Why the Bottom of Your Foot Hurts: Common Causes and Effective Remedies
Ever wonder why the bottom of your foot hurts? Whether your foot pain is near the toes or at the heel, many conditions that cause bottom-of-the-foot pain are treated with simple, effective at-home remedies. This article will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatments of the most common conditions that provoke pain in the bottom of your feet.
Where Are You Experiencing Pain?
First, determine exactly where on the bottom of your foot you are experiencing the pain. Pinpointing the exact location of your pain will better assist you and your healthcare professional during your treatment process.
Pain In The Arch Of Your Foot
Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Each year more than 2 million people are treated for plantar fasciitis. This condition occurs when the plantar fascia, a strong band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot, becomes irritated and inflamed.
Common Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis Include:
-A sudden increase in activity level (like starting a new walking or running program)
-The pre-existing structure or shape of the foot (like flat arches) may make you more susceptible to developing plantar fasciitis.
-The type of surface on which you are commonly standing, walking, or running
-Being on your feet all day for work
-The type of shoes you are wearing
-Exercising without stretching or warming up
-Walking or standing barefoot while at home
Plantar fasciitis can also develop without an obvious cause.
Factors that can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis:
Age. Plantar fasciitis is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60.
Exercise. Certain activities place a lot of stress on your heel, and the attached tissue, such as long-distance running, ballet dancing, and aerobic dance — can contribute to the onset of plantar fasciitis.
Obesity. Excess weight puts extra stress on your plantar fascia.
Occupations that require standing. Factory workers, teachers, and others who spend most of their work hours walking or standing on hard surfaces can be at increased risk of plantar fasciitis.
Common Symptoms Associated With Plantar Fasciitis
-Pain in the arch of your foot
-Stiffness in the foot
-Swelling around your heel
-Increased pain first thing in the morning or when you stand up after sitting or sleeping
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
Rest: Take a break from playing sports or participating in the activity that caused the plantar fasciitis for at least a week (if possible).
Ice Your Foot: Ice your foot for 20 minutes twice a day. Cover a frozen water bottle in a thin towel to protect your skin, then roll it along the bottom of your foot to massage the inflammation. Cover your skin before applying cold or any frozen substance.
Wear Supportive Footwear: Wear sturdy, well-cushioned shoes. Don’t wear sandals, flip-flops, or other flat shoes that do not provide built-in arch support. Don’t walk with bare feet.
Use Custom Orthotics or Shoe Inserts: You can add inserts into your shoes that add extra arch support. Your provider will suggest pre-made inserts, over-the-counter products, or custom-made orthotics molded to the exact shape of your foot. For further information about Pedifix Pressure Off insoles, visit our website, or see the end of this blog.
Massage and Stretch The Area: Your provider or a physical therapist will show you stretches and massage techniques you can perform on your foot and calf muscles.
Over-the-counter medications: NSAIDs, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen) reduce pain and inflammation. Take as needed, but not for more than 10 days without consulting your doctor.
If your symptoms do not improve, become worse, or begin to interfere with your daily activities, check in with your podiatrist or health care professional.
Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
As previously mentioned, plantar fasciitis may develop without a primary cause. Therefore, prevention of plantar fasciitis may not be possible for everyone.
Common prevention measures include for plantar fasciitis include:
Stretch before and after exercise
Give your feet time to rest and recover after intense activity or exercise
Wear supportive shoes
Don’t walk barefoot on hard surfaces
Replace your sneakers every six to nine months (or after you’ve walked or run between 250 and 500 miles in them)
Pain In The Ball Of Your Foot: Metatarsalgia
Metatarsalgia (met-uh-tahr-SAL-juh) is a condition that causes pain in the ball of your foot. While this condition tends to develop over time, it can be improved with self-help measures.
Common Causes Of Metatarsalgia Include
Wearing Poorly Fitted Footwear – high-heeled or restrictive shoes can force the ball of the foot into a small amount of space, which puts more pressure on that area
Participating In High-Impact Sports – sports like running or tennis put extra pressure on the feet
Being Overweight Or Obese – this can also increase the pressure on the feet
Suffering From Pre-existing Foot Conditions – including arthritis, gout, bunions, bursitis, Morton’s neuroma, hammer toes, and stress fractures
Metatarsalgia is also more common in older people and people with diabetes.
Common Symptoms Associated With Metatarsalgia
A burning or aching sensation
Shooting pain in the ball of the foot
Tingling or numbness in the toes
A feeling like there’s a small stone stuck under the foot
Metatarsalgia tends to be worse when you’re standing, walking, or running.
Treating and Preventing Metatarsalgia
Rest Your Feet: Avoid any activities that make the pain worse. Alternatively, try low-impact activities such as cycling or swimming instead of sports that involve a lot of running or jumping. If you start to experience pain, rest your feet immediately.
Use An Ice Pack: Apply an ice pack to the affected area for about 20 minutes several times a day (a bag of frozen peas will also work); make sure you wrap it in a towel so it doesn’t damage your skin.
Change Your Footwear: Try replacing footwear with a flat shoe alternative that will provide plenty of room for your feet and have a well-cushioned sole.
Use Custom Inserts: Custom orthotic inserts will provide relief from foot pain, by reducing harsh pressure on the ball of the foot, and transferring it to other areas of the foot.
Maintain A Healthy Weight: Adopting a healthy, balanced diet and doing regular low-impact exercises can help you lose weight if you’re overweight. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will improve your overall health but will also aid in better foot health.
Take Aspirin or Ibuprofen: To help relieve pain and swelling, if necessary.
Try these measures for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve. Metatarsalgia is a condition that is usually treated with at-home measures. If your symptoms do not improve, become worse, or begin to interfere with your daily activities, check in with a health professional.
Peripheral Neuropathy (pri-i-fr-uhl-NR-aa-puh-thee) is a condition resulting from damage to the nerves located outside the brain and spinal cord. Oftentimes, peripheral neuropathy affects many people living with chronic illnesses.
Common Causes Of Peripheral Neuropathy Include
Pre-existing conditions. Such as diabetes, severe alcohol misuse, Lyme disease, and even auto-immune diseases like lupus.
Injury To The Peripheral Nerve.Such as an electrical injury, a car accident, or a serious fall in sports.
Common Symptoms Associated With Peripheral Neuropathy
The pain that accompanies peripheral neuropathy is often described as tingling, burning, or stabbing sensations in the feet or hands that may spread upward into your legs or arms.
Other common symptoms associated with this condition are:
Gradual onset of numbness, or tingling in your feet, which may spread upward into your legs
Sharp, jabbing, throbbing, or burning pain in your legs
Extreme sensitivity to touch
Pain during activities that shouldn’t cause pain, such as pain in your feet when putting weight on them or when they’re under a blanket
Lack of coordination and/or falling
Stages of Neuropathy
Stage One: Numbness & Pain
Stage Two: Constant Pain
Stage Three: Intense Pain
Stage Four: Complete Numbness/ Loss of Sensation
Early diagnosis and treatment offer the best chance for controlling your symptoms and preventing further damage to your peripheral nerves.
Treating and Preventing Peripheral Neuropathy
Take care of your feet: Check daily for blisters, cuts, or calluses. Wear soft, loose cotton socks and padded shoes.
Exercise Daily: Regular exercise, such as walking three times a week, can reduce neuropathy pain, improve muscle strength and help control blood sugar levels. Gentle routines such as yoga and tai chi might also help.
Eat Healthy Meals: Good nutrition is especially important to ensure that you get essential vitamins and minerals. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein in your diet.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol: Alcohol can worsen peripheral neuropathy.
Use Over-The-Counter Pain Medications: Such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which are proven to relieve mild symptoms.
Seek medical care right away if you notice unusual tingling, weakness, or pain in your hands or feet.
Prevent, Relieve, and Promote Healing
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