When you’re living in a culture focused on busyness, there’s a pressure to constantly keep moving. But if you’ve taken your foot health for granted, all that pressure might turn into serious pain — and make it impossible for you to move at all. Approximately 75% of Americans will experience foot health problems or varying degrees at one time or another, but that doesn’t mean that it’s normal to experience chronic or extreme foot pain. If you’re wondering why your feet are killing you all the time, you might want to figure out the reasons why and take steps to alleviate your toe woes. Here are just a few potential causes of foot pain and what you can to do stop it.
You Aren’t Active Enough
You might be quick to blame excessive walking or other types of physical activity for the pain you feel in your feet. But sometimes that may actually indicate that you aren’t active enough in general. Often, feet problems start when feet are neglected; you may not notice them until you’ve over-exerted yourself, but it’s not usually the specific physical activity that causes pain. In many cases, it may be that you aren’t active enough.
For one thing, leading a sedentary lifestyle can actually wreak havoc on your feet. Even if you aren’t standing or walking around for long periods of time, the act of sitting for hours on end can hurt your whole body. What’s more, it’ll keep you from moving around, which is actually more harmful than physical exertion. Certainly, a foot massager can help after a long day, since 92% of people surveyed feel that massage can be an effective way to reduce pain. But amping up your fitness routine can help, too. It can allow you to lose weight, which can be helpful for those who are experiencing extra pressure and pain. You might also consider trying out some foot and toe stretches, which can often alleviate discomfort. Ultimately, the answer to relieving foot pain is to embrace exercise, rather than shy away from it. You’ll just need to make sure you’re doing the right kind.
You’re Wearing the Wrong Shoes
It’s also possible that your shoes are to blame. When shoes fit improperly or are ill-suited for the activities in which we partake, we will often experience pain as a result. Sky-high heels can place too much pressure on the ball of your foot, resulting in pain and increasing the likelihood of fractures, sprained ankles, and more. Stay away from heels that are over three inches in height — and make sure that heels of any height have built-in cushioning and support. If your shoes are too tight, that can also cause irritation and pain. It’s possible you might need a wide shoe or a different size without realizing it.
Investing in the right shoes and ditching impractical footwear is a start, but it won’t always relieve your aches and pains (especially if you can’t get out of wearing the culprits). Some people are turning to CBD salves and oils to treat pain caused by high heels or uncomfortable shoes, which might really do the trick when your dogs are barking. Of course, it’s better to wear comfortable shoes than to treat the pain and endure the potential damage later on, but CBD products might be a worthwhile investment if you experience foot pain only every so often or find your foot pain is connected to a certain type of shoe you can’t get rid of.
You Have a Diagnosable Condition
Aside from lifestyle (and just plain style) changes you can make, there still may be a good reason why your feet hurt so much. Around 19% of the U.S. population experiences 1.4 foot problems on average per year, and it’s entirely possible you might suffer from a foot-related condition. Heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonosis, rheumatoid arthritis, metatarsalgia, bunions, and other conditions can cause an immense amount of pain. What’s more, many may not resolve on their own; they often require physical therapy, surgery, or other medical treatments. That said, most cases do improve when medical intervention occurs, so if you’re not getting relief by wearing better shoes and by exercising more, you might consider meeting with a podiatrist or a physical therapist to learn more.
In the end, you don’t have to live with incessant foot pain. But in order to alleviate your symptoms, you’ll need to do some detective work and make some changes in order to prioritize your foot health in the long term.