Those pretty little shoes may look adorable, but are they supporting your hard-working feet? When your feet hurt, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. Summer is just around the corner, so here are a few feet-friendly tips to help you avoid foot pain.
Tips to Avoid Foot Pain
- Stretch your feet before exercise or sporting events.
- Wear shoes that support your feet: shoes that don’t fit properly or hurt your feet are a prescription for pain. Runners are advised to replace their shoes every 350-500 miles.
- Ice your heel when you feel pain.
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According to the New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA), the number one cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, which often causes pain on the bottom of your heel during your first morning steps. The pain can last all day and can get worse if not treated. Plantar fasciitis can be caused by many factors, including:
- weight gain
- wearing shoes that don’t support the foot
- walking barefoot
- increased exercise routine
- walking on hard surfaces without supportive shoes
Other causes include:
- stress fracture
- thinning of the fat pad
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“Determining the cause of pain is not always easy, but treatment is vital,” said Gary Stones, DPM and President of the NYSPMA. “Treating and preventing common heel ailments will ultimately keep you healthier and pain-free,” he added.
Treating Foot Pain
A podiatrist can help determine the cause of your heel pain and advise you on how to treat it, as well as how to prevent future heel pain. Treatment options include:
- physical therapy
- specially-fitted shoe inserts, especially for avid walkers, hikers, and tennis players
- pain medications
April is Foot Health Awareness Month. The NYSPMA is working to educate consumers so they don’t have to live with foot pain. For more information, visit: apma.org
Photo: Digital Vision|Thinkstock