Foot Pain: What Causes It?

The average human walks around 7,500 steps per day. This places a large amount of load on your legs and in particular your feet, one of our body parts most susceptible to injury. Foot pain is a common complaint, but often our patients don’t know why their feet hurt.

Some of the common foot and ankle injuries that we see consistently in the clinic include plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, stress fractures, Achilles tendinopathy, neuromas, bursitis, sesamoiditis, and ingrown toenails.

But what causes these injuries to occur? 

 

Poor Footwear Choices

The shoes that you wear may impact your feet negatively if they are too tight, too loose, insufficiently supportive, or not specific to the activity you are doing. When shopping for a shoe it is important to ensure that they fit properly, provide cushioning and support, are specific to the intended exercise, and most importantly, feel comfortable. It may also be beneficial to have your runners fitted professionally in store, such as at the Running Company. Doing the above may reduce the likelihood of certain foot and lower leg injuries when exercising.

 

Training Errors & Foot Pain

A common error that we see which causes certain foot pain and injuries in fitness fanatics is training error/overload. This tends to occur if you overtrain to the point where your bones, muscles or tendons cannot tolerate, thus leading to injury. In order to reduce your training-related injuries, we recommend planning and recording your training, allowing for adequate rest, and most importantly, listening to your body. Another good way to gradually build up your running load is the “10% rule”, which involves not increasing your weekly distance by more than 10% per week.

 

Foot Posture

Having a more pronated (flatter foot) or supinated (high arched foot) foot posture may increase your chances of certain injuries. Your foot posture may place certain tissues under increased stress and load, particularly when exercising. This increase in load may lead to injuries if that tissue does not have the capacity to tolerate it.

 

Tight Calf Muscles & Foot Pain

Having tight calf muscles can impact your feet in several ways. It may increase your likelihood of heel injuries such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles Tendinopathy. With a restriction in ankle joint movement, you may also be placing a higher amount of pressure on your forefoot. This leaves you susceptible to injuries such as neuromas, bursitis, or sesamoiditis.

 

Recent Weight Gain

Recent weight gain, such as pregnancy, can lead to a higher amount of stress going onto your feet. A common injury that we see where increased weight is often a cause is plantar fasciitis.

 

 If you are experiencing any foot pain and would like to address some of these risk factors, we can help you out at either of our clinics in Point Cook or Yarraville.