Foot pain can be caused by medical conditions and certain bad habits. By recognizing and finding ways to break the habits causing your foot pain, you can find relief from discomfort and get back to the activities you enjoy. Our expert foot pain podiatrists can help you understand why certain habits cause foot pain and what steps to take to resolve it.
8 Bad Habits That Aggravate Foot Pain
There can be many reasons for ongoing foot pain, but changing a few bad habits can help reduce the pain, reduce your chance of injuring your feet, and help keep your feet healthy.
- Wearing shoes that do not fit properly or are bad for your feet. There are certain types of shoes that are bad for your feet and worsen foot pain. Styles such as flip-flops provide little support, and shoes with a higher heel can put pressure on your feet and cause pain. If the shoes you wear do not fit properly, they can be painful and lead to foot conditions such as bunions or hammertoes. You should never choose shoes based on appearance alone.
- Not wearing socks. Socks protect your feet. Wearing shoes without socks can put you at a higher risk of a fungal infection. Fungal infections thrive in damp, dark areas, including the inside of your shoes. Not having the protection of socks between your feet and shoes can cause a fungal foot infection. In addition, not wearing socks can also increase your risk of blisters and/or foot sores.
- Walking barefoot. Many people walk barefoot, but this puts you at risk of injuring the bottoms of your feet and picking up germs that can cause warts, athlete’s foot, or fungal infections. Walking barefoot can also cause pain in the arches of your feet since there is no support for the structure of your foot. A lack of foot support can also lead to knee and back pain. Consider a comfortable pair of supportive slippers if you do not want to wear shoes around your house.
- Not stretching before exercise or physical activity. Stretching before exercising or engaging in any type of physical activity is always a good idea, and this includes stretching your feet. Stretching can warm up the muscles in your feet and ankles to reduce your chance of injury and can help prevent pain.
- Not giving your feet a rest. Standing on your feet for long periods can increase your risk for foot and ankle problems. Prolonged standing causes pressure on your feet and can result in pain in the feet, ankles, knees, and even lower back. Resting your feet after a long day can relieve foot pain and pressure and help you feel refreshed.
- Relying on over-the-counter orthotics to relieve pain. You can purchase orthotics at many drug or retail stores, but they are not designed for your individual foot. Custom orthotics are made to fit your unique foot and will help provide relief from pain because you’ll have support where you need it most.
- Not replacing worn shoes. Shoes wear out over time and may no longer provide adequate arch support or cushioning. It is essential to replace worn-out shoes to prevent foot or ankle injuries and pain. Check your shoes for signs of wear. You may notice the heels or soles of your shoes wearing down, see rips or tears in the lining, or experience pain. Depending on how much you run or wear your shoes, they should be replaced at the first signs of wear. For most athletic shoes, this is generally after 500 miles of use.
- Ignoring foot pain with hopes it will go away. Consulting with a podiatrist at the first sign of a foot problem or when you begin to experience pain can often prevent more serious complications. Foot pain may resolve on its own, but that is not always the case. A podiatrist can examine your feet and determine the cause of your pain and recommend treatment options based on your specific condition and needs. In many cases, the sooner you seek treatment, the easier it is to treat the problem.
Options for Treating Foot Pain
When you’re aware of bad habits that can cause foot pain, you can take steps to modify your behaviors and practices. Before a podiatrist recommends invasive or aggressive methods for relieving foot pain, they may recommend options for treating your pain at home using the following methods:
- Applying ice to reduce pain and swelling
- Resting your feet and keeping them elevated
- Padding areas of your feet to prevent rubbing
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and inflammation
If conservative methods do not provide relief, an experienced podiatrist may recommend other approaches. Seeking treatment at the earliest signs of a problem can give you the best chance for help before the pain becomes more severe and more difficult to treat or manage. A podiatrist may recommend:
- Custom orthotics
- Physical therapy
- Specialty shoes
Are You Looking for a Foot Pain Specialist in Austin, TX?
If you are looking for foot pain care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatrist. Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online or call our Austin office at 512.328.8900.