How many ways to fix foot pain are you aware of? Many foot conditions include pain of some kind or another. However, there are solutions that don’t simply involve numbing the problem with pain pills. Dr. Lanny Johnson, world-recognized orthopedic surgeon, has considered many options for improving the experience of those suffering from foot pain, and even devised his own solution: Dr. Lanny’s Insoles.

Things That Make Your Feet Hurt and How to Fix Them

There are many common foot conditions that can cause pain. Dr. Lanny has compiled a list below.

  • Bone Spurs:

also known as osteophytes, they are bony projections that develop along edges, often where bones meet at joints. In the feet, bone spurs commonly grow in the heel. They often co-occur with plantar fasciitis, but are not the source of the pain in that condition.

  • Bursitis:

bones, muscles, and tendons near your joints are cushioned by small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae. When joints (such as those by your heel and your big toe) perform frequent repetitive motion these bursae can become inflamed. Treatment typically requires rest for the affected area. Reducing pressure on the affected joint(s) going forward, by taking breaks, maintaining a healthy weight, or using padding can help reduce the risk of bursitis going forward.

  • Corns and Calluses:

caused by repetitive pressure and friction. While unsightly, usually corns and calluses do not cause pain. However, wearing shoes that give your toes more room or providing padding can prevent corns and calluses. Eliminating the friction or pressure will typically make them disperse.

  • High Heel Pain:

people who regularly wear high heels can cause damage to their feet and legs. Bunions, calf muscle injuries, hammertoes, metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot) and even stress fractures are all possible. There is even a condition called Morton’s neuroma, in which the tissue around one of the nerves leading to the toes thickens, causing a sharp, burning pain in the ball of the foot. This can also have a stinging, burning, or numbing effect on the toes. It can be relieved with lower-heeled shoes and wider toe boxes, though surgery or corticosteroid injections may be necessary.

  • Plantar Fasciitis:

the thick band of tissue that covers the bottom of your foot, heel to toe, is the plantar fascia. It can be stretched and torn by tension and stress, commonly caused by long-distance running or obesity. Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing pain on the sole near the heel periodically, especially on waking and after exercise.

  • Tendinitis:

inflammation or irritation of a tendon which causes pain and tenderness outside a joint. Commonly experienced around heels, particularly by sportsmen and sportswomen with poor technique. It’s responsive to self-care efforts, but severe tendinitis, involving rupture of a tendon, can require surgery.

 Soothe Aching Feet at Home

If your skin feels warm to the touch, that indicates inflammation (and possibly swelling). Pain and inflammation go together in many cases. A good way to reduce inflammation is with the application of ice or a cool pack. You need to reduce the blood flow by narrowing blood vessels. However, if you have aching feet or sore feet but the skin feels a normal temperature, what can help is a bath with warm water. 

Massage Your Sore Feet

A foot massage, gently rubbing the sore muscles and joints of your foot and ankle, can often also provide desired relief. It is important, however, not to massage a foot you believe to be either injured or inflamed. You may make the situation worse. 

A loved one can give you a foot massage, or you may be able to do it yourself. To massage your own foot, rest it on your opposite thigh. Rub skin lotion or oil into your hand. Massage from your big toe to your heel, including your arch. Then proceed to a deeper massage. Press your knuckles firmly into your flesh. Knead it as if you were kneading bread. Work the skin and muscles with your thumbs. Manipulate your toes with your hands. It might seem silly or childish, but wiggling your toes with your fingers can provide much-needed stretching for the muscles beneath. Once you have completed one foot, proceed to the other. Many drug stores or health stores sell foot rollers that can speed up the massage process.

Medications for Foot Pain

There are multiple options for pharmaceutical pain relievers. Generally they fall into topical or systemic medications.

  • Oral analgesics are pain relievers such as acetaminophen (sold as Tylenol) that can relieve pain but not inflammation. Follow directions carefully, as too much acetaminophen is hazardous to your liver.
  • Topical analgesics for foot pain come in lotion, cream, and gel form. They are spread on the skin and penetrate the skin to relieve milder forms of foot pain. Some distract nerves with other sensations, such as those that include menthol, turpentine oil, or eucalyptus oil. Others contain salicylates (the active ingredient of aspirin) that disperse through the skin. Another contains a chemical derived from cayenne pepper that interrupts ‘substance P’, which transmits pain signals to the brain.
  • NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are available over the counter or by prescription. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are all examples. NSAIDs for pain should be taken in low doses for limited periods. Conditions involving pain and inflammation together (such as Achilles’ tendinitis or a sprain) require higher doses and longer programs. The anti-inflammatory effect of NSAIDs takes longer to build up in the bloodstream where it can influence the inflammation. Do not embark on a long-term course of NSAIDs without consulting your doctor.

Use Shoe Insoles for Foot Pain

Shoe insoles— otherwise known as shoe inserts— have been shown to reduce foot pain and pain interference with daily activities. If you’re experiencing foot pain, particularly as a result of bursitis, corns, calluses, plantar fasciitis, or tendinitis, you can benefit from Dr. Lanny’s comfort insoles. These Poron® shoe inserts offer superior performance when it comes to shock absorption, while keeping your footwear lightweight and breathable. Your feet will be cool and dry, but most importantly, comfortable.