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my foot hurts when I walk

I started walking last September for 30 minutes everyday and had to give it up for 6 weeks. The heel of my right foot hurts. Another women in my group is having the same problem. I started walking again 2 weeks ago and yesterday it started bothering me again.

I was wondering if anyone else is having this problem. Is it because I'm walking on pavement not a sidewalk? I can cut the grass for 2 hours and not have a problem at all.

I love to walk, look forward to hearing from you all.

Tue. Jan 31, 12:57pm

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Hi there,
Here are a few things that might be an issue for you.

1) Proper Shoes-- While doing the Breast Cancer 3-Day, they suggested that we get properly fitted RUNNING shoes vs. walking, because they absorb the shock better. Don't skimp if you can at all avoid it-- at least get 1 pair fitted properly at a running shoe store... :-) Mine were by Saucony and cost about $80-$100 a pair, but the extra money is well worth it!! I won't wear cheap shoes any more, because I FINALLY know the difference in how my feet feel after walking! Just because a shoe is an athletic shoe, it does not mean that you are wearing the proper shoe..Proper shoes will give the appropriate arch, heel and stability support for your gait, weight, arch, etc... :-)

2)You may need to STRETCH more...

I used to do a lot of swing dancing and because of that, I danced on the balls of my feet to avoid dancing "flatfooted" (i.e. with your heel down-- watch the TV shows on ballroom dancing and you will see that the good ones almost never have their heels planted on the ground during the majority of the dance.
However, because I wasn't STRETCHING my calves enough, I developed a condition called Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced "planter fa -she-eye-tus") where my heels were extremely painful to even put down.... It turns out that because I was dancing on the balls of the feet, it shortens the calf muscle and therefore causes excruciating pain if you don't stretch.

Make sure to stretch at least 5-10 minutes BEFORE and AFTER walking, to lengthen those muscles. You may find that this really helps. One good calf stretch is to stand on the edge of a stair with the balls on the stairs and the heels hanging out of the edge of the stairs... Then do a "dip" where the heel goes lower than the ball of the foot. You should feel a really good stretch up the back of the calf. It will take a while for the Plantar Fasciitis to heal, but this will help it... :-)

Of course, you will want to talk to your doctor to see what he or she says is the cause of the problem, but I suspect that either of the above 2 things may solve the problem for you!

Good luck and I hope this helps!


Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 1:41 PM

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foot hurs

Try adding an insole or even an orthtic. If it hurts when you get up in the morning, ie, you have to literally hop out of bed, see a doctor. I stepped up my hiking from 2 to 7 miles and had issue. Got an orthic-custom made and problem went away.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 1:42 PM

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The most common cause of heel pain is plantar facitious, is is usually caused by over use of the plantar fascia (tissue in the arch of the foot). See link below. I suffered through plantar facitious a few times; ways to get rid of it is, lose weight (usually mine pops up when I'm about 20 pounds over my goal weight), orthotics (special shoe inserts), and quit over using it (it is common among marathoners).

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 2:18 PM

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You may want to try heel cushions in your shoes. Thickly padded ones should work fine. My daughter has the same issue, and these are the only things that help. They were recommended by her doctor.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 2:20 PM

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I had the same problem....

several years ago-heel pain and inability to walk without pain when I first got up. I did see a doctor who recommended I get custom made orthotics and lose weight (duh-what was the walking for?). I was unwilling to pay $300 for orthotics without a guarantee of helping the problem..Turns out, a $20 arch support insert I bought from a walking catalog did the trick. I would definately try something like that first.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 5:03 PM

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Try over the counter orthotic and see if that helps. Superfeet makes good ones, and there are lots of other ones out there now too. If your heals still hurt then see a podiatrist. I have professionally made orthotics for plantar facitis(spelling?) in both feet and I can't walk without them, but the superfeet help too, just not as much. A professional evaluation is very helpful. No one can every make a sure gaurantee that your problem will be fixed. I have to be vigiland about the calf stretching as well, and I know my weight doesn't help, but that's why I'm here, to work on that! Take care of yourself!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 6:53 PM

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Orthotics may help, but you would be treating the symptoms vs. the cause.

My doc suggested several stretching exercises that helped the pain to go away permanently.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 8:12 PM

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Sounds like what I know to be as 'Heal Spurrs". In just one spot on the heal of my foot, whenever weight is applied, its like something stabbing my heal! My doctor said they are heal spurrs...or mayb it could be corns? I have a corn on one foot that cant really be doesnt come like the typical corn that you can use remover on..mine will always come back in the form of a big, hard painfull callous. It is from the way I walk and the shape of my yes, the best things you can do are use really good shoes, its worth the investment...and You say you walk on concrete? Try walking on the grass or the side of the road (gravel) also makes a big difference for your back and legss not having to step on such a hard surface. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 8:53 PM

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Thank you all for your help. I forgot to mention in 87 I had a fallen arch in the same foot. I wore a insert for a year and it has been fine since then. I know it's not my arch it's the heel. It only hurts if I push it hard or have nothing on my feet (bare feet). I wear reebok's, they have good arch support and well cushioned. I have been wearing reebok's for 20 years (when I worked on my feet 9 hours a day) and never had a problem. I'm going out tomorrow to buy a arch support and start doing some streaching exercises as well.

Thanks again. Stay focused, keep up the good work we all can do this together.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 9:33 PM

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heel pain is a real common problem. All the posts here make perfect sense and wouldn't hurt to try any of them. Here's one more, when you are walking pay attention to your stride and where your feet hit the pavement w/ each step. I too had heel pain and found it was in my stride, I was turning a foot out slightly and hitting it too hard (on the inside of the heel) on the downstep. Focus on the full step and gently rolling through the step, complete the step. I hope this makes sense...
Anyway - I hope you work through it and walk on.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 11:02 PM

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Nowadays heel spurs are generally considered to be a side effect of plantar fasciitis. (PF is basically tendinitis in a particular place in the foot). Surgery directly on the bone spur used to be more popular than it is now. There are lots of treatments for PF that work some of the time, but none seems to work for everyone. If you seek medical care you will probably be put through a progression of treatment attempts until one works. Stretching, anti-inflammatory drugs (higher dose ibuprofen, or prescription drugs), night splints, all sorts of heel pads and cups, other inserts and orthotics, and cortisone injections are among the methods available. It's not rare for PF to be very persistent (years), although cases that clear quickly aren't rare either.
Some thyroid diseases can make you more prone to tendinitis generally, and therefore PF.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 12:08 AM

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Even if you have been wearing the same type of shoes for years, it might not hurt to get fitted by an athletic shoe specialist-- Due to changes in weight, age, etc. your stride may have changed over the years, which may mean that you need a different type of support in your shoes... :-)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 1:00 AM

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To the poster who said the orthotics are just treating the symptoms - this is just not true. Orthotics can change the mechanics of the way we walk. In my case, I pronate, meaning my feet roll in, causing the weight to come down on the wrong place on my foot, hence the pain and the plantar fascitis(sp?). They are not just cushions for the feet. My orthotics are custom made by the podiatrist, and although very expensive, worth every penny, with or without help from insurance. As for the stretching, yes this helps for me some but does not make the problem go away, although for some people that may be enough to alleviate the problem.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 5:04 AM

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Good point about the orthotics... although if the planter fasciitis is due to lack of stretching, the person would still need to stretch...

What I meant was that they need to find out what the problem is instead of just relying on buying an orthotic without knowing the cause of their pain...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006, 9:49 AM

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Yes, I agree with you, they should get to the bottom of the problem. I have another friend with foot pain and turned out she had a degenerative joint problem.

Thursday, February 02, 2006, 6:56 AM

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"Doctor, it hurts when I walk"

"Stop walking then!"

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 11:19 AM

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Please see the thread about foot numbness. You almost certainly have plantar facilitis. I posted my own exercise on that thread - similar to what the doctor told me to do -- and I cannot tell you how much it helped and how quickly! I was almost crippled by the pain. I swear by my simple stretching exercise. I've been essentially without pain now for several years. It's certainly worth a try. (I had months of ultrasound therapy and some other weird therapy before I learned about the exercises. My version worked far better for me, though, than the doctor's variation. With his, I rarely felt a stretch.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 1:07 PM

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it's so nice to see a thread with all positive, helpful responses! Feel like it's been weeks since i've seen one of those!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 1:55 PM

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Get it checked out

Some times we ignore pain such as heal pain that occurs when we exercise. The advice given in the other comments is good. It is always a good idea to have it checked out by your doctor to make sure that there is not and underlying problem. This can be very important when deciding if you need orthotics, quality shoes or a specially designed heal pad.


Sunday, October 28, 2007, 10:58 AM

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this is all true, however, to get it cured you have to see a professional who will give you professionally personally molded orthodics for your feet. you have to wear shoes with proper arch support, that means no barefoot, no sandals. Stretching your feet before you get out of bed is a must. While loosing weight is helpful, it will not cure it. Stretching your calf is a must.
A proper effective stretch for the calf is to stand on a step with the front part of your foot, and drop the heel down, do this until your calf is completely stretched. In no time you will be back to good.

Sunday, June 21, 2009, 10:21 PM

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Maybe you are wearing the wrong size shoes. Feet grow bigger as you get healthier and older. You should go get your feet measured at a good shoe store.

Monday, June 22, 2009, 8:47 AM

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You might want to talk to a physical therapist (see if you doctor can refer you) who might notice something wrong with the way you walk.

I have similar problems with foot pain due to an old injury, and my PP gave me exercises, shoe inserts, and a lot of great advice that is slowly changing the way I walk. Apparently I had started putting my foot down different after the injury which led to the pain and weakness in my foot when I walk.

Monday, June 22, 2009, 8:53 AM

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walking/running barefoot is the new big thing. the idea is that when you walk barefoot it can heal your foot because it is moving the way nature intended.

Sunday, September 26, 2010, 6:49 PM

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