There’s never a convenient time for foot pain after exercise, and it's important to know what may be causing your foot pain when it happens. Whether you’re a morning gym fan who experiences occasional foot pain when transitioning from your workout to the rest of your day or you’re just starting to increase your activity level when foot pain leaves you sidelined, there are several reasons that someone with an active lifestyle may experience foot pain.
While this information will introduce you to some of the options, it’s important to see your doctor for an official diagnosis and treatment if necessary.
1. Lack of Support
If you experience short-term foot pain after exercise, there’s a good chance that your footwear doesn’t offer adequate support. Many people assume that their shoes are okay as long as they feel comfortable and don’t leave blisters. However, the type of shoe that you wear for exercise and the level of support offered are equally important.
Go to a shoe store that specializes in running, walking, or other sports, and ask for a professional fitting. They can assess your feet and help you find the right shoes for the activities that you enjoy to help eliminate many causes of foot pain. They may also recommend inserts that will provide even more support.
2. Plantar Fasciitis
This is one of the most common foot injuries experienced by active people of all ages. Every foot has a band of tissue that runs along the bottom. This is the fascia, and it can present debilitating pain when severely inflamed due to aggressive exercise. It typically causes pain in the heel, which is often felt most severely when you get out of bed in the morning.
There are many causes of foot pain from plantar fasciitis. While it is often an overuse injury that develops as a result of intense workouts, it can also come from wearing high heels. If you’re overweight, the added stress on your feet may also put you at a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
3. Extensor Tendonitis
This condition is caused by inflammation of tendons that run along the top of the foot, and it’s a common cause of top-foot pain. If you spend a lot of time on your feet due to work or enjoy long training sessions, you may be more prone to developing this type of inflammation. Other common causes of foot pain include wearing your shoes too tight at the top or running and walking on rough or uneven terrain.
There are two little bones surrounding the big toe known as sesamoids. When they become inflamed due to excess pressure during high-impact exercise, you may start to experience sharp pain in the ball of your foot. This pain is most likely to strike when you place pressure on your foot, so it can interfere with your daily life even beyond exercise. You’re more likely to experience this inflammation if you exercise on a hard surface, especially if you aren’t wearing shoes with adequate support.
5. Stress Fractures
These small fractures can develop in any bone in your foot and are likely to cause the most pain when you’re active. You may even notice that the pain subsides completely when you’re sitting still. Hairline fractures often heal on their own with time, but they’re most likely to heal faster if you give your feet a rest. This may mean skipping a few workouts or cutting back on sports practices until you can run, jump, and walk without pain.
You may have a strong suspicion about what is causing your foot pain after reading this information, but it’s important to see your doctor for an official diagnosis and treatment plan. Some foot injuries can become more serious if not treated properly and others may simply go away faster if cared for in the right manner.
Armed with this information, you can start caring for your feet at home while having an educated conversation with your doctor about your foot pain in the future.