Foot pain is a sure sign that something is wrong with your foot. Your feet should not hurt. Foot pain is like the “check engine” light coming on the car’s dashboard. If your feet are painful, then this is your body telling you that something is not right; this is a good time to pay attention, as ignoring this pain may result in further injury or deformity to the foot. The good news is that there are some things you can do to minimize foot pain. Try these to see if you can get pain resolution and get back to doing the things you love to do.
- If you are doing a new activity, start slowly and let your body adapt to the new demands. It is truly amazing how our body adjusts to the demands we place on it; too much too soon, and you will probably have pain. For instance, if you are starting a job that requires a lot of walking, start a walking program ahead of time before you do this kind of work. If you will be standing all day on your feet, take precautions and follow steps 2, 3, and 4.
- Purchase an insole that not only cushions and supports the foot but, that encourages the normal motion of the foot. Shoes alone are seldom the answer to your problem and can be an expensive experiment. The Cluffy Lux Step®insole is a great choice. It is crucial to support all three arches of the foot, not just the arch on the inside of the foot; this is the arch that most insoles try to support. The Cluffy Wedge® is an excellent way to assure that your forefoot will move normally (with a shoe that bends well) and align the rest of the foot as you move through the foot correctly.
- Wear shoes that support the normal movement of the foot and provide stability to the foot to help it function in a more normal position. While shoes are not always the answer to foot pain, it is a good place to start. Many of the shoes we wear are simply horrible for our feet. It’s not that we intend to treat our feet poorly; we usually do not know better. Your shoe needs to fit your foot so that it is the same shape as the foot. There needs to be stability to support the heel in a more normal position and proper flexibility to allow the shoe to bend behind the toes as it was intended to do. Choose shoes for the activity you are doing. Have you measured your foot in a while? Feet can lengthen and flatten as you age. It is a good idea to check your shoe size periodically. We offer detailed guidelines on proper shoe selection.
- Select a good sock that will fit your foot well. A wicking material will pull the perspiration away from your foot and minimize your chance of blisters.
- Walk like you mean it! Avoid a slow pace and short strides or shuffling. Think about rolling through the big toe and letting your arms swing. Stand upright and look straight ahead, not down at your feet. When you do this, you will be in better balance and look younger. As we age, we gradually slow down and shuffle more. Correctly moving is beneficial for the foot and the ankle, knee, hip, and back, and it can reverse the aging trend. Your friends will wonder what happened to you!
- Consider fixing those foot problems that do not allow you to wear shoes comfortably and walk normally. Make sure you see a foot and ankle surgeon for foot surgery, which is a specialized field.
- Check with a foot specialist if your pain continues for a complete examination of your foot. Many conditions can lead to foot pain, and a qualified doctor should be able to identify these.
- Anti-inflammatories can be used to minimize foot pain with medical supervision but should be avoided as a long-term solution to your pain. Ice is safe if you do not have a circulation or nerve problem resulting in decreased feeling to the foot. Do not use ice or heat if you are not sure about your blood flow or sensation in the feet. Natural anti-inflammatories such as curcumin are also effective and have fewer side effects.
- Maintain your skin by bathing regularly, drying between the toes, and using moisturizing creams or drying agents if they sweat too much. A little skincare can go a long way for foot comfort.
- There is nothing more annoying than a crack in the skin. Not only does this hurt, but it can predispose you to infections. Cut your toenails regularly, and be sure to remove any loose toenails so that all of your nails are attached. You do not have to tolerate ingrown toenails. These are easy to deal with, and you should see a foot specialist if these become a problem. Thick toenails can rub on the shoe and be a source of pain as well as a skin infection.
Do not ignore foot pain. It is always significant and should be dealt with to prevent other problems from developing. Your feet are very important, and they allow you to do what you need to do in life; you only get two of them, so treat them well, and they should work well for you.