In most of the cases, foot pain has to do with the stress overload we put on the ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that, as we age, are less resistant to daily wear and tear. Excess sugar and sodium, as well as a diet low in potassium and Omega-3 fatty acids, can negatively affect vascular circulation, which can increase foot pain and discomfort. Likewise, every excess pound puts extra stress on your feet.
You will feel the loss of tissues and muscle strength in your feet more if you wear the wrong shoes for your foot type. As we age our foot type may change—i.e., you may have lower arches and lean more toward flat feet—as well as our shoe size, due to the stretched tissue and ligaments laxity. So this is the time when you need to visit a running store to have your foot type and stride evaluated. Even if you don’t run, a running store has plenty of brands and shoe types to choose from. Also, invest in compression socks for exercising. Studies show they may improve the leg blood flow and muscle recovery.
Nothing should be an excuse for not exercising, though. In fact, exercise can help reduce water retention due to a poor diet, as well as increasing nitric oxide (a potent vasodilator) to stimulate vascular circulation and help you to better manage your weight. Thus, after making sure you wear the right shoes, begin with a mix of exercises wherein you vary the time spent on your feet and off your feet, such as 15 minutes walking and 15 minutes biking. Likewise, if you do an exercise, like the elliptical, in which you hold the position still for a while, make sure you move your feet every 10 minutes or so to keep the blood flowing.
Also, strengthen the feet fascia and muscles with easy exercises like folding a piece of paper with your feet or standing on an unstable device like your pillow. It’s also helpful to stretch the foot fascia by rolling a tennis ball with your foot, moving it across your arch.
Foot pain also may be related to other health matters like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes, so be sure to consult with your physician if your foot pain becomes chronic.