As we get older our feet get older, too, and start yelling for help! The shoes we normally wear begin to become uncomfortable, and it seems like our shoe size has changed, but it hasn't. The reasons for this are the muscles in the arch begin to fatigue and you need more arch support when wearing footwear. Also, funny lumps and bumps begin to appear in places on the foot that were not present when you were younger; therefore, your shoes appears to be getting tighter. The results of which are the beginning stages of bunion and hammer toe problems. Arch cramps, burning in the ball of your foot, and joint discomfort round out the complaint list. Professional women who are wearing high heels daily for work can also experience many of these same problems. Wearing high heels that have a narrow toe box will aggravate the tops of your toes, which can result in the formation of corns as well as putting pressure on the great toe joint. Foot fatigue, callouses on the ball of your foot and tired leg muscles may ensue, too.
All these types of problems are developmental and are more a function of hereditary predispositions (genetics) then your foot mysteriously getting bigger or waking up one morning with a bony prominence you never had before.
However, do not despair. There are some easy solutions to solve these new developments that you have developed over the years and no, you do not need to have foot surgery just yet. Selecting shoe wear that is more comfortable to wear with a wider toe box will help any lump or bump from getting irritated, which can cause pain. Also, going to a shoe repair shop and having your shoes stretched is another option. Since most shoes do not provide any arch support or the proper arch support one can develop arch cramps, muscle spasms or plantar fasciitis when walking in flats or high heels all day long. The lack of arch support in footwear will allow the joints in mid-foot and rear foot area of your foot to collapse, causing muscle fatigue, cramping and burning on the ball of your foot or pain in the great toe joint. Putting all kinds of bulky pads in your shoes to try and solve these problems is not such a great idea -- it usually takes up too much room in the shoe and oftentimes does not work. By placing orthotics prescribed by a foot specialist or over-the-counter arch supports in your shoes regardless of heel height they can prevent the arch of your foot from collapsing and slipping forward, therefore taking pressure off the ball of your foot. Once the arch of your foot is stabilized the symptoms should begin to reduce and slow down the progression of bunion and hammer toe formation. If the symptoms continue to persist, consult a foot specialist, and they will provide more treatment options.
Finding the right arch supports can be as easy as going to the Internet and typing in arch supports, or arch support for heels or sandals.
Wearing an arch support or orthotic in your shoes is the first step to making your feet more comfortable and allowing you to wear the shoes you love to wear more often, pain-free!