Feet are such an important part of the body. People have foot fetishes and foot-hatred bordering on obsession. Yet most of us simply use them to walk and run, stand and balance and just think very little, if anything of them at all.
We shove them into our shoes, lace up and go, or stuff them into heels that are too high for them and totter around like circus performers.
The one time that many of us actually begin to pay attention to our feet is, you guessed it, when they begin to hurt.
Painful feet are no fun at all, considering how many of us need our feet daily. In fact, painful feet can affect everything from your mood to your posture to your spine and all of the muscles of your body.
A podiatrist is a foot specialist. If you feel you really need help figuring out what is causing your foot pain, this would be the first person to make an appointment with.
Everything from tight foot muscles (which truly benefit from being stretched out), to flat feet or fallen arches, ingrown toenails to diabetes, or arthritis to gout can cause foot pain. Sometimes being overweight and using your body mechanics incorrectly, thereby putting more pressure on certain parts of your feet can cause foot pain.
Bunions are growths, usually near the front of the foot, which can cause severe pain and discomfort.
The positive thing is that many painful feet conditions can be ameliorated if not solved completely with time and attention. If you are overweight you are immediately putting strain on all of your joints, not just your feet, and this can change the way you are holding yourself and walking, causing more discomfort than is necessary.
If you are in good physical condition overall and find that your feet hurt anyway, it could be as simple as the fact that you are not wearing a supportive enough shoe. Many shoes do not have the arch or ankle support you need to feel fully comfortable on your feet all day.
Expensive orthotics can be covered by insurance in some cases. These are actually custom-designed supports for your feet which are placed inside of your shoes.