5 Easy Ways to Ease Foot Pain
Suffer from tired, sore or heavy feet? Your feet bear the brunt of your entire body. When they hurt, it feels like you can’t take another step. Read on to learn how feet change, why they ache, and ways to relieve pain and keep them strong and active.
Feet are complicated.
The anatomy of the foot is complex. More than a quarter of our bones are in our feet. Each one contains 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 ligaments, muscles and tendons. They clock about 160,000 kilometres in a lifetime—that’s four times around the earth! And just think of the stress they’re under. The average adult applies over one million pounds of force to their feet every day. It’s no wonder they hurt.
Your feet have changed.
Like the rest of our bodies, our feet change with age. Muscles shrink and lose mass, and the ligaments and tendons become stiffer, less flexible and less able to tolerate impact. The fat pads on the balls of our feet get thinner, so we lose cushioning and comfort. The shape of our feet can change too – getting flatter, wider and even longer (an excuse for new shoes!). Years of wearing poorly fitting footwear or high heels can damage feet. Some people develop corns, calluses, bunions, varicose veins, or bent toes.
Arthritis can cause foot and ankle pain.
Arthritis is common in the small joints of the foot and ankle, causing inflammation, pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis, the most prevalent type of arthritis, results from wear-and-tear damage to joint cartilage. The cushioning tissue between the joints breaks down over time.
Overuse and everyday activities hurt too.
Participating in sports, chronic injuries, plantar fasciitis, fractures, strains and sprains can cause inflammation and make feet and ankles throb. But it’s not only weekend warriors who suffer. Simply walking on hard surfaces or standing too long can cause foot pain.
Take steps to care for your feet.
- Absorb the shock. Wear shoes that fit well, are comfortable, support your feet and are appropriate for the activity you’re doing. Look for a pair that matches the shape of your foot, especially in the front of the shoe. Add insoles to provide extra cushioning. If you have falling arches, don’t walk around in bare feet, socks or flats.
- Massage with medicated cream. Nothing beats a foot massage to relax your feet and ease pain. The skin on your feet can be 20 times thicker than on the rest of your body, so use a pain-relieving foot cream that contains penetrating moisturizers to help soothe tough skin. Gold Bond® Pain Relieving Foot Cream has a non-greasy formula that provides fast, soothing relief for minor foot and ankle aches and pains associated with arthritis, muscle soreness, strains and sprains.
- Exercise and stretch daily. It helps maintain circulation and muscle tone, and control weight. Less weight means less pressure on your feet. Keep joints flexible with foot and calf stretches. Circle the ankles, point and flex feet, and do the alphabet with your toes.
- Elevate your feet. To reduce swelling, prop your legs up at the end of the day. Make sure to support your knees.
- Take a footnote. If you have persistent or severe foot pain, see a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. Learn more about how to care for painful, dry, cracked or even stinky feet at goldbond.ca.