Foot pain is a very real problem in America with 8 out of 10 Americans saying they deal with foot pain and 25% of Americans saying that they are unable to exercise due to foot pain. With foot pain being so prevalent, it may be prudent to consider both the causes of foot pain and methods to deal with it even if you are not suffering from it at this time. Your feet may thank you later.
Why is foot pain so common? Dr. Mercola writes,
“This isn’t so surprising when you consider that 25 percent of your bones are located in your feet and ankles, and your feet are the foundation of your body, carrying all your weight.
With 26 bones and 33 joints in each foot, there’s plenty of opportunity for something to go wrong — especially if you fail to walk and run with proper form and posture.”
Unfortunately, an additional issue is that many people do not intentionally exercise their feet, thus robbing themselves of potential solutions to their foot pain.
One of the more common types of foot pain is “inflammation in the ligament that runs along the sole of your foot.” Because of where this ligament runs, this inflammation is often felt as pain in the heel. This inflammation is caused by excessive stress on this ligament and can be dealt with by taking anti-inflammatory substances such as shiitake mushrooms or animal-based omega-3 fat and by stretching that ligament and the muscles around it. Stretching your calf muscles whether stretching against a wall or a seated calf stretch can be beneficial.
Surprisingly, going barefoot more often, can help with this issue.
Another common cause of foot pain is bunions, which is
“an inherited condition in which your metatarsal bones are displaced, causing your big toe to lean toward your other toes, thereby producing that hallmark “bump” at the base of your big toe.”
Again, Dr. Mercola suggests the treatment for bunions is going barefoot more often. He has this to say”
“Granted, from a practical perspective, going barefoot all the time is not an option for most people. But you can certainly do so inside of your home or backyard.
If you decide to go barefoot, do it slowly, progressing to more and more time spent without shoes. Also, when you start going barefoot it is best to initiate on naturally softer ground like grass and sand, not cement or hardwood.”
You can also exercise your feet with foot raises and toe crunches to help strengthen the muscles around the bunion.
Even if you do not suffer from either of these issues, remembering to go barefoot as often as possible and specifically exercising and stretching the foot, ankle, and calf muscles can help prevent these problems or help to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by them.