Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Help for Foot Pain Could Be as Simple as Your Laces

GettyImages-1173137476 (1)Oh, my aching feet! More importantly, why do my feet hurt? Let me explain further. At times in the past, the top of my foot has felt like it was being crushed by the laces of my sneakers. I logically thought that all I needed to do was loosen the laces of my sneakers and it would solve the problem. It did not help. Really, all it did was create more problems because then my sneakers felt like they were going to fall off, and then the loose-fitting sneakers began to rub on and irritate my heels. On top of that, when I did loosen the laces, the shoes would then come untied too easily.

Asking a Podiatrist

I am a runner, and having this issue was becoming extremely frustrating. I even went so far as to try new running shoes (to no avail). After all of this, I began to think there was something wrong with my feet. I asked one of my friends, who happens to be a podiatrist, his thoughts. He began by asking me to take off my sneakers. (“Ugh,” I thought to myself, because I had just run in those things, and you could only imagine my embarrassment!) This first thing he did was take the insoles out of my shoes and examine them. He didn’t look at my feet—just my shoe insoles!

Then he said to me, “You have a high instep, and we need to create more space in your sneaker.” Create more space? I was perplexed. He then began to unlace my sneakers and re-lace them, avoiding lacing the middle eyelets of each shoe. I put my sneakers back on; and to my delight, I had no pain.

From there I began to think about how lacing your sneakers differently or more creatively could alleviate pain in your feet in other scenarios as well. Turns out, there is a plethora of information on the internet that speaks to that very topic.

The Important of Shoe Fit for Seniors

I am lucky enough to have a job doing what I love. I work in an active aging community, and so often I see people suffering with painful bunions, toe or foot deformities, and even arthritis. These painful issues combined with mobility problems seem to go together with people wearing ill-fitting shoes to accommodate their foot and/or mobility concerns. I see things like people buying shoes that are too big to make it easier to slide their foot in and out of, or trying to alleviate the pressure of a shoe pressing on an already painful bunion. Ill-fitting shoes can even increase your risk for a fall, and adversely affect things like circulation or neuropathy.

If balance or painful feet are an issue for you, you should start with your doctor first and from there consider meeting with a shoe-fit specialist only after your doctor has assured you that there is nothing that needs to be medically managed first. It may be something such as a shoe that is too large or small, or even just your laces!

I came across this article in Self magazine that speaks to creative lacing techniques. It made all the difference for me, and it might for you, too!

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Topics: shoes running active aging foot health foot pain pain

NIFS: Wake up Feet; Why do your feet fall asleep when exercising?

woman tying shoeAre you new to running or have you been a runner for some time now? Either way you may be experiencing the typical aches and pains, such as muscle soreness or blisters, but have you experienced the numbness and tingling in your feet while running? It feels as though you have pins and needles in your feet or like they seem to have ‘fallen asleep’ from this weight-bearing activity. If so, don’t get your shorts in a bunch. You may reconsider a trip to the doctor, but it will be okay. Promise!

This strange and annoying sensation is common, but does seem to cause worry. This feeling is usually caused from pounding the pavement or treadmill, cramming the your foot into a narrow shoe, or crowding the foot by the gradual, but hardly noticeable swelling. What you are feeling is a compressed nerve often causes this feeling. The numbness can progress along the top or bottom of the foot and sometimes into the ankle. The specific site on the foot that is feeling numb is usually where there is a compressed nerve. The most common area affected is outside of the third toe and inside the fourth toe. This sensation is known as Morton’s neuroma. Through time, the nerve will slowly develop a thickened coat of scar tissue.

You can try a few simple actions to reduce the pressure in your foot. These actions include choosing a shoe with plenty of toe space, using a pad in the shoe, placed under the ball of your foot, allowing the spread of the bones apart. If this does not work, your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection to provide some relief. If this does not describe the numbness in your foot, continue reading! 

Compression of the nerves passing through the front of the ankle or top of the foot causes numbness on top of your foot. This is usually caused by over tightening the shoelaces. People with high arches are more susceptible to this issue. This can be resolved by loosening the shoelaces, using a modified lacing method, or applying padding under the shoe tongue may help reduce these symptoms.

Other options to consider include a period of rest or orthotic shoe inserts. If the numbness persists and is not relieved by any of these methods, it may indicate a medical condition and require you to seek your physician. Before scheduling an appointment with your physician you can always talk to a staff member in your corporate fitness center that may have helpful suggestions!

Check out this blog from one of our health coaches about her experience with finding the right shoe!

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Topics: exercise shoes employee health and wellness foot health