From the moment we are born we are changing – we grow from baby’s into small children then onto teenagers, adults and then finally we reach the “so-called” golden age of seniority. Alongside these developments come all kinds of changing and developing feelings and sensations. These feelings and sensations often tend to become something we associate with normality and as another part of life. At times we can even place pain in this category but it is important to note, pain is generally an indicator that something is wrong within the muscles, ligaments, bones, joints of the body – this is also true in the feet. Feet are the foundation of the body – they support the entire weight of a person throughout their entire life. That does not mean however, pain in the feet should just be part of our everyday life.
Let’s take a look at some every day myths that you may have heard about:
Myth: As you get older, pain in the feet is expected and normal – a part of everyday life that you just get used to…
- Truth: as we age our risk increases for injuries and medical conditions that may cause discomfort in the feet – on the other hand it is possible to have healthy / happy feet without pain or complication until we reach a ripe old age.
- Truth: a majority of these conditions that people develop can be treated or managed to reduce the pain and improve a person’s quality of life through quality medical or allied healthcare such as podiatry.
Myth: When you are on your feet all day, you should expect your feet to be painful.
- Truth: tired feet are different to painful feet – when you have been on your feet for an extended period it is possible that you will feel lethargic and long to put your feet up but this is vastly different to discomfort that makes you limp after a long day or unable to walk properly.
Myth: When you work / exercise hard, it is normal to have pain in the feet.
- Truth: pain in the feet after a workout or hard day labouring is just as much an indicator of a problem as if you had not done any strenuous activity and your feet started hurting. Working hard simply increases your risk of developing a foot problem. As such, if you are experiencing pain in your feet after strenuous activity, see a podiatrist.
Myth: You cannot do anything about arthritis pain in the joints of the feet – it’s just a part of old age.
- Truth: While it is true that arthritis is yet to be considered a curable condition, arthritis in the feet or legs often develops because of an underlying mechanical problem. These mechanical problems are treatable and the arthritic pain can be managed / reduced.
Myth: As you grow, pain in the feet or legs is completely normal.
- Truth: Growing pains can and often do occur in children ranging from the ages of 3-12, however this kind of pain is usually experienced in the middle of long bones (e.g. the shin or the thigh) and don’t usually occur in the joints of the feet. If your child is experiencing pain in any of these areas or you are unsure, contact a podiatrist as soon as possible.
Myth: new shoes should cause pain or significant discomfort when worn at the start.
- Truth: New shoes may feel firm for a time when you first put them on your feet, however any discomfort that lasts longer than a few minutes of wearing the shoes or abnormal sensations (such as numbness, sharp or aching pains) should not be considered normal. Discuss with your podiatrist about how to appropriately fit a shoe and what kind of shoes will be best suited to your feet.