become an ongoing condition. The good news is there a number of measures that can help you to relieve foot pain, and a variety of tips to prevent the condition occurring at all.
Medical conditions or lifestyle choices can be responsible for foot pain. Lifestyle choices are actually one of the primary causes of foot pain, such as wearing high heeled shoes that place enormous pressure on the toes. Foot pain can also be caused by injury during sporting activities, or high impact exercise such as intense aerobics or jogging.
Medical issues that are linked to foot pain include arthritis and diabetes, with sufferers of the latter also being prone to nerve damage, hardened or clogged arteries, and sores or ulcers on the feet. People are at greater risk of suffering foot pain if they are overweight or obese, pregnant, or already have an injury to the foot such as a fracture or sprain, or tendinitis. There are also a variety of other causes, including:
Peripheral arterial disease
Medications resulting in swelling
An enlargement of the rear of the heel called Haglund’s deformity
Pain that strikes at the bottom of the heel is referred to as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the name of a web-like, thin ligament which connects the heel to the front of the foot, helping with walking by supporting the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition, as those ligaments undergo a lot of everyday wear and tear and can be torn or damaged by too much pressure. Sudden weight gain is one cause of the condition, which is also common with long distance runners and those whose occupations entail many hours standing up, including factory workers. Treatment for plantar fasciitis can include staying off the feet as much as possible and applying ice, changing or reducing exercising activities, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy or corticosteroids.
Those who suffer from ongoing foot pain have particular reason to try to prevent recurrence of the condition, and there are things you can do to prevent it. One good tip is to choose shoes that are comfortable, well-cushioned and roomy, while avoiding shoes with narrow toes and big heels. Sturdy shoes with arch support and good stability are best to help prevent plantar fasciitis in particular. You should also do your best to stay at a healthy weight level, and ensure you practice good hygiene with your feet. To protect your feet you should never go outdoors without footwear and always stretch before performing any form of vigorous exercise.