TIRED, ACHY FEET?
By Bethesda, MD & Springfield, VA Podiatrist, Dr. Paul Ross of The Podiatry Center
If your feet get tired and achy easily, that could be a sign of flat feet. This tends to happen after prolonged periods of standing or walking and can affect your ability to do ordinary, everyday activities.
The average person walks about 2-3 miles a day, which translates into 5,000-6,000 steps. This might be less for people who have a sedentary lifestyle, but it can still have an effect on your feet.
If you have fallen arches, there are a few areas of your feet in which you’re most likely to experience pain. If you do have any of these kinds of pain, there are solutions that you can try at home before you make the decision to see a podiatrist.
An issue with your plantar fascia is usually denoted by arch pain, which oftentimes means that you could be developing plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a ligament that supports the arch of your foot. If you strain this ligament, you could experience irritation, tenderness, swelling, or a stabbing sensation in the arch of your foot.
If you aren’t sure what kind of pain you’re having, ask yourself exactly when you’re experiencing this pain so that you can gain a better understanding of what to do next. Here are some questions to consider:
- Do you feel pain only during activity?
- Do you feel pain before and after activity but not affecting performance?
- Do you feel pain before, during, and after activity that does affect performance?
- Do you feel pain so severe you can’t do activity?
If pain prevents you from doing normal daily activities or if your foot looks deformed, causes changes in the way you move, or the area becomes tender, it’s time to see a podiatrist.
If you have arch pain and want immediate relief, practice the RICE method at home:
Rest and take it easy for a few days. Use ice in a plastic bag and wrapped in a towel to ice the area for about 15-20 minutes at a time every 2-4 hours. This will bring down swelling and alleviate pain. Wrap your feet in a bandage to compress them and help bring down any swelling, and keep your feet elevated as much as possible. If you absolutely have to, you can use an NSAID like Acetaminophen to further reduce pain and swelling. If this doesn’t help within 2-4 days, there may be something more serious going on.
Plantar fasciitis can cause heel pain as well as arch pain. It may also cause heel spurs, which is more likely for people with high arches or flat feet. Heel spurs are bone growths on the heel that are most often caused by an abnormal gait.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis includes:
- Arch supports
- Cushioned shoes
- Pain relievers, if necessary
Treatment for heel spurs includes:
- Physical therapy
- Pain relievers, if necessary
- Custom orthotics
- Very rarely, surgery
A stone bruise is a deep bruise on the fat pad of the ball or heel of the foot and can also cause pain in the heel. This is often caused by injury, but in some cases by stepping on a hard object. The pain is persistent and people say it feels like they’re walking on a pebble. If you suspect that this is something you may have, it is highly recommended that you call your podiatrist.
Lastly, heel pain can be caused by fracturing the heel bone. This is the most commonly fractured bone in the body and symptoms include:
- Heel pain
Whether you suspect you fractured your heel bone or strained your plantar fascia, it’s always a good idea to get professional input from your Bethesda, MD Podiatrist or Springfield, VA Podiatrist so you don’t inadvertently injure yourself more. We appreciate how important your feet are, so give The Podiatry Center a call today at: (301) 656-6055.
This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.
Our Bethesda, Maryland (MD) and Springfield, Virginia (VA) Podiatry offices offer the most effective and state-of-the-art, quality podiatry care services with a smile to patients in our local community, including: Woodbridge VA, Fairfax VA, Annandale VA, Arlington VA, Alexandria VA, Burke VA, Gaithersburg MD, Potomac MD, Silver Spring MD, Rockville MD and Chevy Chase MD.
Return to a pain-free life and get back to the things you love!