The feet are two of the most overlooked parts of the body. Most people ignore their feet unless those areas are causing them pain or a host of other discomforts. For many, dealing with problems like foot pain is as easy as applying a cold compress on the affected part or taking over-the-counter medications. However, some people suffer from chronic pain in their feet. And it may require more than just ice packs and pain relievers to subdue the symptoms. If you suffer from lingering or debilitating agony in your feet, there’s a high chance it’s triggered by heel and arch pain. Chronic pain in your feet can prevent you from doing many of your daily activities, if not totally disrupt your lifestyle. The good news is that there are numerous treatments you can undergo to kick foot pain out of the picture for good. But before you can focus on the solution, you must first determine what’s causing the problem. Right from the start, you must know that the pain you feel in your feet is just part of the symptoms brought about by many different conditions. Here are some of the top reasons your feet hurt all the time:
- Ingrown Toenails
Everyone is at risk of experiencing this common condition affecting the toes, particularly the big toes. It happens when the growth of your toenails angles off inward and toward the nail bed. This creates pressure and may cause the affected skin in your toe to become swollen. When that happens, you’ll feel pain in the problematic toe and foot. If left untreated, ingrown toenails can cause pus to occur, signifying that the toe has become infected.
Ingrown toenails may be brought about by:
- Injury in the foot, particularly in the big toe
- Poor toenail hygiene
- Improper nail trimming
- Activities or sports that put excessive strain on your toes
To deal with your ingrown toenails, you may need to have the problematic toenails removed. You can consult your doctor on how the procedure will go. For temporary relief, soaking your feet in warm water or apple cider vinegar may help soothe the swelling. Taking antibiotics may also help prevent infection.
- Previous Foot Injuries
If you’ve suffered sprains, broken bones, or torn tendons in your feet before, then you may expect to experience lingering pain in the affected areas. The chances are even higher if the trauma in your foot hasn’t adequately healed.
But don’t worry—it’s never too late to strengthen the muscles and tissues in your feet. With regular exercise and stretching, you can help your feet and ankles become stronger, healthier, and more effective at supporting your body weight.
- Ill-Fitting Footwear
The kind of shoes you wear can affect the condition of your feet. Did you know that wearing ill-fitting shoes can cause your feet to become swollen or inflamed? You’ve probably experienced how hard it is to walk in overly tight shoes. A condition known as metatarsalgia, or pain in the ball of your foot, is commonly caused by wearing shoes that don’t perfectly fit.
Just imagine if you insist on wearing ill-fitting shoes to work every day or during strenuous activities. If you’re guilty of this, you can expect your feet to hurt all the time. If you experience foot pain due to uncomfortable shoes, you can try the following remedies:
- Apply cold pressure on your aching feet.
- Take pain medication.
- Put additional padding or cushion for your soles in your shoes.
- Invest in a comfortable pair of shoes, especially for frequent use.
Moreover, women who wear high-heeled shoes for long hours daily tend to suffer foot pain more than those who stick to flat shoes. So if you don’t need to wear high-heeled shoes, or after your executive board meeting at work is over, make it a point to shift to cushioned flats.
- Heel Spurs
Spurs are abnormal growths arising from the bones under your heels. They commonly develop at the bottom of your heels, and their development is directed toward the arches of your feet. When you have heel spurs, they can cause pain when you stand or walk.
These outgrowths may be brought about by poor posture, an abnormal walk, or even wearing improperly sized shoes. Many people have heel spurs but are oblivious to the fact that they have the condition. The reason for this is that under ordinary circumstances, heel spurs don’t cause any pain. However, some people experience tremendous discomfort caused by this problem. Here are some tips that may help soothe the pain:
- Apply cold compress to relieve inflammation.
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
- Invest in well-fitting footwear or customized shoes.
- Install proper shoe inserts for added heel support.
- See a doctor if symptoms linger.
In some cases, you may need surgery to remove the bony growths. But take note that there have been cases where spurs grow back years after the procedure has been done.
- Flatfeet Or Fallen Arches
When you were young, or if ever you’ve undergone some military training, your teacher or superiors may have told you to keep your feet flat on the floor whenever they want you to behave or maintain proper posture. But anatomically speaking, your feet aren’t meant to be flat.
If you look closely, each foot is supposed to have three arches. The shape of the arches is designed for better locomotion, weight absorption, and flexibility. However, some people have flatfeet or fallen arches. This is a condition that occurs when the arches of your feet are absent. Fallen arches may be brought about by different factors, including injuries, aging, obesity, and congenital conditions.
You can determine if you’re flatfooted by standing up and checking if all the parts of your soles touch the floor. If your entire sole makes contact with the surface you’re standing on, then you may have flatfeet. The good news is that most people with fallen arches don’t experience any pain. But if your condition causes lingering pain, you may opt for any or all the following:
- Undergo physical therapy to correct or improve the form of your feet.
- Invest in shoe inserts that provide added arch support.
- Consider wearing custom-designed footwear.
If you’re flatfooted and your condition doesn’t cause any discomfort, you don’t need to undergo any treatment.
- Bunions, Bunionettes, And Hammertoes
Bunions are small bumps on the joints of your toes, typically the big toe. At first, you may not notice this problem even if you’re wearing ill-fitting shoes. But as the condition progresses, you’ll find what used to be a minor irritation has become an extremely painful one.
Meanwhile, if you have a swollen, red bump on your pinky toe, that’s called a bunionette. Don’t be fooled by the cute name. A bunionette may sound less menacing, but it can be considered just as painful as a bunion.
What causes bunions?
- Underlying conditions like rheumatoid arthritis
- Wearing narrow and tight-fitting shoes
- Standing for extended periods
People with bunions usually have hammertoes as well. You’ll know that you’re suffering from this condition if the middle joints of your second, third, or fourth toe seem to be bent, causing the affected toe to look like a small hammer.
If you suffer from bunions, bunionettes, or hammertoes, the first thing you can do to prevent pain is to use comfortable footwear with low heels. However, if the pain becomes unbearable, you have the option to undergo surgery.
As you get older, you’ll feel swelling, tenderness, and pain in many points of your body, including your feet and ankles. Arthritis is a blanket term describing chronic inflammation around joints and surrounding tissues.
Below are some common types of arthritis that cause inflammation and chronic pain in your ankles and feet.
- Gout – It’s brought by the buildup of uric acid in your joints. It can affect most joints in your body, but it usually starts in your big toe. Gout attacks are usually sudden and cause excruciating pain that even the slightest touch could make you grimace in agony.
- Psoriatic arthritis – This condition typically attacks several joints at once, usually the tips of your toes and ankles. The inflammation is caused by psoriasis, a skin condition linked to a poor immune system and characterized by rapid skin production.
- Osteoarthritis – It’s the most common kind of arthritis because it’s due to the wear and tear of the joints. Usually age-related, osteoarthritis is common among seniors who may experience stiffening and tenderness in their ankles, heels, or other joints in the feet. Athletes are also prone to osteoarthritis due to the repetitive and load-bearing movements in most sports.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – This arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the joints are affected by the immune system to the point of deterioration. You may have this condition if you feel pain and tenderness in the same joints and on both sides of your body. If you experience simultaneous arthritis attacks on both your left and right feet, you should see your doctor immediately.
The feet may be the most vital parts of the lower extremities. It would be tremendously difficult to perform any task without them, let alone move from one location to the next. Unfortunately, your feet are also two of the most neglected areas of the body. If you’re not experiencing any pain or discomfort in your feet, there’s a big chance you wouldn’t even check on their condition.
With that said, having feet that hurt all the time can affect your lifestyle. Thus, you owe it to yourself to find the root cause of the problem as soon as possible. Many factors can bring pain to your feet. Knowing them is the first step toward finding the right cure or treatment.