Have you ever thought about buying those stylish pair of shoes that were a tad bit too tight on the toes or too loose across the foot? Then don’t do it! You’ll regret it and waste your money! Unfortunately, you are not alone and many people have experienced foot pain associated with wearing uncomfortable or ill-fitting footwear and it’s more common than you think.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) case study of 1021 people, almost 8 in 10 American adults have experienced foot problems. The study found on average the affected group had 2.6 foot ailments and half the group reported an impact to their quality of life and restrictions to their normal activities.
Your feet are like the root system of a tree and so it is essential that the foundations are strong to support the full weight of your body.
Painful Foot Problems Caused By Ill-Fitting Shoes
If you do decide to persist with wearing poorly fitted shoes then this will cause your balance and body weight to be unevenly distributed over your feet. This can put excess pressure on certain joints in your feet, knees, hips and back. Non- supportive footwear can exacerbate pressure on your heel and cause heel pain, which is often associated with inflammation of the plantar fascia or more commonly known as plantar fasciitis.
Regular foot and ankle stretching may help alleviate foot pain.
Plantar Fasciitis Foot Pain
The plantar fascia is the thick, wide ligament attaching the heel bone to the toes. The ligament runs underneath the foot and walking on hard surfaces such as tiles or timber floors without proper foot support can cause heel pain or arch pain. Your foot structure can change as you age and the plantar fascia can shorten. With proper supportive footwear many of these changes can be prevented.
If plantar fasciitis is left untreated this can result in minor plantar fascia tears or in more severe cases, a complete tear off the heel bone.
Common Foot Problems Caused By Shoes
This may be surprising to some that ill-fitting shoes can cause more harm to your foot than good! Other common foot ailments caused by poorly fitting shoes include:
1. CORNS AND CALLUSES
Corns and calluses on your feet or toes cause friction and repeated pressure often results in pain and inflammation requiring treatment.
Bunions are a bony deformity formed at the base of your big toe and causes your toes to pull inwards. The bony bump is pulled out and causes the malformations in the toe joint. This can affect the first or fifth toes. Bunions can be due to poorly fitting shoes, arthritis or can be hereditary. Pain is associated when shoes rub on the bunion and this can be difficult to treat.
3. TAILORS BUNIONS
Tailors bunions is a bony deformity of the fifth or better known as the little toe. This often affects women who often wear high heels or both men and women who wear narrow toed shoes.
Blisters are caused from repeated rubbing or pressure from ill-fitting footwear. Some people may have foot deformities like bunions or lesser toe deformities and finding a pair of shoes is made more difficult. By understanding and knowing what to look for in a shoe blisters can be prevented.
5. HEEL PAIN
Heel pain can occur in the back of the heel where the achilles tendon inserts and also underneath the heel bone where the plantar fascia ligament inserts. Often these are caused from shoes that don’t provide adequate support in the heel.
6. HAMMERTOE OR CLAWED TOE
Both are considered to be lesser toe deformities. It can be caused from tight fitting footwear or footwear that is too small. Over time the intrinsic and extrinsic muscles in the foot are imbalanced and toes curl or are flexed as a result.
7. INGROWN TOENAILS
Ingrown toenails is a condition where the corners or sides of the toenail curls and cuts into the flesh of the toe causing pain, redness and swelling. In more severe cases the nail cuts into the flesh causing a wound and infection can occur as a result. The best way to prevent ingrown toe nails is to wear shoes with adequate space in the front toe box and for women avoiding heels where most of your body weight is thrust onto the toes.
8. ATHLETE’S FOOT
Shoes that don’t breathe properly are a good breeding ground for fungus. To avoid athlete’s foot otherwise known as tinea, choose footwear made in natural materials like genuine leather, cotton fabric or a shoe with panels of mesh.
What Does Foot Pain Mean?
Foot pain is not normal and it’s our body’s way of telling us there’s something wrong by sending synapse pain signs to our brain. The whole lower body is interconnected and works in harmony so if there’s weakness in one part of the body then this can often transfer along to other regions. So it’s important that you choose the correct shoes for your foot type.
Putting up with foot pain can cause the body to compensate and can lead to ankle pain, knee pain, iliotibial band (ITB) band syndrome, hip pain or back pain. If your balance is compromised it could lead to making you more suspectable to injuries like rolled ankles during running or falling while walking on uneven ground or simply walking down the stairs.