Don't Let Aching Feet Stop You in Your Tracks
Here's how to prevent or treat common causes of foot pain.
You need your feet to take you where you want to go. In fact, if you're a moderately active person who takes about 7,500 steps a day and you live to be 80, those feet will carry you an average of 110,000 miles in your lifetime.
Don't let aching feet stop you in your tracks. Here are some common causes of foot pain and what you can do to prevent or treat the pain.
- Ingrown Toenails: This painful condition happens when the corner of your toenail grows into the skin of your toe. To prevent ingrown toenails, cut toenails straight across (no rounded corners). To alleviate pain, soak your foot in warm, sudsy water several times a day and gently nudge the nail out of your skin. If you develop an infection, see a doctor.
- Bunions: Many women develop bunions from wearing high heels that are too tight. These bumps, which are often large, swollen and sore, form at the base and side of your big toe. Symptoms typically improve by switching to shoes that fit well with heels no more than 2 ¼ inches high. If your bunion doesn't improve by switching shoes, causes lots of pain or makes it hard to walk, you may need surgery.
- Athlete's Foot: If your feet are itching, stinging or burning and you notice a scaly rash between your toes, chances are you have athlete's foot. To prevent athlete's foot, keep your feet clean and dry, especially between your toes. The fungal infection is best treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal powders or creams.
- Plantar Fasciitis: If you run or walk on hard surfaces, you can irritate the tissue connecting the heel of your foot with the base of your toes. The best treatment is rest, medication to reduce swelling and wearing a heel pad in your shoe. Your physician can also recommend exercises to alleviate symptoms.
Speak with a Foot and Ankle Specialist
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Date Last Reviewed: February 7, 2018
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD