"When your feet hurt, everything hurts." OUCH!
I hear that battle cry from my patients all the time and they all want to know why and how it happens. The answer is quite simple. Floor surfaces and the shoes you wear are 2 major reasons. If you suffer from such metabolic diseases as Diabetes or Arthritis your feet may bother you regardless of those factors.
So let's start from the bottom up. Standing on hard floor surfaces such as concrete, marble and tile floors for long periods of time in your work environment or at home can take a terrible toll on your feet physically. Once your feet begin to bother you, the rest of your body starts talking too you. Standing on hard floor surfaces can cause body fatigue or foot, leg and low back pain. When your feet hit the ground everything changes. The reason is, the ground does not flex or bend and your feet want some flexibility because arches collapse when walking or standing. Weather you are exercising, working, performing your normal daily activities or just standing in the same place for long periods of time your feet can really get tired. There are certain types of work environments that can precipitate these kinds of problems. If you work in a hair salon as a hair stylist, a bank as a bank teller, a waiter, waitress or chef in a restaurant, a sales person in a department store or walking and standing at a trade show, your feet are exposed to hard unyielding floor surfaces that can beat you up. By the end of the day they are crying and you cannot wait to take your shoes off and relax. If you want to try and bring them back to life quickly icing them for about 20 minutes or getting a foot message will rejuvenate them. This will reduce any pain your feet may be experiencing and as well as increase the blood flow to the muscles.
Another major reason why your feet can hurt is the shoes you wear to perform these various activities. Many shoes do not provide the proper support for your feet. They do not have enough support in the arch of the shoe to support a collapsing arch. Another important reason is the outer-sole or the bottom of the shoe. This is because that part of the shoe (outer-sole) does not have enough cushion to absorb the force that hard floor surfaces can create. Also wearing shoes that fit properly is very important. Wearing shoes that are too small, too large, too wide or too narrow -- because they go with your outfit -- can also contribute to body fatigue, tired feet and foot pain. Fashion shoes that are too pointed or to high can cause the muscles in your feet to cramp up and go into spasm as well as put pressure on the balls of your feet. Often times by simply adding an arch support to your shoes it will eliminate many of those painful symptoms. Also by placing a soft insole in your shoes it will add extra cushion and make walking or standing more comfortable.
Since we cannot always change the floor surfaces we walk and stand on in life. Wearing shoes that are comfortable, supportive and cushioned will make you and your feet a happy couple!