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Four Things You Can Do to Ease Your Foot Pain


yFoot ailments are among the most common health problems in the United States, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). And when you consider that an average day of walking brings a force equal to several hundred tons to bear on your feet, APMA says, this is quite understandable.

ease foot pain

Every day your feet support several hundred tons of force, according to the APMA.

Your feet are actually very complex. They contain one-quarter of all the bones in your body (that amounts to 26 bones!) along with 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments.

And according to the APMA, "Studies show that most Americans experience foot problems of a greater or lesser degree of seriousness at some time in their lives."

What Causes Foot Pain?

Certain systemic diseases -- diabetes, circulatory disorders, anemia, kidney problems and gout, for instance -- can cause pain in your feet. However, most foot pain occurs because you are not taking proper care of your feet.

"Although some can be traced to heredity, many [foot ailments] stem from the cumulative impact of a lifetime of abuse and neglect," the APMA states.

Among the most common sources of foot pain are:

foot massage

A foot massage is an ideal way to soothe your sore feet.

  • Blisters

  • Bunions: Misaligned big toe joints, which can be aggravated by shoes that are too narrow

  • Corns and calluses: Layers of compacted, dead skin cells caused by repeated friction and pressure from skin rubbing against bony areas or against an irregularity in a shoe

  • Hammertoe: A toe that is bent in a claw-like position, which can be aggravated by ill-fitting shoes or socks that cramp the toes

  • Heal pain: This results from too much stress on the heel bone, ligaments, or nerves in the area. It can be caused by jumping on hard surfaces, poorly made shoes or being overweight.

  • Heel spurs: Growths of bone under the heel bone

  • Neuromas: Enlarged growths of nerves, commonly between the third and fourth toes. Pressure from ill-fitting shoes can cause this.

Of course, there is also the feeling of overall sore feet, which results from standing, walking, or being on your feet for long periods of time.

Stretching Toward a Healthier Life

Your feet deserve to be stretched!

If you have pain in your feet or elsewhere in your body, you are doing yourself an extreme disservice by not stretching.

Find out about Stretching Toward a Healthier Life -- the highly recommended program for proper stretching -- and get Free Shipping for a Limited Time!

Preventing Sore Feet

You can help to keep your feet healthy and pain-free by:

  • Washing your feet regularly, particularly between your toes, and drying them thoroughly.

  • Trimming your toenails straight across and not too short (to avoid ingrown toenails).

  • Making sure your shoes fit properly. It's best to go shoe-shopping at the end of the day, as feet will be at their largest. For women, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that heels should never be higher than 2-1/4" high.

  • Replace worn out shoes.

  • Wear the right shoes for your activity (such as running shoes for running).

  • Alternating your shoes so that you don't wear the same pair day-in and day-out.

Easing Your Foot Pain

For those of you who routinely spend long hours on your feet, there are many options to ease your pain. Here are some of the most effective:

1. Massage Them

Ideally, have someone else do this for you -- professional masseuse, your significant other, or a really good friend. If you have no one to massage your feet for you, no problem. Simply put a tennis ball or soup can on the floor and roll your feet slowly over it.

2. Put Them Up

Lying down with your feet elevated on a few big pillows can help to reduce swelling and foot pain.

3. Soak Them

Fill a basin with warm water, add a foot soak or just some sea salt, and soak your feet for 15 or 20 minutes. For even more relaxation, you can add eight to 10 drops of essential oils, such as lavender, peppermint, rosemary and lemon, to the water. You can also put some smooth stones or marbles in the bottom to run your feet over as a massage.

4. Stretch

Giving your feet a good stretch helps to promote circulation and relieves tension and stress. For an excellent routine that presents 15 stretches that stretch all the key muscles groups throughout your entire body in just 15-20 minutes, try Stretching Toward a Healthier Life, the top-recommended DVD by stretching expert Jacques Gauthier.

Finally, if the pain in your feet is persistent or severe, don't ignore it. In this case, a visit to a podiatric physician may be in order.

Recommended Reading

The Major Health Benefits of Going Barefoot (Really!)

Does Wearing Shoes Help a Baby Learn to Walk Sooner?


American Podiatric Medical Association

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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