Since our feet are the one of the most used among our body parts every day, a lot of us often experience foot pain. But there are different foot pains as you can see in the diagram. Some of us may experience painful heels, sore ankles, toe cramps, or maybe develop some calluses and corns on our feet. To further understand the different foot pains that we are experiencing, we are going to explain each one for you, including their causes and how you can treat or prevent them.
If you’re experiencing pain in your heels, then you may have plantar fasciitis. It is an irritation or inflammation of the band of tough tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. This usually hurts badly in the morning the moment you get out of bed. You will be able to feel it in your heel or in your arch.
To treat painful heels, you can rest your foot and do some heel and foot muscle stretches. If you can’t stand the pain, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers. It can also help by wearing shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole.
Our ankles are the meeting points of the bones of the leg and the foot. It is responsible for the up and down motion of our feet. Sore ankles are commonly caused by the overuse and exhaustion of our feet such as wearing a new pair of shoes or walking around more than usual.
When you have sore ankles, you will feel sharp pain, bruising, numbness, tingling, or burning sensations. If you are experiencing these symptoms, then it’s better to rest first for at least 30 minutes. You can also use the RICE treatment method which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. To learn more treatments, you can check our Home Remedies for Sore Feet.
These are patches of thickened skin and they are often found on the soles of the feet or toes. Corns are normally painless to start with. They form to protect the skin and stop the body from developing blisters. They can be caused by bunions, hammer toe, or ill-fitting shoes. However, corns can become painful overtime that’s why they should be treated.
You can relieve pressure on the corn by using corn plasters that you can buy over the counter. That way, you will be able to give it time to heal. But there are also cases where a doctor may recommend surgical removal of corns.
Calluses are thickened skins that form as a response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation. They are most often found on feet due to frequent walking and poorly fitting shoes. They are not harmful but if they are neglected for long periods, they may lead to other problems such as infection or skin ulceration.
Calluses are easier to prevent than to treat. You can prevent it by wearing properly fitted shoes. If you have calluses on your feet, they may go away by themselves. Using foot peeling masks can help them go away easier, too. You can also dissolve them using keratolytic agents that contain salicylic acid, sanded down with a pumice stone or silicon carbide sandpaper. You can also file it down using a callus shaver, or better yet, get them pared down by a professional such as a podiatrist.
Fallen or Weak Arches
Fallen or weak arches are also known as flat feet. It is a common condition that affects up to 30 percent of the population. Both feet are usually affected by fallen or weak arches but it is also possible to have it on only one foot.
These are caused by different conditions such as arthritis, injuries, and as well as obesity. Aside from that, genetics, aging, and pregnancy can also contribute to having fallen or weak arches. People who have a neurological or muscular disease like muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy are also more likely to have flat feet.
Fallen or weak arches can lead to pain, stress, and imbalances in other parts of the body that’s why it’s important to care for them properly. You can do different foot strengthening exercises to help correct your fallen arches. Aside from exercising, you can also use an orthotic device to support your arches and reduce stress on your flat feet.
Pain in the Ball of Your Foot
This pain is also known as metatarsalgia. It is a condition where the ball of your foot becomes inflamed and painful. This foot pain is developed when you participate in activities which involve jumping and running. Aside from that, foot deformities and tight-fitting shoes can also contribute to it.
Some of the signs of metatarsalgia are sharp, aching, or burning pain in the ball of your foot, pain that worsens when you stand or walk, numbness or tingling in your toes, and the feeling of having a pebble in your shoe. To treat it, you can rest your foot when you can, wear comfortable shoes, exercise, use orthotic inserts, and manage your body weight as well. It’s also important to seek the advice of a medical professional if the pain gets worse.
Bunions are abnormalities of the feet where a bump develops on the large toe joint. It can cause the big toe to turn slightly inward. Doctors also call them hallux valgus and they are more common in women because of increased pressures from narrow footwear. They are caused by wearing tight shoes because they put pressure on the metatarsophalangeal joint or MPT, where the bone of the foot meets the bone of the big toe.
Some of the symptoms of bunions are a visible bump on the side of the foot, tenderness on or around the big toe, callus or corn on the bone below the big toe, pain in the big toe when walking, and difficulty moving the big toe. If you happen to experience it, conservative treatment measures can help improve the symptoms.
When you have bunions, you should wear properly fitting shoes without high heels. You can also use a bunion pad to protect the bunion from extra pressure. Applying ice for 10-minute increments can also help reduce inflammation. To know more, check out our Guide to Treating Bunions.
Toe cramps are usually harmless, but they are painful. Toe cramps happen when a muscle suddenly contracts and does not relax. You might think that since we use our toes every day to walk, they get quite the workout. However, there are people who are more prone to muscle cramps than others. And if you’re one of those who experience toe cramps often, there are lots of remedies you can do.
To avoid toe cramps, improving feet and toe circulation can help. You can do this by drinking lots of water, wearing well-fitted shoes, and by doing some foot stretches and exercise.
Now that you know the different types of foot pain, you will now be able to tell clearly which one of them you are experiencing. It will also be much easier for you to treat them to avoid prolonging the pain.