Read these 6 Foot Pain Relief Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Pain Relief tips and hundreds of other topics.
Foot pain can definitely set you back, but when the pain is specific to your toes it may be even more debilitating. At least if your heel, arch, or ankle hurts, you might get by with a really good shoe. But if your toes are the problem, shoes only make it worse. And since you must flex and push off of your toes in order to take a step using a normal gait pattern, walking is out of the question.
Some toe-related problems that cause feet pain include:
You may be ready to jump right out of bed in the morning, but your feet might have another idea entirely. If you put your foot down and feel tightness, pulling, or a stabbing pain on the bottom, you may be experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band that lines the bottom of the foot, running from the base of the toes to the heel bone. If that tissue is damaged, overstretched, strained, or inflamed, it will result in morning pain in feet, difficulty tolerating prolonged walking, increased pain when you try to walk after sitting, and discomfort when standing on tiptoes.
Plantar fasciitis can begin with acute ankle and heel pain, particularly when the fascia suffers micro-tearing from a sudden misstep. Typically it is more of a chronic condition that lingers in one or both feet for what seems like an eternity, but it can also come and go. Often, this type of pain lessens as the foot warms up, and returns after a period of inactivity (think sitting in a movie theatre for a couple of hours and then getting up to leave).
Efforts to relieve foot pain of this nature include:
They are the hallmark of balmy summer weather -- those thin-soled, brightly colored, lightweight flip flops that look so great with sun dresses and short shorts. But as cute and comfy as they are, these "shoes" (and that term is used very loosely) are not very good for your feet.
Researchers have found that people wearing flip flops, as compared to those who wear athletic shoes:
While experts don't go so far as to recommend banning flip flops, they do recommend they only be worn for short periods of time, and should be replaced every three to four months.
Orthotics are inserts for your shoes that are meant to alter the mechanics of your foot and the impact placed on them in an effort to provide foot pain relief. But are they what you need to help your aching feet?
Available over-the-counter or as a custom made device, foot orthotics can be made from many different materials. Pads, cushions, and heel lifts are inserts that are accommodating, offering pressure relief or a softer surface with which your foot can articulate. Custom orthotics are made after a mold is made for your foot or a 3D laser scan is performed. These inserts are specially fabricated to affect foot function itself, changing the mechanics of your lower extremity in an effort to lessen stress or improve alignment, thereby alleviating pain.
Basically, the goal of orthotics is to:
Flat feet, also called fallen arches, is a medical condition in which the arch of the foot collapses, allowing the entire sole of the foot to make contact with the ground. One or both feet may lack arches, which may cause an imbalance during development. Since footwear is constructed for normally arched feet, flat footed patients may experience pain from walking or wearing shoes. Flat feet pain causes standing and moving to be more difficult to perform on a regular basis. Some problems include:
Sometimes an obvious injury or trauma is the cause of acute foot pain--you step on something sharp, twist your foot on a curb, fall out of your shoe...you get the idea. For an obvious injury, immediate measures include stopping any bleeding, immobilizing the area (hold it still or wrap it up), applying ice, elevating the limb, and seeking medical attention if necessary.
In the absence of a specific trauma, acute pain in the foot can be a bit more challenging to deal with. One of the more common causes of such a sudden pain onset is gout. An acute attack of gout can cause excruciating pain in a single joint, typically at the base of the big toe. The condition is caused by an excess of uric acid, a naturally occurring substance created from proteins in the body. When uric acid concentrations get too high, they begin to crystallize, and those crystals accumulate in a joint and the surrounding tissue, causing acute pain and inflammation.
Treatment for foot pain of this nature includes:
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|