Foot pain is an increasingly common problem with some studies estimating that as many as 1 in 5 adults experience it at any one time. Sadly for us women, the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research found that we are more likely to experience foot pain than men, and the chances of us experiencing it increases significantly as we age. So what are the 5 most common reasons why your feet hurt? And how can you solve them? Let’s take a look below.
- Wearing badly designed shoes
For women, (and men), one of the biggest causes of foot pain is poorly designed shoes, and by that, we mean high-heeled shoes, pointed-toe shoes and all other types of shoes that are really style over substance. Any heel above 2.5 inches in height puts an immense amount of pressure on the ball of the foot and restricts your foot’s natural movement, this coupled with the fact that many high heeled shoes are also narrow at the toe is a recipe for foot pain. Of course, the solution would be to not wear high heeled shoes, but that’s not realistic, so if you are going to, then try to limit the duration of time you wear them for, choose thicker heels for more stability and try to wear open toe varieties when you can.
- Wearing badly fitted shoes
You’ve probably noticed by now that just like clothing sizes, shoe sizing, doesn’t always appear to be uniform. You may be a 4 in one style of shoe and a 5 in another, and that small increase in space can make the difference between your shoes causing blisters on the back of the heel or not. Shoes that are too small cram your toes up against the ends, narrow shoes put pressure where it’s not needed and shoes that are too large allow your foot to move around causing friction. To avoid buying the wrong size shoes always try them on in the store and take a few steps, and it’s also best to try them on in the afternoon when your feet have had a chance to swell slightly throughout the day.
- You have an ingrown toenail
Do you have pain in your big toe at the edge of the nail? Then you could have an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails are incredibly common and are caused by narrow or tight shoes that put pressure on the big toenail forcing it to grow down and into the skin. If you already have an ingrown toenail then it’s best to visit a podiatrist or healthcare professional who will be able to treat it for you by gently cutting away the ingrown nail and providing you with necessary medications to ward off infection. To avoid getting ingrown toenails in the future, avoid very narrow shoes and keep toenails cut short and straight.
- You may have flat feet
Flat foot can be inherited or genetic but it can also be caused by wearing high-heels or standing for a long period of time day in and day out. People who experience flat foot do not have the usual arch needed to support their foot, this puts a lot of strain on their ligaments and ankles and unsurprisingly leads to a lot of foot pain. If you have flat foot then its important that you wear shoes with arch support so that your foot is given the support it needs. You can buy specialist insoles that have arches moulded into them from some drug stores or you can have them custom made for you by a podiatrist.
- You’re athletic
Athletic people put a lot of additional strain on their feet, which can exasperate the above feet issues. One of the most common causes of foot pain in those that are athletic is plantar fasciitis, which occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, this can be caused by running or high impacts and is most frequent in those that are overweight and above middle age. The good news is that plantar fasciitis can often be treated at home by stretching, icing the foot and wearing the correct footwear for the activity you are undertaking, but if the pain persists then its worth seeking professional medical help.
So there you have it – 5 reasons why your feet could be hurting and how to fix them. Of course, if you’re experiencing any form of pain then its always worth having it looked at by a professional, but hopefully, you’ve found some useful information in the post above and can begin taking better care of your feet to reduce any future foot pain problems.