3 Mistakes That Cause Foot Pain : Does a fleeting heel pain seem to accompany your first steps out of bed in the morning? Are you ignoring the blisters you get every time you wear your favorite pair of heels? For women, foot pain can be a constant companion, one that you almost overlook because you’re busy with so many other things – work, kids, your spouse, friends, you name it!
Don’t get caught off-guard with an injury or foot damage you could have prevented. Ditch these 3 common mistakes today:
3 Mistakes That Cause Foot Pain
Wearing Worn-Out Running Shoes
If your go-to sneakers are several years old and visibly worn-out, you could be doing more damage than you know by wearing them. While seemingly comfortable, shoes which have treads that are worn down on either side of the sole can imperceptibly alter your body mechanics, causing you to compensate unnecessarily.
For example, runners who wear worn out shoes may actually start straining the plantar fascia tissue on the button of their foot, stretching it more and more past its limits, leading to micro-tears and inflammation (a condition called plantar fasciitis). This can cause heel and arch pain and also start to negatively affect the Achilles tendon as well.
Solution: Running shoes should be updated anywhere from 300 to 500 miles after you first start wearing them. Shoes with visibly worn down soles and ankle support should also be replaced.
Whenever you hear the word “orthotic” you might immediately think of blocky thick nursing shoes or the smooth-bottomed sneakers recommended for senior citizens. This cultural association has little to do with the actual variety and effectiveness orthotic aids have to offer foot pain sufferers.
From gel insoles for high heels to night splints for bunions, to compression socks for plantar fasciitis pain relief, the array and accessibility of over-the-counter solutions for foot pain are unprecedented.
Solution: Talk with your doctor or podiatrist about your foot pain and formulate a treatment plan for preventing future pain and injury. Unless a custom orthotic needs to be created, over-the-counter options available at your local pharmacy or big box store may just do the trick for providing you with relief and helping you stay active.
Wearing High Heels
What shoe most often leads to bunions and offers little to know ankle support? Ding ding ding, high heels! While seemingly fashionable and often recommended for business work attire, high heels are notorious for causing foot issues in women. By squishing the toes together into a point, high heels can cause bunions to form, or an enlarging of the big toe joint as the big toe pushes further inward towards the second toe. Bunions can lead to permanent foot deformity as well as painful irritation at the swollen joint.
In addition to bunions, high heels can lead to hammer toes, metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot), as well as Achilles tendonitis. According to the Spine health Institute, high heels place excess pressure on the knees, push the lower back and hips out of alignment, shorten calf muscles over time, and offer no support to vulnerable ankle tendons and ligaments in the event of a fall.
Solution: Avoid wearing high heels for prolonged periods of time, and vary your footwear throughout the day (flats, sneakers, etc). Stretch the muscles in your legs before and after you wear high heels and insert gel or leather insoles for added cushioning and to prevent slippage.
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