If the feet are painful, our lifestyle is often responsible. It can help to do specific foot exercises – and to switch to barefoot shoes
Sore feet? Many people are familiar with the phenomenon that their feet hurt in the evening. “Our feet have to withstand a lot because our entire body weight rests there on a relatively small area,” says Dr. Torsten Pfitzer. He is a holistic pain therapist and author of the book ” Treating pain yourself with Blackroll “.
During the day we almost constantly force our feet into tight shoes. “The muscles atrophy as a result and the fasciae are not activated either,” says the expert. “It’s like a kind of tropical long-term vacation for the feet.” In typically shaped shoes that taper at the front, you can’t move your toes freely, for example, because they’re squeezed together.
It is best to walk barefoot wherever possible
“If we were still walking barefoot through the woods and fields like our ancestors did, we would probably have hardly any problems with our feet,” says Pfitzer. “But our modern life, in which we sit a lot and press our feet into footwear that is not always optimal, means that our feet are either under or overstrained and are forced into an unnatural posture.”
The expert recommends walking barefoot wherever possible to strengthen the foot muscles. In the office, of course, this is not an option for most people. “There it can be a good alternative to switch to barefoot shoes,” says Pfitzer. “There are now many models on the market that are also suitable for the office.”
Avoid heels even with men’s shoes
It’s not just standing or sitting for long periods of time that affects your feet. Tight shoes can also be harmful. “We tend to lace our shoes very tightly,” says the pain specialist. “Often this is not necessary at all.” It can be very beneficial to open your shoes or just lace them loosely. “Most people do this automatically on long flights. “It also helps to consciously move your toes every now and then.”
You should avoid paragraphs. “Even light heels, as they are often attached to shoes for men, are not good for the feet and change the entire statics of the body,” says the expert. The consequence can not only be problems with the feet, but also pain in the back or knee, for example.
Does sport help with sore feet?
The feet often report when you bring yourself to do more sport and go running. “Many people then find that their feet do not necessarily react enthusiastically,” says the expert. Sport does not eliminate foot problems immediately, but often intensifies through the unfamiliar strain.
It is also important that those who switch to barefoot shoes should give their feet time to get used to them. This is especially true if you want to go jogging in barefoot shoes. “The running style looks very different, you have to get used to it first,” explains Pfitzer. A regular running shoe has cushioning on the heel and when running you first come up with the heel. “If you use barefoot shoes, a ball walk is more advisable,” says Pfitzer. You place your foot further forward. Therefore, you should get used to the feet carefully so that they can adapt to the other load.
Heel spur from overload
In any case, the unfamiliar training while running is initially a strain on the feet, regardless of the type of shoes. “Quite a few beginners have been thwarted in their euphoria by a heel spur,” says Pfitzer. A heel spur is a thorn-shaped, bony outgrowth on the heel bone. The foot tries to compensate for excessive strain and misalignments by building a kind of support in the foot.
“The heel spur is mostly at the origin of the plantar fascia,” says Pfitzer. “This is a tendon plate that connects the heel with the toes.” A heel spur can form as a result of excessive strain, as in unusual sport, but it can also arise if you are overweight or if the muscles in the foot and calf are insufficiently developed.
Exercise eliminates sore feet and makes them supple
If a heel spur forms, it is a longer process. “If inflammation occurs due to sudden excessive demands, sharp pains arise that make every step a torture,” says the expert. In this case, a break for the foot is called for. A heel cushion that you put in your shoes can also provide temporary relief.
But it is also important to treat a heel spur with exercises. The aim is to strengthen the foot muscles and make them supple again through stretching exercises. The right exercises for strengthening can be found here and for stretching here . The exercises should be done regularly, preferably three to five times a week.