Among the widest spread, chronical discomforts among people involved in different areas of life is foot pain. It is highly unlikely to come across someone who has never in their life experienced the painful feeling of tired or aching feet. Our feet are our foundations, they are the base that we step on and without them, we are doomed. Pain in the feet areas leads to discomfort, inability to be as active as we sometimes want to, damaged postures and a ton of other, more complex conditions that we want to avoid, if possible.
Regardless of whether one is an active athlete or gym maniac or whether his daily live involves sitting down in an office chair from 8 am until 5 pm, the risk of foot pain is there for all of us. It can occur as a result of putting too much pressure on your feet as part of sports playing, sitting down for too long, leading to poor blood circulation, or simply wearing uncomfortable or unsuitable for your feet shoes.
Foot Pain – It’s All Around Us
The reality is that the majority of people on the planet have experienced it but few have visited a doctor or other type of specialist to seek advice and a cure for foot pain. It is so common among people that we often take it as a normal event in our lives and adapt to live with it, forgetting what it felt like to have perfectly healthy and pain-free feet. Research in the U.S. shows that 83% of Americans suffer from chronic foot pain. The victims of the pain from this survey admit that the pain often leads to a reduction in the amount of time they are able to spend working out or playing a sport. Foot pain also influences the overall energy and level of activity of an individual.
From the same survey, 39% of respondents shared that they would increase their workout hours and 41% would take part in more activities if they were free from their foot pain. Unfortunately, prior to experiencing foot pain we often view our feet as a minor detail of our body and fail to pay them the attention they deserve. Although most conditions associated with food pain can be cured via professional intervention, medication, or surgery, it is advisable to take caution before it is too late to avoid foot pain.
What Causes It?
Foot pain can be triggered by a large set of factors. If you participate actively in sports, it is worth researching what the most commonly seen foot problems are related to the chosen sport. For example, if you spend a large amount of time training on artificial grass you can experience toe pain. If you are involved in sports that require a lot of jumping, such as dancing, for example, there is a chance of putting too much pressure on the frontal part of your feet, where the toes are, and cause pain as a result of deformation.
Runners are also a big target for foot pain as they are exposed to a number of foot problems. Feet sweating can lead to unpleasant blisters, the feeling of burning or inflammation in the foot area, damaged muscles or joints, and many more.
Some of the Most Common Foot Problems
Although the reasons for the cause of foot pain may widely vary, there is a set of the most commonly seen and almost standard foot issues faced by individuals. Whether your hobbies include long walks, running, jumping, climbing or you are more of a chair person, here is a list of the ten most common foot problems that you are exposed to:
– developing a bump on the side of the large toe joint, pushing the toe inwards. This foot issue is commonly seen in women and it is caused by uncomfortable shoes, which are usually too tight.
– the inability of your toenails to grow naturally outward but rather inward is an extremely painful experience, caused by inappropriate shoes or poor hygiene (not cutting your toenails regularly).
– an inflammation of the plantar fascia, located on the bottom of the foot. This is the condition most associated with heel pain and is caused by obesity, the continuous wearing of high heels, tight calf muscles. Runners often suffer from plantar fasciitis.
– this is a fungal infection of the foot skin. In most cases, the infection is located in the area between the toes and is common among swimmers and runners.
– a piece of calcium growing out between the heel bone and the arch of the foot, leading to inflammation and unpleasant feeling of burning.
– although this can be a condition given at birth, it can also be developed with time. Claw toe is a separation between the toe joints, as the first toes joint points up, while the other points down.
– also referred to as stone bruises, this condition is the numbness between the toes and the arch of the foot or experiencing severe pain in the zone.
– a cause of high-intensity workouts, stress fractures damage the long bone in the foot or the big heel bone, causing pain and an inability to be active for long hours
– usually occurring on the soles of the feet or the toe area, corns are pieces of thickened and hard skin. At the beginning, they are usually not associated with pain but as they grow and develop, they become uncomfortable and irritating.
– one of the most commonly seen foot pain causes, blisters are a nightmare for anyone who spends a significant time of hours in shoes, regardless of their level of comfort and professionalism.
Exercises For Saying Goodbye to Foot Pain
As it turns out, foot pain is all around us and it almost seems as though it is an inevitable part of our daily lives. However, this may not be the case if caution is taken early on in order to avoid the first symptoms of foot pain. If you start to feel discomfort in your feet the first thing to do is to consider buying a new pair of shoes that will better suit your feet. If you take an active role in a certain sport, see a professional who can help you select the best pair of shoes. There are different sports shoes for different types of activities in order to reduce the chance of damaging your feet while exercising in a certain way.
Another useful tip is to consider using compression socks to relieve the pain, improve the circulation of blood, isolate a painful area or simply strengthen your feet. Compression socks are widely used among athletes and ordinary people who spend some time in the gym or have the majority of their days go by sitting down on a chair in the office or at home.
Furthermore, there are a number of different exercises that can be done regularly to prevent or relieve pain caused in the area. Let’s look at some of the most common exercises you can do in order to relieve foot pain!
Raise, point, and curl your toes
– a good general exercise that helps bring back the strength in your feet and toes, combining three different movements of the toes. You can do this exercise sitting up in a chair with your feet lying flat on the ground. Start with raising the heels, while keeping your toes on the floor. When the feet balls are on the ground stop and count to five. The second part of this exercise is raising the heel while pointing the toes in a way that gets the big toe and the second toe’s tips to touch the floor. Finally, curl the toes inward while raising the heel. In both the second and the third stages hold and count to five. It is advisable that you repeat this exercise ten times.
Stretching the big toe
– make sure that your big toe remains flexible by allowing it large scales of movement through exercise. Put your left foot to rest on your right thigh and stretch your big toe up and down using your hands. Try moving it to the side and count to five in each position.
Curl your toes
– this exercise is great for strengthening your flexor muscles and recovering strength in your feet. Sitting on a chair with your feet flat on the ground, put a towel on the floor in front of you, with the towel’s short side pointing towards your feet. Using your toes, try to get the towel in between the toes and pull. This exercise should be done five times with one foot, and five times with the other. Similarly, it can be done with marbles for extra strength.
– this one is quite pleasant and a great excuse to go to the beach! There is a unique benefit gained from walking barefoot on sand as it stretches and strengthens the feet and calves. Spend as much time as possible walking barefoot on the sand and if the beach is nowhere near, pour a few bottles of sand on your bathroom floor and make magic happen!
Extending your toes
– one of the causes of pain we looked at earlier is plantar fasciitis, a condition treated with this exercise. You can relieve heel pain by toe extension exercise. Again, placing the left foot on your right thigh, pull the toes toward the ankle by stretching them gently. Hold this position for ten seconds and massage the foot’s arch while stretching. For best result, repeat this exercise ten times every day.
Rolling a golf ball or bottle
– place a golf ball of an empty bottle beneath your foot. Gently press the object and roll it back and forth in order to relieve tension in the foot and reduce pain, caused by plantar fasciitis, for example. Repeat this exercise for two minutes with each foot. You can try an alternative by using a frozen bottle that will both cool down the area if a burning sensation is felt and relax the foot.
Feet pain is unpleasant, undesired and a nightmare for most that have experienced it. The failure to act on time and prevent foot pain can cause it to turn into a chronic condition, preventing you from doing your favorite exercise or being as active as you would like to. In order to strengthen your feet and relieve foot pain, you can try implementing some of these exercises. Why not try all of them and filter out which work best for you? If the pain is severe and long-lasting it may also be a good idea to visit a professional who can advise you on the best solution for your feet.
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