Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Foot Pain
Feet are one of the most sensitive parts of the body. The soles have more nerves per square centimeter than any other part of the body. This makes your feet the perfect set up to feel pain and add a Chronic Pain condition on top of this and your in for some deeply felt agony. Somewhere around 80% of those who suffer from fibromyalgia are women. The reality of fibromyalgia is difficult and frustrating!
There have not to date been any research results to a definitive cause, but my personal opinion is that it’s an auto-immune disorder that inflames nerve endings and causes constant pain. Foot pain from fibromyalgia can make all your pain more intense. Trying to favor or ease up on your feet can throw out your knees, hips, and back. We as sufferers of Fibromyalgia are often told to be active, but that can be an impossibly when your feet hurt, this creates a vicious cycle of avoiding exercise that would improving you overall condition, but your feet don’t improve, which keeps you from doing any physical activity, and so on.
So what can you do to help with the pain in your feet if you suffer from fibromyalgia?
- People who have fibromyalgia may already be under the care of a general practitioner (family physician) and/or rheumatologist, but they should also consider seeing a podiatrist (foot specialist). A podiatrist at can advise you about specific treatments can help your overall health. Also, a podiatrist can find other foot conditions that you have which are just made worse by fibromyalgia.
- Wearing the right shoes is crucial. Choose low or no heeled shoes that offer plenty of support. It is also so important to wear shoes that are the correct size.
- Consider inserts or supports to your shoes for support and Pain Relief. You can buy one size fits all versions, like Dr. Scholes in a drugstore or a podiatrist can custom-fit you with orthotics that address your specific areas of foot pain.
- Start any exercise program carefully and slowly. Don’t give up easily, but don’t do to much at the beginning; try to increase exercise slowly to allow your feet and body to get used to the workload. Talk to your doctor about the best exercises for you. (I have found that 10 minutes on a vibration table and 10 minutes on a recumbent bicycle work best for my me and my feet. I started with 3 minutes on each and have so far built up to 10 minutes, it took me 3 weeks to get here. My ultimate goal is 30 minutes a day on the recumbent bicycle.)
Try these natural remedies for painful feet on bad days.
- Magnesium is an essential mineral for bone formation and utilizing calcium. Eat foods that provide you with the magnesium you need to alleviate foot pain. Foods high in magnesium include avocado, spinach , Swiss chard, banana, and black beans. Other foods high in magnesium pumpkin seeds, lentils, garbanzo beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, brown rice, millet, and dried figs.
- Soak your barking dogs in a warm bath with Epsom salt. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) has many beneficial properties when it comes to relieving pain and inflammation. Add a cup of Epsom salt to your bath or foot spa and gently massage your heels to release the pressure.
- Vitamin B5 — One sign of a serious vitamin B5 deficiency is muscle impairment and pain. Vitamin B5 is responsible for helping with nerve function, specifically creating an important molecule called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is used to send nerve signals to muscles; this helps the body avoid nerve damage and impairment. Vitamin B5 is also known to accelerate the healing process. Foods naturally high in vitamin B5 include avocado, sunflower seeds, eggs, salmon and lentils. Taking B Complex Supplements is associated with lower levels of joint pain, enhanced muscle strength, and fewer symptoms of muscle or joint fatigue.
- Proteolytic Enzymes — Inflammation is naturally reduced by eating Pineapple. It contains Bromelain, which not only fights inflammation by blocking metabolites that cause swelling, It also acts to decrease swelling by activating a chemical in the blood that breaks down fibrin, thus leading to reduced swelling. Reducing inflammation helps in healing and relieving pressure.
- Wear the right kind of shoes for your activity. Don’t wear stilettos if you know you’re going to be standing for eight hours. Flip flops, which don’t offer support, are bad, too. Choose shoes that offer support.
- Strengthen your feet. You can cut down on foot pain just by making your feet stronger. Try some of these foot exercises and activities to increase your feet’s ability to withstand pain.
- Take care of your corns and calluses. These patches of thickened skin can become irritated when you spend a lot of time on your feet. Keep them in shape regularly rubbing them down with a pumice stone or carefully trimming them. You can also put pads on them; these are easily found in any drug store.
So that’s prevention. But if your feet are already in pain, what can you do to make them feel better?
- Put your feet up, literally. Lie on the ground and elevate your feet above your head by putting them on a chair, stack of pillows, or rest them straight up in the air against a wall. This will help the fluids that have pooled in your feet and made them swell drain. Relax this way for about fifteen or twenty minutes.
- Soak your feet in warm water. Add a little tea tree oil or peppermint oil to the water will help. You can also sit on the edge of your bathtub and alternate running warm and cool water over your feet, one minute each way. End with a cool minute.
Moisturize your feet with peppermint foot lotion–peppermint is great for your feet.
- Get someone to give you a foot massage or learn how to massage your feet yourself. If your hands are tired too, try rolling your foot over a tennis ball while you sit and recover from the day.
Foot Strengthening Exercises:
Here are some simple exercises you can do to improve your foot strength:
- Walk barefoot Whenever you can walk barefoot or in socks. Without any other kind of support, your feet will have to work a little harder and thus build up strength. Walking and running on sand is even better.
- Point and flex your toes Stretch out your legs, point one foot, flex it, and hold that for a few seconds. Then do the other foot. Do this about ten times for each side.
- Pick it up Choose an object of a manageable size (for example, a ping pong ball) put it on the ground, and pick it up with one foot. Drop the object off in another location than where you started, and then pick it up again with your other foot.
- Need a lift. Stand with your feet flat on the ground and try lifting up each toe, one at a time, while keeping the other toes flat.
- Spread them Practice fanning your toes out as wide as possible and hold for about ten seconds. Do ten times on each foot. This is another one you can do while sitting at your desk or on your sofa.
- Tiptoe Stand barefoot and lift your heels up and down. For a balance challenge, do it with your eyes closed. To get a nice calf and Achilles tendon stretch, stand with your forefoot on a step or a curb and let your heels hang off. Raise your heels up, then sink back down past the level of the step.