Foot Pain - Your Shoes May Be the Cause
by CARA SPINDLER
Foot Pain is Extremely Common in the USA.
In fact, 75% of the American public will experience some degree of foot pain over the course of their lifetime, due to sustained injuries, life changes, or simply from the natural process of aging.
Aetrex, a global company that is a leader in foot scanning and orthotics, notes that 25% of all the bones in our body are situated in the foot, along with 107 ligaments, 33 joints and 19 different muscles. 1 If you also factor in that our feet have close to 8,000 nerve endings, you can understand why foot pain is so prevalent within our general population.
If you are suffering with some form of foot ailment, you are not alone. It is much more common than you may think.
- According to Google, over 90,000 people in the United States search for the term
Foot Pain every month and Google returns well over 2 billion search results regarding that topic.2
- A survey of 1,000 US adults was done by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). It revealed that 77% of people have experienced some level of foot pain “...but interestingly, only a third of those would seek expert care by a podiatrist.”3
Self Diagnosing Symptoms to Relieve Foot Pain
In their journey to relieve their foot pain, most people begin with a basic search on the internet, rather than a trip to the doctor.
The APMA survey, along with the tens of thousands of Google searches on foot pain indicates the majority of people with painful foot ailments want to first learn about their condition. From there, many choose to try and ignore the pain and live with it, or try to alleviate the problem on their own.
Those suffering with foot pain are researching their symptoms, focusing on the exact location of the foot where their pain is centralized. Once they are able to isolate the area that feels afflicted, they can delve into further research to discover how to alleviate, or eliminate their pain.
Most Researched Areas of Foot Pain
- Pain on Top of the Foot
- Pain in the Ball of the Foot
- Pain in the Arch of the Foot
- Pain in the Bottom of the Foot
- Pain in the Side of the Foot
- Pain in the Heel of the Foot
- Pain on the Side of the Foot
- Foot Pain while Walking
- Nerve Pain in the Foot
- Pain in the Middle of the Foot
Footwear Can be the Cause of Your Pain
According to John Hopkins University:
“Foot pain is often caused by improper foot function. Poorly fitting shoes can worsen and, in some cases, cause foot problems.” 4
The vast majority of foot pain is actually caused by the shoes or boots that you put on your feet every day.
And children's feet are most susceptible, because wearing ill-fitting footwear from birth can actually deform or stunt a child's foot as it grows.
For adults, poorly fitting shoes worn over the course of a lifetime can do mild-to-serious damage to a foot’s nerves, tendons, ligaments and toes, with some of that damage being irreparable.
Old Fashioned Shoes Stores are Nearly Extinct
Only a few short decades ago, shoe-stores always had knowledgeable staff on hand to properly measure your feet every time you went in to buy a pair of shoes. The proper sizing was seen as an important thing to have done, because footwear professionals knew that your shoe size would change over time due to:
- Weight Loss
- Weight Gain
Unfortunately, most of today’s shoe stores are now self-service. Customers can simply pull a box off a shelf and try the shoes on themselves, without ever interacting with a store clerk until it is time to pay for their purchase.
To make matters worse, some of the biggest shoe store chains in the USA are now virtual, found only on-line, making it difficult and time-consuming to try and get a proper fit. Buying and shipping shoes back and forth becomes a cumbersome task.
The result? Many people simply give up. They decide to keep that pair of shoe or work boots they bought online hoping they may stretch over time. Or they believe that their feet, though they feel uncomfortable in the footwear at first, will somehow get used to them in the weeks and months ahead.
Getting the Proper Fitting Shoes
The solution to getting the right fit for home, exercising, work or play, is to take the time to search out a shoe retailer in the business, such as Family Footwear Center, that understands the importance of buying shoes that have the proper fit. All of our footwear professionals are trained in how to properly measure feet, using an old-world Brannock-type device.
A Brannock accurately measures the length, width and the arch length of the feet
A Brannock is used to determine the proper shoe size by measuring the length of each foot, the width of each foot and very importantly, the arch length of each foot. This must be done for both the left and the right foot, because most people have one foot that is slightly bigger than the other and the shoes must accommodate the largest one.
After measuring your feet, trained footwear specialists will take into consideration any foot ailments you may have and then guide you into the right brand and the right style shoes for you. This will ensure that you purchase proper fitting footwear.
Family Footwear Center professionals help to educate the general public on how foot pain can be greatly alleviated, and in many cases prevented, by the careful selection of their footwear. 5
Common Foot Ailments
There are many reasons for having foot pain in all areas of your feet. This may include pain that extends up into your ankles, through your foot’s ligaments and tendons and even down into your toes.
The following is a list of some of the most common foot problems that people are suffering with. Click on an ailment to learn more about it and to discover which brand or style of shoes that may help to alleviate its discomfort and pain.
- Plantar Fasciitis
A condition caused by the ligaments contracting, especially while sleeping overnight.
Bony protrusions off the sides of the feet, most commonly occurring at the base of the largest toes.
Pain and swelling in the joint at the base of the biggest toe that flares up suddenly, most often while sleeping
- Athlete's Foot
A fungal infection causing redness and itching on the feet and between the toes
Pockets of body fluids that form under the top layer of the skin
- Corns & Calluses
Hard build-ups of thick dead skin on the feet or toes generally caused by friction
- Plantar Warts
Growths on the soles of the feet at the base of the toes, or on the balls or heels of the foot
- Heel Spurs
Calcium deposits causing a bony protrusion directly under the heel bone.
- Stone Bruise
Pain in the ball of the foot at the base of the big toe or heel pad that causes tingling, or burning sensations.
- Claw Toes
A deformity involving the small toes that causes them to bend and curl under towards the bottom of the foot
- Hammer Toe
The joint of a toe that points up instead of laying flat, due to an abnormality in the tendon of the foot
- Morton's Neuroma
Pain felt between the third and fourth toes that feels as if there is a pebble under your foot
Pain felt at the ball of the foot beneath the biggest toe joint, especially while bending or straightening the toe
Tendon pain, or weakness, that feels as if it is traveling up the foot into the ankles, which is worse after resting
- Fallen Arches
Pain felt in the outside back of the feet that is felt up into the ankles
Consult with a Pedorthist
A good way to figure out what shoes or boots would be best for you and the foot pain you are experiencing would be to consult with a footwear professional, such as a Pedorthist.
A licensed Pedorthist can assist you in selecting footwear that takes into account any foot ailments you may have. They will help you find footwear that is specifically tailored to meet your individual needs.
Some award-winning shoe stores like Family Footwear Center have a licensed Pedorthist on staff such as Gretchen Lima at our Manchester Vermont location. Gretchen is a trained expert that can answer customers' questions about their foot health.
Gretchen advocates the following key issue:
“Our feet are the foundation of our body and also have an impact on our knees, back and neck. Wearing the proper footwear can significantly improve our comfort and quality of life."
Pictured Above: American Board Certified Pedorthist Gretchen Lima
You can schedule your free consultation with Gretchen Lima if you are in the area, by calling our Manchester store location at 802-362-4378.
People suffer with foot pain to varying degrees. To some, a small amount of discomfort and pain may seem just a mild nuisance that they have to live with. To others, the pain may be so severe that it becomes physically incapacitating.
Knowing the right type of shoes or boots to wear can truly make a difference in comfort Choosing the right footwear may greatly help in diminishing your foot pain, and may even help to alleviate it altogether.
While some ailments may be treatable through home remedies and/or wearing the proper fitting footwear, some foot pain may be indicative of something much more serious. Always seek out the advice of a medical professional before embarking on a journey of holistic, or self-healing.
- Aetrex Foot Scanning and Orthotics Foot Facts https://www.foot.com/foot-facts/
- SEMRUSH Analytics; Google Search Results confirms 90,500 searches for the term Foot Pain on 7/13/21
- Google Search Results manually performed 7/14/21
- American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Survey https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-survey-reveals-majority-of-americans-suffer-from-foot-pain-259775741.html
- Foot Pain and Problems. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/foot-pain-and-problems
- Ultimate Insider Secrets to Buying Shoes that Fit - by Cara Spindler Ultimate Insider Secrets to Buying Shoes that Fit - by Cara Spindler https://www.familyfootwearcenter.com/blog/ultimat...
- Journal of Foot and Ankle Research: Understanding the Nature and Mechanism of Foot Pain https://jfootankleres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1757-1146-2-1
DISCLAIMER: The content provided by Family Footwear Center is based on research done for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.