Why Do My Feet Hurt?

Dr. Pytowski talked with a reporter from SheKnows.com, a popular female-centric, online lifestyle media, about common causes of women’s foot pain.

What are the most common causes of foot pain among women?

Common causes of foot pain in women are not necessarily due to shoes directly - the causes are anatomical and biomechanical in nature and these imbalances coupled with problems related to calf muscle structure and tightness will wreak havoc on the foot and ankle. These issues set the foot and ankle up for problems down the line then, indirectly, shoes and certain activities can unmask and exacerbate the issues into full blown pathology like bunions, hammer toes, ligament tears, instability, etc. that all need to be addressed globally and appropriately for successful outcomes. These all need to be evaluated properly by a medical professional.

What shoes are the least supportive (and cause of foot pain)?

By far, the least supportive shoes are flexible shoes like ballerina flats. What should you look for in a shoe? You want to look for support and structure in the heel, arch, and ball of your foot with a little flexibility in the shoe to coincide with where your toes need to extend or bend up during the gait cycle.

What tips do you suggest for preventing or reducing foot pain (particularly for women balancing work, motherhood, etc.)?

Tips for reducing foot pain include a healthy diet, particularly, non-inflammatory type foods, and being smart when starting exercise regimens. Exercise regimens like HIIT programs often include lunges, jump squats, burpees, etc. which place a lot of stress on your joints when introduced too fast. Proper stretching, supportive shoes, and orthotics can help, too. Also gaining proper strength in your legs and core are paramount to your body being able to withstand the new stressors associated with this type of exercise.

Tags: Podiatry, foot pain, Dr. David Pytowski