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Are you experiencing foot pain in anywhere in your feet-- whether the heel, toes, arch, instep, ankle or sole? Here are some basic facts that can help you to understand the possible causes, identify the symptoms, and find the best treatments for your foot pain.

What causes foot pain? There are many answers to this question. The basic conditions of aging and being overweight increase your chances of foot pain. Other common causes are:

  • poorly fitting shoes
  • bunions
  • hammer toes
  • calluses and corns (your skin thickens with friction and pressure. Calluses are on the balls of your feet, corns are on the toes.)
  • fallen arches (flat feet)
  • planter warts (from pressure on the soles of your feet)
  • broken bones
  • stress fracture
  • arthritis
  • gout (most common in the big toe - it becomes red, swollen, and tender)
  • bone spur (heel)
  • bursitis of the heel
  • tendonitis

Ways to prevent foot pain are:

  • wearing comfortably fitting shoes, with a good arch support and cushioning.
  • Shoes should have adequate room around the ball of your foot and toe.
  • Tennis shoes should be worn as often as possible, especially when walking.
  • Do not frequently wear narrow-toed shoes or high heels.
  • Rotate and replace running shoes frequently.
  • If you are trying a new exercise plan, introduce it slowly and gradually to avoid excessive strain on your feet.
  • Lose weight if you need to in order to stay in the healthy range for your height.
  • Learn exercises that strengthen your feet. Great for flat feet and other problems.
  • Keep your feet dry to avoid friction.
  • Alcohol can bring about attacks of gout!

Treatments for foot pain include:

  • Use ice to reduce pain and swelling. Especially right after an activity that aggravated your pain.
  • Elevate your hurting foot as much as possible.
  • Wear foot pads in areas of friction and pressure.
  • Over the counter meds, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help. Try them for 2 to 3 weeks and see if your foot pain subsides.
  • For planter warts, you can find many over the counter removal medications.
  • Soak calluses in warm water and then rub them with pumice stone.
  • Never cut or burn corns or calluses!
  • Crutches may be necessary to rest a stress fracture for a week or so.
  • Shoe inserts are the best answer for planter fascilitis.

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