Sore feet can simply be the product of standing too long on the job or walking all day on a family outing. But in some instances, a sore heel or sharp pain in your foot can be a sign of other ailments.
While you should always consult your doctor if you're experiencing extreme pain, here's a quick and dirty” low-down of some of the symptoms, causes, and treatments of various foot maladies.
Achilles Tendinitis is caused by an overuse of the Achilles (uh-KILL-eez) tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone.
- A mild ache at the impacted joint
- Episodes of severe pain after prolonged exercise
- Mild swelling
- A naturally flat arch
- Tight calf muscles
- Running in worn-out shoes
- Not enough foot support
- Stretch daily
- Strengthen calf muscles
- Choose your shoes wisely
- Use inserts for extra support
Haglund's Deformity is a condition that affects the bone in the foot as well as the tissue. The bone can rub against the heel tissue near the Achilles, irritating both the tissue and the bursa that lies between the bone and the tendon.
- A large, painful bump on the back of your heel
- Swelling of the heel
- Redness at the heel
- Pain in the area where the heel and the Achilles attach
- Wear shoes that fit
While it probably seems obvious that a broken foot would cause pain, sometimes the pain isn't as severe as you would think. Fractures can vary from tiny cracks to more serious breaks that pierce the skin.
- Immediate pain
- Pain that increases with activity and decreases with rest
- Difficulty in walking or bearing weight
- Wear proper shoes
- Watch your step!
- Sharp pain in the ball of your foot
- Pain that worsens when you stand, run, or walk
- Sharp, shooting pain or tingling in toes
- Intense training
- A high arch
- Poor-fitting shoes
- High heels
- Shock-absorbing insoles
- Stabbing pain with your first steps in the morning
- Stabbing pain after long periods of standing or rising after sitting
- Repetitive stretching
- In many cases, the cause isn't clear
- Stretching the painful area
In many of these instances, foot pain can be relieved or prevented by wearing shoes with the proper support.
If you have any of the symptoms above, be sure to consult your doctor, but also make sure your shoes and your inserts are supporting your feet whether you’re standing, running, lifting weights, or walking.