Why Do My Feet Hurt?
Are you fed up with it? The pain in your feet that shows up as a consistent problem in your life?
Maybe you know when to expect it, your feet always gingerly touching the floor when you get out of bed in the morning because you know a jolting shock of pain will arrive right on time. Or maybe you plan for it after a workout or a long day at work. Or maybe it just suddenly appears when it wants to.
The only thing you know for sure is that you’ve had enough. You want to know why your feet hurt and just what you can do about it! But where to start?
You might not realize it, but you have already made a very important step that too many people don’t.
Demanding Answers for Foot Pain
The fact that you are even looking for a solution to your foot or heel pain problem is a significant step all in itself.
We see a great deal of people come into our office seeking help for foot pain. It’s our bread and butter, after all. But the truth is that we and other podiatrists could be seeing and helping so many more people if they believed their pain was something worth addressing.
It is quite a marvel sometimes how our human minds just learn to “accept” things. Many people just assume that consistent foot pain is a normal part of living or something they have to endure as part of their job or lifestyle. That just isn’t true, however. Persistent pain is never supposed to be normal.
Then there are people who tried one or even a few potential remedies for their pain, only for it not to work out. These cases can be particularly heartbreaking because it comes with a sense of hopelessness, and we discuss this further in one of our recent blogs.
But the truth is simple and much more encouraging: almost every form of foot and heel pain can be treated in ways that significantly improve the situation or eliminate the problem entirely. The crux of the situation lies in determining just what is causing the condition in the first place.
Getting to the Root of Your Foot Pain
If being determined to address your heel pain is the first step toward reaching a solution, the second step is undoubtedly discovering what the problem actually is.
Pain can come from a wide variety of causes. Just a few include:
- Injuries. Yes, you know when you have dropped something on your foot or come down hard on a rock, but there are other injuries that develop over time. Overuse injuries, such as Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis, can develop when you push your body too hard or don’t give it enough time to rest between intense training.
- Nerve pain. Pain that can be described as “tingling,” “hot,” or “shooting” might be associated with a nerve problem of some sort. This can include neuromas (a buildup of tissue around a nerve, often in the front of the foot) or entrapped nerves (nerves that are being compressed within a constricted area).
- Structural abnormalities. Our feet are complex mechanical structures, made up of many bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissues. When an abnormality such as flat feet or high arches throws the “machine” off balance, it can lead to excess pressure in certain areas of the foot, which can result in chronic pain.
Sometimes, a combination of factors can be at play. For example, an abnormality in your foot structure is causing a nerve to become compressed. It’s not always enough to just know the condition behind the pain; you must know all the factors that are contributing to the condition as well. This is why sometimes remedies you expect to have an effect don’t work—you don’t know the whole picture!
So What Can We DO About It?
Once the source of foot pain is identified, a comprehensive treatment plan can be recommended to address it. Our recommendations are tailored not only to the best treatments for your circumstances, but also your individual needs and goals. A treatment that would be effective for one patient might not be the best for another.
A big factor in many treatment plans is the use of custom orthotics. These can be especially effective in cases where an imbalance in forces across the feet or an abnormal structure are contributing to pain.
Custom orthotics are made specifically to the foot shape and needs of each individual patient, meaning no pair is the same as another. If they are part of your plan, we will prescribe an exact set to be made and fitted for you (and only you).
Not all cases will require custom orthotics, however, and we may recommend custom orthotics in addition to other treatments. Other options might include, but are not limited to:
- Stretching and exercise regimens.
- Anti-inflammatory medications.
- Corticosteroid injections.
- Changes in footwear and/or workout plans.
- In very rare cases, surgical intervention.
Getting the Help You Need Starts with You
Do not hesitate to seek help for persistent foot, heel, or ankle pain. The longer you wait, the more time you lose to discomfort—and the worse the problem may gradually become.
Call our Colorado Springs office at (719) 266-5000 to schedule an appointment with us. If you would prefer to reach us electronically for questions or appointment requests, we are more than happy to hear from you via our online contact form.