Your feet are complicated—with 28 bones and 29 muscles in each, it can be hard to tell where the problem is if you’re explaining foot pain or discomfort. While it’s always best to consult a professional so there’s no guesswork involved, here are some of the most common reasons feet hurt—and what to do about it.
Top 5 Reasons Feet Hurt
#1: Plantar Fasciitis
This is an issue we talk about a lot on our blog because it affects so many people! Plantar fasciitis occurs when your plantar fascia—the mass of tissue running along the bottom of your foot—becomes inflamed. This can happen through over-exercising or wearing the wrong shoes. Limiting your activity and stretching out your feet and calves can help.
#2: Achilles Tendonitis
The thick tendon connecting your heel to your calf is called the Achilles tendon. When this becomes inflamed or irritated, it can lead to Achilles tendonitis. This issue primarily affects runners and people who wear high heels often. If left untreated, Achilles tendonitis can be extremely painful and could even require surgery. Resting and icing where you feel pain will help.
If you have a firm bump around the base of your big toe, it could be a bunion. You might also notice that your big toe has started veering outward toward your other toes. Bunions are primarily caused by wearing too-tight shoes that don’t leave enough room for your toes. If you have any shoes that scrunch your toes up, get rid of them now! You can also get inserts to help with any excess rubbing on the bunion.
Unlike bunions, hammertoes aren’t necessarily caused by ill-fitting shoes. Hammertoes are actually a deformity of the foot wherein the middle joint of your toe has an unnatural bend. The cause? An imbalance of muscle strength in your feet. Having a family history of hammertoes, wearing too-tight shoes that make the problem worse, or incurring an injury like stubbing your toe can all lead to this issue. Wearing comfortable shoes with plenty of room and padding can help. Surgery is also an option if the pain and discomfort is persistent.
When your feet lack any arch to them, it means you have flatfeet. Next time you get out of the pool or shower, see if you can get a good look at your wet footprint—if you can see your entire foot, you have flatfeet. Because flatfeet can make you more prone to other problems like plantar fasciitis and bunions, it’s important to accommodate them. Custom orthotics are the best way to support your feet and avoid pain and discomfort.
Don’t Let Foot Pain Ruin Your Day!
Regardless of the cause, foot pain is never fun. If you find yourself grimacing during your favorite athletic activities or turning down things you usually love to avoid discomfort, it’s time to talk to your podiatrist. They’ll be able to figure out what’s wrong and have you walking and running with a smile in no time! Get in touch with Foot Specialists of Birmingham today to set up an appointment.