January 28


What Type of Foot Pain Do You Have?

By Sue Ingebretson

January 28, 2020

autoimmune, calf muscle, chiropractor, chronic illness, cold laser therapy, diabetes, diet, fibromyalgia, foot, foot pain, healthy fats, heel, neuropathy, Nutrition, plantar fasciitis, podiatrist, remedy, Stress, stretches, tips, toe

Got foot pain? It sure is common for those with fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, arthritis, autoimmune challenges, and chronic illness in general. Some have pain in the heel, arch, ball, or toes. What type do you have?

Types of Foot Pain

The chronic illness community talks about pain a lot. It’s a common denominator symptom that unites us in our daily experiences. It would seem that talking about foot pain would unite us further.

However, it does … and it doesn’t.

Once you start digging in, you realize that there are more types of foot pain than you think. And, just as there are different areas of the foot that hurt, there are different causes and contributors to the pain.

We may experience pain in the toes, the ball of the foot, the arch, and the heel. And there are even more specific areas that can hurt related to each of those.

This post will highlight just one main type of pain while taking a quick look at several others. Hopefully, you’ll walk away (in less pain!) with more info, tactical action to take, and a renewed sense of empowerment over your own health.

#Fibromyalgia Foot #Pain and what to do. Click To Tweet

Names and Sources of Foot Pain

It’s quite surprising to see how many different types of foot pain there are.   

  • Direct injury – stubbing a toe is more than just a shocking temporary pain. Breaks, fractures, and sprains are common for foot injuries and can be awkward to heal. Seeing a professional can help determine what type of remedy is required.
  • Plantar Fasciitis – this is one that I hear often from the fibromyalgia community. And, one that I’ve had issues with myself a few times over the past 15 years or so. I’ll share more details below on how to deal with this pervasive issue.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy – this may be related to nerve damage from health challenges such as diabetes or may arrive as a side effect from prescribed medications. Chemotherapy meds, as well as those for blood pressure and infections, can contribute to neuropathy issues.[1]
  • Stress Fractures – a little less obvious than a direct injury. Stress fractures can start with mild discomfort and grow into a more painful condition. Pain may feel better with rest but intensify with use of the foot. Swelling or bruising may be present. A stress fracture can be determined by your medical professional and appropriate treatment recommended.
  • Specific conditions such as fallen arches, bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, bursitis, heel spurs, etc. – it’s a good idea to see a specialist such as a podiatrist for these foot-related concerns. Once a challenge has become a chronic issue, it’s time to seek medical advice. Many of these conditions have remedies that are non-surgical and non-invasive so if the advice you receive doesn’t sound right to you, seek another opinion.

What to do about Plantar Fasciitis

Most people equate heel pain with plantar fasciitis. But plantar fasciitis can affect both the heel area and/or the ball of the foot and toe area. For me, it’s a pain that happens during the night in the ball of my foot and in the toes. During the day (when I’m on my feet too long), I can feel a burning sensation and I know that I’m in for a night of no sleep and significant pain.

Plantar fasciitis definition: A thick band of tissue (the fascia) runs the length of the foot from the toes to the heel. In certain circumstances, this fascia becomes inflamed (and super painful). Diagnosis usually comes from a professional who has ruled out any direct injury or a stress fracture.

Thousands of websites and videos feature “the cure” as well as various devices and tools touted as the solution from endless pain.

Do they work?

Not really. I’ve heard of temporary relief from ice packs, foot-stretching paraphernalia, and foot devices including orthotics/supportive shoes.

What works instead?

Because we’re each different, I’m sure that there are various exercises and stretches that have shown improvement for some.

For me, I’ve personally seen a reduction of my foot pain when I see my chiropractor regularly and have cold laser therapy treatments. And, of course, diet plays a significant role. Years ago before I changed what I ate, I could see that processed foods, sugary staples (bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, etc.), and a lack of whole foods such as vegetables and healthy fats contributed to the inflammation. And, of course, stress also plays a role. De-stressing with relaxation methods can help. 

Also, I believe that stretches – done the right way – can be very beneficial. They can get to the root of the concern rather than just a temporary “fix” such as rolling your foot over ice, etc.

I decided to write this article because of the research I’ve done (so far) and the feedback I’ve had from my clients. I tripped over a magazine article featuring a couple of stretches to try and it shared that there’s a muscle/facia structural problem that’s to blame. One key point that hit home for me was that these exercises must be done several times per day – and done consistently.

I hadn’t done that previously and it was worth a try.

After practicing these simple exercises, I did more research to see if I could amplify my already promising results. I found the following video and feel very optimistic. I like the explanation of the shortened calf muscle problem. That makes sense to me. I spent decades wearing very high heels and I feel that has contributed to the challenges that plague me now. 

I also like the notion of

addressing the problem at the root

rather than using temporary fixes.

Here’s the Foot Pain Exercise Video. I’ve been practicing this consistently for a short time and have already seen improvement.

What’s Your Foot Pain Solution?

Do you have foot pain remedies of your own to share?

Leave your comments below to build up our library of solutions in this Rebuilding Wellness community.

We’d all love to hear from you!

[1] http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchicago.edu/learnaboutpn/typesofpn/toxic/drugs.shtml

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  1. Hi Sue
    I enjoyed your article about foot pain, something I suffer with a lot. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia seven years ago and have terrible issues with my feet. I have Morton’s neuroma and a foot injury that has caused nerve damage as well as the fibromyalgia pain. I always know which condition is causing the pain as they are all completely different. The fibromyalgia pain is usually in my heel and the arch of my foot and I deal with this by resting and juicing.

    1. I’m glad that you’ve found two options that work for you – or at least get you some relief. I LOVE the juicing suggestion. That’s SO powerful. Juicing can provide targeted nutrients that are provided in a bioavailable form. That means the goodness of what you juice can be absorbed pronto. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for sharing…I do have Fibromyalgia and experience foot pain….a few years ago an MD said I should never go barefoot or wear flip flops or shoes that do not have good support…I did accidently find that Merrell shoes work best for my feet. They even make a flip flop that has just enough support for me, also Merrell shoes do not breakdown like other shoes.. my first pair I got on clearance in a hiking store and had no idea what I had…they were sort of a mule but came up slightly around the heel. The MD said NO not enough support, but they were the only shoes I owned that did not make my feet hurt.. that is when I discovered what they were…I still have those shoes and keep them by the door to take the dog outside.etc…..they are probably 15yrs old and very worn but when I put my feet in them even if I am not in pain I feel the relief of them..I have several pairs of Merrells now . We moved recently and I have not been wearing any shoes…I assumed that was the cause of my recent pain..but after reading your blog today I realized I had not been doing the stretches for a while…I learned a stretch from the internet but for some reason had stopped…I didn’t know that I should be doing it daily…it is a stretch that I do for cramps in my calves and arches and it can be done sitting or laying down….your book and blog have helped me alot..thank you

    1. Diana – thanks for your input! I, too, like Merrell shoes. And, I like some Clarks, Dansko, and a few other good brands. I have a high arch (or maybe I used to?) and am challenged to find shoes that fit correctly. I think I did myself a disservice to wear heels for so long, and then wear flats with no shape, support, or cushion. It’s interesting that the video I share in this post actually encourages going barefoot. I plan to do my daily calf-stretching exercises until I don’t have any sign of plantar fasciitis anymore. After that, I don’t think there’s any harm in keeping the calves stretched. But I don’t know if daily practice is necessary.

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