That’s a big question! There’s no one universal cause of aching feet. As a matter of fact, there are dozens of potential conditions, ranging from muscle aches and swollen tendons to hairline bone fractures, pinched nerves, arthritis joints, and more.
Still, there are a few common factors that are present in a lot of different conditions—either as primary causes, or as catalysts that take an underlying cause (for example, a structural deformity in your foot bones) and makes them worse. Probably the two biggest ones are:
- Overuse. Your feet are supposed to last a lifetime, but they also weren’t originally meant to walk on the hard, flat, artificial surfaces of the modern world! Jobs or hobbies that keep you on your feet all day are frequently associated with foot pain. Playing a lot of high-impact sports (running, basketball, tennis, etc.) is another common trigger.
- Bad shoes. Fun and fashionable don’t always mean practical. Every foot is different, which not only means you need the right size, but also the right cushioning, support, and balance in an everyday pair of footwear. Styles like high heels, hard-backed pumps, flats and flip-flops usually aren’t recommended for more than a short period of time. Your everyday casual shoes should be comfy with a slightly elevated heel and good support. A good pair of insoles or custom orthotics may be necessary as well for some feet.
Consider your current lifestyle and shoe choices. Do either of these situations feel familiar?
To narrow down your options further, here are some good questions to ask:
- Where does it hurt? Your heels? Your arches? The balls of your feet? Different types of conditions may be responsible for pain in different areas.
- When does it hurt? The first step of the morning? At the end of a long day? During exercise? The day after exercise?
- What does it look like? Do you notice any bruising, swelling, or redness? Any strange bumps? Flat arches?
If your feet ache, your best bet is to book an appointment with Dr. Sanjay Patel at Family Foot Care & Surgery. Our experienced team will talk through your symptoms and examine your feet carefully in order to figure out (1) what exactly is causing your feet to ache, and (2) the best way to get rid of it for good! To schedule in either Milford or Hamden, please give us a call at (203) 876-7736 today.