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How do I Avoid Foot Pain When Walking?

Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Updated May 17, 2024
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Avoiding foot pain when walking may be as simple as replacing the insoles in your shoes, or it may be as involved as having surgery to remove a heel spur. Foot pain when walking can be caused by several conditions, from plantar fasciitis to muscle cramps, and it is important to first determine the cause of the foot pain when walking before attempting to treat that pain. If the pain is severe or chronic, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible to eliminate the possibility of a serious condition that may need to be treated surgically.

One common cause of foot pain when walking is overpronation or underpronation, which occurs when the foot essentially twists either outward or inward. This can cause weight to be distributed unevenly, and it can even cause the arches of the foot to collapse. Pronation can also lead to pain in other parts of the body such as the legs and lower back. Gait-correcting shoes may be used to help correct pronation, and if you choose to alter your gait, you should expect some soreness as a result. You will have to pay attention to the way your foot falls when walking normally, but keep in mind that pronation is not always a cause of pain. Some people are pronated and feel no pain at all, so again, it is important to determine the cause of the pain before starting treatment.

Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are two causes of foot pain when walking that are often mistaken for each other. One can cause the other, but they are not the same condition. A heel spur occurs when a spur of bone develops in the heel, which can lead to pressure on soft tissue. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of soft tissue within the foot, and it is often felt in the heel. Anti-inflammatory medications may be used to help treat plantar fasciitis, but if it is being caused by a heel spur, that heel spur may need to be addressed surgically. People who are overweight are especially prone to these conditions, so if at all possible, an overweight person should attempt to lose weight and avoid this type of foot pain when walking.

Plantar warts are common causes of foot pain when walking. A wart is a growth that results from a virus, and it may occur anywhere on the foot. Warts can be treated with medications, or they can be frozen off with cryosurgery; a doctor should perform such a surgery, and you can expect some pain for several days or weeks after cryosurgery, depending on the severity of the wart.

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