Common Causes of Foot Pain

At Peter John Footwear we specialise in sourcing and fitting the shoes that will allow you to feel comfortable all day. Foot pain can be all consuming and has a detrimental effect on your quality of life. People come to us from across the globe to find shoes and sandals that fit correctly and which are kind to their feet. Their search for the right shoes has been prompted for a variety of reasons including the shape of their feet and several painful foot conditions. It is important to remember that poorly fitting shoes can cause as well as exacerbate painful foot conditions

If you have painful feet you may know the cause of your problem. On the other hand the reasons for your difficulties could be a complete mystery. Here we outline the medical issues that might be affecting you and how the right shoes will help you to live more comfortably with your condition. Please use this information as a guide and not a definitive diagnosis. You must visit your GP or a specialist to obtain an accurate diagnosis and to evolve the best treatment regime for your condition.

Painful Foot Conditions

  • Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is a swelling of the tissues in and around the joints including the toe and heel. Most people develop arthritis at some point in their lives and it can be a very painful condition. Unfortunately there is no cure for osteoarthritis but lifestyle changes can alleviate the symptoms. Regular exercise strengthens the muscles and improves the posture which will really help and if you are overweight then shedding a few pounds will make life much easier. Wearing footwear that fits correctly, offers good levels of support and cushions impact will also minimise the pain and help to keep you mobile.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis is a rarer, progressive form of the disease which is caused by the immune system attacking the joints. There are medical treatments to alleviate the condition and to slow down its progression. If you think that you might be a sufferer then seek medical help as soon as possible as the available evidence suggests that early diagnosis and treatment really helps. Making the right lifestyle choices is also crucial and those include wearing good shoes that cushion your feet.
  • Gout is a type of arthritis which is caused by a build-up of uric acid in the body which then forms in the joints, particularly those in the big toe. The condition can be treated medically to reduce inflammation and uric acid levels in the body. Lifestyle changes are also crucial. If you suffer from gout you should keep hydrated and avoid foods like offal, shellfish, oily fish and yeast which are high in purines. It is also helpful to keep any affected joints cool, ventilated and protected from impacts and so wearing the right pair of shoes can make a big difference. For some great tips on how to alleviate gout take a look at the following video:
  • Plantar Fasciitis is damage to the band of tissue that runs under the sole of the foot and can cause pain the heel. It is often the result of physical activity like running but can happen over time when the tissues gradually wear down. The condition usually heals itself over time providing you rest as much as possible but you should keep exercising the affected area and the leg muscles whilst seated. Your choice of footwear is very important if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. Flat soled shoes should be avoided as they do not provide enough support for the heel. Low heels are a great choice and you should look for good cushioning for the heel and adequate arch support.
  • Mortons Neuroma Occasionally the nerve which runs between the toe bones can become irritated or constricted leading to sharp pain in the feet. This condition is called Mortons neuroma. The exact reasons that the condition develops are unknown but it appears to be aggravated by having flat feet or wearing high-heels. Pain can be relieved by removing your shoes which isn't always practical and so it is best to choose shoes with a wider fit in the toe area to avoid aggravating the nerves.
  • Metatarsalgia could be the cause of pain in the ball of your foot. A burning or aching pain that gets worse when you move is symptomatic of the condition. High impact sports and obesity can bring on the pain and you should avoid wearing tight fitting shoes. Resting your foot and elevating it above the level of your heart can help to relieve inflammation and aid the healing process.
  • Stress Fractures can be caused by participating in high impact sports. A stress fracture is a crack in the bone and these can commonly occur in the second and third metatarsals. The area around the stress fracture will be tender and could have bruising. You should stop physical activity immediately and consult your doctor.
  • Bunions are bony swellings at the bases of the big toes that can be very painful. Some people are more prone to bunions than others. They can develop as a result of arthritis and gout and also from wearing tight fitting footwear and high heels. You can seek pain relief for the condition and prevent the bunions from getting worse by wearing the right shoes. Improving the appearance of your feet can only be achieved through surgery. For more information about bunions take a look at the following video:
  • Ingrown Toenails develop when the sides of the toenails grow into the skin. The toe can then become infected. The condition is known medically as onychocryptosis and can be caused by poorly cut nails, poor foot hygiene, the natural shape of the nail and ill-fitting footwear. The condition can be helped by good hygiene, cutting your nails straight across, gently easing back the skin with a cotton bud and wearing footwear that does not cramp your feet. Severe cases may require surgery.

The Right Footwear

As you can see, wearing the right footwear is crucial in preventing several unpleasant foot conditions and alleviating the resulting pain once the conditions have developed. many of us are walking around every day in shoes which do not fit properly and cannot offer sufficient levels of cushioning and support. There are solutions available and at Peter John Footwear we are determined to use our knowledge and fitting skills to help our customers to be kind to their feet. Browse and shop for great products in our men's wide fitting shoes and ladies wide fitting shoes categories amongst others.

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