The Reasons Why Your Feet Ache
Pain in your feet is never nice to experience, but there are many reasons why your feet might be aching. From underlying health conditions to your lifestyle, ill-fitting shoes or even a small amount of weight gain, foot pain can be caused by a multitude of different reasons. Thankfully there are several things that you can do to not only get pain relief for your feet right now but also prevent them from giving you so much pain and discomfort in the future.
Common Causes of Extreme Foot Pain
Our feet act as shock absorbers and cushion up to a million pounds of pressure during just one hour of exercise. When walking normally, they support 1.2 times our body weight, and even more when jogging or running, so it’s no surprise that they are a part of our body that can be highly susceptible to pain and injuries. Feet have over 26 bones, 33 joints, and five ligaments. When these structures are overstressed or injured, you may experience pain and difficulty standing or walking without discomfort. Some of the most common causes of extreme foot pain include:
Posterior Tibital Tendonitis
The posterior tibialis tendon helps to support the natural arch of your feet. When it is irritated, it can lead to flat feet, pain, and limited walking ability.
This is one of the most common causes of foot pain and results when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects your toe to your heel, becomes irritated. You may experience pain on the bottom of your feet, most commonly near the inside of the heel. The pain is most commonly felt in the morning, although you may also find walking painful.
This condition causes pain in the area just before the toes, known as the ball of the foot. The bones in this region of the food are called metatarsals, hence the name. Increased stress is put on this area with a lot of jumping or running activities, which can cause these bones to become swollen or painful.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
This condition is similar to the condition in the wrist known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms are commonly felt on the inside of the foot and include shooting pain and tingling or burning sensations.
What Causes Extreme Plantar Fasciitis Pain?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain, causing a stabbing sensation in the bottom of the foot that’s usually worse first thing in the morning. Small tears can occur in the plantar fascia if the stress and tension placed on it become too great. There are various causes and risk factors for this condition, including:
- Age: This condition is more common in people aged between 40 and 60.
- Exercise: Activities such as long-distance running and aerobic dance place a lot of stress on the heel and the attached tissue, which can contribute to plantar fasciitis.
- Extra weight: Being overweight or obese places extra pressure and stress on your plantar fascia.
- Foot structure: Having a high arch, flat feet, or an unusual gait can affect the way that your weight is distributed when you are walking or standing, putting additional stress on your plantar fascia.
- Standing for long periods: If you work in a job that keeps you on your feet for long periods of time walking or standing on hard surfaces, you’re at a higher risk of damage to the plantar fascia.
What Causes Extreme Foot Pain on Outside of Foot?
Pain on the outside of the feet is called lateral foot pain. It can be caused by various problems, including:
- Stress fractures: These are caused by tiny cracks in the bone from repetitive motions or overuse, and pain from them usually occurs when pressure is put on your foot.
- Cuboid syndrome: The cuboid is a cube-shaped bone located in the middle of the outer edge of your feet. Its purpose is to connect your foot to your ankle and provide stability. This condition occurs when the joints or ligaments around this bone are dislocated. Common symptoms include weakness, tenderness, and pain on the outer edges of your foot.
- Peroneal tendonitis: This condition occurs when the peroneal tendon, which runs from the back of your calf, over your ankle’s outer edge, to the bottom of your toes, becomes inflamed or swollen from ankle injuries or overuse.
Why Do I Get Extreme Heel Pain After Sitting?
Foot stiffness and pain after getting up from a sitting position is a common symptom of plantar fasciitis. If the discomfort you experience is caused by this condition, you may experience some pain relief after a few minutes of activity to warm up the area. Pain experienced after sitting may also be caused by a plantar fascia rupture, plantar warts, or other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Bursitis, when fluid-filled sacs cushioning bones, muscles, and tendons near the joints in the foot become inflamed, can also lead to this type of pain.
What Can Cause Extremely Painful Feet When Walking?
Along with plantar fasciitis and the other conditions mentioned above, common causes of feeling pain in the feet when you are walking can include:
- Calluses: These are thick layers of skin that form on any part of the body exposed to a lot of friction.
- Morton’s neuroma: This condition involves a thickening of the tissue surrounding nerves in the balls of the feet. If you have this condition, you may have the sensation of stepping on something when walking.
- Turf toe: This refers to a sprain that occurs in the main joint of your big toe and is often caused by bending the toe too far upwards. It’s common in athletes who play sports on an artificial turf surface, hence the name.
- Flat feet: This common condition occurs when your feet press flat on the ground, rather than having a natural arch. It commonly occurs from birth, but it can also be brought on by injuries or increased pressure on the arches of your feet.
How to Treat Extreme Pain in Feet
If you are experiencing any type of extreme pain in your feet when walking, standing, or moving from a sitting position, the first thing to do is speak to your doctor, who can rule out any underlying health conditions and provide advice on how to best care for your feet. A professional can also help with custom orthotics or specialised shoes designed to provide your feet with tailored support.
Best Remedies for Extreme Pain in Bottom of Foot
Along with professional help and advice, there are several things that you can do to get some relief for extreme foot pain at home. These include:
- Foot soak: Soaking your feet in warm water can help relieve the pain. For more effectiveness, consider adding Epsom salts or a few drops of an anti-inflammatory essential oil such as peppermint or eucalyptus oil to your water.
- Foot massage: A professional foot massage or self-massage can help with pain, stiffness, and tension in the feet.
- Supportive shoes: Wearing worn-out shoes or shoes that do not fit well can contribute to pain in your feet. Opt for shoes that fit you well and provide a good level of cushioning and support, especially if you’re wearing them all day while on your feet.
How to Soothe Extreme Foot Pain From Standing All Day
If you stand all day at your job, you might experience foot pain throughout the day or after returning from work. There are several things you can do to reduce and relieve this pain including:
- Taking over-the-counter medication: Ibuprofen or paracetamol can relieve pain and swelling in the feet. Always take the recommended dose and read instructions beforehand.
- Shoes: If you’re standing all day, a pair of sturdy, supportive shoes that fit you well and cushion your feet is important. You may also consider adding additional insert support for certain parts of your feet.
- Weight loss: If you are overweight, this will put additional pressure on your feet when standing. Losing weight can help.
How to Prevent Extreme Foot Pain After Work – Getting Extreme Foot Pain Relief:
If your feet always ache after a day at work, the good news is that you can take steps to prevent it. Along with the steps mentioned above, consider:
- Compression socks or stockings: These are designed to improve the blood flow in your feet, ankles, and legs, and can be very useful for those who have no choice but to stand for long hours at work.
- Ice: If your feet are swollen and inflamed due to standing for long periods, applying ice to the affected area can help.
- Stretches: Stretching your feet before and after your shift at work can help to relax tense muscles and improve circulation.
- Seated breaks: Sitting down on your break and wherever it is possible throughout the working day will help to relieve the pressure on your feet.
There are many reasons why you might be experiencing a lot of pain in your feet. Foot pain is commonly caused by a lot of pressure on the feet, which can happen if you live a busy lifestyle that has you standing and walking a lot. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to relieve and prevent the pain.